Weston Title’s Clout: Best Housing Market Found in Weston, Florida
Drive down any street in just about any city and you’ll be greeted with a sea of ‘For Sale’ signs heralding the end of the American Dream. No one will argue that the housing market has taken a beating in the last three years. But some bright spots are faring better than others. In particular, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that a few housing markets are experiencing double digit growth, despite the state’s overall dismal foreclosure numbers.
In particular, Weston, Florida ranked as the top performing housing market in the country. The value of homes grew 15.1% between February 2009 and August 2011 in this area. This high-income city now has an average home value of $280,000. Arlington and Brookline, Massachusetts came in 2nd and 3rd with 14.8% and 13.6% respectively.
The numbers came from the online real estate website Zillow. After surveying 1,000 of the largest cities in the nation, they found home values fell 9.9% overall, which makes Weston’s achievement seem like a fluke. Local realtors speculate the city’s upscale, well-manicured appearance contributed greatly to their quick recovery.
But Florida is also home to the city with the worst home values in the country. In stark contrast to the success of Weston, home values in Homestead, Florida plummeted 48.8%, the steepest drop in the country. Although Homestead experienced a housing boom, when the economy took a turn for the worse many new homes went unfinished. Underwater residents were either foreclosed on or walked away from their mortgages. Even though Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, the city never fully recovered, and they are plagued by a crime rate that remains above average for the state.
Lehigh Acres and Altamonte Springs, Florida came in fourth (-42.2%) and fifth (-41.3%) on the top 5 worst list. Like Homestead, both cities experienced a boom before the economic collapse, but home values spiraled downward once the fraud hit the fan. Lehigh Acres problems can be contributed to the 9.9% unemployment rate. The foreclosure rate is sky high, and homes are a whopping 80% below peak.
Homeowners suffering in the depressed marketplace have their eyes turned toward the White House. Experts doubt Obama can do anything that will impact the market in any significant way. Home values are expected to continue falling downward another 5% until 2012, when they will hopefully bottom out and the healing can finally begin.