is probably still at it’s most affordable point despite tight lending rules and appraisal problems. However, for buyers with cash it’s golden opportunity to step into the market at this time. In fact, we’re seeing the investor community step up, it’s share of home purchases reached almost 25% in August 2011. In fact, most luxury Miami condo buyers paid cash for their non-primary occupant homes.
For investors who can hire out or manage property themselves, the attractive rates of return from rising rental income is a strong lure. Miami rents rose at a better than 3% annualized rate in the third quarter of 2011 according to the government data. However, private data sources imply even faster rent growth.
There is no reason to believe this rent growth will coll, given the favorable demographics of a rising number of young adults over the next 20 years, a high number of owners of foreclosed homes who can’t buy in the near term, and the low construction rate of apartments.
If annual rent gains stay near 3.5%, rents will double in 20 years. If they reach 5%, rent doubling would occur in only 14 years.
In addition to strong rent returns, investors can anticipate solid home price appreciation over the long haul. Using 2000 as a “normal” year in which the market saw neither a bubble nor a bust, the metrics on home prices in relation to consumer prices imply a 14% undervaluation, and in relation to rental rates, a 20% undervaluation.
With the bubble clearly gone, the future home price path should follow the future rent growth path. That means home prices could also double in 14 to 20 years, though it is unclear when home prices will begin to catch up with rents. But long-term investors buying today are sure to catch some, if not most, of the upward ride.