Friday, June 13, 2014

Real estate market in Miami-Dade advances its recovery

The tax basis of properties of the Miami-Dade County increased 6.5 percent compared to last year, the biggest gain since the historic collapse of the housing market that greatly damaged the economy of the region and forced the local governments to tighten their belts to survive.

"The center and oceanfront homes go ahead. These areas are stronger than the western suburbs and the south end of the county, "said Lazaro Solis, property appraiser of Miami-Dade. "Apparently we have a very strong market for real estate. We have taken a drastic turn up in poor areas, although there are still things to improve. "

For some municipalities, the largest growth than expected means at least a relief when balancing the budgets for fiscal years beginning on or after 1st. October. But for others, especially Miami-Dade County, which has a budget gap of about $ 200 million coming until next fiscal year, a larger taxable income will not solve the problems.

Among the municipalities that enjoy robust earnings are Miami Beach (9.4%), Surfside (17.6%) and Sunny Isles Beach (11%). Which had weaker results were Florida City (down 1.3%), Opa-locka (down 1.5%) and Medley (down 2.6%).

"For the most affluent neighborhoods are doing better than those who are not wealthy," Solis said. Liberty City and north-central area of ​​the county, for example, are moving more work to recover from the sharp drop in values ​​that took place between 2008 and 2011.

The growth in property values ​​in Miami-Dade, a county that comprises more than one million properties, reached $ 209,937,000,000 until the 1st. January, a little less than $ 210,000 million.

In addition to the real estate sector, the growth reflects changes in tangible personal property. FPL's investments in Turkey Point nuclear facility, for example, they added about $ 500 million in taxable income, Solis said.

Preliminary values ​​of property taxes are used by cities and counties to tax when making their budgets for 2014-15 and send rates property tax, the tax paid per $ 1,000 of taxable value.

"We look forward to the commissioners several options for them to enfrentrar some needs of the community," said Jimmy Morales, manager of Miami Beach. "It gives us some flexibility as we approach the new year."

Miami Beach could devote part of the increase to the ambitious projects undertaken to mitigate floods and problems regarding sea level rise, Morales said. In February, the city decided to use estimates of high tides at the time of building projects in the city to install new pumping out water from the streets, all at a cost of approximately $ 400 million. Moreover, growth could allow Miami Beach cutting taxes, building on increases during the worst of the economic crisis.

Elected officials, Morales said, can decide whether to "use the money to make some improvements or return it to the taxpayers.''

The preliminary report of the property appraiser, which will be adjusted and finished 1st. July also emphasizes the irregular has been the recovery of real estate industry in South Florida.

"The neighborhoods in the coastal area ... continue to show a strong real estate market with high growth. Some parts of the county that were hit hardest by the recession, Hialeah, Homestead and El Portal, have experienced the most substantial growth in 2014. However, Opa-locka, Florida City and Medley still not fully recovered and property values ​​continue to fall, "Solis said in the statement.

For this year, the value of the properties of Hialeah recovered by 4.7%, which means a big change compared to 2013, when property values ​​fell 3.5%.

For Miami-Dade, Friday's report was a pleasant surprise, but not something that will radically change the landscape. Economic experts forecast an increase of 4 percent rather than the 6.5 percent gain. The Budget Office of Miami-Dade said he has not yet determined how the new estimates could impact the earnings forecasts, although a quick glance at the numbers suggest that earnings could be around $ 20 million.

In a statement, Mayor Carlos Gimenez warned that healthy earnings outlook will not stop him demanding further concessions to the unions, including the proposed 10 percent reductions and benefits. The "net improvement is still not enough to avoid significant reductions in the operating budget of the county," Gimenez said. "Moreover, growth is not so great that it can overcome the increasingly high personal costs of collective agreements."

Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade schools, said the increase in property values ​​makes it highly unlikely that the school district's tax rate has to be increased, but warned that the growth of home values ​​not fallen from heaven means money for the school system. By complicated formula of local / state funding for schools every year is the state that determines how much local taxpayers expected to contribute. In fact it is the state Floridian, who at first instance set tax rates to district property which then appear in the account property taxes.

Despite significant gains in property values ​​in some areas, homeowners exemptions from property taxes will see their value increases up to 1.5% this year, based on the amendment to the Florida Save Our Homes (Saving our homes). The amendment increases the limit on the value of the exemption to the property to 3 percent or the consumer price index, either to be lower. For homes that do not have property exemption, increases in values ​​are limited to 10 percent a year under the laws of Florida.

This makes it the third straight year in which the property values ​​rise after four consecutive years of declines during the devastating housing crisis that plunged into a swamp to the economy of the region and forced governments to make controversial and painful cuts budget.

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