Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Real Estate Rebounds are Strikingly Different in California and Florida

Cable Car in San Francisco - double-ended car ...Florida’s recovery is a more nuanced story.  On the one hand,  Miamicontinues to attract cash-ready condo investors and sun seekers from around the globe; as a result, its median list price rose by 11.6 percent year-over-year in the latest survey.  That pace is down from the second quarter of this year, when prices were up by 19.4 percent, but it’s still extraordinary.
Other major metropolitan areas in Florida also are turning in impressive year-over-year numbers, such as Ft. Myers-Cape Coral (median list prices up by 11.6 percent), Tampa (7.1 percent), Ft. Lauderdale (7 percent) andJacksonville (6.4 percent.) But a handful of smaller markets aren’t performing as well, either because their local economies aren’t producing new jobs, their inventories of houses for sale haven’t fallen fast in the recovery, or they still have an excess of REO available at rock bottom list prices.
Ft. Pierce-St. Lucie, for example, saw median list prices drop by 4.1 percent over the past year. Gainesville prices dropped by 1.2 percent, Tallahassee, the state capital, lost 0.6 percent. And Naples, which is a relatively high-income resort city on the Gulf of Mexico, saw median list prices fall by 2.7 percent.
The contrast with California is pretty stark: Florida’s real estate rebound is substantial but not statewide. California’s housing rebound, on the other hand,  is underway virtually throughout the state.  But it’s verging on bubbly in some areas – which is not necessarily a healthy sign since bubbles always burst.

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