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Barry Dunn's Blog

By Barry Dunn | Broker in Fort Lauderdale, FL

What's really happening in the Ft. Lauderdale market?

This blog post is about Stats & Trends data available on Trulia. View more.

Real estate markets are EXTREMELY LOCALIZED, just like your local weather.  Unfortunately, the media doesn't seem to get that fact, and more often than not the reports you see in the news regarding housing are made up of numbers that are nothing but the AVERAGE of every single LOCAL real estate market in the U.S.

Even here in our local market, when someone asks me "How's the market?" I have to ask, "Which part of the market are you asking about?"  The rental market? Very oversupplied, rents are still falling and it seems like there are For Rent signs all over town right now. 

Single family homes?
Well, are you looking over $250,000 or under $250,000?   $250,000 to $500,000?  Over $500,000? Those are actually very different markets here. There aren't enough good homes priced in the 100's and 200's to go around. The ones that are still on the market at this point are largely the LEFTOVERS.  

New listings of single family homes priced under $250,000 that are priced CORRECTLY (east of highway 95) are sold in a matter of DAYS or WEEKS.  If you are a buyer, don't even PRETEND that you are in a  Buyer's Market if you want a single family home east of 95 for less than $250,000. If you are a Seller that has been on the market for several months in that location and price range and you still have not sold, a REALITY CHECK is needed, asap!  

Higher priced homes are a different story. A real lack of MOVE UP buyers in today's market puts those buyers and sellers in a completely different dynamic than those in a first time buyer range under $200,000.  "Buyer's Market" is still an accurate description for many higher end condo complexes and luxury neighborhoods, but even there, at least half of what is on the market is OVERPRICED and will never sell, no matter how long it stays on the market.  Perhaps there should be an "Overpriced Turkey Award" for some of these sellers that think they are still in 2006!

Condos? Again, the conditions you will find are totally dependant on LOCATION. 61% of the condos that sold in the Fort Lauderdale/Wilton Manors/Oakland Park area during the last six months were foreclosures or short sales. However, if you are looking for an oceanfront condo that statistic does not apply to you. Only 17% of oceanfront condos that sold in the last six months were foreclosures or short sales. What a difference!

Here's a snapshot of what today's market is like in the Fort Lauderdale/Wilton Manors/Oakland Park area: (actual city name of property address is the city of Fort Lauderdale, Wilton Manors, or Oakland Park, FL and data comes from properties in the local MLS on December 27,2009)

For Sale = 1,643
Sold in the last 90 days = 627
# of sales that were foreclosures = 193 (38%)
# of sales that were short sales = 73 (14%)
That means nearly half the homes that sold ( 48%) were REGULAR SELLERS.

Keep in mind that over half the homes currently on the market are just Overpriced Turkey Leftovers.  So while someone from outside our area might look at the above numbers and think we have a nine month supply of single family homes already listed, that could not be further from the truth. Many of the best neighborhoods really have little or nothing (realistically priced) on the market at this time.  Buyers for those neighborhoods are basically on a waiting list, with multiple offers being placed when a good new (properly priced) property comes on the market.

Put another way - if the single family homes were broken down into three price ranges, under $250,000, from $250,000 to $500,000, and over $500,000. Supply and demand based on the number of properies currently listed now and those sold in the last six months, the figures would look like this:

Less than $250,000 - less than a six month supply currently available, INCLUDING the overpriced leftovers! That really a Seller's Market!
From $250,000 to $500,000 - a 10 month supply
Over $500,000 = a TWO YEAR SUPPLY. That's still an extreme Buyer's Market!

For sale now = 2,603
Sold in the last 90 days = 626
# that were short sales = 106 (17%)
# that were foreclosures = 194 (31%)
So over half the apartments that sold (52%) were REGULAR SELLERS

As you move into better neighborhoods you are less likely to find a foreclosure as one of your possible choices. High crime neighborhood? The only thing selling in those areas are foreclosures!  So even with the statistics mentioned here (that were found by city name) there are REAL DIFFERENCES in what you may find in the type of neighborhoods and price range that you are comfortable with. 

There are many reasons why educated buyers and sellers work with a FULL TIME PROFESSIONAL REALTOR when making a major real estate purchase.  I'm amazed that people who would never DREAM of even giving themselves a haircut will go through something as important as a real estate transaction without the close guidance of a full time professional to assist them, especially in today's market! 

If you are considering buying or selling in the Fort Lauderdale area, feel free to contact me for answers to your confidential questions.


Barry Dunn
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
3696 N Federal Hwy STE 101
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
cell 954-298-1650

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