Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Housing Crisis

A headline in today's Miami Herald reads Slide in South Florida home prices continues. The story is familiar - there's no quick recovery on the horizon for real estate. And recovery when it comes is going to look a lot more like return to the prices of 2006.

This crisis is affecting all our lives, whether we own or rent, and even if we have no intention of selling. The lower taxes collected from properties hurt our budget. Abandoned houses and condos degrade our quality of life. And it's worse in North Bay Village than most other places in Florida.

An unscientific look at the properties on the market in North Bay Village at www.trulia.com shows that of the 321 residential properties on the market, 186 are in some stage of foreclosure. That's 53% of the properties on the market. Compare that with Sunny Isles which also suffered from a gross overbuild of condos and yet has a rate of 38% or Surfside at 42%.

Creating a city wide effort to deal with this has to be the commission's top priority. We are sliding and it's getting worse. The real estate professionals who sell in the city need to be included; the finance companies need to be involved; property owners in danger of foreclosure need help, now. The Commission and administration have been too passive. Not only is our property tax decline worse for this, but we have much lower collections from other tax sources such as commercial properties than most other cities. If North Bay Village doesn't take this problem on now, there may be no North Bay Village in the future. It's that serious.

Kevin Vericker
November 10, 2010

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