Zillow: SoFla ranks fifth for housing confidence

Miami skyline (Credit: Creative Commons)
Miami skyline (Credit: Creative Commons)

Residents of South Florida are some of the most confident in the country when it comes to the local housing market, but much less so than in the beginning of this year, according to a new survey from Zillow.

The real estate website sent out a survey to 10,000 renters and homeowners across the country to collect opinions on the health of their respective housing markets. Respondents from the Miami metropolitan area, which encompasses Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, said the market here is doing just fine. South Florida’s confidence ranked fifth in the United States, behind Phoenix, Denver, Washington D.C. and San Jose in the top spot.

However, that confidence has fallen quite a bit since January, when Zillow sent out its first survey of the year. In that month, local residents had the second-highest confidence in the country.

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That trend of decreasing confidence was reflected all across the United States, according to the July report. Zillow analysts chalk this up to Americans coming down from the high that was the housing market’s explosive recovery from its crash in the late 2000s.

“The housing market is slowing down, and Americans’ confidence in the future of the market is understandably fading a bit, too,” Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, wrote in the report. “Despite remaining quite confident overall, homeowners are less confident about the future than they are about the present. Seeing still stronger than normal home value appreciation in markets like San Francisco and Seattle might remind them of the last housing bubble. But the good news is things are leveling off with no crash in sight. If incomes rise to keep up with home values – and that’s a big if – people can count on homeownership in their future, even in hot markets.”

Indeed, respondents from the Miami metro market gave mixed feedback. A larger percentage of renters said they’re interested in buying a home within the next year, as compared to a few months ago. Out of all the South Florida renters who responded to the survey, 21 percent said they’re planning to buy a home in the next 12 months. That data, which was recorded in July, reflects a 1 percent increase of people so inclined from when the survey was last given in January.

Despite that increase, fewer residents think now is the right time to buy a home in the Miami metro — though more than half still say yes. Roughly 63 percent of those surveyed said the market is ripe for buying a home, while a total of 67 percent thought so in January. Strangely enough, fewer people also think now is the time to sell a home, too. Of those who responded, 56 percent said it was a good time to sell a home when they were polled in July. That’s down from 60 percent in January.