Fort Lauderdale Real Estate: Foreclosures And The New Property Tax Relief Proposal

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Broward County is one of the most progressive area in th estate of Florida. The county has a population of about 1,787,636 ; which makes it the second most populated county in the state.

Its county seat and largest city is Fort Lauderdale. The county has a vibrant economic, tourism, education, and arts & cultural scene, and despite the temporary concerns brought about by the US housing slump, its economy remains vibrant and residents here remain upbeat about long-term prospects when it comes to housing and mortgages.

County Housing Market Figures For January 2008

With most of the US housing market slumbering because of the mortgage crisis, home prices and sales of existing homes dropped last January, as the downturn in South Florida's housing market has entered into its third year.

In Broward County, the median price slid by 14 percent in January 2008, to $314,200, down from 364,500 a year ago, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. Home sales have dipped by 33 percent, to 307 from 458. It was the fewest homes to change hands in any month countywide since the Florida Association of Realtors started releasing monthly housing figures in the mid-90's.

The housing depression is also seen in Palm Beach County, across the state and elsewhere in the US. According to data from the National Association of Realtors in January the median price for a home was pegged at $201,100, and was down further for the fifth consecutive month.

Will Foreclosures Further Depress Home Prices?

According to local housing analysts, the expected swelling of foreclosures this year is expected to further add to the excess of homes already on the selling block.

In Broward County last month, 2,745 homeowners were notified by their lenders that they intend to take back the properties, which nearly tripled from 949 the previous year. According to housing analysts from Metrostudy, the foreclosures are going to continue to depress home prices, therefore 2008 will still be a generally soft year.

According to a county housing analyst, a lot of home buyers today who don't have a convincing reason to purchase now are holding off, and cautiously waiting for the housing boom's inflated prices to continue falling to more reasonable levels. The county housing observers further added that housing prices in Broward still remains unaffordable for a large segment of the people who work here, which gives them second thoughts about buying homes.

How County Residents Are Taking Stock Of The Property Tax Relief Proposal

The state's referendum passed on Jan. 29, which allows residents to transfer Save Our Homes tax breaks from their existing home to newly purchased ones, limits how much a home's tax value can increase each year to no more than 3 percent, which allows many homeowners built up huge tax cushions during the real estate boom years. The county's Homeowners have also lined up to take their tax breaks with them to a new home in the month, because voters approved a property tax relief proposal allowing the long-sought ability to transfer savings.

The county's Property Appraiser's Office is also preparing itself for hundreds more to come in before the proposal's deadline. Most of those filing are residents who have bought larger homes within their current communities. However, for those leaving the county and taking their tax breaks elsewhere in Florida, analysts note that the areas of St. Lucie and Lake counties should be preferred destinations.

According to the county's property appraiser, "people had been in a holding pattern waiting to see what happened with the referendum, but they now can move and not worry about their taxes going through the roof."

The county appraiser also notes that those who sold their home and purchased a new one last year are eligible to benefit from portability on this fall's tax bills, and individuals who have moved this year can also apply for portability; however it won't apply until the tax bills that come out in fall 2009.

 

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