I don’t want to report this, but I think it’s pretty important. Orlando ranks 13th in the nation for foreclosure filings according to a report released on Tuesday by Realtytrac. Foreclosures increased by 250% in the first quarter of 2008 meaning 1 out of every 88 households were facing losing their home. There was an astounding 10,522 foreclosures in just the first quarter of this year and the only city in Florida that had more was Ft. Lauderdale.
I’m pointing out the obvious, but it’s just not good. Foreclosures mean that homes that look abandoned are sitting in your neighborhood. It makes the neighborhood look untidy and less desirable. That’s why many of us in Central Florida join homeowners associations to ensure all the homes meet a certain standard. I pay thousands for mine and I don’t think they can do anything about this. We all know that buyers tend to shy away from neighborhoods that have homes that look abandoned. As a result, demand declines and in turn lowers prices for everyone selling in the same community.
That’s not the last of it. Property appraisals will definitely be affected too. You can rest assured that foreclosed properties will lower appraisals, guaranteed.
The way I see it, 4 things are keeping our market down: foreclosures driving down prices, a 2 years supply of homes on the market, 6 months of builder inventory under construction, and the tightening of the credit markets. Improvement in any of these areas should help us recover from this market and I hope we see it soon. It’ll happen, I just don’t know when.