Sarasota Real Estate Market News

(Florida) Housing Forecast 2014: Sun and clouds

ORLANDO – At the tail end of the healthiest year for residential real estate since the Great Recession, housing economists are predicting a continued upswing in 2014.

A panel of market analysts on Tuesday told an Orlando banquet room packed with Realtors from Panama City to South Florida that they expect the industry to maintain its brisk pace well into the coming year.

Their general consensus was that home sales would climb another 10 percent next year, with appraised values rising by 5 percent and median sale prices increasing 12 percent. That would be another significant step forward for an industry now among the key drivers of the Sunshine State’s economic recovery.

Read more here:

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20131211/ARCHIVES/312111020/-1/todayspaper?p=all&tc=pgall

December 11, 2013 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Financing, News related to Investors, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Insurance uncertainty keeps area condo prices flat…for now

Insurance proposals imperil tourism and home-sale gains

Sharp rate increases proposed for the state’s largest property insurer could threaten Florida’s flagship real estate and tourism industries just as they’re turning the corner from the downturn and the Gulf oil spill.

Coming off the strongest season for visitation and home sales since the Great Recession took hold, higher insurance premiums levied by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. could rock the two segments of the economy now leading Southwest Florida’s recovery.

Condominium associations from Englewood to Anna Maria Island are considering new caps on short-term rentals to mitigate the blow from the state-run carrier. But many businesses that depend on tourism spending worry that the loss of available rooms in the short-term rental pool will drive prices higher and push visitors to other beach destinations.

Read More HERE

May 19, 2013 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Investors, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Siesta Key – 2012 Year End Market Analysis

Since all real estate markets are local, I periodically complete a market analysis based specifically on Siesta Key.  This is designed to provide you with timely and valuable information based upon data compiled from local sales statistics and other sources to help you better understand what is happening in the Siesta Key Real Estate market.  As expected, single family home sales prices are continuing to show considerable strength.  However, there are some surprises contained in the Siesta condo market.

The analysis covers 2010-2012 and the full report can be found here:

Year to Date Sales Comparisons on Siesta Key Jan 2013

February 9, 2013 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Sales in 2012 were fourth highest in history of SAR

Property sales for the year 2012 were the fourth highest in the 90-year history of the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, achieving 9,169 total sales. In 2003, sales in our market hit 9,697, followed by 11,267 in 2004 (the current all-time high) and 10,562 in 2005. The annual sales dropped to 6,358 in 2006 and bottomed out at 5,820 in 2008 before beginning the steady climb to the current level.

 

 SAR members sold 828 properties in December 2012, representing an 8.3 percent increase from November’s 764 sales and a huge 28 percent increase over last December’s figure of 644 total sales.

 

The category totals in December were 606 single family homes and 222 condos sold, compared to last December when only 471 single family and 173 condos were sold. The available inventory remains near the lowest level in a decade. Other positive factors helping to propel the real estate market recovery include the low mortgage interest rates and improvement in the national and local economies.

 

“The Sarasota housing market has clearly weathered the storm of the Great Recession,” said SAR President Roger Piro. “We are so fortunate to live in this area – a beautiful coastal community with every attractive amenity imaginable.”

 

Looking forward, Piro noted the normal peak period of the buying season has yet to come.

 

“Our market is enjoying an amazing resurgence, and the traditional busy season still has several months to go. Last year, our strongest sales months were in March, April and May,” said Piro. “We’re all hoping for a repeat performance in 2013, and agents are continuing to report steady, strong foot traffic at open houses and multiple offers on many properties.”

 

The median sale prices for both single family homes and condos also rose for the full year 2012 to $175,000 in both property categories, another indicator of the ongoing real estate market recovery in Sarasota. In 2011, the full year median prices were at $155,925 for single family homes and $156,600 for condos, or roughly 13 percent lower.

 

The median sale price for single family homes in December 2012 was at $189,500 – almost 9 percent higher than November’s figure of $174,450 and 18 percent higher than last December’s total of $160,000. Condo median sale prices were also up, hitting $182,500 in December. Last December condo prices were at $150,000 – 21.6 percent below the current level.

 

The available inventory of homes on the market remained near the decade low, rising slightly to 3,657 from last month’s 3,543. The level is still 25 percent below December 2011, when the inventory was at 4,567 properties for sale.

 

Pending sales (which represent properties that went under contract during the month) dropped in December 2012 to 782 from the November 2012 figure of 905. The total was almost identical to last December, when there were 783 pending sales reported.

 

The months of inventory remained near 10-year lows. The December figures were 3.9 months of inventory for single family homes and 5.9 months for condos. Months of inventory represents the time it would take to deplete the current inventory at the current sales rate. Last December, there were 6.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 9.2 months of inventory for condos. At the worst point of our market in November 2008, there were 24 months of inventory for single family homes and 41.7 months for condos.

 

Currently, only 475 properties for sale in the MLS are listed as short sales or foreclosures, almost identical to last month’s figure. This represents about 12.9 percent of available properties, down from last month’s figure of 13.2 percent and down from the start of the year when the figure represented 17 percent of the market.

Distressed sales represented 32 percent of the overall market in December 2012, down significantly from the 51 percent figure experienced in the fourth quarter of 2010. While still at historically high levels, the downward trend has been encouraging.

In 2007, foreclosures and short sales had been virtually unheard of for many years in the Sarasota market. That’s when distressed sales began to skyrocket in the Sarasota market and across the nation, reaching epidemic rates in 2010, before improving markedly in the last 24 months.

From 2007 to 2008, short sales and sales of foreclosed properties jumped markedly, from less than 1 percent in 2007 (only 47 total) to 18 percent (979) in 2008, while traditional market sales dropped by an equivalent 18 percent. This rise in distressed sales and decrease in market sales continued through 2009 and 2010.

In 2011, the Sarasota real estate market began to see a reversal of this trend. Distressed sales dropped by 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2011, while market sales rose by 19 percent. From 2011 to 2012, this positive trend accelerated, with distressed sales dropping by 7 percent while normal market sales rose by 25 percent. If these trends continue, we should see improved health of the local real estate market in 2013 and beyond.

 

Click HERE for the complete press release in PDF format, plus several pages of statistical charts.

February 9, 2013 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

What’s the best season for home buying?

WASHINGTON – Feb. 1, 2013 – After the holidays, buyers tend to get more aggressive with their house hunting. Search activity usually peaks around March or April in most states, according to a new study of home searches from 2007 to 2012 conducted by Trulia.

In September, searches slow down. By December, buyer searches ebb to their lowest point of the year.

“Home-search activity swings with the seasons in every state,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist of Trulia. “Buyers and sellers can use these ups and downs to their advantage. Sellers looking for the most buyers should list when real estate search traffic peaks. Buyers, however, should think about searching off-season, when there is less competition from other searchers.”

Here are the months when online real estate searches peak in every U.S. state:

January: Hawaii
February: Florida
March: Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington
April: Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin
May: Real estate activity does not peak in any state
June: Mississippi
July: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming
August: Montana and Oregon
September-December: Real estate activity does not peak in any state

Source: “Trulia Reveals Best Home-Searching Season,” HousingWire (Jan. 29, 2013)

February 9, 2013 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

What’s behind falling housing inventories?

NEW YORK – Jan. 29, 2013 – Home prices are increasing across the country as the number of homes for-sale continues to fall. But at a time when buyer demand is picking up, why is inventory still so low?

Inventories fell to 1.82 million at the end of last year, a 21.6 percent drop from one year earlier, the National Association of Realtors® reports.

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted several reasons behind the dropping inventories, including:

Sellers hesitant to sell: About 22 percent of homeowners with a mortgage remain underwater, owing more than their home is currently worth. These homeowners don’t tend to sell unless a life-changing event occurs because they don’t want to take a loss on the sale. CoreLogic data finds constrained inventories in areas with the highest number of underwater borrowers.

Not enough equity to trade up: Homeowners often rely on equity from their current home to make a downpayment on the next home. With fewer homeowners seeing equity, they may not have enough money to move into a pricier home – a constraint on the would-be “trade up” buyer.

Investors continue to snatch up properties: Investors still snap up properties, but they’ve changed their strategy, which also constrains inventories. Now they’re holding onto properties and turning them into rentals instead of rehabbing and flipping them for profit. The result: fewer homes on the market.

Banks slowing down foreclosures: Banks have new rules to meet with the foreclosure process, and it’s causing them to move at a slower pace. Banks also are showing a preference for short sales and loan modifications, which curbs the number of foreclosed homes on the market.

Builders doing less building: Housing starts were at record lows from 2009 through 2011, so there’s less inventory added to the market. A rebound in the new-home market has only recently started to occur.

Source: “Six Reasons Housing Inventory Keeps Declining,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 22, 2013)

February 9, 2013 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Investors, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Fla.’s housing market continues positive track in Dec. 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 22, 2013 – Florida’s housing market had more closed sales, higher pending sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale in December, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“Florida is an international destination: Owning a home here appeals to people of all ages from all over the world,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “Realtors from across the state are reporting increases in home sales and median prices. As a result of rising demand from investors and other buyers, there’s a shortage of inventory in many markets, and it’s putting pressure on prices.”

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,031 in December, up 15.8 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes last month rose 39.7 percent over the previous December. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $154,000, up 14.1 percent from the previous year.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in November 2012 was $180,600, up 10.1 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in November was $349,300; in Massachusetts, it was $295,000; in Maryland, it was $246,294; and in New York, it was $215,000.

The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. Housing industry analysts note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 8,470 units sold statewide last month, up 8.6 percent compared to December 2011. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos in December increased 31.8 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The statewide median for townhouse-condo properties was $117,500, up 26.3 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in November 2012 was $181,000.

December marks the 12th consecutive month of higher statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo units year-to-year, according to Florida Realtors’ data.

The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.5-months’ supply in December; inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 6-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors.

“The market continues to improve, and it’s doing so in all parts of the state,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Of note is the fact that inventory levels are now clearly consistent with a sellers’ market. When the final year-end statistics are compiled, expect that sales in 2012 will be more than 10 percent higher than they were in 2011. Once again, all the positive indicators are up significantly. The Florida real estate market is rapidly improving.”

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.35 percent in December 2012, down from the 3.96 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

To see the full statewide housing activity report, go to Florida Realtors website and click on the Research page; then look under Latest Housing Data, Statewide Residential Activity and get the December reports. Or go to Florida Realtors Media Center and download the December 2012 data report PDFs under Market Data.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

February 9, 2013 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

New guidelines to help condos get FHA loans

WASHINGTON – Sept. 17, 2012 – Many first-time homebuyers consider condos a good home when starting out, but loans issued by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that come with relatively low downpayments have not been offered in many condo buildings.

FHA approval for a condo is more complicated the FHA approval for a single-family home. To minimize its risk, FHA looks at more than the unit requesting a loan – it also considers traits of the association itself. Associations can help individual condo sellers get an FHA loan by becoming certified, but fairly stringent rules kept many from applying.

That may change and, according to the Community Associations Institute (CAI) Chief Executive Officer Thomas Skiba, it’s “excellent news for sellers, buyers, condominium communities and the housing market across the country.”

In creating its certification system, FHA listed traits considered desirable. Certification was denied, for example, if an association had too many rental condominiums or too much commercial space.

According to real estate writer Kenneth Harney, the previous certification process also presented considerable risk to associations. During the application process, Harney says, they were asked to “accept broad legal liability on matters they couldn’t totally be certain about, such as disputes among tenants in the building, litigation filed with courts” and more.

CAI says the FHA made “temporary adjustments.” While it applauded FHA’s guidelines, it says it will continuing pushing for “long-term certainty of process, flexibility and support for the future of condominium housing, and to resolve critical policy areas not addressed by today’s announcement.”

Major changes

• FHA looks at the percent of current condo owners who are delinquent on mortgage payments. The cutoff is 15 percent, but the individual standard was 30 days late; it’s now 60 days late.

• New rules require at least 50 percent of units to be inhabited by owner-occupants or under contract, while the other 50 percent may be owned by investors. A single investor can own up to 50 percent of the units; previously, single investors could not own more than 10 percent.

• The amount of commercial space is limited now, as it was before, to 25 percent. However, a new rule gives associations a little wiggle room. In certain circumstances, they can request a variance up to 35 percent for commercial space, providing the development remains “primarily residential.”

FHA’s new guidelines are outlined in Mortgagee Letter 2012-18 issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

October 23, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Financing, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Home asking prices up 2.3% in Aug. over year ago, claims Trulia

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 6, 2012 – Nationally, asking prices on for-sale homes increased 2.3 percent in August compared to the previous year, according to data compiled for the Trulia Price Monitor.

According to Trulia, asking prices on for-sale homes in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area rose 16.5 percent year-over-year; in the West Palm Beach metro area, 10.4 percent; in the Miami metro area, 9.6 percent; and in the Orlando metro area, 8.6 percent.

In 68 of the 100 largest metros, asking prices on for-sale homes rose year-over-year in August. Excluding foreclosures, asking prices rose 3.8 percent year-over-year. These are the largest year-over-year gains since the recession, according to Trulia.

Meanwhile, asking prices rose nationally 1.8 percent quarter-over-quarter, seasonally adjusted. Looking month-over-month, asking prices rose by 0.8 percent – the seventh consecutive month of increases, according to Trulia.

Nationally, rents rose 4.7 percent year-over-year in August, compared to 5.8 percent year-over-year in May – making it the slowest rise since March, according to Trulia.

The Trulia Price Monitor and Trulia Rent Monitor are based on the for-sale homes and rentals listed on Trulia. The monitors take into account changes in the mix of listed homes and reflect trends in prices and rents for similar homes in similar neighborhoods through Aug. 31, 2012.

© Florida Realtors®

October 23, 2012 Posted by | News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

More banks open to short sales

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Sept. 6, 2012 – To meet the terms of the $26 billion mortgage settlement, the nation’s five largest banks are becoming more agreeable to short sales, Inman News reports.

The five banks – Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Ally Financial and Wells Fargo – have issued most of their relief from the settlement so far in the form of short sales or deeds in lieu of foreclosure.

Under the settlement, the five banks are required to provide $17 billion in aid to homeowners, either through loan modifications, principal reductions or short sales.

To date, 74,614 homeowners have received an average of $116,200 each as either a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Since January, sales of homes in the pre-foreclosure process – usually taking the form of short sales – have been rising. In fact, they reached a three-year high in the first quarter, RealtyTrac reports. Meanwhile, the number of foreclosure sales has been declining.

Besides short sales and deed in lieu of foreclosure, mortgage servicers are also increasingly offering first-lien loan modifications to struggling homeowners. According to a progress report on the settlement, 7,093 borrowers received first-lien loan modifications, averaging about $105,650 per borrower.

Source: “Banks Using Short Sales to Meet Robo-signing Obligations,” Inman News (Sept. 4, 2012)

© Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

October 23, 2012 Posted by | News related to Sellers, News related to Short Sales and Foreclosures | Leave a comment