What’s going to happen in 2011?

 By Chris Mitchell, managing director of Howards estate agents in Norfolk and Suffolk

Many of us have returned to work this week after a long Christmas break which overlapped with the coldest spell of recent times that saw temperatures plunging to record low’s across the region. Add to this further chilly news in relation to mortgage lending at the end of 2010 and those in the industry could be forgiven for looking forward to those warm summer days when buyers are out and about and holidays to the forefront of everyone’s mind.

So by way of light relief let’s consider the current situation in a place where many of us have been on holiday and considered buying property – by this of course I mean the sunshine state, Florida that most popular of destinations for the British where many purchased  properties during those fondly remembered days of easy finance and low interest rates. Those of us who looked and didn’t buy can consider themselves somewhat fortunate given what has happened and compared to which we over on this side of the pond have had the smallest of blips. As a result opportunities abound for those investors who sat out the boom on the sidelines. Property prices in popular holiday destinations near to Disney  such as Kissimmee have been decimated as a result of the crash and there has never been a better time to buy. Quality detached properties with a myriad of features are for sale at between $50 – $100 per square foot i.e. £32 – £64 per square foot. These are modern dwellings close to the world’s major theme park attractions with all imaginable amenities and floor areas ranging between 1500sq  ft and 3000 sq ft; in other words spacious and desirable luxury homes in many cases adjacent to golf or water facilities.To put this in to context it is feasible to sell a  120 year old, two bedroom, one bathroom terraced house in Norwich and purchase a  5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home four times the size in a gated community with lakes and Golf next door for the same money.  So for those attracted to life or retirement in a somewhat warmer climate the opportunities have never been greater or the values more attractive !

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