30 March 2012

Chance Encounters with Modern Architecture (1)

Today I am starting a new series, "Chance Encounters with Modern Architecture".

The idea behind the posts, which will appear at irregular intervals (but always, at least initially) on Fridays, are "postcards" of unexpected finds of modern architecture – or perhaps art – which caught my eye, but without demanding or warranting a full-length 1,300 word post.

It's about sharing overlooked delicious little morsels that pop up while on your way to say, Seaboard Wines or Emil's Sausages.

Today: The Patton Insurance Building

What is it: A freestanding single story, two room office building, approx. 770 sf under air, likely concrete block construction on slab, butterfly roof. Built in 1960, architect unknown.

Why did it catch my eye: A great first example for an overlooked and unassuming small building, with clean lines, good proportions, well-placed fenestration and a sweet "V"-profile to the front. Located on a divided four-lane road, framed by small businesses and strip-malls, north of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Where is it: 1525 NE 4 Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Map.

What's your take - do you like the idea behind the series? Do you have a morsel to share?

16 March 2012

The South Florida Housing Market in February

"Use your mentality, wake up to reality..."

Lyrics from Cole Porter's famous "I've got you under my skin", written in 1936, came to my mind this month. I admit that I have Nicole Henry's lovely version of that song constantly in my ears and on iTunes. To me, uptempo–and perhaps the great American Songbook–just seems to be her forte.

So, is Nicole singing to or even for home buyers?

I doubt it. But the February numbers for single family homes (condos, coops and townhouses not included) should get prospective buyers thinking of Cole Porter:

In essence, more or less stable asking prices and (year-over-year) slightly soft selling prices created a very very active market in February–with dramatically falling inventory (may I say "dramatically" when it's 50 percent or more?) and a hefty spike in the number of sold houses.

As always, the table is accompanied by a lovely graphic:

Coming back to Nicole Henry and her Cole Porter interpretation: time for buyers to wake up. True, not every buyer is flexible in his or her plans, but to those who are I'd advice to get off the bench. Now.

Table: Single family home data per month’s end for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade (Florida) counties. Chart: Single family home data Mar 2011 to Feb 2012. Red: median list price, green: median selling price, blue: inventory in months. – Data compiled from SEF-MLS