Given the considerable damage sustained by Florida's housing market during the Great Recession and the length of time it took to start recovering from this damage, people in the Sunshine State -- especially here it hard-hit South Florida -- can perhaps be forgiven for still being a bit skeptical about positive real estate reports.
The reality, however, is that the housing market here in South Florida has seen four years of growth and an overall reduction in foreclosures. Indeed, if you have a hard time believing it, consider a recently released report by ATTOM Data Solutions, the parent company of the real estate tracking firm RealtyTrac.
According to the report, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties saw a combined 1,267 new foreclosures cases filed last month, a 4 percent drop from July 2015, which saw 1,316 cases. To put this in perspective, consider that back in 2006, South Florida was averaging over 4,000 new foreclosure cases per month.
Breaking the numbers down further, the ATTOM report determined the following:
- Miami-Dade County had 563 foreclosure starts last month, a 3 percent decrease from last year.
- Broward County had 464 foreclosure starts last month, a 2 percent increase from last year that researchers indicated wasn't necessarily indicative of any trend.
- Palm Beach County had 240 foreclosure starts last month, a 16 percent decrease from last year.
If this still isn't convincing enough, consider also that the ATTOM report found that the number of bank repossessions in South Florida was 919 in July, a 72 percent decrease from the same time last year, and that many of these foreclosures were actually the final remnants of the housing downturn.
As to why the real estate market in South Florida appears to be on such solid ground, the ATTOM report credits low mortgage rates, increased consumer confidence and a strong employment outlook. Specifically, these factors are leading more people to sign on the dotted line.
While this report is certainly encouraging, it's likely of very little comfort to those who find themselves facing the imminent threat of foreclosure. Fortunately, those who find themselves in these situations do have viable options for protecting their home and should consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more.