HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – As 2010 draws to a close, real estate watchers are keeping an eye on the South Florida housing market.
Nationally, analysts predict that the market will “bottom out” in 2011. Some forecasters think we’ve already hit bottom here.
“We actually saw 7000 more real estate transactions this year over the last year of the housing boom, but I would preface it by saying there’s been a 40 percent decrease in the average price,” says Peter Zalewski who runs Condo Vultures, a Bal Harbour consulting firm that studies the market. “Right now the average house is selling for $220,000 but in the boom the average was $400,000. Volume is up, but the dollar value is down.”
CBS4’s Joan Murray spoke to home seller Jeff Kiltie.
Kiltie put his updated east Hollywood home on the market in October, priced to sell at $174,900.
The house on Adams Street is in mint condition with a big bonus, an oversized backyard.
“A lot of houses in this price range are beat up. They’re in foreclosure with the appliances ripped out. We spent a lot of time cleaning, painting and refinishing it. You could walk in tomorrow and move in,” says Kiltie. He’s optimistic he will find a buyer.
At the height of the market Kiltie could have gotten more than double the price he’s asking. But as he said, “where would I have gone?” since so many properties were overpriced during the boom.
Peter Zalewski says the bottom of the market in South Florida in 2011 all depends on where you live.
“As the unemployment rate hovers, it creates a downward pressure on pricing,” said Zalweski. “The people who are affected most are in the western suburbs and that’s the marketplace where buyers from out of town they don’t dream of living in suburbia, they dream of living on the water. And that’s what is allowing the water prices to stabilize.”
Zalewski showed CBS4’s Joan Murray a high rise where he says you can pick up a condo for under $200,000.
He believes east of 95, we’ve already hit bottom.
“Long term by 2015, a lot of people will look back and say, I wish i would have, but everyone has a different stomach for what kind of risk they are willing to take,” says Zalewski.