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Property in Florida Going for a Song

April 19, 2010Article by Ray Withers

Anyone who hasn’t yet bagged a bargain property in Florida, fear not, it looks like there will be plenty more opportunities coming onto the market, as repossessions continue to soar in the region. According to the latest RealtyTrac foreclosure report, the number of repossessions in Florida in the 1st quarter of this year was the second highest in the US, with 153,540 properties receiving a foreclosure filing.

“Foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2010 followed a very similar pattern to what we saw in the first quarter of 2009: a shallow trough in January and February followed by a substantial spike in March,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “One difference, however, is that the increases were more tilted toward the final stage of foreclosure.”

”This subtle shift in the numbers pushed REOs to the highest quarterly total we’ve ever seen in our report and may be further evidence that lenders are starting to make a dent in the backlog of distressed inventory that has built up over the last year as foreclosure prevention programs and processing delays slowed down the normal foreclosure timeline.”

This is very worrying for the US housing market, well for anyone hoping for a recovery anytime soon, especially in the worst affected areas. It is not bad news for those looking to buy a distressed or repossessed property in Florida , as it means there will be continued, and possibly even increased availability in the coming months, according to David Cox, director of international property investment consultancy Property Frontiers, he said.

“We have previously commented on the fact that foreigners are not being put off or upset by news of continued foreclosures in Florida, because anyone (or certainly most people) who have bought, have done so expecting a rocky period for anything up to 5 years.

“These people are quite happy to enjoy the high rental yields that come from getting quality property at a massively discounted price. Anyone who hasn’t bought yet, but plans to, can look forward to strong availability levels, and possibly even more availability than we have seen previously.”

To anyone that feels guilty about buying a repossessed property in Florida, or anywhere else for that matter, Cox had this advice.
“Repossession is not the person who buys the homes fault, often it is no one’s fault, but fault is irrelevant. The homes are being repossessed by the banks, period. If no one buys them they aren’t going to be handed back to their previous owners with an apology. Someone is going to get a good deal on these properties, why shouldn’t it be you?”


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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