Is South Florida ripe for the picking? How much lower can it go?

Huge #s of Baby-boomers still on retirement horizon...Florida's still a popular destination for retirees...is there a huge upside potential?
In Market Conditions - Asked by John T. - Aug 23, 2010
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Answer(s)

David C.
Los Angeles, CA

Thank you for your question about the South Florida Commercial Real Estate Market Conditions. The economy has begun the 'double dip,' but you have brilliantly pointed out a growing segment of our economy that needs services.
South Florida is ripe for the picking if you have the right business plan with 'baby boomers' in mind because there are over 70 million baby boomers that will retire in the next 20 years.

Aug 23, 2010
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Jack S.
Owner/Investor
Fort Myers, FL

I have lived in Ft Myers/Cape Coral for 22 years. we are literally down 35% - 65% depending on the demographic. While the federal reserve reflates the national economy and Lee County Florida drowns in foreclosure pricing ($50 per sq ft) I believe and have voted with my money that yes, South West Florida is ready for buy.

Aug 23, 2010
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Michal B.
Broker/Agent
Miami Beach, FL

John, South Florida has been one of the first areas to enter the downturn but it seems to be also the first one to emerge. One of the mains sales generators are cash buyers from South America. As other parts of U.S. might depend on availability of financing, here majority of the deals are cash which definitely helps to get deals closed.
There is still a plenty of deals to be scraped up. When it comes to commercial, I wouldn't go after anything that doesn't have a solid tenants with establish income stream. In terms of residential, look for the most distressed buildings and individual condo units in the premium and up-and-coming areas.
Good luck!

Aug 23, 2010
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Anthony S.
Owner/Investor
Cornwall, NY

John,
I have lived and worked in all of South Florida, both the east coast and west coast. The market in Florida is in very bad shape, but there are positive signs starting to emerge. The rental market for single family homes(SFH) is very strong on both coasts if you are a responsible landlord. In SW Florida I have advertised SFH to people with foreclosures on there credit reports, as long as all other credit was good, they could verify employment, and they had references. The rental market is expected to increase over the next years, so if you can get get SFH at attractive prices they are good investments. Also, the same applies to multi-family units; however, the management and maintenance becomes more complicated. The commercial real estate market is in VERY bad shape on both coasts of South Florida. In Palm Beach County, Federal Highway is filled with empty strip malls. In Cape Coral and Ft. Myers the situation is exactly the same. I think the best investment is SFH in SW Florida. You can pick up beautiful homes for under 100k and the rental market is strong. There is no way you could rebuild these homes for the price you can currently purchase them for. Also, there is a lot of room for appreciation when you are buying a SFH for under 100k. I can refer you to my property management company and even assist you with any question you have on the general area.

Aug 23, 2010
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Gary W.
Owner/Investor
Mont-Tremblant, QC

Hello John
I am a investor from Canada, I was down in south Fl in the spring and was looking to invest , but the only problem i had was to get the right time of day ! don't get me wrong there are good deals to find , what is hard to find is the right person to help you out, there are alot of so called auctions but i found they are builder closeouts and when looking at bank owned properties make sure they have the title in hand clear and free of any liens or lenders, I found it very hard to get right information while i was there or right time of day. do your homework first before buying , but there are good people to work with , just have to find the right one for you, good luck in the future and finding your property in South Fl I have to admit it is a wonderful place to live and work !

Aug 26, 2010
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Mark C.
Broker/Agent
Gainesville, FL

Southeast Florida, the Miami, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach areas) have tremendous bargains, especially condominiums. However, in 2011 so far, activity is picking up. My associate in Miami has recently had closings in all of the cities above whereas it was extremely slow in 2010.
It certainly can go lower but it appears to be bouncing around on the bottom, we hope. If you have cash you can find unbelievably good deals. Financing is still difficult for condos and commercial purchases.

Feb 13, 2011
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