Oakland Park among 7 Broward cities where median home values have more than doubled.
During a five-year run of real estate prosperity, some South Florida communities that bore the brunt of the excruciating housing collapse are enjoying the biggest spikes in value, including Oakland Park, homeowners and brokers say.
Oakland Park, Margate and Lake Worth are among seven cities in Broward and Palm Beach counties where median home values have more than doubled compared to 2012, according to Zillow, the real estate website.
In Oakland Park, for example, the median value in April was $189,600, 107 percent higher than it was in April 2012, at the start of the housing recovery.
Near the peak of the pre-recession boom in April 2006, the city’s median had ballooned to $259,000 before plummeting 65 percent, one of the worst slides in Broward.
Richmond, Va., transplants Lynda Somers Donahue and her husband, J.D., bought a home last year two blocks off Federal Highway near the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park.
The couple paid $397,000, but Donahue, a real estate agent, estimates the two-bedroom home with a den already has gained $50,000 in value with only minor improvements, including new cabinets in the kitchen and spruced-up terrazzo floors in the bedrooms.
“It’s a very safe neighborhood,” she said. “We ride our bicycles all over the place, and people say ‘hi’ to each other. I don’t think you could find a better spot.”
Values in other hard-hit areas — North Lauderdale, Palm Springs, Greenacres and Lantana — also have rebounded sharply following the six-year downturn.
“We feel very fortunate,” said Rich Thorpe, a repair manager for Pratt & Whitney who bought a home last summer with his wife, Raeann, for $312,000 in the River Bridge development in Greenacres, in the central part of Palm Beach County. “You can definitely tell values are going up in the neighborhood. There’s lots of house pride here. People are constantly making updates.”
A handful of cities, including Lake Park, West Park and Tamarac, fell just short of 100 percent increases.
Values have increased substantially all across Broward and Palm Beach counties during the past five years, though some upscale areas haven’t seen as much of a rebound. The smallest gains belong to Parkland (34 percent), Atlantis (47) and Highland Beach (49).
With some exceptions, the communities sporting the biggest price gains over the past five years are made up of modest homes in working-class neighborhoods that struggled mightily once the housing boom ended.
Tom Wolf is a Oakland Park Realtor. Focused on Home Buyers, Sellers, and Real Estate Investments in the Fort Lauderdale area.
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