Headlines – Week of June 26, 2011
July 5, 2011
Census Figures Show Florida Growth to Keep Lagging
According to a new study by the University of Florida, the State of Florida was again one of the country’s leaders in population growth in the last decade, but the growth rates over the past few years have been among the lowest in the state’s history.
Florida’s permanent resident population increased by more than 2.8 million between 2000 and 2010 – an increase of 17.6 percent – to 18,801,310. It was the third-largest numeric increase and the eighth-largest percentage increase in the country. However, the growth rate lagged behind previous periods for the state, and is expected to decline steadily through 2040.
In the decades from 1970 to 2010, Florida saw annual population increases that averaged between 280,000 and 320,000. The projected annual growth is 252,000 for 2010 to 2020 and 255,000 for 2020 to 2030. The projection drops considerably for 2030 to 2040 with an annual growth of 220,000.
Florida lost about 1 million jobs from 2007 to 2010 and jobs are a major reason people come to Florida.
Growth should return to levels more in line with historic patterns by the middle of this decade, but it is not expected to be uniform across the state.
Sixty-five of Florida’s 67 counties gained population during this past decade. Four counties grew by more than 50 percent, and 20 grew by more than 20 percent. The largest numerical increases over the past decade occurred in Orange County (up 249,612 to 1,145,956), Miami-Dade County (up 242,656 to 2,496,435) and Hillsborough County (up 230,278 to 1,229,226).
Flagler and Sumter counties experienced the fastest growth in the state. In 2000, Flagler County’s population was 49,832. According to 2010 Census data, that number grew to 95,696. Sumter County’s population in 2000 was 53,345 and rose to 93,420 by 2010. Flagler’s growth is attributed to the popularity of the area’s Palm Coast development and Sumter’s growth to the establishment of The Villages, a popular and growing retirement community.
The only two counties to lose population were Monroe (down 6,499 to 73,090) and Pinellas (down 4,953 to 916,542). A large portion of Monroe County is not developable because of marshlands, while Pinellas County is already densely populated and has little room to grow.
Which housing values have dropped most?
According to a recent article in USA Today, lower priced homes have been harder hit than higher priced homes in the sluggish housing market. The article quotes research conducted by Zillow.com and a study on the state of the U.S. housing market by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
High-priced homes have lost 38 percent of their value since values peaked in 2006. Lower priced homes, on the other hand, have dropped 63 percent since peaking in 2007.
The report concludes that because lower priced homes appreciated much more before reaching its peak, they had further to drop than higher priced homes.
As an example, in San Francisco, lower end homes nearly tripled in price before peaking and high-end homes did not even double before reaching its peak. The study attributes this partially to lenders making more loans available to lower income households during the housing peak days, which increased demand and prices.
Foreclosures have also plagued low-income areas, more so than higher income areas, according to the study. Foreclosures in low-income neighborhoods are more than double that of high-income neighborhoods.
Prices range drastically among major housing market so what’s considered “high-priced” and “low-priced” in the study varies greatly from market to market. For example, in Atlanta low-tier homes were considered under $122,533 and high-tier homes above $221,679; in San Francisco, low-tier homes were considered $312,546 and high-tier homes over $573,577.
Top 5 cities for investors
According to a study by Move Inc., investors have accounted for a greater bulk of real estate transactions in recent months as they’ve looked to purchase the ultra-low priced distressed properties. In the next two years, investors are expected to outnumber traditional homebuyers three to one.
In another study, Inman News recently conducted an analysis of hundreds of real estate markets to determine the top markets for real estate investors, taking into account such factors as the median sales price, loan data, foreclosure sales and discount statistics, population, and unemployment data.
Here are the top five cities that Inman News found as the best real estate markets for investors:
- Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.
- Winchester, Va.-W.Va.
- Gainesville, Fla.
- Tucson, Ariz.
- Tallahassee, Fla.
Other cities rounding out the top 10: Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va.; Salt Lake City; Richmond, Va.; Gainesville, Ga.; and Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posted by Scott R. Lodde