Monday, 23 February 2009

Article Roundup

There's a couple of recent pieces from the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel newspapers about low(er) prices in southeast Florida increasing interest amongst local residents.

The Miami Herald, in particular, has a feature on why some people are finding that buying a property is less expensive than renting. Generally, this isn't going to be directly relevant to those foreign buyers looking to purchase in the state. There are still, however, some useful points, including the main argument of for versus against - namely that there are bargains to be had right now (for) but prices will still go down for a while yet(against).

The Sun Sentinel has a blog post on how decreasing prices are increasing sales in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and that this trend is also true for Orlando.

- Home prices are so low it may cost less to buy than to rent (Miami Herald, 15th February 2009)

- Low prices are dragging home buyers off the fence (Sun Sentinel, 12th February 2009)

Monday, 9 February 2009

Article: South Florida Housing Prices Becoming Affordable Again

The Miami Herald published an article over the weekend about how south Florida property prices are now tumbling down to a level that's more affordable for many local residents. The drop in prices - due to the economic downturn and the increasing number of foreclosures in the area - means that some are now able to buy properties, having previously thought it out of reach because of their lower earnings.

The fact that houses are more affordable is great news for some - but the article does also point out that for those that are buying, mortgage lenders now impose much stricter regulations and often ask for at least 20% of the purchase price as a downpayment.

Those can meet such conditions - or, better still, those with cash - will find a large amount of choice. Even some foreclosed homes, that may have been damanged by previous residents, often don't need much spent on them to bring them back to good condition. Some consider this a fantastic time to snap up properties: "This is the only opportunity, I think for the next 30 years. There won't be another opportunity, says Eduardo Fernandez, who is investing in a couple of properties in the Little Havana area.

Falling house prices may just be a slight glimmer of hope in the story current conditions, however. The author states that most analysts predict that house prices will continue to fall. If house values fall, those that are in trouble and facing foreclosure will only find themselves in deeper trouble. The the vast number of homes on the market - greatly outstripping demand - will only cause a further fall in prices.

The article does focus on some areas in southeast Florida that may not be considered the most desirable for one reason or another but, nevertheless, does identify possible gains for those looking to buy in the region as a whole.

Article: South Florida housing prices becoming affordable again (Miami Herald, 7th February 2009)

Monday, 2 February 2009

Article: Foreign Investors May Help Local Real Estate Market

Here's an article in today's Miami Herald about foreign investors buying up commercial real estate in southeast Florida. Whilst the main subject of this blog is of course residential real estate, some of you make be interested in find out about the general levels of investment in Miami and the surrounding cities and areas.

Essentially, and unsurprisingly, the piece points out that investment by domestic (i.e. American) firms in the area is dwindling due to the economic climate in the country. Foreign investors, however - particularly those from Central and South America - aren't being put off by the current poor economic conditions, as they may well have faced unstable economies back home and are used to such difficulties. Moreover, such foreign groups still view Florida as a prime spot to invest in, and often have a longer-term plan than American investors and may be more willing to accept lower rates of return.

One foreign group that definitely aren't investing in Florida at the moment are us Europeans - mainly caused to the fall in value of the Euro against the Dollar.

Article: Foreign investors may help local real estate market (Miami Herald, 2nd February 2009)