Low unemployment and an increase in home loan applications are keeping South Florida’s housing market stable, according to a report Wednesday from mortgage company Freddie Mac.
Still, two other forecasts are more pessimistic about housing after four years of steady growth.
Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties scored 91.9 on Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index for June. That’s unchanged from May but an increase of 10 percent from a year earlier.
The index analyzes mortgage applications, delinquencies, employment and affordability in the 100 largest metro areas nationwide. A composite score of 80 or above is considered stable. The ideal score is 100.
Dunkin’ Donuts has opened inside the BJ’s Wholesale Club in Pembroke Pines — and the two retailers will be teaming up at other locations in South Florida.
The new chain location, at 13700 Pines Blvd., is owned and operated by franchisee Mike Fallah. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and guests don’t need BJ’s memberships. The menu includes hot and iced coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, teas, sandwiches and baked goods.
A Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman said the chain will open other restaurants inside BJ’s in the coming months. Details have not yet been released.
Fewer South Florida homes sold in July compared with a year ago, though the softer demand didn’t hurt prices.
Palm Beach County had 1,530 existing, single-family homes trade hands last month, down 15 percent from July 2015, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. It was the sixth month in a row that home sales fell on an annual basis.
Broward had 1,499 sales, off 11 percent, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said. It was the first sales decline for Broward in the past year.
Single-family sales in Miami-Dade County, meanwhile, declined for the 10th straight month, falling 16 percent to 1,128, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.
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South Florida homeowners continue to regain equity lost during the last decade’s housing crisis, as the number of “seriously underwater” mortgages has declined sharply over the past three years.
At the end of the second quarter, 17.3 percent of homeowners with a mortgage — 262,591 people in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties — owed at least 25 percent more than the property was worth, according to the RealtyTrac Inc. research firm in Irvine, Calif.
While that’s still higher than the national average of 11.9 percent, it is down from 22.4 percent (332,186 homeowners) at the end of the second quarter of 2015, RealtyTrac said.
Annual housing starts increase across South Florida
Home construction remains steady across South Florida, even as builders struggle to find available land, a new report shows.
Annual housing starts in Broward County — the total over the past four quarters — is 1,352, up 10 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the Metrostudy research firm. Broward had 389 starts in the second quarter, 5 percent higher than a year ago.
In Palm Beach County, there were 2,179 starts over the past four quarters, an 8 percent increase from the prior year. However, starts dropped 21 percent in the second quarter, to 489 from 617.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is scheduled to close all southbound lanes along I-75 at Griffin Road to install an overhead sign structure for the 75 Express Lanes project. In order to perform the work safely, traffic will be detoured during the following dates and times:
All lanes of I-75 southbound at Griffin Road will be closed from 11 p.m. Wednesday, August 10 to5 a.m. Thursday, August 11. Motorists will be detoured to exit at Griffin Road East (Exit 13A) and go east to Flamingo Road, south on Flamingo Road to Sheridan Street and west on Sheridan Street to re-enter I-75 southbound. Please follow the posted detour.
If necessary to complete the work, these lane closures will also take place from 11 p.m. Thursday, August 11 to 5 a.m. Friday, August 12.
When it comes to flipping houses, investors should head to Pembroke Pines, a new report shows.
Pembroke Pines ranks No. 18 on a list of the nation’s best housing markets for flipping, according to WalletHub, a personal finance website. The analysis is based on a series of factors, including home prices, average remodeling costs and the stability of individual housing markets, WalletHub said.