Expensive Home Sales Skew Housing Market Figures

When we talk about the housing market recovery, many sources cite small but steady growth. However, there is reason to believe those figures are skewed by the higher-end market – specifically, those homes belonging to the top one percent.
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A recent report by Redfin, a California-based real estate researcher, shows that while sales of top-tier expensive homes are soaring, those involving the other 99 percent of homes are still falling – or climbing only incrementally.

Miami foreclosure defense lawyers point to Miami as a prime example. Here, while the number of homes sold from January through April of this year increased by 1 percent for the majority, homes in the top one percent price range increased by more than 56 percent.

In Fort Lauderdale, home sales during that same time frame fell by 4.1 percent for the bottom 99 percent. But sales of the top one percent of homes increased by nearly 28 percent.

Numerous similar examples exist throughout the country. In Oakland, CA, the 99-percenters had home sales increase by about 2.2 percent. However, on top-tier home sales increased by 96 percent. In San Jose, home sales fell by 7.3 percent, except where the 1 percent was concerned, with home sales increasing by 91 percent.

For most buyers in the middle class range, there is still a strong degree of volatility in the market, which tends to cause these buyers to shy away. Those concerns clearly aren’t as pronounced – if they are at all existent – for those in the top 1 percent.

Plus, for those in the middle class market, wages are stagnant and so is the availability of credit. With housing prices having increased 10 to 15 percent in recent years, many people simply can’t afford them. Many of those that are purchased are bought up by investors.

Here in Florida, the housing crisis is far from abated. According to RealtyTrac, in 50 of the state’s 67 counties, more than a quarter of all homeowners remain underwater. That means statewide, approximately one in four homeowners owes more on their mortgage than the home is worth.

Many of those properties are concentrated in Miami-Dade and Broward. In these locales, more than 30 percent of homeowners are underwater.

Comparatively, one in five homes nationally is underwater. Bad as this sounds, it’s actually better than it was just a few years ago, when 1 in 3 homes nationwide was underwater.

The Miami-Herald reports median home prices of single-family properties in the county climbed 8 percent to $243,000 in April from where we were last year. Condo prices are up 10.3 percent.

That’s according to the Miami Association of Realtors, who use words like, “stabilizing” and “balance” in reference to the housing market. But again, those figures are skewed by those higher-end deals.

If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Debt Warriors with Bruce Jacobs,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.

Additional Resources:
Housing 1% soars as 99%ers dive, May 27, 2014, By Diana Olick, CNBC
More Blog Entries:
Ted Kaufman: Trust in Equal Justice Eroded With Mortgage Crisis Failures, May 18, 2014, Miami Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Blog