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Florida Real Estate
Investing in Real Estates in Florida, the United States

When investing in Real Estates in Florida, one might has to review what happened in the past by reviewing articles in real estate journals.

In 1992, when the real estate market was at a bottom, National Real Estate Investor, published an article in May, 1992.

With tourism down, Florida's economy and real estate market feel the recession (May, 1992)

Florida's usually robust economy has been socked hard by the national recession. And its commercial real estate economy has been among the most serious casualties. Optimism still reigns for the future, however, even if experts predict that the state will boom a little slower in the 1990s than it did in the 1980s.

More about Florida's Real Estate Market Article published in May 1992

In 2005, when the real estate market is hot in Florida, Newswire reports:

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's housing market more than weathered four hurricanes making landfall in the state during 2004, registering a record year in terms of closings and median price for sales of existing single-family homes statewide. By year's end, Florida came close to reaching the 250,000 mark for annual sales, according to the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR), with a total of 242,234 homes sold -- an 11 percent increase over the 218,739 homes sold the year before.

And the prices of those homes keep rising. Statewide, the median sales price rose 17 percent to reach $182,400; in 2003, it was $155,800. In 1999, Florida's median sales price was $106,900, which represents a 70.6 percent gain over the five-year period.

Frank Kowalski, 2005 president of FAR and broker-owner of Metro Dade Realty Inc. in Miami, says the 2004 existing-home sales data showcases the phenomenal growth and continued strength of Florida's real estate industry, despite the short-term local market disruptions caused by four hurricanes striking the state in August and September.

"Buyers from all over the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America are attracted to Florida, and not just because of the climate," he says. "The Sunshine State has a strong job market and a ready supply of housing in all price ranges. While median sales prices continue to rise -- in part due to demand -- residences in Florida offer great values for buyers worldwide."

Low interest rates contributed to the state's dynamic housing market. While mortgage rates edged up on occasion, they stayed under 6 percent for most of the year, Kowalski notes. "The annual average for the 30-year fixed- rate mortgage rate last year was 5.84 percent," he says. "Demand for homes remained at a record pace in markets across Florida, resulting in a low supply in many areas and impacting home prices."

Many housing industry insiders predict that the housing sector will see another near record year in 2005, with mortgage rates expected to gradually trend upward to 6.5 percent by the end of this year. Realtors predict another strong year for home sales in Florida.

Last year's average of 5.84 percent for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was only slightly higher than the 5.83 percent average rate for 2003. FAR's sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Among the state's larger metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater reported double-digit gains in number of sales and median sales price in 2004 compared to the previous year. With a total of 47,639 homes sold last year, the figure was 17 percent higher than the area's 2003 sales activity, when 40,867 homes changed hands. The median sales price rose 15 percent to $159,900; the year before, it was $139,300.

George Bodmer, president of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors and general manager of Bayside Realty Group Inc. in Brandon, says buyers' appetite for homes in the Tampa Bay area will remain strong this year.

"This is a great place to live," he says. "It has everything buyers want - - good schools, entertainment facilities and events, sports, leisure activities, jobs and, of course, Tampa Bay. Plus, we still have land available for development in the area and that helps with housing affordability."

Other large Florida MSAs reporting higher sales in 2004 compared to a year ago include: Jacksonville, where 16,150 homes sold for a 15 percent gain; and Orlando, where 36,659 homes changed hands for a 14 percent increase. The median sales price also rose 15 percent in both markets last year: reaching $164,500 in Orlando and $159,000 in Jacksonville.

In the smaller markets, the Naples MSA reported 4,900 homes sold last year, a 16 percent increase over the 4,225 homes sold the previous year. The median sales price rose 28 percent to $374,300; the year before, it was $291,400.

"Supply and demand is one of the primary factors driving our market... the supply of for-sale homes is tight while the demand has increased dramatically," says Michelle Harrison, president of the Naples Area Board of Realtors and Association of Real Estate Professionals and director of sales for Elias Brothers Communities in Naples. "In the Naples area, we're blessed with having a lot of investors interested in the market, investors who view real estate as a tangible asset."

Among the state's smaller markets, others reporting increases in home resales for 2004 compared to the previous year include: Fort Walton Beach, where 5,171 homes changed hands for a 27 percent boost; and Lakeland-Winter Haven, where 5,857 homes sold for a 12 percent increase. The markets' median sales price also rose last year: in Fort Walton Beach, 25 percent to $190,300; and in Lakeland-Winter Haven, 15 percent to $111,100.

A chart showing statistics for Florida and its 20 MSAs follows. The chart compares the number of existing, single-family home sales and median sales prices, based on Realtor transactions during 2004 and 2003. The median sales price is the midpoint in the price range -- half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

The Florida Association of Realtors, the voice for real estate in Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its more than 120,000 members in 70 boards/associations.


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