This month we are publishing a series of insightful articles on the South Florida Real Estate market and the advantageous market conditions drawing more and more foreign buyers, led by the Canadians. We also will touch on recent tax changes in the Bahamas, as well our signature "tasty" articles from "Island Cuisine and Tropical Libations"
International Sales Continue to Climb in U.S.
Due to low prices and the relative weakness of the dollar, international buyers continue to identify the U.S. as a desirable place to own property and make a profitable investment. According to the National Association of Realtors® 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, total residential international sales in the U.S. for the past year ending March 2012 equaled $82.4 billion, up from $66.4 billion in 2011. Total international sales were evenly split between non-resident foreigners and recent immigrants. Read More .
Canadian Business Expanding South
The United States is the most popular market for Canadian business owners looking to expand internationally, according to a new report from BMO Bank of Montreal. Europe ranked second, despite ongoing economic and political uncertainty.
The survey results compare business owners' views from a year ago; they appear to reflect a strengthening U.S. economy, with 68 per cent looking to expand south of the border - up 12 per cent from 2011. Read More Read MorR
Canadian Tourism Hits New Highs
Newly released data shows a record 62 million foreign visits to the U.S. last year - including a most-ever 21 million trips by Canadians, by far the most from any country. The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the record 21 million Canadian visits to the U.S. last year - each visit defined as a minimum one-night stay - generated just under $24 billion, a record haul for American firms serving Canadian tourists and business travellers. Read More
Sales of Bank Owned Properties
South Florida’s recent surge in foreclosure-processing activity hasn’t yet had an impact on the number of distressed sales, according to data released today by RealtyTrac. Foreclosure sales in South Florida actually fell 8 percent to 11,038 in the first three months of this year, down from 11,995 in the same period in 2011, according to RealtyTrac. But activity increased by 25 percent compared to the last quarter of 2011, a sign that distressed sales activity could be picking up steam. Read More
A Northern Tiger
The Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century program at the Aspen Institute recently released a new paper by Canadian-American economist Jeremy Leonard on how Canada successfully addressed fiscal and competitiveness problems similar to those in the United States today.
This paper chronicles the systematic ways Canada in the 1990s and beyond went about solving its federal fiscal deficit problem. It also outlines some of the steps—free trade agreements, replacing a tax on manufactured goods exports, lowering taxes, improving supply chain integration within North America, and bolstering scientific research—that were designed to help improve competitiveness. Read More
Bahamas Stamp Tax Reduction
An outspoken Realtor who recently urged a reduction in stamp tax, pleading that 12% of nothing is nothing today applauded government’s intention to roll back the one-time fee on residential property transactions from 12% to 10% and to place a cap on annual property taxes. Mario Carey, founder of Mario Carey Realty, went further, asking government to consider extending the reversal of the 2% stamp tax increase to all property transactions. Read More
Rental Boom in South Florida
The nationwide rental boom is moving to South Florida, where, for the first time in years, developers are rushing to build apartment buildings in cities from Plantation and Davie to Doral and Coral Gables, the Miami Herald reported. “Rentals will be in demand for a while,” said Mahesh Pattabhiraman, chief lending officer for Miami-based Apollo Bank. “The pendulum has swung.” Last month, Apollo Bank got on the rental bandwagon, making a land-acquisition loan to Miami’s Adler Group, which plans to build two 20-story rental apartment towers near the west end of the 79th Street Causeway. Read More
The term “shadow inventory” hangs over the real estate market, suggesting a thinly veiled catastrophe seen through the mist, just as the passengers of the Titanic watched an iceberg draw closer. However, a white paper written by Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo finds the fear of a shadow inventory overrated. “The fear … is that the inventory of delinquent and foreclosed loans (will be released onto) an already weakened market,” says Tuccillo. “(But) the reality, even in Florida where distressed properties make up a significant portion of the market, appears to be different.” Read More
Broward County Home Inventory Shrinking
It continues to be a tough market for prospective homebuyers in Broward County.
The latest inventory report from the Keyes Co. shows 11,582 homes and condominiums for sale in Broward. There are only 5,200 single-family homes available, less than half the amount from 2008 and 2009, Keyes agent Chip Rowand said.Sellers who price their homes correctly are getting multiple offers, Rowand said. Many homeowners are staying put because they don't have any equity, he said. Read More
Bahamian Conch Chowder
Bahamians can prepare conch just about any way under the sun.
Reminds us of the scene in Forest Gump when Bubba is recounting the various ways to cook shrimp.
In The Bahamas, we have crack conch, stew conch, boil conch, scorch conch, conch fritters, conch salad, conch burger, conch souse, and so on.
Among the most beloved of our conch dishes is conch chowder.
This savoury, slightly spicy chowder is often served as a first course along with a slice of Johnny Cake, a traditional Bahamian sweet bread. Read More
Best Beers in the Caribbean
When you are in the Caribbean, you should drink Caribbean beer -- it's that simple. These are beers brewed in and designed for the tropics -- typically light and smooth lagers, they go down easy on a hot sunny day. There are more than a dozen major Caribbean brews to choose from, including popular favorites like Red Stripe and Carib, the unique "Man's Beer" Stag from Trinidad, and the uniquely Bahamian Kalik. Try 'em all! Read More
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