There has been an optimistic turnaround in Florida’s housing market recently. This is especially true of the Palm Beach County region. In the first quarter of 2014, the number of house sales valuing $1m+ there increased by 16 percent as compared to the same period in 2013. In addition, 2014 was the second consecutive year in which Palm Beach’s wealthy residents purchased more high-end homes than they did in 2013. For example, during the first quarter of 2013, there was an increase of 69 percent more homes sold for $1m+ range in Palm Beach County as compared to the same time period of 2012 and 2011.
Economic analyst Hank Fishkind of Fishkind & Associates says that while there is indeed improvement in the Florida housing market, it’s not like it used to be – when there were mega escalations in home prices. Nonetheless, there is evidence of “steady increases,” which are ultimately said to be better for Florida’s long-term economic prospects. Today, Fishkind actually believes that the Florida housing market is beginning to find a sense of “equilibrium.”
A similar opinion to Fishkind’s on the Florida housing market is offered by another expert in the field. President and CEO of WCI Communities (the Bonita Springs-based lifestyle community developer and luxury homebuilder), Keith Bass, used the adjective “robust” to describe it.
Even though there has not been much evidence of a recovery in US real estate in general, Southwest Florida seems to be somewhat of an exception to this rule. Executive VP and CIO at BMO Private Bank, Jack Ablin believes that this is because of the large amount of “foreign buyers and all-cash deals” that are taking place in the region. As well, the Florida housing market remains “relatively inexpensive” in comparison to housing nationwide, especially vacation locations.
So in general, while it might not be an extreme recovery the Florida housing market is encountering, there is definitely cause for optimism for those in the industry.