House Prices

One in five Florida homes is empty

One in five Florida homes is empty
March 22nd, 2011
Author: Jeff Taylor

Last week the US Census Bureau released data that shows that the sunshine state of Florida now has 1.6 million empty homes. That is 18% or almost one in five.

During the heady days of the property boom Florida was the place to buy, where house prices were projected to just keep soaring up. Potential residents and investors alike piled into the Florida housing market. But now, according to Yahoo Finance, this has turned into a toxic nightmare.

Within Florida, Collier County has been hardest hit where a staggering 32% of houses remain unoccupied. Other areas badly hit include Sarasota County with 23% of its homes being empty and a 30% vacancy rate in Lee County.

According to Ingo Winzer, who is a market analyst and founded Local Market Monitor, Florida house prices will continue to drop 5% this year and a further 3% in 2012. "Even after that, they're not going to rebound, they'll just sit on the bottom" he said.

Richard DeKaser of the Parthenon Group said "It will take about eight years just to put the vacancy numbers back into the single digits".

In January the median successful sale price was, at $122,000, just about half of what it had been at the top of the boom.

Another analyst, Celia Chen of Moody's Analytics, says that prices will fall another 11% and lag the rest of the country. Naples Florida she says will not recover until the late 2030s.

I will leave you with Ingo Winzer's assessment: "If you're buying in Florida for retirement," he said, "maybe you buy next year when prices will be near the bottom. If you're buying for investment — don't."

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2 Responses to “One in five Florida homes is empty”

  1. ubermouth says:

    I am not sure how they can predict that certain areas in Florida will take 30 yrs to recover it's housing prices???

  2. James says:

    The States is going to look very much like India in a few years. Poverty widespread, no money to keep up the infrastructure, roads falling apart, followed by inevitable corruption. In fact, we are actually importing the people with the experience to live and survive in such a situation from Asia. The USA is very vulnerable to being taken over and colonized.