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The Real Estate Outlook Measured Optimism as South Florida Rebounds

 As the economy sputters along and unemployment rates remain steady at more than  nine percent, there isn’t call for celebration. Whereas the real estate market was also lumped in with  these aforementioned Great Recession causalities, in certain regions sales of  homes and condominiums are showing positive signs giving hope to an industry  that has been treading water for over three years.  

 “The (Miami) market has done a complete 180 [degrees] from twenty-four to  eighteen months ago,” says Darin Tansey, vice president for Barclay’s Real Estate Group. “People were looking for deals and steals but now they are buyers looking at more  substantial properties,” he continued. “Last year, there were only twelve closings on the water, and we have already had  fifteen closings this year and we haven’t entered the fourth quarter yet.”  

 In September, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its monthly  report and the news was encouraging. From August 2010 to August 2011, sales of  existing single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops spiked by18.6  percent. The report also found that sales on a monthly basis increased by 7.7  percent with unsold inventory dropping by three percent.  

 While these are aggregated national statistics show promise, these real estate  tea leaves should be read with caution. “Some of the improvement in August may result from sales that were delayed in  preceding months, but favorable affordability conditions and rising rents are  underlying motivations,” noted Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties. In additional to  bargain hunting, some investors are in the market to hedge against higher  inflation.”  

 The Miami Herald’s “Economic Time Machine” finds that Florida’s real estate industry isn’t having a banner year but improvements are clear to see. For example, the  Sunshine State finished fourth in earnings from real estate in the second  quarter with a 1.2 percent gain from the start of 2011. Texas, Oklahoma and New  York were the only states that ranked higher with real estate earnings up  between 1.5 percent and two percent.  

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