One of the tragedies of the real estate collapse is that fewer Americans own their homes today. Not only that, but the American that’s do own their homes today have seen the value of those homes decrease rather dramatically over the span of the past several years.
The United States Census Bureau recently reported that the nation’s home ownership rate fell to 66% in the fourth quarter, continuing a seven year drop from the one quarter peak of 69.2% in 2004. At the same time, United States home prices fell 1.3% in November from October and were 3.7% below 2010 levels.
These statistics illustrate that the recent real estate collapse was the worst that this nation has experienced since the Great Depression of 1930’s.
Locally, we are seeing mixed signals. On the one hand, 2011 was actually a record year. More properties were sold in 2011 than at any other time in our county’s history. And that includes during the height of the real estate boom.
Those sales are bolstered in large part by foreign buyers that see great value in a depressed market such as Miami. International investors, with wads of cash, are buying fantastic properties at bargain prices in Miami.
Additionally, interest rates continue to hover at historic lows that we are not likely to see for another generation.
But all of that does not spell the end of the bust associated with the real estate market. Indeed, inventory is still high, and it is still unknown how much “shadow inventory” the banks actually possess. Foreclosures also continue to rise.
Often, an attorney is needed to navigate these troubled waters. We currently represent lenders, borrowers, buyers, sellers, and developers. This broad array of experience allows us to effectively take a multi-faceted approach to our clients’ legal issues. No matter what you or your business’s needs may be when it comes to real estate, don’t hesitate to contact Alvarez & Barbara, LLP.
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