South Florida Real Estate: Is It Finally Time to Buy?

The South Florida real estate market is still in dire straits, but the time to buy again may be nearer than you think. "It's still a good investment, not as a short-term flip, but more long-term," says Ron Peltier, chairman and chief executive of Minneapolis-based HomeServices of America, Inc., the second largest homeownership-service provider in the U.S. "For people who have bought homes to live in, that home is still a very solid investment, as well as a tax break and, most important of all, a place to call home."

From 2000 to 2005, South Florida housing unit sales were going up by double digits annually, as was appreciation. "During the overheated market, there was too much flipping going on," Peltier told HousingWatch. "Consumers were buying [homes] as an investment, so demand became far in excess of supply. As a consequence, developers ratcheted up the activity way beyond their levels to meet the insatiable demand."