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Finding a Nugget of Gold Buried in the Sand

When the current foreclosure crisis first began, many tried to explain it away by pointing out that the majority of distressed properties were limited to what was then termed the four ‘sand states’ (Arizona, California, Nevada and Florida). When the challenge was confined to just subprime mortgages, this theory held water. Since then, the failing economy has created challenges for many homeowners in every state as even borrowers who had prime loans (good job, good credit score, good down payment) began to fall behind on their mortgage payments. However, the stigma of being a ‘sand state’ still exists for the four original states today.

Yet, certain regions in these sand states are actually leading the country in its turn to a more positive housing market. Let’s look at one such region: the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market. When talking about Miami/Fort Lauderdale housing prices, most people discuss the collapse in values the area experienced since 2006. However, prices in the region have actually already stabilized and could actually appreciate in 2012.

As an example: Though Zillow has projected 4% declines in several other Florida regions, they believe that the prices in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market will remain stable over the next 12 months.

Standard & Poors, after analyzing the peak gains in regions across the country, explained:

“Miami had the highest peak and has retained a lot of the gains it made.”

Bank of America looked at the non-distressed housing market in regions across the country and discovered:

“Home prices in many non-distressed markets are already and unexpectedly on the rise … Within those non-distressed markets, Miami experienced the most rapid price growth in 2011 at 7%.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their fourth quarter Median Sales Price Report for Condos and Coops which showed that condo prices in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market have increased in each of the last four quarters.

Bottom Line

What we believe to be true about certain markets may no longer be the case. Check with a local real estate professional to make sure you are keeping current on the part of the housing market that matters to you.

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