Bank Foreclosure Home Sales on the Treasure Coast Still Up

by Donald Hanz on Foreclosures

Bank foreclosure home sales on the Treasure Coast in Florida are expected by analysts to continue growing because of the high jobless rate in the area, the heavy reliance of Treasure Coast’s economy on the housing market for its economic growth, and the expected expiration of the newly expanded and extended federal tax credit.

According to economist Chris Lafakis of Moody’s Economy.com, another flood of foreclosures and other factors will depress home prices in 2010 despite recent home price stabilization in the last months of 2009. His research team predicted a 24-percent decrease in median sales prices for single-family houses in the Port Saint Lucie metro area in the third quarter this year compared to the same period in 2009.

However, Treasure Coast real estate professionals are not significantly convinced about the home price decline forecast. Bonnie Peters, head of the Martin County Realtors Association, said that there have been indications pointing to the stabilization of house prices over the past two quarters.

Peters further explained that since April, median home sales prices have steadied at about $111,000 in the Port Saint Lucie area. Since March, median home prices have remained steady at around $133,000 in Indian River.

In response, Lafakis explained that his team’s forecast was based on several factors, including the expected occurrence of another flood of bank foreclosure homes sales in 2010.

On the other hand, realtors on the Treasure Coast can feel some degree of optimism with the finding that one housing problem common in other parts of Florida has not occurred on the Treasure Coast: the proliferation of abandoned half-built, unfinished houses.

Over the past several months, cities in Florida and other states have been struggling with problems arising from record numbers of unfinished houses abandoned by home builders. In Sarasota, an unfinished affordable housing complex abandoned when its developer died 20 years ago still remains vacant.

According to Karl Zimmerman, head of the Realtors Association of Indian River County, unfinished housing projects are usually avoided by contractors and builders because of the inherent problems arising from incomplete projects, including possible litigation, Chinese drywall issues and warranties.

Fortunately for the Treasure Coast residential sector, the half-built house issue is not a problem in the area. According to Martin County real estate association head Peters, even the problem of rising bank foreclosure home sales is being ably handled by the active Treasure Coast housing sector.

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