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Is the Real Estate Bust Finally Over?

June 28, 2012

I came across a couple of things on the web that I had missed when they first appeared.  These were the reports from the Property Appraiser’s office in Broward and Miami-Dade that indicate that on average property values for 2012 in both counties showed an increase—albeit slight—over the previous year for the first time since 2007.

The first item was this article in the Sun-Sentinel, which reported that county-wide Broward real estate values had increased by 1.2%.

That got me looking for a similar report for Miami-Dade, and I found it here.  The increase for Miami-Dade was 1.48%.   The table showing the breakdown by municipality can be found here.

Of course, it still remains to be seen if this is really the harbinger of an upswing in property values and the end of the disastrous slump that began with the Great Recession in 2007.  But the figures are good news for governments whose revenues depend on taxable values and for people who have seen the value of the homes plummet to frightening levels.

As always, the gains are not distributed evenly and some municipalities in both counties show continued losses.  In general, the increases show up in more affluent areas.  Some actually show astounding increases, but these are basically statistical flukes because the entities are so small that a large new development or a few high-ticket sales can skew the data.  Both the cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale showed modest gains.

The locations showing continued losses are areas that have been particularly hard-hit by foreclosures such as Homestead, Opa-Locka, and Florida City in Miami-Dade and Lazy Lakes, North Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, and Tamarac in Broward.  The inventory of distressed properties makes a upturn in these markets a more distant prospect.

In any case, this represents a glimmer of hope the real estate market has finally turned the corner.

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