Gay Realty Watch: Ft. Lauderdale

Today, we’ll continue our look into local real estate markets with large gay and lesbian communities. Today, Ft. Lauderdale – Cruise Mecca, 365 Days of Sunshine, and Wilton Manors, one of the gayest cities in America. Here’s a sampling of what’s going on in the Ft. Lauderdale real estate market at the moment:

Investors Buying Up Southern Florida Condos: Attracted by plunging prices, big-time investors are buying South Florida condo units by the dozens, in bulk deals valued in the tens of millions of dollars.  Since July 2008, 63 sales have closed in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties representing 6,000 condo units worth $1.6 billion, according to, a Bal Harbour-based consulting firm. There were no such deals in 2006 or 2007.  Miami-Dade has been the site of most of the bulk sales, but available properties there are becoming scarce, leading investors to move north into Broward and Palm Beach counties, CondoVultures said. -Sun Sentinel

Florida to Vote on Land Use Amendment in November: Backers of a Florida constitutional amendment that would put land-use changes before voters began airing a tough-toned Web ad that says the measure is needed because Florida leads the nation in corruption among public officials.  The spot features photos of at least a dozen city and county officials charged in recent years with criminal misconduct, including two former Democratic state legislators, Ray Liberti of West Palm Beach and Joe Eggelletion of Lauderdale Lakes. The ad concludes Amendment 4 is needed because “our homes and communities are too important to leave in the hands of crooked politicians.” -Miami Herald

HUD Gives Broward County Money to AID Foreclosure Crisis: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday awarded an additional $1 billion in funding to states and communities hit hard by the foreclosure debacle.  Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach and Miramar are among 17 local governments in Palm Beach and Broward counties getting roughly $40 million of Florida’s $208.4 million share. The money is to be used to buy, redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties. -Sun Sentinel

Cities Across Broward County Raising Tax Rates: Nearly three-fourths of the cities in Broward County are poised to raise property tax rates this year. So are county government, the School Board and area hospital systems.  The tidal wave of rising tax rates will sock many longtime homeowners with higher bills as many are struggling struggle to keep their homes.  Elected officials across the county are defending their taxing plans. Cities are raising rates despite having cut budgets and raided savings accounts.  Property values took another dive this year, and that is forcing cities to raise rates just to bring in the same money as last year. Still, some residents aren’t buying it and are demanding government scale back further. -Sun Sentinel

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