7/1/2013 12:07 PM ET|
Florida's housing crisis still isn't over
The state now holds a third of the nation's abandoned homes despite rising prices and improving sales.
With foreclosure rates down 23% from a year ago and the supply of new and existing homes at a 20-year low, that means the housing crisis is over, right?
Only if your neighborhood isn't still dotted with abandoned homes. Online real estate company RealtyTrac says Florida is littered with such neighborhoods, as the state is now burdened with 55,500 abandoned homes. That's a third of all abandoned homes in the U.S.
Florida became the face of the housing crisis and the ensuing recession as its unsold properties sat fallow and residents soon found themselves with mortgages valued at more than their homes could fetch on the market.
The Huffington Post shares stories of residents in Tampa battling overgrown bamboo and mowing lawns on properties long abandoned but not yet foreclosed upon. The banks that signed off on the mortgages for those abandoned homes are technically responsible for their upkeep, but maintenance is often minimal and corners are cut whenever possible.
Foreclosures still account for 27% of all sales in Tampa and 28% of all homes sold in Miami, according to RealtyTrac. Even though Florida has been luring more buyers to homes that haven't been foreclosed upon through short sales -- which sell homes for less than the mortgages owed and account for 26% of all sales in Florida -- that option is quickly disappearing.
Nationally, short sales fell by 35% in the first quarter from the same period a year ago. Rising home prices are coaxing more owners to hold on to their properties in the hope that they'll get the price they originally paid. Combined with average foreclosure prices rising by 28% during the first three months of 2013, that has made lenders less inclined to enter short sales.
While abandoned homes aren't just Florida's problem -- they represent 20% of all foreclosures in the U.S. -- nine of the 20 metropolitan areas with the most vacant homes in the country are in that state. Even as bank repossessions rose by 11% last month with lenders sprinting to take advantage of rising home prices, it's still tough to argue that the housing crisis has ended for the Sunshine State.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.
Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More
More Market News
Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'