Florida real estate experts predict long recovery: UF survey

Despite steadily rising sales volume in South Florida, real estate experts and investors were generally pessimistic about the future of the area’s market in the third quarter, according to a quarterly survey released today by the University of Florida’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. It was the second consecutive quarter of pessimism.

The pessimism was attributed to the glut of foreclosures statewide and poor employment numbers. Florida has experienced a net gain of just 7,000 jobs since January, keeping the unemployment rate at about 10.6 percent. Further, a lack of capital in the marketplace is stifling construction and the availability of home mortgages.

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But those same factors are spurring a healthy rental market, which according to the 231 real estate professionals surveyed, is the “best performing asset.”

“Where we go from here depends on macro-economic forces, ranging from the debt crisis in Europe to the many we have here at home,” said Bergstrom Center Director Timothy Becker. — Adam Fusfeld