By Chad Gray
The Fort Lauderdale real estate market has turned the corner from being a buyer's market to a seller's market, thanks in part to being a highly desirable destination.
A buyer's market is one in which there is an overabundance of homes on the market in relation to the amount of buyers. In this scenario, it is not uncommon to see seller's vying for a buyer's attention by offering incentives like paying closing costs, lowering the sales price and offering closing bonuses.
In contrast, a seller's market is one in which there is a shortage of inventory on the market in relation to the amount of qualified buyers. In this scenario there are often bidding wars, which drives up the price of a home.
It's no secret that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale real estate market was one of the hardest hit areas during the recent housing crisis, often landing in top five lists of cities with the most recorded foreclosures. In addition, plummeting house values, an overabundance of inventory and a shaky economy made the real estate market situation bleaker.
Fort Lauderdale continues to be a popular destination for living and vacationing. The area features world-class resorts, pristine beaches, tournament-ready golf courses, fine and casual dining, year-round sunshine and comfortable temperatures. So, it wasn't a surprise when investors saw an opportunity to buy distressed property and low prices, gambling that property values would increase quicker in this market than most.
It was not uncommon for investors to purchase multiple homes at a time and pay cash. This made it very difficult for the average buyer to compete. In addition, banks and lending institutions resumed strict lending practices, which made it harder to qualify for a loan.
Today, inventory levels are at an all-time low, which is driving up the value of homes. It is not uncommon to hear of multiple bid offers on a home. The amount of homes listed for sale decreased 24.7% when comparing July 2011 with July 2012. Also, the final sales price versus the original list price homes increased from 93% to 95% for the same time period.
More good news for the this market comes from the online market place Zillow's Q1 2012 Real Estate Market Report, which predicts the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro market to be the second highest for 2012 home value increase.
While home prices are rising and inventory levels are decreasing, the Fort Lauderdale real estate market still has many wonderful options. Contact a Realtor to learn more about the state of the market, or to get help finding a Fort Lauderdale home.