Real Estate | Some Good News

Posted by John Sabia on Monday, August 18th, 2008 at 11:19am.

Even Black Clouds Have Silver Linings Click through BusinessWeek.com’s slide show, ranking the best- and worst-performing real estate markets by ZIP code and you’ll find a rude reminder of just how low some markets can go in one year alone. The July 31 report, “Real Estate Boom and Bust in the Same Metro Areas,” examined 20 major metropolitan areas to find out just how well they faired in light of today’s turbulent economy. What it found wasn’t all bad news. In fact, many of the studied markets appeared relatively strong. What’s most interesting is that many of the highest-performing ZIP codes are close neighbors to some of the report’s lowest-performing ZIP codes. In South Florida, for instance, housing prices have taken a serious hit in Davie, a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, due to a mix of weak-dollar ramifications, lending restrictions and new construction. The average asking price fell 30 percent to $276,661 between July 2007 and July 2008, according to the report. But the market appears to be much rosier in Jupiter, a wealthy beach town boarded by Palm Beach Gardens to the south and Martin County to the north. Median listing prices in Jupiter climbed 24 percent to $644,750 between July 2007 and July 2008. Affluent markets like Jupiter are benefiting from the weak dollar because it has opened new markets for well-financed folks who can buy exactly what they want without the competition. While some may argue that it’s a bit of a stretch calling Jupiter — a good 100 miles from the heart of Miami — part of the Miami metropolitan area, the message is still clear: We may be in a recession, but not everyone is failing. The comparison report, conducted by Altos Research, drives home the point that some neighborhoods are indeed appreciating despite an overall negative feeling toward the real estate market. Unfortunately, the accompanying article, “The Credit Crisis Turns One,” lacks a solid analysis of what these numbers can tell us about what’s in store for us a year from now if the financial crisis continues on its current course. Keep in mind that the study represents only a small snapshot of the country’s more than 43,000 ZIP codes. It’s unfortunate that the country’s financial meltdown has brought the entire market down, negatively affecting the masses the most and the wealthiest individuals the least. For one thing, it is going to take some time before the South Florida housing market will rise above the daunting overhang of unsold homes and widespread sale of foreclosures. Economic Data Chart

John Sabia

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