On December 20 I wrote a post about some changes to federal laws that may affect Miami’s real estate market in 2014. I neglected to include two more (well one is a Florida State Law, but I will include it here anyway). The first one I thought would be extended by now, but since we are coming up on New Year’s eve I thought I should mention it in case Congress lets it lapse. It may not be that big of an issue since, due to the rising real estate prices, many real estate owners are no longer under water but the tax deduction on forgiven mortgage debt will end on January 1, 2014. Although there are many benefits to short sell, even without the tax benefit, instead of foreclose the sun-setting of this deduction could decrease the number of short sales sellers participate in. Should seller’s stop participating in short sales, this will put pressure on already short inventory since the foreclosure process usually takes longer. Which leads me to the second change.
HB 87, the Fair Foreclosure Act, went into effect on June 7, 2013, but we will really start to see its affects in 2014. Known as the “Speedy Foreclosure Law”, this law will help speed up the foreclosure process. Prior to passage of this bill, foreclosing on a mortgage took approximately 853 days, which was more than twice the average. This should help ease some of the shortages in inventory by getting at least a portion of the 350,000 plus foreclosure cases currently tied up in Florida courts through the process much faster.