Our South Florida readers have heard it before, and now it appears they'll hear it again: Broward County is still one of the pockets of good news for the housing market.
Some knew it would happen, others didn't.
As the country's economy continues on a sluggish pace toward recovery, many Americans, including those in South Florida, are looking for any positive sign pointing toward better conditions. The unemployment rate remains stagnant, and hopes of a swift end to the recent recession appear to be waning. However, a recent report offered one ray of hope for the housing market, as real estate transactions were reportedly up sharply in May.
The South Florida condo market has not experienced the same mini-boom that the single-family homes market has lately. Condo sales in the area have for the most part been in line with the ongoing residential real estate malaise that the rest of the country is enduring. However, recent reports indicate that the condo business is also set for a rebound, as growth was reported in the second quarter of 2012.
If you are a Broward County resident who is familiar with our previous posts, then you know that the residential real estate market in South Florida is getting pretty hot compared to recent years. Many previous posts have noted how the overall negative real estate malaise that is affecting most of the country is turning a bit brighter when it comes to places like Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward. As it turns out, the trend appears to be continuing.
As we've discussed previously, there are many indicators that residential real estate in South Florida -- and specifically in Broward County -- is beginning to surge forward while the rest of the country's housing market slowly bottoms out and recovers. In light of the good news about real estate in Broward County, a brief primer on how house hunters should prepare to enter the market seems only logical.
Buyers and sellers of residential real estate in Broward County will be interested to hear that, for the sixth week in a row, the mortgage loan interest rate averaged less than 4 percent. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to an all-time low, at 3.89 percent, while the average 15-year rate dropped to 3.16 percent. The result? What you'd expect. More South Floridians have been applying for mortgages to take advantage of low interest rates. However, according to loan officers, personal debt, unemployment and the uncertainty of the current housing market are likely preventing many people from even applying for a mortgage.
Most of those who work in commercial real estate in Florida already know the state has seen a dramatic shift downward over the last several years. That fact was recently made clearer, as Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart suggested that the economy in the Southeastern United States is lagging behind the overall U.S. recovery because of the region's more severe real estate slump. The slump includes both residential and commercial real estate.