BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County homeowners got a little richer this year.
Property values in the area have skyrocketed over the past 12 months, which is unexpected news from the county appraiser.
The reasons why may be surprising to some.
“Snowbirds are coming down with all cash offers and driving up the price,” said Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan.
Commissioners got the snapshot this week from the county property appraiser, along with a theory.
“It really has a lot to do with COVID,” Commissioner Mark Bogen said. “People from New England buying properties, which I kind of look at as an anomaly.”
Anomaly or not, the commission will be deciding on a tax rate this year based on home values now.
The one-year jump is substantial, as Broward’s median home sale in January of 2020 was $280,000.
In January of 2021 it has jumped to $315,000, a 12.5 percent increase.
“If people are coming from out of state or whatever, it’s still having the same impact on the ability of people to find a place to live,” said Commissioner Nan Rich.
The downside of higher home values is that the area becomes a more expensive place to live, a place where the wage gap is already wide and made worse by a covid-wrecked economy.
“For our purposes, every year stands on its own, and there is a good chance that next year maybe values will start coming down,” said property appraiser Marty Kiar.
The big question is whether this year was a bubble or a trend.
Or, perhaps, just part of the up-and-down housing market cycle South Florida has seen for decades.
Time will tell.