Sarasota Real Estate Market News

Market indicators are positive on Siesta Key

As seen in the Sarasota Herald Tribune:

When comparing a year over year 12 month trailing average since 2006, single-family home unit sales on Siesta Key have consistently risen (almost doubling since 2006) year over year in spite of overall market conditions.  Obviously, during 2007-10 average sales prices dropped dramatically, however they have rebounded by almost 30% off their low in 2009.  Even so, today’s average sales prices represent a 40%+ discount off the market high in 2006-7.

Siesta Key Single Family Homes            
Year to Date Sales Comparisons on Siesta Key 2007 – 2012 04/01/06 to 03/30/07 04/01/07 to 03/30/08 04/01/08 to 03/30/09 04/01/09 to 03/30/10 04/01/10 to 03/30/11 04/01/11 to 03/30/12
Average Sales Price $1,613,504 $1,301,837 $1,101,523 $754,927 $884,335 $968,513
Median Sales Price $967,500 $909,500 $750,000 $555,000 $550,000 $632,500
Units Sold 75 91 113 139 148 147
Siesta Key Condominiums 04/01/06 to 03/30/07 04/01/07 to 03/30/08 04/01/08 to 03/30/09 04/01/09 to 03/30/10 04/01/10 to 03/30/11 04/01/11 to 03/30/12
Average Sales Price $769,014 $859,486 $524,859 $520,730 $450,611 $449,450
Median Sales Price $615,000 $655,000 $437,950 $380,000 $394,300 $350,000
Units Sold 115 190 194 227 234 292


Read more HERE

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Luxury sales boost Southwest Florida real estate market

Home and condominium sales hit a seven-year high in Sarasota County during March, harkening back to the frenzy of the real estate boom. 

That was particularly evident in Southwest Florida’s luxury stratum, where well-heeled snowbirds stopped circling last month and began descending en masse.

“…On Siesta Key, the biggest problem is that there are very few affordable listings, said Coldwell Banker agent George Miller.

“There are two listings under $400,000,” Miller said. “Everything has been picked over. If one comes on the market it goes under contract very quickly.”

Miller said 147 homes changed hands on the island during the 12 months ending March 31 — just one less than during the preceding 12-month period. But the median price is now $632,500, up 15 percent from March 2011…”

Read more HERE

They bought 34 homes homes and condominiums selling for more than $1 million in Sarasota County, a 48 percent increase from a year earlier

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Sarasota rated top place in nation to retire

Sarasota came out on top of a list of best places to retire that was produced by a national website, with Venice not too far behind at No. 9. 

The list by — a website managed by John Brady, a retired executive vice president of a business information publisher — was cited in a recent national report by MarketWatch, part of Dow Jones & Co.

In Sarasota’s favor at the No. 1 position, Brady cited the city’s cultural distinctions, reasonable home prices (especially at this snapshot in time), its general living costs and its warm winters.

Read more HERE


May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

What buyers often overlook in home purchases

WASHINGTON – May 7, 2012 – While a home’s appearance, financing and location sway many buyers, housing experts say they often overlook other important factors that may keep them happy for years to come with their home purchase.

A recent article at U.S. News & World Report lists tips for those often-forgotten aspects of homeownership. Here are some of those overlooked aspects:

Zoning of nearby areas: What you see today may not be what you see a few years from now. Communities’ and neighborhoods’ landscapes can drastically change in a few years. And while some of these changes may be good – such as the addition of a nearby recreation park or school – some may be viewed as a negative, like a new highway overpass behind the property. By reviewing upcoming plans and existing zoning at the city’s urban development department, home buyers can get a better idea of what the future may hold for the surrounding area of the neighborhood they choose.

Remodeling rules: Some community associations may set limitations on what can be done to a property, particularly if the buyer ever wants to make exterior changes like adding a garage or guest house. Purchasers who plan to have a house grow with their family’s needs through the years may want to investigate such rules beforehand to make sure that they’ll be able to add onto their home as needed.

Impact of crime rate: Home purchasers may not realize how buying a home in a low-crime area can help their budget. Car insurance, for example, might cost less in a neighborhood where property has historically been safe.

Source: “4 Not-So-Obvious Things to Research Before Buying a Home,” U.S. News & World Report (May 2, 2012)

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers | Leave a comment

Is housing as cheap as it’ll ever get?

WASHINGTON – May 4, 2012 – Homebuyers who want a bargain may want to act now because the housing market is in the midst of a turnaround, economists say.

Home prices have fallen and mortgage rates are hovering near record lows, pushing home affordability for the average family to record highs. Meanwhile, rents have been on the rise, making owning a home cheaper than renting in most areas of the country, according to recent surveys.

But the housing deals aren’t expected to stick around much longer.

An improving job market, a decrease in the number of homeowners falling behind on their mortgage, and an anticipated improvement in access to mortgages is expected to help home prices start bouncing back by next year, economists say.

Investors eyeing profits in rentals also have been snapping up bank-owned properties, which Clear Capital’s Alex Villacorte attributes as helping to lead to an increase in prices on foreclosed properties. This “could have a significant impact on the market overall in terms of providing a rising floor to home values,” Villacorte told CNNMoney.

Some areas are already seeing prices rise. In Phoenix, housing prices have already increased 8.4 percent during the three months ending April 30, and Miami saw prices bump up 4.6 percent quarter over quarter, according to Clear Capital data.

“Stuff I was selling six months ago for $60,000 to $80,000 is now $90,000 to $110,000,” Tanya Marchiol, founder of Team Investments in Phoenix, told CNNMoney.

Loan rates, demand predictions

Buyers may want to act more quickly because mortgage rates are expected to tick up slightly by the end of the year. The increase is being sparked by greater demand, says Doug Lebda, CEO of LendingTree. He predicts 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will inch up to 4.5 percent by the end of the year, which is still low, however, by historical standards.

The Mortgage Bankers Association is also predicting a big leap in mortgage loans next year. For this year, MBA estimates that buyers will take out loans totaling about $415 billion, but by 2013 that number is expected to nearly double to $706 billion.

Source: “Buying a Home Won’t get Much Cheaper,” CNNMoney (May 3, 2012) and “Time To Trade The Lease For A Mortgage?” NPR (May 1, 2012)

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Fannie, Freddie to make short sales faster

PHILADELPHIA – May 3, 2012 – Government-backed housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are adopting new guidelines to streamline the process for short sales, which most real estate observers expect will outpace foreclosures in the coming year.

The guidelines, required by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and effective June 15, would require servicers of mortgages backed by Freddie and Fannie to review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days of receipt of a buyer’s offer.

A short sale is a transaction in which a lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed on the mortgage. It is a “strategic default,” designed to get a borrower out of financial trouble without having to go through the drawn-out legal tangle of the foreclosure process.

A short sale does affect the seller’s credit score, reducing it as much as a foreclosure would, according to Fair Isaac Corp., which developed the system.

On average, according to recent data from foreclosure search engine RealtyTrac, short sales are taking 306 days from start to finish, compared with 113 days in 2006 as the housing market started to unravel.

Area real estate agents who handle such transactions have acknowledged that they do take a long time to complete, and that delays often result in loss of the sale.

But lenders are becoming more accommodating, though they have issues with short sales because unscrupulous investors and others have abused them, perhaps to the tune of $375 million in annual losses nationwide.

In January, there were more than 35,000 short sales nationwide, on pace for more than 105,000 pre-foreclosure sales for the first quarter. That would be the highest quarterly total since the first three months of 2009.

This is not the first time the government has acted to accelerate the short-sale process. In late 2009, the Treasury Department proposed financial incentives and simplified the procedures for completing them. That included a $1,000 payment to servicers and a maximum of $1,000 to go to investors who signed off on payments to subordinate lienholders, the Treasury said. Borrowers were to receive $1,500 in relocation expenses.

The rules, which took effect in April 2010, were supposed to reduce the short-sale process to 10 days, but didn’t.

The pending Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines will mandate weekly status updates to the borrower if the short sale remains under review after 30 calendar days.

Servicers also will be required to make and then inform borrowers of final decisions within 60 calendar days of receipt of an offer.

By the end of the year, Fannie and Freddie will announce other “enhancements” to the short-sale process, including borrower-eligibility evaluation, simplified documents, and payments to subordinate lienholders.

Housing Finance Agency acting director Edward J. DeMarco said the changes were being considered as “additional tools to prevent foreclosure, keep homes occupied, and help maintain stable communities.”

Copyright © 2012 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Short Sales and Foreclosures | Leave a comment

Bidding wars catch buyers off guard

SEATTLE – May 1, 2012 – Homebuyers are unexpectedly finding more competition this spring in landing their dream home. Bidding wars are increasingly being reported in markets across the country, from California to Florida, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“It’s a little surprising because we thought bidding wars were done with,” Andy Aley, a home shopper in Seattle said. Aley says he was outbid on a home earlier this year, even though he offered to pay $23,000 above the listing price and also waive inspections and other closing conditions.

Homebuyers are frustrated and caught off-guard about the bidding wars re-emerging, real estate professionals report.

“We’re writing a record number of offers, but we’re not seeing a record number of closings and that’s because it’s so competitive,” Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin Corp., told The Wall Street Journal.

Why are things getting so competitive? Many housing markets are seeing a drastic decrease in the number of homes listed for sale, leaving homebuyers with fewer options and more bidding on the same house. Housing analysts say the shortage in supply is from sellers unwilling to take much less for their home than what they originally paid for it and pulling homes off the market. Also, a surge in investors who snatch up homes in bulk in all-cash deals has made the market competitive.

“The bidding wars caused by tight inventory provide the latest evidence that housing demand is starting to pick up after a six-year-long slump,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

National Association of Realtors® latest pending sales report seems to confirm the trend. Pending sales in March reached their highest level in nearly two years and are up 12.8 percent from one year earlier.

Source: “Stunned Home Buyers Find the Bidding Wars Are Back,” The Wall Street Journal (April 27, 2012)

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Is Fla.’s shadow inventory a rebound threat?

ORLANDO, Fla. – May 1, 2012 – The term “shadow inventory” hangs over the real estate market, suggesting a thinly veiled catastrophe seen through the mist, just as the passengers of the Titanic watched an iceberg draw closer. However, a white paper written by Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo finds the fear of a shadow inventory overrated.

“The fear … is that the inventory of delinquent and foreclosed loans (will be released onto) an already weakened market,” says Tuccillo. “(But) the reality, even in Florida where distressed properties make up a significant portion of the market, appears to be different.”

Tuccillo says lenders have no reason to flood the real estate market with more homes if doing so would drive prices down and impact the lender’s profit. While some observers worry that lenders were holding back on purpose, Tuccillo says that’s not so – that the large number of distressed properties on hold was “largely the result of confusion over the rules of the game, and thus missteps by the lenders.”

In conducting an analysis, Florida Realtors Research looked at data from MLSs around the state and data provided by CoreLogic, a statistical analysis company.

“We looked at the recent history of distressed property listings and transactions relative to normal market data, as well as estimates for the shadow inventory, and came to some conclusions about the likely course (for the) future,” says Tuccillo.


• Florida remains one of the nation’s hardest hit states for distressed property sales.

• Distressed property sales and listings have declined since late 2010, except for single-family-home short sales.

• Average prices for distressed and normal property sales have been stabilizing.

• In general, Realtors and lenders have learned how to cope with distressed properties in a way that stabilizes the market.

• Florida’s highest percentage of distressed property (compared to total listings) occurs in the I-4 corridor and Southeast Florida; the lowest percentages occur in Northwest Florida.

• Currently, Florida’s shadow inventory was 550,000 units at the end of 2011, a decline of about 9 percent from its peak in the first quarter of 2010.

• Currently, the flow of new seriously delinquent (90 days or more) loans moving into the shadow inventory is offset by the roughly equal flow of distressed sales (short sales and REOs).

• The number of foreclosures and REOs was significantly lower in February of 2012 than one year earlier, suggesting slower shadow inventory growth.

Tuccillo predicts that distressed properties will be a significant feature of the Florida real estate market over the next ten years, but it will be considered just one property type a buyer can consider – one that has its own unique sales techniques and documentation.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Short Sales and Foreclosures, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Boost home’s value with curb appeal

NEW YORK – April 30, 2012 – First impressions matter, especially when it comes to selling a home.

A home’s curb appeal – how its exterior looks to a buyer from the street – can either provide an inviting enticement for a prospective buyer or produce a negative impression.

Several websites offer a host of information for improving the curb appeal value of a residential property. Here are a few with good insights:

• Covers eight tricks to improve the curb appeal of a home.

• Good Housekeeping: Lists five ways to boost curb appeal.

• Serves up extensive list of home improvements to maximize a home’s curb appeal.

• Home Gain: Offers spending considerations and guidelines for remodeling a home.

• Spotlights curb appeal beautification options for free, $100 and $500.

Copyright © 2012 McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Chuck Myers. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Sellers | Leave a comment

Three housing trends emerging this spring

WASHINGTON – April 30, 2012 – What can homebuyers expect to face this selling season? An improving housing market has made it a different picture in many areas compared to recent years, housing experts say. notes the following trends:

1. Fierce competition.

Housing affordability is at a record high due to falling home values and mortgage rates near record lows. More buyers are jumping off the sidelines. At the same time, investors are snapping up bargain prices, often in all-cash deals, and competing with traditional homebuyers.  Add in a sinking inventory of homes for sale, and the competition is getting fiercer.

“Rents are going up, and as long as there are properties at the level where investors can get positive cash flow, they will continue to invest,” says Jed Smith, managing director of quantitative research for the National Association of Realtors®. Smith adds that first-time homebuyers, in particular, may find increased competition from investors in trying to snag some of the best deals on the market.

2. More renters show desire to become homeowners.

Recent surveys show that buying a home now is more affordable than renting. As such, more renters are finding homeownership more enticing.

The signs are already starting to show: About 59.5 percent of tenants recently surveyed by Kingsley Associates say they intend to renew their leases this year, which is the lowest rate since early 2009.

3. Mortgages may be a little pricier.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration recently raised their loan fees, which means homebuyers can expect to pay a little more for their mortgage this spring.

“Those who don’t have credit scores in the high 600s to low 700s may be forced to go the FHA route,” says Ed Conarchy, a mortgage planner at Cherry Creek Mortgage in Gurnee, Ill. “And they will be stuck with the higher fees.”

Buyers with smaller downpayments can expect to pay more for FHA mortgage insurance premiums, which have risen to 1.75 percent of the loan total. cites an example illustrating the higher fees: A borrower who takes out a $200,000 FHA loan will likely have to pay about $3,500 for mortgage insurance upfront. Prior to the increase taking effect, borrowers would pay about $2,000 for that same loan amount.

Borrowers with higher mortgages can expect higher fees too. The FHA announced that in June it would increase its annual insurance for mortgages more than $625,500. “A borrower who lives in a high-cost area and takes out the maximum $729,750 (which is the FHA limit for high-cost areas) will pay $912 each month in mortgage insurance alone,” reports.

Source: “5 Mortgage and Housing Trends in Spring 2012,” (April 21, 2012)

May 19, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment