If you are an owner of real estate (or planning to buy soon) in the Landings or Bay Colony neighborhoods of Fort Lauderdale then you have plenty to be happy about in the New Year. The real estate recovery in our area has been very strong since the bottom of the market in 2011. It seems the secret is out and the result is significant increases in our property values over the past 3 years.
Median Price Per Square Foot in The Landings
A good measure of real estate values over time is the median price per square foot. Let’s take a look at single family sales in The Landings, Bay Colony and Golf/Lake Estates, as well as waterfront condos in these neighborhoods between 2011 and 2014:
- The Landings: Increase from $275/ft to $359/ft (+30.5%)
- Bay Colony: Increase from $306/ft to $440/ft (+43.8%)*
- Lake Estates & Golf Estates: Increase from $219/ft to $247/ft (+12.8%)
- Waterfront Condos: Increase from $115/ft to $152/ft (+32.2%)* Limited MLS data: Bay Colony only averages 4.5 sales per year
2015 Real Estate Outlook
Most experts agree that the national real estate outlook is good. For starters, interest rates are still historically low and even if they go up this year the effect should be negligible since rents are expected to continue upward as well. Since about half of the single family transactions in The Landings neighborhoods are financed, low interest rates will continue to be a positive factor for us (only 21% of condos are financed). National outlooks also cite lower unemployment and lower oil prices as factors in the continued real estate recovery. More money in consumers’ pockets equates to higher consumer confidence and more disposable income for housing.
In south Florida we have additional demand factors to consider: second home owners, foreign buyers and state migration levels. About 8% of our single family homes and 36% of our condos are owned by second home owners, so as we approach another winter season expect our properties will continue to be in high demand. Fort Lauderdale also continues to be a top destination for foreign home buyers, but keep an eye on exchange rates since the strong dollar is making property more expensive for some foreigners. Finally, as weather and unfavorable taxes around the country continue to drive more buyers to our Sunshine State you should expect that migration rates will continue to be in our favor for many years to come.
Bottom line, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic, but depending on the type of property you own (condo or single family) the market can change quickly, so you should keep an eye on the various real estate metrics that affect your property values.
*I wrote a version of this article for the January 2015 Landings and Bay Colony Magazine