Florida Real Estate Bounces Back After Irma

The most powerful hurricane ever recorded over the Atlantic made landfall in Florida in September 2017, giving homeowners there a stark reminder that every so often conditions in the Sunshine State momentarily turn treacherous.

The statistics surrounding Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm when it first hit the state’s south-west corner, are alarming – wind speeds of 140-plus miles per hour, evacuation plans for more than six million and insurance claims worth over $5-billion from nearly 800,000 affected property-owners (State Office of Insurance Regulation, as of end of October 2017).

But Florida is accustomed to hurricanes – Irma is hardly the first and won’t be the last – and its residents are well versed in protecting themselves and their homes. Reassuringly, the state-wide building code there, implemented in the early 2000s and constantly updated, has made a significant difference to reducing both storm damage to buildings and injuries to occupants.

Florida has the strictest building code in the country. Most damage caused by hurricane Irma was either natural debris, such as trees, or poorly secured pool cages or shingle tiles from older properties. Unlike inland areas, Naples and the southwest of Florida were hit especially hard in September, due to topographical reasons.

Inevitably, Irma caused a blip in sales and new listings in Florida’s property market in September 2017. Now though there is no reason to delay your search for a Florida property – for peace of mind, be sure that properties you consider are built to storm-proof standards and are not in a flood zone and when you do buy, get adequate hurricane and/or flood insurance.

To learn more about investing in Florida real estate, contact a member of the 9 Core Realty Team.


It’s a (Canadian) Snowbird’s Market in South Florida

South Florida realtors are rolling out the welcome mat to Canadian snowbirds. Brokers who are pushing new, upscale condos north of Miami—from Hallandale Beach to Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton—say they’re betting on a convergence of promising circumstances to attract Canadians.

Those circumstances include: a sustained, strong Canadian housing market making it attractive for owners to cash out, and an aging population that demands convenience and luxury as retirement nears. Separately, at work in Florida, a spate of new properties offers prime amenities in a soft real estate market. The result, brokers say, is a pool of buyers who are ready to invest in a vacation property in a region that offers easy access and gorgeous weather.

As always, Florida holds the appeal of warmer climates. Winter is typically when the market for luxury vacation properties heats up, but this year it appears to be especially vigorous, some brokers reported, thanks in part to brutal weather in the north.

December and January brought record-breaking cold to Canada, with temperatures in Toronto plunging to -23 degrees Celsius (-9.4 degrees Fahrenheit) on Jan. 5, and during a six-day stretch in Montreal the mercury didn’t rise above -17 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Some small towns in the Far North experienced dangerous temperatures as low as -48.2 degrees Celsius, or nearly -55 degrees Fahrenheit.

If brokers were concerned that the storms that walloped southern Florida last year—inflicting billions of dollars of damage from coast to coast—would depress interest in the market, they were apparently fleeting.

Already many Canadians have called Florida home. An established population of Canadian snowbirds can help draw new blood down south as well, brokers said. Some have owned larger homes or older condos in Florida for years and are looking to upgrade to a modern property with an array of services, including 24-hour security, concierge and valet.

Other big appeals are a multitude of restaurants, shopping, the nearby international airport—a nonstop flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale is about three hours—and of course, proximity to the beach.

Of all foreigners purchasing homes in the U.S., Canadians have long been among the top buyers in terms of number of units purchased and dollar volume, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 report on international activity in U.S. residential real estate. Throughout the U.S., Canadian buyers purchased $19 billion of residential property in 2017, up from $8.9 billion in 2016, the report states.

In the South Florida market, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties, foreign buyers from all over the world purchased $7.1 billion in residential properties in 2017, up from $6.2 billion in 2016, according to a report released Feb. 8 by the MIAMI Association of Realtors and NAR. Canadians account for 9% of all foreign buyers in South Florida, up from 6% in 2016.

If you are a Canadian snowbird interested in investing in South Florida real estate, contact 9 Core Realty today!

10 states predicted to have strong housing markets in 2018

The housing market in the U.S. has experienced a major uptick over the past two years. In 2016, existing home sales were the strongest they’ve been since 2006. More than a decade after the worst housing crisis in U.S. history, it seems we’re finally in a sustainable recovery period.

As we enter 2018, the housing market shows no signs of slowing, and is slated to remain among the world’s top performers, according to a forecast from Fitch Ratings. U.S. home prices are expected to rise 4.6 percent this year.

Here are 10 states that are predicted to be among the top performers in 2018:

  1. Nevada

Housing forecasts for Nevada suggest that the market will continue to be strong, and that home prices will continue to rise in 2018. The fact that the state is home to Las Vegas — where median home values are expected to rise approximately 5.8 percent over the next 12 months — accounts for much of the market strength. Home values in Sin City rose 8.6 percent during the most recent 12-month reporting period, according to S&P/Case-Shiller’s Home Price Index. The median home price is approximately $285,045.

  1. Texas

Thanks to a booming economy, Dallas and many other areas in the Lone Star state have seen a boom in housing over the past several years. A steady flow of profitable companies continue to relocate, expand, or launch their businesses here, thanks to lower taxes and a lower cost of living. The median home price in North Texas is $339,950. In 2018, home sales are expected to grow by six percent in 2018.

  1. Florida

Led by cities including Deltona and Lakeland, Florida will continue to see a strong housing market in 2018. With the appeal of oceanside living, warm weather, and the ability to live an active lifestyle, Florida’s most popular areas are expected to see a more than 5 percent boost. The median home price in Deltona, the state’s most-booming housing area is $275,050.

  1. California

With the economy expected to continue growing statewide, housing demand is poised to remain strong into 2018. However, a shortage of available homes for sale and affordability constraints make it a more challenging market to get into for homebuyers. Those with top credit scores have a competitive advantage over the competition when it comes to securing a mortgage. One of the fastest-growing areas, Stockton, is predicted to grow its housing market by 4.6 percent, and the median home price there is $385,050. In the most desirable areas, would-be homebuyers have been largely squeezed out altogether. For example, the median price of a home in San Francisco has increased $100,000 in the past year.

  1. Utah

Businesses continue to flock to many parts of this state, making for a booming housing market that’s set to continue into 2018. The Provo/Orem region was recently ranked as the best-performing city by the Miliken Institute, thanks to a robust high-tech sector and broad-based job and wage growth. In Salt Lake City, the median home price averages $360,000, and the market is predicted to grow 3.2 percent in 2018.

  1. North Carolina

North Carolina’s strong housing market is being largely driven by the amount of people relocating there from other states. Home sales are predicted to grow 6 percent in 2018, and the median home price averages $325,000. Charlotte is among the fastest-growing because it has capitalized on the popularity of mixed-use developments that surging in popularity across the country.

  1. Colorado

The home of the Mile High City has seen some of the steepest price increases in housing of any other state in the U.S. over the past two years. While the market will remain strong, it is poised to level out a bit in 2018 to around 3.1 percent. Colorado Springs tops the cities for growth and the median home price there is slated to rise 5.7 percent this year.

  1. Tennessee

Namely in Nashville, the housing market will continue to flex its muscle in 2018. According to a Nashville Realtor, single-family homes in the city’s premier suburbs often fetch multiple offers above asking price “overnight.” Currently the median home price hovers around $358,500.

  1. Oklahoma

Oklahoma City boasts one of the strongest — yet affordable — housing markets as we move into 2018. That makes it an attractive option for those looking to secure a mortgage with a manageable payment. Home prices average $99,000 there, which a bit lower than the national average, and also lower than the statewide median home price of $116,800. Thanks to a lower cost of living, steady job economy, and low crime rate, the state will continue to stay at the top of the U.S. housing market this year.=

  1. Georgia

This “peach” will continue to be sweet in 2018. In a one-year period between July 2016 and July 2017, home values jumped 10 percent. Thanks lower median home prices of $218,350, and a smaller amount of home available for sale, we will continue to see a strong housing economy, particularly in and around Atlanta.

To learn more about investing in the US real estate market contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty team.

The Natural Disasters of 2017’s Impact On the Housing Market Will Surprise You

Realtor.com recently released research and analysis on the impact of 2017’s natural disasters on the country’s housing market. According to realtor.com most areas saw a delay in– or disruption–to an estimated 18 to 32 percent of home sales in the month of the disaster.

The website compiled data on seven different events including California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They looked at when an event hits, what does it look like with online searches for homes? They found that it did hinder sales and demand in those local markets. About one in four sales were delayed or disrupted.

The information from realtor.com is based on expected sales or page views, anticipated sales or page views for the month if no disaster occurred. Estimates are based on previous month’s actuals and account for seasonality.

Here’s realtor.com’s research on four events:

Southern California Wildfires: December sales not yet available. Realtor.com page views were 2 percent lower than expected.

Northern California Wildfires: Approximately 900 lost home sales, sales 18 percent lower than expected. Views were 2% lower than expected.

Hurricane Irma: Approximately 9,700 lost sales, sales 32 percent lower than expected. Views were 15 percent lower than expected.

Hurricane Harvey: Approximately 3,700 lost sales, sales 24 percent lower than expected. Views were 6 percent lower than expected.

Short-term, there is no question impact includes shrinking inventory and sudden higher demand on rental properties with rising rent prices. For the long-term, the impact doesn’t seem to last. People know the inherent risk of buying homes in areas prone to wildfires and hurricanes and continue to buy there. To learn more about natural disaster effects on home sale or to purchase investment real estate, contact 9 Core Realty today!