Ever since 2008, Buyers of homes in South Florida have been asking if the market has bottomed out. Take it from me, it has. Inventory of homes in all categories have shrunk and prices are creeping up - 11% on an annualized basis in Palm Beach County. In fact, some areas such as Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and Highland Beach are showing pretty dramatic growth with offers above asking price in many cases. I have clients who offered $25,000 more than asking price on a foreclosure and were outbid by an investor.
There is no doubt that real estate investors are driving this market. Any 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom single family home priced under $250,000 is fair game. Returns are excellent on these properties and if homeowner's association fees are low investors can ensure an ROI of 7 - 12%.
Oceanfront properties are obviously in a very different category with buyers who usually pay cash and focus on very specific buildings. Boca Raton, Highland Beach and Palm Beach are the top areas for oceanfront condos and because the very nature of the property ensures limited inventory, prices here have remained very stable.
One significant area of opportunity are older luxury country clubs such as Boca Woods and Broken Sound in Boca Raton where homes can be purchased at prices well below $100,000. In Boca West Country Club, 2 bedroom condos have changed hands for $20,000 or less. Delray Beach has Gleneagles and Boynton has Hunters Run and Aberdeen facing the same challenges. Home prices are depressed here because buyers are required to purchase club memberships ranging from $35,000 - $85,000 and they are required to pay the annual dues too! Not the ideal property for just anyone, but for a golfer, WHAT A DEAL! One clever buyer purchased an older home of over 2,000 square feet in Boca Woods for $35,000, membership added $50,000 to his cost. A home in a gorgeous country club for $85,000!!!
So, if you are a golfer or just a discerning buyer looking for a home or vacation residence with world class country club facilities, you can still get great deals. But just as the real estate market is changing in other categories, so too will it start improving in country clubs.
Don't delay if you are considering buying a home in Boca Raton, Delray Beach or Boynton Beach - you could lose out if you wait too long. Golfers take note!