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Thursday, March 31, 2016

You Haven't Missed the Boom in Florida Real Estate

You Haven't Missed the Boom in Florida Real Estate 
By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud 
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
"I travel around the world, Steve, and I can't believe how cheap it is here in north Florida," my friend Alistair told me last night. Alistair lives in Ireland. "My wife and I were walking around downtown here... We looked at the home prices in the windows of the estate agents' offices, and we were shocked... It is way cheaper than California, and cheaper than just about anywhere in Europe." I agree! Longtime readers know I've beaten the drum on buying Florida real estate for years. I've been right... The prices have gone up, a lot. But you haven't missed it yet... The values are still here... Here's what I mean by value: Compared with just about anywhere in the world, the quality of life in much of Florida is high relative to the cost of shelter. (Your definition of quality of life might be different than mine... so you're free to disagree with me on that. But it's hard to argue with the value.) It's not just north Florida... Central Florida is in the same position. I visited my brother in the Cocoa Beach area last week. Cocoa Beach offers warm weather year-round and easy access to the Orlando airport. To give you an idea of how warm it is in the winter... My brother, my son, and I recently went surfing while in Cocoa Beach – in just our bathing suits. Folks, it's the month of March! And we were not cold. Where else in the continental U.S. can you do that except in Florida? Prices in the Cocoa area are a great value today, regardless of whether you're interested in the low end or the high end of the market. If you're looking for cheap, the median home price in the town of Cocoa is about $125,000 (that's Cocoa, not Cocoa Beach). If you actually want to live right on the sand, we drove past a nice vacant lot, right on the ocean, with a sign in the yard asking under $800,000. Build your dream house on that lot. I'm not suggesting you pack up and move to Cocoa Beach... My point is, the value for your money in north and central Florida is still incredible right now. The quality of life versus the cost of shelter is hard to beat. Don't wait on this idea too much longer... House prices are up 13.8% over the last year in Florida (according to FloridaRealtors.org). But the median home price in Florida is still below $200,000. The "months of supply" is extremely low, at 4.4 months, which typically means higher prices are coming. Mortgage rates of about 3.7% are not far from all-time record lows. The low mortgage rate makes buying a house extremely affordable now. If you've ever thought about buying a place in Florida, now is your moment. My friend Alistair is not alone – Florida attracts millions of foreign tourists each year – and many of them realize what Alistair did: that Florida house prices are a great value relative to back home. Not only that, it's still a great place to retire... Beat the foreigners and the retirees... Consider getting your chunk of Florida real estate today, while the getting is still good...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Home values in a quarter of U.S. markets at record levels, Zillow analysis shows - Scotsman Guide

All of the top performing markets in this list have matched or exceeded their prior peak home values, with the exception of Miami-Fort Lauderdale, which Zillow reports is still 25.4 percent off its all-time high.