Delray Beach, Florida Real Estate on the Rise

By: Phil Laboon

Delray Beach is a rapidly expanding city in South Florida's Palm Beach County that boasts award-winning public beaches and upscale dining and shopping. The only Florida city to win the All-America City award twice (connoting credit for constructive citizen cooperation to concur on certain community concerns), Delray Beach residential properties continue to sell quickly when they are priced properly and positioned in profitable parts of town. Downtown Delray is developing without delay, displaying a distinguished diversity of new construction homes and condos. But recently real estate for sale has replaced investor interest and initiated an immense 39% drop in properties sold compared to last year. Homes are sitting on the market for 90- 120 days, vastly varied from the 30 day average just a few months ago. Therefore, rates are regressing, rendering real estate reasonably priced once more, relinquishing ruling power to the buyers.

Regressing real estate rates do not represent a regional repugnance, but rather a national decline in residential real estate rates as supply has surpassed demand. Even as property values wane, Delray Beach continues to build, offering an abundance of new homes for low prices to potential homebuyers who wish to move to the area or use their Delray Beach home as a long tern investments. Local developers have put millions of dollars into building up Atlantic Avenue as a new hot spot for dining, shopping, and nightlife, as well as citywide renovations to promote local economic growth by attracting people to the region. Homes in Delray Beach tend to be younger than the national average (21.7 compared to 27.2 years, respectively) and real estate appreciation is a whopping 25.82% (in contrast to the 13.62 national average). But even with these impressive statistics, Delray Beach real estate remains an affordable alternative to other Florida destinations.

The decline in properties sold mirrors the state and nationwide trend of a softening market, but this lapse in massive appreciation rates is only truly a problem for investors intent on flipping their properties for profit immediately. Such practices are no longer recommended in a softening market, but long term investment is still a viable option as home prices will undoubtedly rise again after buyer interest is renewed. Think of real estate investment like any other short-lived fad; a craze that starts as abruptly as it ends, is reviled for a time as people rebound from the humiliation that only such obsession can warrant, then is brought back for nostalgia by VH1 shows until it is trendy again in a kitschy William Shatner sort of way. Industries operate in cyclical patterns, continuously vacillating so their courses resemble planetary orbits and their relative price indexes are reminiscent of cosine graphs.

Real estate experts are touting the idea that Florida real estate investment is as obsolete as the medieval barber surgeon due to the lapse in exceptional appreciation rates. As they continue to promote investment opportunities in other states, these experts are omitting the real estate market's chief objective: to provide housing. Industry media has depicted the so-called 'collapse' of the Florida real estate market as an economically devastating catastrophe, but this is not necessarily true. Until humanity has degenerated back so far as to revert to its hunter-gatherer past, permanent shelter will be seen as a necessity to human existence, thus the real estate market will endure. And, if the residents do not perform a mass exodus from the state (picture a herd of off-white Cadillacs fleeing Boca Raton at 16-miles-per-hour with their right turn signals on), all signs show that the Florida real estate market will recover from this economic slump and prevail.

And now is an ideal time to invest! Prices are dropping in high quality new developments (like Delray Beach's The Village at Swinton Square), so formerly unaffordable homes are becoming viable options for those looking for an actual residence or a long term investment opportunity. A discriminating human vision is the only thing that makes a property less attractive because of a price decrease. Viewed objectively and logically, a depreciating market cannot affect Florida's ambiance or climate.

A high proportion of people who purchase property in the panhandle are retirees in pursuit of a pleasant place to pass the rest of their days. Due to their age, senior citizens are not seeking speedy investment transactions to secure savings as they have selected to stop working and spend their time in leisure activities. Retirees will keep purchasing property in Florida because of its many activities attractive to the elderly and the climate's therapeutic value.

Florida is also heavily powered by the tourism industry, a market that depends on big-spending vacationers who are just passing through town. Palm Beach County's individual tourism industry clears $1.5 billion per year, making it one of the most profitable businesses in the area. Generally, travelers stay in hotels, therefore a decline in real estate appreciation will not lessen the appeal of Pirates of the Caribbean, thus local employment in the industry will not falter. Tourist attractions will prevail as long as Americans continue to appreciate roller coasters, beaches, alligators, and shaking hands with mascots.

Latin America immigration is also continuing full throttle. Immigrants are quickly gaining significant buying power, especially in the condo conversions that are appearing throughout the state. Mexicans are leading the charge in Delray Beach, which has become far more diverse in the past fifteen years as the white population has dwindled to a mere 66.5% (according to the Sun-Sentinel). Latin American immigration is accelerating annually, Florida being one of the primary destinations. A depreciating real estate investment market is not going to convince immigrants to take a detour to Vermont. And as the immigration continues, buyer interest grows, thus the recovery of the Florida real estate market.

The Florida real estate market's 'softening' is not an endemic epidemic like the bubonic plague-nor even the West Nile Virus-so purchasing Florida real estate for actual home use or long term investment are still viable options. But unfortunately for now, the manic trend to invest in and flip Florida properties is as dead as the slap bracelet.

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