Before you vote for that property tax increase in South Florida...

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Important headlines for August 23rd – Before you vote for that property tax increase in South Florida... 

Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...  

Excerpt: A new study by Attom Data Solutions shows Florida had one of the highest rates of foreclosure starts in the U.S. in July, compared to the same period last year. The report, which tracked foreclosure filings issued by county governments on single-family homes and condos, shows one in every 1,180 housing units in Florida — a 35 percent increase year-over-year — was subjected to a “lis pendens,” which is a filing by a bank warning of pending foreclosure activity due to late payment. Only three other states — New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland — had higher rates of foreclosure starts.

Hot Take: As is cited in the story the increase likely is influenced by last year’s hurricane season (lenders didn’t start the foreclosure process in hurricane impacted areas until several months after the fact last year for obvious reasons). But there is enough of an upward trend – four months of year over year increases and counting – to keep an eye on. 

I’m not the least bit concerned about a repeat crisis of what happened just over a decade ago. The foreclosure rate was about three times what it is today, only around 10% of purchases were made with cash compared to over 30% currently and the most dangerous loans aren’t legal let alone available today. However, what we very well may be seeing is the one-two impact of above average cost of living combined with rising interest rates coming back to bite those most vulnerable and susceptible to them. For those with variable rate loans they’re only becoming more expensive by the month. For those who stretched to get into a home in the first place something as seemingly small as insurance renewals and property tax increases could create a negative catalyst. This is a reminder to think awfully hard before voting in more property tax increases this fall. It’s not just about whether you personally can afford it. Increasing property taxes could lead to people losing the roofs over their heads.  

Until Tomorrow... 

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