The latest development for the improving Fort Lauderdale housing market isn’t a shortage of buyers; it’s a shortage of homes for sale.
In this new reality, bidding wars are more commonplace, would-be buyers are angling to make offers on properties before they are listed and real estate agents are vying fiercely to represent the few sellers that exist.
According to TrendGraphix, a real estate market reporting system, the number of Fort Lauderdale homes listed for sale decreased 28% when comparing May 2011 with May 2012 (See: Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Snapshot For May 2012). Nationwide, housing inventory sunk to levels not seen since the bubble years. The number of homes listed for sale sank to 2.5 million in April, the lowest number for an April since 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The sharp drop in inventory along with record-low interest rates have helped stabilize some of the hardest-hit markets, including Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami-Fort Lauderdale. According to Zillow, an online real estate information marketplace, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market is predicted to be the second highest for 2012 home value increase.
The inventory problem in Fort Lauderdale has been exacerbated by the plunge in home prices since the housing bubble. Many people who bought at the top of the bubble are so severely under water, they can’t get the price they need to sell and are therefore not bothering to put their homes on the market.
So, what happened to the much-predicted foreclosure wave that was expected to unload more homes onto the market? It has yet to materialize. According to RealtyTrac, a collector and aggregator of foreclosure data, fewer borrowers are defaulting. In addition, banks are better managing the properties on their books.
The lack of available homes is maddening for potential home buyers who thought 2012 would be the year to buy. Moreover, folks not familiar with the Fort Lauderdale real estate market require a quick education in the latest developments and explanations why the days of low-ball offers are no more.
There is a silver lining around this cloud, however. Armed with a terrific Realtor, you will be more likely to accomplish your real estate goals. The Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale real estate group is ready, willing and able to work with you. We know the Fort Lauderdale market better than most. Armed with our knowledge of the area, experience in real estate and the right technology, we can accomplish great things together!