Headlines – Week of March 18, 2012

March 30, 2012

Florida Hotel Market Among Top in Nation

According to Marcus & Millichap’s Statewide Hotel Property Index tourism surged in Florida in 2011and the addition of 114,000 jobs in the state sparked a 12.5% jump in in-state travel. Florida ranks fifth on their list, but is separated from second place by less than two percentage points.

Miami heads the list of the top performing hotel market in the State of Florida.

The report notes a resurgence in South Florida’s cruise business, which drives more hotel traffic since travelers typically spend a day or two in a local hotel before or after the cruise. But not only do tourists flock to Miami for vacations, global businessmen are landing in Miami for business.

In the Statewide Hotel Property Index, the states are scored on year-to-date changes in room supply, room demand, ADR and RevPAR. A state with a score of more than 100 has strengthened from the corresponding year-earlier period, and a score of less than 100 signals a weaker performance. For 2011, North Dakota was the best-performing state, driven by significant gains in room demand, ADR and RevPAR.

North Dakota was bolstered by the discovery of a vast oil shale formation has attracted scores of workers. A 13.4 percent spike in statewide room demand last year fueled a 670-basis-point spike in occupancy, to 74.7 percent.

Another state with a revitalized energy sector, Texas, also placed high in the index.

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Full Report

 10 U.S. Real Estate Markets Drawing International Buyers

In a recent report Inman News reported that affluent international buyers, attracted by fire-sale prices, are snapping up real estate in some U.S. markets. Inman identifies 10 markets where public records indicate foreign buyers make up the biggest share of overall buyers.

Most of the markets are located in Florida, though areas in Nevada, Arizona, New York and Hawaii are also on the list.

The report highlights the economic and personal factors that drive foreign buyers to buy; their preferred property types; top countries of origin; how they find the real estate professionals they work with; why the selected markets appeal to them; and relevant demographic and housing-related characteristics for the markets, including share of foreign-born population, distressed property footprint, home-price trends, and vacancy rates.

Among the findings in this report:

  • Population levels in the markets range from about 600,000 in Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., to nearly 5.6 million in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.
  • Seven out of 10 markets had foreign-born populations above the national rate of 13.1 percent in 2010. The Miami metro had the highest share born abroad, at 39.2 percent.
  • In six of the 10 markets, area inhabitants who were foreign-born and moved from abroad accounted for a higher-than-average share of overall inhabitants who reported moving in the previous year in 2010. New York County (Manhattan) had the highest share: 7.7 percent of the people who moved in that county were both foreign-born and hailing from abroad.
  • In seven out of 10 markets, the median sales price for an existing, single-family home was lower than the national median of $163,500 in fourth-quarter 2011. In eight out of 10 markets, the median sales price for a condo was lower than the national median of $160,800 for that same quarter.
  • Condo prices fell on an annual basis in the fourth quarter in seven out of 10 markets. All seven saw their prices decline by more than the national rate of -1.7 percent.
  • Seven of the 10 markets had a higher share of distressed sales in fourth-quarter 2011 than the national rate of 23.7 percent. Eight of the 10 markets had higher foreclosure activity rates in fourth-quarter 2011 compared to the national rate.
  • Nine of the 10 markets, except for Honolulu, had higher vacancy rates in 2010 than the national rate of 13.1 percent. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., had the highest rate, at 37 percent.

The 10 markets, ranked by highest share of foreign buyers, according to public records data, are:

  1. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
  2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. 
  3.  Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.
  4. North Point-Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla.
  5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.
  6. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.
  7. New York County, N.Y. (Manhattan)
  8. Honolulu, Hawaii.
  9. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
  10. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.

Full Report

U.S. Tourism Grows in 2011

U.S. Commerce Department data showing that tourism spending in the U.S. grew 8.1 percent to $1.2 trillion in 2011. The data also shows that 62.3 million foreign visitors visited the U.S. in 2011 and spent a record $153 billion. It is also estimated that the travel industry created 7.6 million jobs in 2011.

 Posted by Scott R. Lodde

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