Since the housing market started recovering from the recession, Miami’s skyline and cranes have begun to pull out condos out of the ground. But, this success story is not confined to housing in South Florida. Martha Brannigan is not only covering real estate for the Miami Herald but also working on a series called Boom, Bust and Back.
She has been analyzing housing prices since the last 12 years. It is said that she has gross experience in the real estate market. She knows housing price rate of every zip code in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
WLRN: What was really shocking to you while reporting this series?
Martha Brannigan: I think the diversion in the facts and figures after the recession recovery. Our prime focus was on recreational activities that was why we were focusing on boom and the condominium market. In some areas of Miami, condition of people is still dilapidated. They are really struggling and housing is inevitably a part of it.
You write, “38 percent of the working households in Miami spend at least half of their income on housing.” In neighborhoods, that are supposed to be cheaper, why are some families still spending this much on housing?
Martha Brannigan: Miami is supposed to be one of those places where rentals are extremely expensive. There is big value of lands here. However builders come here and build their property. In this area, people cannot afford their own property however they prefer a rental which is main source of inspiration of many builders. Besides, people cannot meet with mortgage standards and they have no option except the rentals.
What are some other trends you see happening five, 10, 15 years from now? Where do you think we’re going to be then?
In Miami, people love to walk. They do not like to have their own cars. This is what makes this city vertical. Brickell area is worth citing example in this regard. Besides, people of Miami have started building their own streets for walking purpose that is totally different thing from South Florida.
Affording those new units is going to be difficult. Where do you think low-income families are going to go?
That is really tough to answer though. People are trying to build affordable housing for middle class of the city. Actually, builders are facing serious tax related problems however they do not make housing for non-profit purpose.