Several South Florida Cities See an Increase in Taxable Property Value

not-a-burb.jpgWe recently discussed record low home prices. However, there is some good news – property values actually increased in 20 South Florida cities in 2010. This is great news for some property owners and cities who have been hard hit by less tax revenue.

In Miami-Dade, property values were still down 3.3 percent, but this is much better than 2008 and 2009. In those years there was a double digit decline in property values. The 2010 figures show that the worst days of the housing market crash may have passed. However, a full recovery still seems distant.

Downtown Miami saw the largest year-over-year increase in the area. In 2009 the tax base shrunk 11.2 percent, but 2010 brought a 10.9 percent increase. Nevertheless, the City of Miami saw a 3.8 percent decline.

So, what’s the forecast for 2011? Its too early to tell, but whatever happens next will be determined by the course of the foreclosure crisis. In South Florida, 14.4 percent of homeowners are behind on their mortgages and there are thousands more that are underwater, which means there are many more properties that are set to enter into foreclosure.

It seems these days that all we are seeing is bad news for the real estate market, so this slight bit of good news is a breath of fresh air. What will ultimately stabilize property values is the end of the foreclosure crisis. One major driver behind the decline in property values is that many properties have fallen into disrepair because they have sat vacant for long periods of time. Once a vacant property is occupied and the new owner fixes it up, we should see property values stabilize.

As foreclosures will continue because of homeowners who can’t simply afford their mortgages or those who decide to make strategic defaults, many homeowners will need representation in a foreclosure proceeding. If you are one of these homeowners, don’t hesitate to contact Alvarez & Barbara, LLP. We have successfully defended these cases for our clients by finding them solutions other than what many believe is the ultimate repossession of their property.