DALLAS - Oct. 27, 2014 // PRNewswire // - Another sign of economic improvement? Real estate investment in Florida, hit by a hurricane of bad news during the recession, appears to be rebounding strongly, according to new quarterly data compiled by HomeVestors of America (the "We Buy Ugly Houses"® people) and Local Market Monitor, the national real estate forecaster.
The quarterly data, which is developed by Local Market Monitor, categorizes 300 U.S. markets according to different investor risk preferences including Dangerous, Speculative, Medium Risk and Low Risk. The list also ranks the markets 1-300 for attractiveness of investment opportunities.
Florida cities lead this quarter's list with four markets in the Top 10 - Orlando (1), Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (3), Cape Coral-Fort Myers (7) and North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota (8). Florida also leads the nation in the number of markets ranked "low risk" with 16.
"Until recently, most Florida markets were too risky for investment; home prices were going up, but mainly because of speculation of foreclosed properties," noted Ingo Winzer, president and founder of Local Market Monitor. "However, because of tourism, foreign investment and an increase in local jobs, fundamental demand for housing has returned, especially for rentals."
Nationally, HomeVestors also is seeing real estate investment continuing to gain steam. "HomeVestors is seeing historical record growth, both in terms of home sales and franchisee growth having just recently added its 500th franchise - just another indicator of the strong interest being shown in buying single family homes for income," said David Hicks, HomeVestors co-president. "Despite the steady increase in home prices over the past year, there are many markets where conditions, such as job growth and unemployment, are right for investing in single family homes."
Texas markets, which consistently has been a sweet spot for real estate investment, continued its streak with three cities in the top five: Houston (2), Dallas (4) and Austin (5), thanks to an accelerated economy and shale oil and gas production. Texas scored 15 markets ranked as low risk, and California is third with 14.
Rounding out the Top 10 list are western cities - Denver (6), Seattle (8) and Boise (10), while noticeably absent are markets in New England and the Midwest. "Denver's involvement in the energy boom happening throughout the West has made that market more attractive for renters, while Seattle and Boise have seen an increase in population due to their large technology sector," said Winzer.
According to HomeVestors co-president Ken Channel, "Our franchisees in the Northeast and the Midwest are experiencing growth, but at a slightly slower pace than the top 10 markets. Their opportunity to hold properties is not as great as those markets listed in the top rankings.
"For investors willing to take a risk, "speculative" markets could pose a significant advantage. These markets typically have weak home prices, but improving unemployment numbers combined with some job growth make them attractive investments," explained Channell. "It's always important to weight the data carefully before making a decision about investing in a market."
Among those listed as "speculative" markets are Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlantic City and Buffalo. The three cities ranked as "dangerous" (Anniston-Oxford, AL; Albany, GA; Johnstown, PA) all are characterized by persistently high unemployment, low population growth and job growth.
The data identifies markets that will be good rental markets and where home prices are likely to increase at a good rate over the next few years. Criteria include markets where:
Dallas-based HomeVestors of America, Inc. is the largest professional house buying franchise in the U.S., with over 56,000 houses bought since 1996. HomeVestors recruits, trains and supports its independently owned and operated franchisees that specialize in building businesses based on buying, rehabbing, selling and holding residential properties. Most commonly known as the "We Buy Ugly Houses®" company, HomeVestors strives to make a positive impact in each community. In 2013, for the eighth consecutive year, HomeVestors was among the prestigious Franchise Business Review's "Top 50 Franchises," a distinction awarded to franchisors with the highest level of franchisee satisfaction. For more information, visit www.HomeVestors.com. In 2014 HomeVestors was recognized as the 25th fastest growing franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine and number 126 in the Franchise 500 by Entrepreneur Magazine.
Local Market Monitor, the premier real estate forecasting solution, offers investors in homes and home mortgages the local market risk intelligence they need to make informed decisions. Using a proprietary formula called the Equilibrium Home Price, Local Market Monitor determines if markets are currently over or under valued, equipping users with a long-term risk and investment perspective. Covering over 300 local markets, Local Market Monitor also presents key investors with a 12, 24 and 36-month home price forecast. The solution includes sorting capabilities allowing subscribers to view and compare real estate markets along various metrics, including an Investment Suitability Ratings to identify opportunities based on individual investing goals. To learn more, visit www.localmarketmonitor.com or call 800-881-8653.
SOURCE HomeVestors of America Inc.