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Snowbirds buying up properties in South Florida

real estate
Posted at 4:55 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-07 13:45:18-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — As U.S. reopens its borders to nonessential land travel next week, many Canadians are packing their bags and making offers for homes in an already hot real estate market in South Florida. However, some are running into a problem-- inventory.

WPTV's Josh Navarro has more.

Christina Lopez of Royal Palm Residences in east Boca Raton said she’s receiving calls and selling units to folks from up north.

“The activity is just picking up. We just sold a unit to someone from New York, a few families from Boston, some from Chicago,” said Lopez. “I would say we have a pretty good mix of snowbirds, a few full-time residents here. However, the majority of the snowbirds are coming from the northeast and Canada.”

She said it’s a trend they've been seeing in the last couple of months. She believes people are ready to come back to South Florida from up north after last year’s pandemic restrictions have eased.

“People are really realizing that home is everything. So, people now are making decisions to have a place to live in another destination, focusing on the family, spending more money on real estate. Because what else you have in your home is everything, your families are everything,” Lopez said. “So, I think that has really driven buyers to ultimately make that purchase that they were going to make yours down the road, now.”

Jeff Lichtenstein is the owner of Echo Fine Properties in Palm Beach Gardens.

He said as many of them cheer as snowbirds return to make South Florida their winter home --- everyone is running into a problem --- inventory.

“Right now, if you look at last year where inventory was way down at this time, and we are running into this problem it’s now down 42% in single-family homes in Palm Beach County,” said Lichtenstein. “It’s down over 50% in the condo market.”

This could be a big reason why prices are going much higher than before.

“We don't have 20 developments going on, which is what we had in 2007-2008 or we built for the next eight years and we had to absorb that we don’t have that situation today,” Lichtenstein said. “The inventory is inventory and if there’s nowhere to build there’s nowhere to build. Unless you go farther north and we’re seeing some of that and farther west.”