South Florida Home and Condo Sales Rise

According to the South Florida Business Journal, sales are up. Sales are up in the entire State of Florida, and in South Florida. However, and while the news regarding the increased sales pace is positive, prices have yet to follow as foreclosures and short sales continue to dominate the housing market both statewide and locally.

West Palm Beach was the exception in the try-county area. Not only did it see a jump in home sales by 23 percent – 843 homes from 685 the previous year – but the median price rose 8 percent, to $246,100 from $228,100.

In Miami, the median price slid 4 percent, to $197,500 from $205,600 from the previous year. However, homes sales rose 17 percent, to 649 from 556.

It should be noted that this trend was experienced not in South Florida, but statewide and nationwide. The National Association of Realtors latest outlook anticipates a rise in home sales in late spring, which should help to absorb inventory. Increased pending sales is a positive sign for home prices, which are continuing to stabilize.

The newly extended homebuyer’s tax credit program coupled with the high inventory of real estate, thanks in large part to the ongoing foreclosure crises, are the catalysts that are driving the current upswing in real estate sales.
Please contact our office today to discuss the current real estate trends and to determine what you’re current real estate needs are, and if we could be of any assistance to resolve those issues for you.

Foreclosure Has Consequences with Uncle Sam

With tax season upon us, many homeowners are confronted with the reality that they may have to pay taxes for some of the mortgage debt that was forgiven during a foreclosure. A recent report discusses this unfortunate trend.

As reported by, it is IRS policy to tax forgiven debt you are personally responsible for as if it is income. Say, for example, your credit card company settled a $10,000 debt for 50 cents on the dollar. You’d have a debt forgiveness of $5,000, which the IRS would count as income, just like your wages.

The same policy held true for most mortgage debt until 2007, when Congress passed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Act. That ended the liability for many homeowners — but not all.

In general, if you lose your home to foreclosure or short sale, where you sell your home for less than you owe, the IRS won’t add insult to injury by counting the difference as income. At least until 2012.

However, there are four major exceptions to the rule:

1. You did a cash-out refinance and splurged.
2. You have a home-equity line of credit.
3. You lost your vacation home or investment property.
4. You owned a multi-million-dollar home.

Please contact our office today to discuss foreclosure related issues with you in greater detail. You can reach us by calling us at 305-263-7700.