The Real Deal Miami

Broward leads South Florida in short sale activity

By Alexander Britell | August 03, 2010 06:00PM

A short sale listed in Miramar

There were 2,331 pre-foreclosure sales in Broward County in the first quarter, the most in the tri-county area, according to research conducted by online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac for The Real Deal. (In general, 75 percent of pre-foreclosure sales are shorts.)

The Broward number represented a 41 percent increase over the same period in 2009.

“That’s probably true,” said Lloyd Feinberg, a Coldwell Banker broker based in Hollywood who deals heavily in bank-related transactions.

“It just goes along with the fact that the short-sale activity is tremendous here, which will probably lead to even higher REO activity. That’s what we’re seeing. It seems that the majority of closings and pending sales are sitting in REO and short-sale activity.”

Feinberg said the reason for the higher number of short sales in Broward could have been a greater willingness for banks to lend during the boom in the area.

“I think Broward was the hub of some unscrupulous lending,” he said.

Miami-Dade County saw 2,046 short sales in the same period, and there were 36 percent more short sales in the county than in the same period last year.

Palm Beach saw 1,315 sales in the first quarter, up from 1,013 in the same quarter of last year. Its average sales price was the highest in South Florida, at $163,769.

“In these economic times, people don’t have the ability to close most properties, they look at short sales instead,” Feinberg said.

The Florida county with the most short sales in the first quarter was Orange County, which saw 2,459 from January to March.