Real Estate

South Florida real estate market is not keeping up with demand

South Florida has become a big attraction.

According to real estate brokers, a thousand people come to the state every day.

Everyone is looking for palm trees, beaches and a quality of life unmatched anywhere else.

But try to sell that vision to Sandra Lanovich.

“We are at a point where we may actually have to move out of the state because we really can’t afford to live here,” Lanawish said.

She and her husband rented in Palm Beach Gardens. Three years of searching for a home left them inexpensive.

Their rent is currently stable, but for how long? Now, inflation has expanded their bottom line.

Gas prices are fueling frustration, groceries are gnawing at the budget, home insurance prices are still high, and our real estate market is still unable to keep up with demand.

“This is definitely very different from anything we’ve seen before,” said Compass real estate agent Katie Rawnsley.

Over the course of 11 years, she has sold thousands of properties. Now, with fewer homes and more buyers, she said she doesn’t expect the market to change anytime soon.

“We still have very little stock,” Rawnsley said. “We have less than a month in stock, and I think it’s normal for three months.” “So, until that starts to grow, I don’t see that slowing down.”

In fact, a low-priced two-bedroom home in Palm Beach Gardens asking for $335,000 already had a staggering 31 offerings, 25 of which were cash.

“We had more high net worth people, who learned they could work from anywhere,” Rawnsley said.

Cash buyers compete against the locals. Developers and communities like Alton on Jupiter can’t build fast enough, driving many locals north.

“I found I was getting a lot of bang for my buck if I came here to Martin County,” Brooks Visser, who left an expensive lease on Jupiter, told WPTV.

After losing 12 bids on other homes to cash buyers, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom Hobe Sound home closed in February for $430,000.

“The selling price of the house is scary,” he said. “You know, am I going to turn this upside down on this? I’m going to work really hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

With the guarantee of owning a home comes the fact that you pay for it. Visser is a boat captain who works 14 hours a day, seven days a week to make ends meet.

“It was a bad time to rent. It was a bad time to buy,” Weser said. “I had to choose between two evils.”

Difficult choices hang for thousands of others across South Florida trying to navigate a steep housing market grappling with record inflation.

The sand and surf that once greeted them on their arrival now leave a crippling sight that the sun’s rays have dimmed in paradise.

“We fell in love with South Florida, but South Florida hasn’t loved us again yet,” Lanwish said.

Interest rates are more than 5%, which exacerbates the situation, especially for those financing.

Rawnsley offered a few of these tips:

  • Be prepared to compromise. Get yourself into something now to get into the market. You can always replace the roof or make upgrades down the line.
  • Find an experienced agent who knows the area, knows the communities, and knows other agents. They learn about listings before they hit the market, so work with someone you trust.
  • Move quickly. Get pre-approved and get your paperwork done early.

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