Thursday, 28 May 2009

Grab a slice of South Beach

A couple of weeks ago, the UK's Daily Mail newspaper published an article on new opportunities presented to some holiday-home (or home!) buyers looking to take the plunge in southeast Florida. The region's tumbling property prices in the last year or so has meant - as I've often said - that bargains are definitely to be had. For those looking for a little glamour, this may mean include purchasing in some of Miami's swankier developments and areas, including South Beach.

It is this that the Mail article focuses on. True, much of the piece is ever-so-slightly exasperating (the focus on celebrities that own properties there; the claim that Robert De Niro and Slyvester Stallone's bars that opened in the 1990s helped turn South Beach from edgy to trendy), but it still presents some useful information. The main point is that, with prices falling so much, Miami and southeast Florida may now be affordable to those who believed they were previously priced out of buying there, and had to look elsewhere if they wanted a holiday home abroad.

John Howell, of the International Law Partnership (who advise clients on buying overseas property), provides a rather amusing - but ultimately very true - quote for the piece:

Why buy in Bulgaria when you can own in one of the world's best locations?

The Mail article also mentions a few new condo developments which are failing to sell, and in which stylish, reduced-price (or even foreclosed) flats can be bought. These include Icon Brickell and Flamingo South Beach.

Finally, the last bit of advice to be garnered from the article is that for anyone looking to purchase a foreclosed property, they should be ready to act quickly - many of these go fast, and so anyone looking to buy a foreclosure needs to have all their funds in place so they do not lose out.

Article: Prices are tumbling, but the sun is still shining, now is the perfect time to grab your Miami slice (Daily Mail, 14th May 2009)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Article: In South Florida, Most People Who Bought Homes During Boom Are Underwater

Yesterday's Miami Herald published an article on a recent report by real estate website, which documents the struggles many Florida homeowners are facing as they find that they now owe more than their properties are worth - a situation that the paper terms being "underwater".

The excessive boom period, particularly from 2005 to 2007, means many bought at incredibly high prices. Now property prices have been tumbling to such an extent that homeowners have seen the value of their homes plunge severly. The article states that those that bought during these boom years may experience prices falling by 50% in Dade county, and 41% in Broward. (These are median price figures.) Meanwhile, an astonishingly high 88% of those who bought in 2006 are "underwater".

No doubt a situation like this will unfortunately cause even more homeowners to fall into foreclosure.

Article: In South Florida, most people who bought homes during boom are underwater (Miami Herald, 6th May 2009)