housing bubble

  The South Florida housing market is on the mend, according to the latest foreclosure numbers from RealtyTrac. The numbers paint a bright road for future homeowners, but don't mean much for those under foreclosure now.

Miami saw the second highest foreclosure rate among the 20 largest metro areas in August, averaging one foreclosure filing for every 568 housing units.

Miami Herald

Florida remains one of the states with the highest foreclosure rate, according to a new report from real estate firm RealtyTrac. The Sunshine State has four of the five metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates: Tampa, Lakeland, Jacksonville and Ocala.

But compared to last year, foreclosures are down and, according to Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac, a lot of the bad loans that led the nation into the housing crisis are cycling out of the system.

Creative Commons / Flickr user VeggieFrog

Since the local housing market picked up after the recession, Miami’s skyline includes a growing number of cranes pulling condos out of the ground. But the success story is not the only story of housing here in South Florida.

Martha Brannigan covers real estate for the Miami Herald and she has been working on a series called "Boom, Bust and Back."

Something about housing stats in particular seems a bit more voyeuristic than say, just the average age of a neighborhood's residents. Housing numbers create a figurative window into people’s private spheres that is a bit uncomfortable at times, but the stats help visualize in a different way the place we call home.

Here's a list of websites that map different aspects of Miami's housing market:

Wilson Sayre

Foreign investors have been gobbling up properties all over South Florida, often paying with cash. And banks are less willing to take a risk with families who need financing in lieu of cash.

This affects the percentage of income South Floridians spend on housing, because when it's harder to purchase a house, more people rent. And when more people are renting, rent prices go up.

For six years now, home-seeker Lionel Lightbourne has been looking for a home with his wife and the seven kids they have between them, aged 15 to 28.

I resigned a position in November 2012. The income was decent, but the position I resigned was 42 miles north in Broward County. Gas and tolls cost about $600 per month. While the pay was a very good income seven years ago, a lack of raises meant it was no longer adequate. In the past few years we have seen drastic increases in home insurance cost, gas, health insurance, food, and electricity. Yet income levels have not increased to keep pace with the expenses.

Eric Barton

At the height of the construction boom in 2006, Miami sprouted the second-fastest growing skyline in the world, behind Dubai. You could count over 70 cranes crowding each other out, like a tower of steel giraffes voraciously feeding on concrete.