Here’s a sobering statistic about the housing crash and subsequent financial mini-polcalypse.
Florida, the hardest-hit state in the real estate market, has a vacancy rate in housing stock of nearly 18%, or 1.6 million homes. (Arizona is not far behind with 16%, and Nevada, with the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, came in at 14%.) The rate fluctuates significantly from county to county:
In Florida, the worst-hit county is Collier — home of Naples — with a whopping 32% of homes empty. In Sarasota County, 23% of the housing stock sits vacant, while Lee County (Cape Coral) has a 30% vacancy rate. And Miami-Dade County has a vacancy rate of about 12%.
Median price of homes in the Sunshine State has fallen nearly 50% from its peak ten years ago, currently clocking in at about $122,000. Forecasts for recovery can be equally as bleak as the stats:
[Housing market analyst Ingo] Winzer thinks prices in Florida will drop even more, another 5% in 2011 and 3% in 2012. “Even after that, they’re not going to rebound, they’ll just sit on the bottom,” he said.
“If you’re buying for investment — don’t.”