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Florida is a stated located in the southeastern portion of the United States. The state is very popular with tourists, retirees, and full-time professionals. Overall, Florida has a population of around 20,000,000 people, which makes it the third most populated city in the country. Because of the high population, it is also one of the leading states when it comes to new mortgage originations each year.

Mortgage Laws in Florida

People that are looking to buy in Florida, and lenders that are looking to provide debt in Florida, should be aware of all of the Florida mortgage laws. Due to a high rate of foreclosure in the past decade, Florida has some new quirks to their mortgage law. Overall, the new laws have worked to reduce the amount of sub-prime lending and eliminate the risk of predatory lending. Mortgage lenders in Florida are no longer allowed to provide mortgages with negative amortization or to give a mortgage that does not provide clear financial benefits to the borrower. Furthermore, borrowers in Florida are now required to meet stricter credit and income requirements in order to qualify for conventional financing.

Florida Mortgage Rates

The interest rates provided to borrowers in Florida are comparable to those in other states. While they have increased over the past few months, the interest rates in Florida are still near all-time lows. A conventional 30-year mortgage will typically have a 4.10% interest rate for well-qualified borrowers. A 15-year mortgage and 5/1 ARM will have rates closer to 3.25%. Those that do not have a good credit score or are taking out a jumbo loan should expect to pay another 50 basis points on their interest rate.

State of Florida Housing Market Condition

Overall, the State of Florida has seen a strong rebound in its housing market over the past few years. The state was affected significantly by the economic downturn and housing bubble during the mid-2000s. This was due to a significant amount of condo developments that led to over supply, purchases of investment properties, and the higher rate of vacation properties. While the foreclosure rate in Floria was very high, the level has come down and prices have stabilized and started to increase. While real estate values across the state have not yet reached their peaks during 2005, they are expected to increase as the foreclosure rate will continue to decline in coming years.

Top Five Cities

Florida has several large cities spread throughout the state. The largest city in the state is Jacksonville, which has a population of over 850,000 people. Miami is the second most-populated city with a population of 441,000 people. Tampa, Orlando, and St Petersburg are the next three most populated cities with populations of 369,000, 271,000, and 257,000, respectively. Overall, there are 25 cities across the state that has populations in excess of 100,000.