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2008-01-07 09:35:00

Florida Real Estate Market Hit Bottom in 2007; Expected to Recover

A new report released by Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund Inc. (The Fund)  finds that Florida’s housing market slowed in 2007 in nearly every county analyzed. The report also shows that real estate markets flattened out in spring 2007, before the subprime mortgage crisis in August knocked markets down another 10 percent across the state. Since then the housing market has flattened and is expected to begin to recover during the next several years.

The 2008 Fund Real Estate Forecast, commissioned by Florida-based Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund’s Consumer Education Campaign, was created by economist Hank Fishkind, Ph.D. of Fishkind & Associates, Inc., using The Fund’s extensive online system of deed data for more than 30 Florida counties. The report provides a snapshot of the national economic outlook and 33 county-specific forecasts for 2008 through 2010, as well as a section detailing how actual 2007 data compared to projections that were made in last year’s Fund 2007 Real Estate Forecast report.

“Florida is one of the leading states for job creation and outperformed the rest of the country despite the housing market meltdown,” stated Fishkind. “The state’s population growth also slowed, but is still nearly greater than all of the other Southeastern states put together. Florida has a very large and powerful economy that has gone through a cyclical downshift, but it is still outperforming compared to the rest of the nation.”

The Fund’s 2008 Real Estate Forecast shows that Orlando continues to be the strongest residential real estate market in the state because of its large share of fast-growing industries, such as tourism, healthcare, education and defense manufacturing. Not all markets in Florida mirror Orlando’s resiliency, however. Miami-Dade is currently going through the worst condominium bust cycle that Florida has seen since 1975. Additionally, significant excess supply of single-family homes in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral markets will not begin to be absorbed until 2010.

“With Florida’s real estate market, it is important to maintain some perspective as recent reductions in home prices come after a very lofty and unsustainable peak, and prices are still up considerably compared to 30 years ago,” explained Fishkind. “Florida has created a tremendous amount of wealth and – despite many of the problems that loose lending practices and subprime mortgages have caused – the state now has the highest level of homeownership ever. The market has some indigestion now, but housing markets will return to normal during the next few years; the damage for some is significant, but in the aggregate, Florida still had some significant economic gains.”

Consumer Education Campaign

Launched in 2001, The Fund’s Consumer Education Campaign was designed to educate Florida consumers on the home buying and selling process. The Education Campaign includes an informational Web site in English (www.MyRealEstateStory.com) and Spanish (www.InforHogar.com) and toll-free numbers in English (1-866-FUND-HOME) and Spanish (1-800-688-7599) with operators offering assistance.

 

The Fund Real Estate Index

 

Recognizing the need for real estate data to help consumers make informed home-buying and selling decisions, and to help real estate professionals provide sound counsel to their clients, The Fund collaborated with Hank Fishkind, Ph.D. to leverage its extensive online system of deed data for Florida counties to develop a Real Estate Index. Fishkind provides independent analysis of data provided by The Fund.

Measuring sales value and volume for single-family homes, condos and time shares throughout the state, The Fund Real Estate Index illustrates the dynamic real estate fluctuations on a county-specific basis. The reports are posted on local Real Estate Council Web sites and are updated monthly.

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