Florida Markets Dominate REALTOR.com Top Ten Turnaround Report

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Though the past four years have seen many cities suffering from large numbers of foreclosures and a loss in home values, ten of these real estate markets are now leading the nation towards a general recovery and stability of the housing sector.

Realtor.com’s Top 10 Turnaround Town Report, based on third quarter 2011 data, includes six Florida markets: Miami, Orlando, Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota-Bradenton, and Lakeland-Winter Haven.

Each of these markets has experienced positive year-over-year median price appreciation, reductions in year-over-year median age of inventory and inventory counts, while also experiencing lower unemployment rates on a year-over-year basis. Florida’s success can also be tied to foreign buyers; the number of foreign buyers purchasing homes there increased from 10 percent in 2007 to 31 percent in 2011.

Let’s take a closer look:

Miami, FL: The number one town on the report, Miami, has gone from being one of the first victims of the subprime crash to having a healthy inventory that is only half the size from a year ago. Today, Miami is only reporting one foreclosure for every 407 homes, compared to the national rate of one per every 213. And, condo sales have increased 79 percent in the first five months of this year, largely due to an influx of foreign investors.

Orlando, FL: Ranked second on the report, Orlando leads the nation in the ratio of Realtor.com searches to listings. Inventory has also obtained a balance with demand. Foreclosures hurt the market in 2007-08, but foreclosures in Orlando were down 58 percent in September, compared to last year.

Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL: Median prices in Fort Myers-Cape Coral have increased almost 33% year-over-year, according to Realtor.com’s October 2011 Real Estate Trend Data. In addition, foreclosures are down only one in 313 homes in September’ while inventory has been reduced and foreign buyers have been attracted to the area’s real estate prices. The metro ranked third on the turnaround report.

Fort Lauderdale, FL: A decrease in inventory coupled with an uptick in prices earns Fort Lauderdale the number five spot on the report. Inventory decreased almost 38 percent year-over-year, according to Realtor.com’s October data report. Prices have fallen about 46 percent since 2006, but are now going up.

Sarasota-Bradenton, FL: A total of 11 percent of all foreign buyers in Florida are in Sarasota-Bradenton specifically. Number six on the turnaround report, the market has seen a list prices increase of more than 17 percent year-0ver-year and a decrease of inventory of 32 percent according to the Realtor.com October data. The market still has a long way to go, after losing more than 55 percent of home values from 2006 to the second quarter of 2011 due to foreclosures.

Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL: A year ago, Lakeland-Winter Haven topped national foreclosure filing lists, but now the area’s distressed sale market share has decreased 46 percent. The area ranked 7th on the turnaround list  has seen total listings decreased more than 36 percent year-over-year and median age of inventory decrease more than 17 percent, according to Realtor.com’s October data. Prices are also up 12 percent compared to last October.

Realtor.com’s Top Ten Turnaround Town Report is compiled using a formula based on price appreciation, changes in inventory, median age of inventory, searches by Realtor.com visitors, and unemployment data.

Check back in tomorrow for a closer look at the remaining four markets!

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