September 19, 2018

Fort Lauderdale Rental Property Owners Beware

Fort Lauderdale Real Estate is a market that has seen the worst over the last five years since its peak in approximately 2006. Notice I say “approximately 2006” as even this, the time frame at which the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate market peaked, remains not a fact and often a subject of debate. Everyone appears to claim to have a crystal ball about the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate market and as far as this Fort Lauderdale Realtor sees it, every one of the crystal ball owners would have sold their property sometime years back, been living in a rental, and purchased a home sometime about a year ago. The reality is that anyone who did was much luckier than they were skillful at timing the real estate market.

The best methods of timing the real estate market is what I refer to as, momentum plays. Simply, this means you have waited for the bottom, missed it, and are investing in the market as it goes up. Likewise, if you see a peak coming you are prepared to react and sell accordingly even though you know as we discussed prior your crystal ball will never select the absolute peak of any market. As with any market the best thing to react to is information. For the owners of Fort   Lauderdale rental properties the information is out that could be generating concern about valuations.

Concern about the value of Fort Lauderdale rental properties comes from a simple fact the true value of an investment is a product of the cash flow it generates. Once we accept this fact it is easy to see that the massive numbers of people who lost homes to foreclosures or short sale over the last few years generated a massive amount of renters, and therefore rents increased throughout Fort Lauderdale and BrowardCounty. This was good news for owners such as myself who held on to a severely upside down property.

Extremely low interest rates called for investors to seek higher returns anywhere they could. The quantity of investors clamoring for the returns that they could get on rental properties drove up the price of these properties. The higher the price, the lower percentage returns. Today rental property prices are very high and unless your rental property is totally unique for some reason, many owners may start thinking of heading for the door, as the supply equation is about to shift.

Armed with facts it is easy to see why rental prices could start falling especially for smaller individually owned properties. First, the cranes are everywhere from State Road 84 to Sunrise Blvd, there are thousands of rentals being built and more to come. Supply and demand is a long proven science. As the supply increases rentals prices will falter. Large rental owners are being very aggressive about ease of entry. No longer asking for first, last and security, tenants with responsible credit can often move in for less than $500. All these events plus the addition of the return of mortgage credit for the people who became renters just two years ago does not bode well for  Fort Lauderdale rental property owners.

If you have a great tenant today, treat them well.  Keep them happy and in place, and this may be the time to not consider rent increases on new leases.