Unnecessarily restrictive underwriting standards continue to prevent many qualified buyers from obtaining mortgages. While standards were not strict enough during the subprime mortgage crisis, now the pendulum has swung too far. Eliminating or reducing excessive restrictions would further boost our market and provide much needed mortgage financing to our residents.
Miami’s position as a global city, combined with its strategic location, its role in international banking and as an international corporate hub, and its multicultural affinity will continue to attract both U.S. and international buyers and investors long into the future.
Demand for housing is evident. We have a strong rental market, nearly 100 percent residential occupancy rates in downtown Miami, and a growing population. Also the dynamics of our market are very different from those of the last boom in terms of the capital being used to fund new projects. Many new projects are being funded by much heavier deposits from purchasers. Miami’s ability to absorb high levels of inventory is unparalleled. New construction which is within our increased acceptable ranges will have no problem.Q. Do you think that banks will be able to sell off their distressed residential holdings without disrupting the broader market? That is, do you expect the shadow inventory to be absorbed without major upheaval to the recovery in South Florida housing?
We don’t expect shadow inventory to significantly impact our market in the future, because it will be absorbed as soon as it hits the market as buyers, investors and the market are waiting for and need more inventory — as we have seen, and was confirmed by the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.
Also, research by Florida Realtors indicates that concern over shadow inventory in Florida is probably highly overrated, because shadow inventory is easing while sufficient demand absorbs supply.
Distressed sales have declined 12 percent in Miami-Dade County compared to year-ago levels, and there continues to be great demand for distressed properties. Further, in many cases one same property generated more than one lis pendens [notice of foreclosure], erroneously indicating much higher shadow inventory than the reality.