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South Florida Real Estate Market Swings Back in 2012, Looks Good for 2013

January 4, 2013 / usifredo

Real Estate Market Analysts in South Florida expect a transition to more normal market conditions in 2013, meaning 2012 served as a successful year of rebounding and rebuilding. After six years of declines in the South Florida real estate market, 2012 saw more confident homebuilders who filled orders and increased demand within one of the nation’s most hard-hit areas.

Foreign investors also contributed to the boost in the market, cashing in on low home prices, record-low interest rates and incentive programs such as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Sellers also saw a stronger stance in negotiations, as bidding wars often erupted over a dwindling supply of properties.

Amanda Wilson, a real estate agent with Esslinger Wooten Maxwell in Fort Lauderdale explained, “What really move the market in 2012 was the lack of inventory…People were looking for properties they could have bought 18 months ago, but they couldn’t find them.”

By the end of summer 2012, the market bottomed out a year earlier than many analysts had anticipated. Real estate website Zillow.com reported in April that the bottom was occurring then, and that it actually hit in late 2011.

Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries stated, “After a sluggish 2011, the housing market really turned a corner in 2012, as historic affordability and sustained investor interest helped keep demand at a boil.”

The rental market in South Florida also soared in 2012, as former homeowners burned by the bust turned to less permanent options of living. Occupancy rates in Broward and Palm Beach counties leaped past 90 percent, while strong demand allowed landlords to raise rent prices. After little new construction in the past several years, dozens of developers hit the ground running in 2012, with apartment projects sprouting in Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Jupiter, among other areas.

U.S. Immigration Fund partnered with investors through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to fund and develop multi-use developments in Boca Raton and Jupiter, Florida.

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