Florida Property Named Top Destination For Holidays & Property

  • 15 years ago
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Overseas property investors and those seeking a holiday home abroad should have Florida high on the agenda according to the international real estate website Homesgofast.com and the Forbes Traveler magazine.
Forbes Traveler  named Orlando Florida as North America’s top holiday on spot in its newest ranking of destinations in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The USA’s most popular holiday destination is also seeing increased demand from overseas property buyers visiting Homesgofast.com with a 45% jump in enquiries in July 2009.
Nicholas Marr CEO at Homesgofast.com “we have had a steady interest from investors seeking an investment bargain in Florida  however July 2009 has seen the return of the lifestyle buyer i.e. people buying a Florida property as a second home or retirement , Florida property prices are so low buyers feel now the only way is up”.

“Both enquiries and sales are up”, says Lee Weaver of the Orlando-based British Homes Group www.britishhomesgroup.com, a company set up by Brits for Brits considering buying property in Florida. “These are clear indicators that the market is recovering. While the national housing bust has devastated property values, it has also created some outstanding bargain opportunities for would-be home buyers–if you know where to look.”

In a recent independent national poll by IHS Global Insight’s Regional Estate Service, two destinations in Florida appeared in the top five most undervalued places to live in the US. The housing bust in the US has seen property values fall to 32% lower than their 2006 peaks but it has also created some fantastic bargain opportunities for buyers. Jeannine Cataldi, Senior Economist of IHS Global Insight’s Regional Real Estate Service comments, “What we have seen is that those markets that became significantly overvalued during the housing boom such as Florida, California and Nevada are right now very undervalued.”

The first Florida destination to appear in the poll is the upmarket retirement community of Naples, located on Florida’s southwest coastline. Home prices here have fallen by nearly 50% from the first quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2009. IHS Global Insight now considers the average home price in Naples ($200,000) to be 33% undervalued.

Similarly, house prices in Sarasota – an upmarket, artistic community on Florida’s west coast plunged by 44% from the first quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2009. HIS Global Insight now considers the average price in Sarasota ($141,000) to be 28% undervalued.

The Florida Association of Realtors states that the average sales price for existing Florida homes was $148,000 in June 2009, a 28% decrease from June 2008’s $205,300. The average condo price fell 37% from $180,400 last June to $112,900 this year.
British Homes Group has many examples of bargain properties on its website. For example a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with swimming pool on the Lake Berkley Resort just 12 minutes from Disney in Kissimmee, Florida which is on sale for $215,000 (£133,207). In 2005 this property was valued at $438,850 (£271,592) which represents a 51% drop in price. Lee Weaver of the British Homes Group comments, “We have an increasing number of Brits requesting bargain-priced holiday homes in Florida and this property is a perfect example of what is available. This a brilliant time for Brits to buy in Florida.”

Lee Weaver continues, “Although house prices are so low at the moment. There are indicators that the property market is recovering. We think prices will ‘bottom out’ later this year after three years of spiralling downward and now is the time to buy before prices rise.”

The Federal Housing Finance Agency stated last week that single-family home prices nationally rose by 0.9 per cent from April to May in the US as a whole, marking the biggest jump this year. Signs of life in the housing market lifted shares of homebuilders such as Lennar, DR Horton and KB Homes as much as 6% last week. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, commented that “the decline in housing activity appears to have moderated” and mortgage applications had swelled for three weeks running.

However, economists warned that the real estate market remained fragile. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index, home prices have dropped by a third since peaking in 2006, and the latest figures from RealtyTrac show rates of foreclosure have reached record highs this year. And year on year figures are still nothing to sing about – home prices nationwide dropped 17.1% in May 2009 compared with May 2008.

Average prices in Florida are still dropping, sales are up, indicating that it won’t be long before prices rise accordingly. The Florida Association of Realtors recently stated that existing single-family home and condominium sales grew in June – by 28% from 12,339 sales in June 2008 to 15,850 sales in June 2009. Similarly, a total of 5,241 condo units were sold in June 2009, a 39% increase from the 3,771 units that were sold in June 2008.”

Lee Weaver continues, “The supply of housing is another important measure. A market with six months of supply is considered by housing economists to be balanced between buyers and sellers. In Orlando, June’s inventory had 17,831 homes available through the Multiple Listing Service, which reflects an 8.4-month supply at the current sales pace. In January, the Orlando MSA had an inventory level that reflected a 23.6-month supply and it has steadily decreased since. It is definitely heading in the right direction towards the optimum level of 6 months.”

Randall Guttery, Professor of Real Estate at the University of North Texas added, “We are finally working through this excess inventory. Once we get that excess inventory taken off the market, we can get back to a more healthy supply-and-demand-driven market.”
Lee Weaver concludes, “For those thinking about buying a property in Florida, now really is the time to act before prices increase.”

For further information, please call Lee Weaver at British Homes Group on 0800 096 5989 or (+1) 407 396 9914 or visit www.britishhomesgroup.com

Kerry Clark, Tideway Communications, +44 (0)20 8878 0787 [email protected]

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