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Florida Apartment Prices Rise as Some Markets Rebound

For the first time since 2005, apartment prices in Florida have recorded an increase — up 33% over the same period a year earlier, according to Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Indices.

Florida apartment prices peaked in 2005, two years earlier than most other sectors, in large part due to appetite for condo conversion candidates, according to the new report from Moody’s Investors Service.

The National All Property Type Aggregate Index had a 1.2% decrease in January, according to the report. The index is currently 4.2% above its post-peak low that occurred in August 2010.

Distressed properties accounted for approximately 26% of repeat sales. Upward momentum is unlikely until the share of distressed sales diminishes, according to Moody’s.

The National All Property index is down 42.8% from its October 2007 peak, but indices for major properties in major markets and distressed properties indicate that they are down are by 18.9% and 53.9% respectively since October 2007, showing a performance difference by asset quality.

New York and Washington office prices have snapped back sharply compared with one year ago, with gains of 32.9% and 20.7% respectively. San Francisco office prices were down 9.9% compared with a year ago, a decline apparently distressed sales, particularly in the suburban markets.

Among other findings:

• Over the past four quarters, three property type indices in the East, apartments, office, and retail, realized gains of 17% or more. Industrial was the laggard in the East, recording a 5.7% decline compared with a year earlier, Moody’s reported.

• Two property types in the South saw significant increases over the past four quarters. They included apartments at 53.7% and industrial at 39.4%. On the other hand, Southern office and retail experienced •

• In Southern California, two indices recorded property price increases in 2010, apartments at 4.1% and industrial at 7.7%. Southern California office and retail recorded declines of 17.0% and 5.1% respectively compared with one year ago.

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