South Florida housing market tops in state, report says

Coloney Group 27/08/2015

By Paul Owers
Sun Sentinel

August 27, 2015, 7:43 AM

South Florida’s housing market ranks as the most stable in the Sunshine State, according to a report Wednesday from mortgage company Freddie Mac.

The metro area of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties scored 82.4 in June on Freddie’s Multi-Indicator Market Index, up 14 percent from a year ago.

The index measures local and state housing markets by tracking home loan applications, affordability, mortgage loan delinquencies and employment. A score of at least 80 is considered favorable or stable. A perfect score is 100.

South Florida’s market hit 80 in May for the first time since August 2008. The three-county region is the only one of eight metros in Florida above 80, though Cape Coral is at 79.9.

“Those markets hardest hit by the Great Recession, including many in Florida, are rebounding, but they still need to improve to get delinquencies back in line with their benchmark historic averages,” Len Kiefer, Freddie’s deputy chief economist, said in a statement. “The key driver of all this recovery has been solid job growth.”

Fresno, Calif., was the nation’s highest-rated market in June with a score of 96.8, according to Freddie Mac. Austin, Texas, was second at 94.9.

Meanwhile, a separate report from RealtyTrac Inc. underscores the improving local housing market.

The Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing firm said cash accounted for 48 percent of all home and condo sales in July in the tri-county region, down from 53 percent a year ago. At the same time, sales involving Federal Housing Administration mortgages — those used by first-time buyers and young families — are on the rise, RealtyTrac said.

“Even though cash buyers are pulling back on purchases, sales numbers are holding strong, and that’s a very good sign that the traditional buyer is coming back to the market,” said Daren Blomquist, a vice president of RealtyTrac.

Jay Parker, CEO of the Douglas Elliman Florida brokerage, said the tri-county area has transformed from a boom-or-bust market to a stable destination.

“More and more people are looking at South Florida as a home as opposed to an investment,” he said.

Powers@sunsentinel.com, 561-243-6529 or Twitter @paulowers

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Owers, Paul. ‘South Florida housing market tops in state, report says’. Sun Sentinel 2015. Web. 27 Aug. 2015.

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