(SFGN, 7/17/17)

Last time I said I would be continuing my theme of community by expanding my Real Estate Yearbook into some new areas, outside of WilMa and Broward, that may prove to be attractive community candidates.

Anyone who has been out shopping for a new home (or considering selling a property) knows that prices in Broward County, and especially in places like the Island City, have gone beyond the reach of many full time area residents and readers of this publication.

Skyrocketing prices, as we have seen in recent years, could make development of diverse and vibrant communities all the more difficult. I’m targeting a Labor Day release of my 2017 Yearbook on pricing, sales and inventory trends (with some teasers for all of you and some timed to the Florida Realtors convention next month). You’ll see the facts there on where we stand economically in key areas.

I suggested in my “Fabulous? Or Basic?” column that there might be some new community options worthy of consideration. First, let’s look about 35 minutes’ drive north of WilMa (depending on traffic of course) to the city of Lake Worth.

I’ve tested the notion of Lake Worth out on my Facebook wall a few times. Many scoff at it, saying basically “Are you kidding, James?” Well I am deadly serious. I happen to think Lake Worth is a very interesting city, with an artsy feel, historic business district, and some cool architecture the likes of which are very rarely seen in Broward.

Also if you look at the Census numbers, more than a few LGBTQ+ folks have already made Lake Worth their home. You won’t be the first “family” members there, should you take the plunge.

So let’s peel back the onion a bit and go straight (or gayly forward, if you prefer) to the numbers.

I will save the inventory analysis for later, but the charts here show pricing and sales trends. Bear in mind, as I mentioned in the prior column, I would focus on the areas east of Federal, and on College Park, in evaluating Lake Worth presently.

Most of you probably know that prices in the Island City have pretty much doubled since the 2011 trough. You can look into East Wilton and easily find single family homes selling (or trying to be sold, perhaps more accurately) in the $600-700,000 range.

Lake Worth is different.

Yes, prices have been climbing, but not nearly to the degree as in WilMa and other parts of Broward. On a rolling six-month basis, the median selling price of a single family home in these parts of Lake Worth is now $301,000. And the vast majority of homes are under $400k. Further, as I indicated in the prior column, many of these homes have a certain sense of style and quality rarely seen in Broward, as they were designed and built in (what is for south Florida anyway) the bygone and more genteel era of the 1930s.

The trend has been for 25-30 sales to occur there every quarter. You’ll usually have a nice assortment of options. And as I said, you’re not impossibly far from WilMa and you’re very close to West Palm and Palm Beach, where numerous social and cultural options exist.

Worth-y of your consideration. Get it?

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