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Florida real estate owners and home owners throughout the Sunshine State are very, very concerned about their real estate values: not only where they have been and where they are now, but where they will be in the future.  Media stories about real estate prices and foreclosure numbers are therefore very important to a lot of Floridians.

Which means news stories this week about the national housing market and the Florida housing market are getting lots of attention.  Read Bloomberg and you’ll find a report entitled, “Sales of New U.S. Homes Exceeded Estimates in March,” where real estate experts like a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics give predictions that the residential housing prices are going to start going back up as soon as 2013.

Go over to the Palm Beach Post where Kimberly Miller has an article entitled, “South Florida housing prices have hit bottom, Zillow analysts declare” and it gets better.  There, she reports that some experts have even more exciting opinions for Florida.  According to Zillow’s latest report, Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County have already turned the corner, with residential prices hitting a turning point in 2011 – and when Miller checked with an economist at Florida International University, he opined that Florida real estate will hit its bounce-back this Fall – and that prices just can’t get any lower.

So, is the future getting bright again?  Maybe so, maybe not.  The Wall Street Journal notes that a lot of factors are in play in this economy and this includes a lot of foreclosures still in limbo.  And over at Reuters, Yale economics professor and co-creator of the Case-Shilling Index Robert Shiller does not yet see reason for all this hoopla: he’s still thinking that we may not have a big change in housing prices for years and years to come.

Larry Tolchinsky’s Tip:

Last week in Orlando there was a public forum hosted at Rollins College by the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission where lots of different people with all sorts of expertise could discuss Florida’s economic situation and especially the Florida housing market.   This group included some very big bigwigs and the talk involved not just the local Florida real estate economy but the real estate markets of other states and regions in the United States and those in other parts of the world.

And from all that brainpower, there was the big reality that the Florida housing market does not operate in a vacuum.  Even if we could all ignore the bottleneck of foreclosures pending in Florida courts, and no solution yet on what to do with the huge shadow inventory of houses held by Florida banks and mortgage servicers – there’s still the concerns about our overall economic growth and especially the employment situation.

As a professor at the University of Central Florida pointed out to the forum, housing is tied to employment and no one can accurately predict when the Florida housing market will be stabilized and moving ahead until they take into consideration of factors of the Florida labor market.

So, once again we point out that we’re living in unusual times right now and it’s important for Florida home owners and those interested in Florida real estate investment to tread carefully in their real estate decisions.  Because of all of the uncertainty out there, no one should read something in the newspaper or hear something on the television or find something on the internet and jump into any long-term decision.

It’s extremely important in Florida real estate matters, whether you are buying or selling, deciding whether to face foreclosure or to short sale your home, that you discuss your particular situation with an experienced Florida real estate attorney.  There’s just to many legal issues involved in Florida real estate right now, and things are not going to be returning to any sort of “normalcy” from a legal perspective for a long, long time.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at or (954) 458-8655.

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