This week in real estate market reports

South Florida cities are going green and bringing in the ultra wealthy

Apr.April 23, 2015 02:15 PM

The Miami skyline

Florida has most seriously underwater homes

Florida tied for first in a list of the states with the most seriously underwater homes for the first quarter of 2015.

Seriously underwater homes — where the combined loan amount secured by a property is at least 25 percent higher than the market value of the property — made up a staggering 24 percent of all homes in the state, according to RealtyTrac.

Despite the ranking, Florida’s percentage of underwater homes has dropped almost 8 percent since the first quarter of last year. Florida tied with Illinois, which had a 2.4-percent increase in underwater loans since the fourth quarter of last year.

Florida attracts the ultra-wealthy

Florida is a top destination for the ultra wealthy, according to a luxury market report from Coldwell Banker Previews International.

The report reinforced what many Realtors have been saying: Florida’s lack of a state income tax makes it an attractive destination for high net worth individuals, especially from northeastern states such as New York and Connecticut.

“Florida is one of the most attractive places to live from a tax perspective, so we get quite a few people who decide to live here for at least six months and a day each year,” said Clark Toole of Coldwell Banker, in a statement. “People are saying ‘I want this money to go to my kids instead of to pay taxes.’”

Miami and West Palm going green

Miami and West Palm Beach made the list of the greenest cities in the U.S. The two cities ranked 24th and 23rd, respectively, out of the 24 cities named by The Daily Beast.

More than half of Miami’s residents are eco-conscious and recycle, according to the list, and the city’s high use of public transportation nabbed it the last spot.

West Palm Beach beat Miami by a few percentage points in both categories, though its use of public transportation was less than half that of Miami’s.

Honolulu, Hawaii, led the ranking.

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