A new report shows that the Florida real estate market has returned to its pre-crisis levels, after a year that saw prices soar to their highest levels in nearly two decades.
The Florida Real Estate Association reported Wednesday that median home values increased by $15,000 last year, to an average of $5,500 per home.
The average price of a home in Florida rose by nearly $200,000, to $1.2 million.
The number of foreclosures in Florida jumped by nearly 6 percent to a record 578, with an estimated $1 trillion worth of homes under the water.
As for the housing market in general, Florida is a relatively stable market, said Scott Satterfield, president of the Florida Realestate Association.
But the recovery has slowed since last year.
The group’s latest data shows that home sales in Florida dropped by nearly 7 percent to 9,958, while the number of foreclosure cases went up by nearly 1 percent to 7,943.
The association expects more gains this year, as more foreclosing cases and forecloses begin to subside.
However, Satterfels says Florida is in a recovery mode.
“We’re going to continue to see some stabilization as we go into 2019,” he said.
“That will probably take us through 2019, but not for a year.”
Still, Florida’s housing market continues to suffer from the lingering effects of the 2008-2009 recession.
A recent national survey found that a third of Floridians still don’t have health insurance, and more than 1 in 10 have a job.
Florida has seen a record number of people move away from the state, as the state saw a record 3.7 million people leave the state in the past year.
“I think the housing industry in Florida is doing just fine,” Satterford said.
However the number who left has dropped sharply.
A January survey of more than 300 Floridian adults found that just 25 percent of them had a mortgage.
Satterfeels optimistic about the state’s housing stock.
“There’s going to be a lot of new people in there,” he added.
“You can’t keep them out.”
Satterfurth is hopeful that the recent uptick in sales will help the state maintain a robust housing market.
“If we can get the people to stay in the market, and stay in it, it will bring us back to where we were before.”
The state is also on the mend from Hurricane Matthew, which caused massive damage to the state.
Sutterfield said the state is on track to meet the deadline to build a $1 billion bridge that will connect Florida’s eastern shore to Lake Okeechobee, as well as the southern part of the state near Fort Lauderdale.
But he said construction of the new bridge, which will be paid for by the state and the federal government, is expected to take years to complete.
“When it’s done, we’ll have the longest span of bridge in the world,” he told ABC News.