Prices throughout Florida, including the Vero Beach area are way down from the height of the market in late 2005 to early 2006. Depending on the location, type of home, condition of property, etc. you will see prices from 30% to 75% below the market highs and with interest rates at all time lows it is the perfect storm to lock up the ideal home. If buyers who are financing can find homes they will be happy in for 10-15 years or more the timing may in fact never be better.
I spend some time in Vero Beach and you will certainly find some great deals especially west of the intracoastal but not sure they are so much cheaper than anywhere else; for example I still think you will find lower prices in Port St Lucie. As with all real estate price is in direct proportion to a number of factors but the three most important remain location, location, location. Here in Palm Beach County foreclosures are down about 48% over the past 4 months which is a most welcomed sign. We still have a few years ahead of us with more bumps in the road but when you can buy a home well below replacement cost and lock in the lowest interest rates in history it is an excellent time to make a purchasing decision.
That being said each local market is different and you have to carefully evaluate the metrics surrounding each home. In northern Palm Beach County there is a shortage of quality homes priced well and those that do hit the market tend to get snapped up very quickly and often times in a multiple offer situation. The market is doing a good job of absorbing quality foreclosures while those that are in poor condition continuing to be a drag on the market. Even though we still have a few years ahead of us when it comes to foreclosures many tend to be shortsighted and as the saying goes the best time to buy is when there is "blood in the streets".
Here are some "positive" things about the Florida real estate market that nobody wants to talk about;
Some segments of the market have dropped up to 70% and are priced so low investors are snapping them up quickly as the cash on cash returns are amazing and relatively safe when compared to other investments.
When the market finally absorbs the foreclosures; at least 2 to 3 years and new construction resumes (and it will) market prices will rise to closer to replacement value which we are currently far below.
Buyers, and there are thousands of them in Palm Beach County, who short sold properties are out there ready and willing but must wait 24 months before they are able. We are seeing them come into the market and this pent up demand will absorb a lot of the inventory over the coming few years.
The oldest baby boomers (all 76,000,000 of them) start reaching retirement age this year. Even with the economic downturn this is the wealthiest generation ever and 29% of them have targeted Florida as the spot they want to relocate or buy a winter home. That equates to about 700,000 people potentially looking at Florida real estate each year for the next 30 years!
Much of the inventory out there is junk and will eventually be sold to cash buyers for next to nothing so they can invest money and bring the property back in to livable condition.
Best of luck and if I can offer anything additional just let me know.
Always at Your Service,
Tom Priester e-PRO
"Results Driven Real Estate"
Keller Williams Realty