South Florida among top markets for buying foreclosures

Although there have been recent concerns about a shortage of homes for sale, South Florida currently ranks among the top 20 markets nationwide in which to buy foreclosures in 2013.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties rank at No. 12 on the list recently compiled by Realty Trac Inc. Realty Trac’s report analyzed foreclosure inventory in the pipeline, average discounts and other factors for more than 200 metropolitan areas with populations of at least 500,000.

South Florida’s recent ranking is a somewhat of a surprise, given that local real estate agents and buyers have complained about a lack of properties for sale. Inventories of all available properties have fallen by approximately 50 percent in the past year, with many underwater homeowners still unable to sell and others waiting on the sidelines for prices to continue to improve. 

In addition, lenders have generally held off listing foreclosed properties, in part to avoid depressing prices. The limited quantity of homes for sale has led to bidding wars and offers well above asking prices. 

However, as South Florida has one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates with 1 in 27 homes being in distress, the available inventory of bank-owned homes should likely increase providing further opportunities for investors and end users to acquire South Florida properties at historically low prices. 

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