Real Estate

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According to the statewide organization Florida Realtors, Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices again in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter last year. The median sales price of single family existing homes rose 9.7 percent. The statewide median price for condos and townhomes rose 7.8 percent over last year. While prices of existing homes continues to increase, so does the rate of new home building, especially here in southwest Florida. New communities continue to spring up, and new commercial development is on the rise. So, we’re bringing back in our panel of real estate experts to get their sense of where the market is currently, and where we’re heading going into the summer months.

If you own a house in South Florida, you might want to start thinking hard about sea level rise.

The ocean here could rise a foot or more in the next 30 years -- the amount of time in a mortgage cycle -- according to University of Miami professor Harold Wanless and other researchers.  That means if you buy a house today, and rising seas put your house at risk for flooding, your property value might decrease... but your mortgage payments won’t.

The renting population is booming throughout Florida, according to a study by RentCafe.com, a national apartment search website.

 

Miami, with 68 percent, ranks third in the country for the largest proportion of renters versus homeowners. Jersey City and Newark, both in New Jersey, top the list. 

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Southwest Florida’s residential real estate market has steadily improved since the 2008 crash. Home prices continue to rise, and rent has spiked dramatically in recent years. We’re going to get a snapshot of the current state of the market, and where it might be heading, with area realtors Denny Grimes and Brad Dohack, and real estate analyst David Cobb with Metrostudy.

We also spend a few minutes talking about boom/bust economic cycles throughout history with Dr. Christopher Westley, he's Director of the Regional Economic Research Institute and Professor of Economics at FGCU.

Photo: U.S. Air Force / Airman Sondra M. Wieseler

As floodwaters begin to recede in Southwest Florida, many now face the task of clean-up. But before you hire any old handy man, officials say you should make sure they are a licensed contractor. According to Sarasota County Deputy Building Official Guy McCauley, unlicensed contractors aren't just working illegally, they leave homeowners with no recourse if things go wrong. And in many cases, insurance won't pay for work done by an unlicensed contractor.

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