Sarasota Real Estate Market News

Homes selling quickly, time on market down

WASHINGTON – Sept. 5, 2012 – A new measure shows the typical amount of time it takes to sell a home is shrinking.

The time it takes to sell a home currently – 69 days in July, down 29.6 percent from 98 days in July 2011 – is in the range of historic norms for a balanced market, according to NAR. It’s also well below the cyclical peak reached in 2009.

The median reflects a wide spectrum; one-third of homes purchased in July were on the market for less than a month, while one in five was on the market for at least six months.

“As inventory has tightened, homes have been selling more quickly,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “A notable shortening of time on market began this spring, and this has created a general balance between home buyers and sellers in much of the country. This equilibrium is supporting sustained price growth, and homes that are correctly priced tend to sell quickly, while those that aren’t often languish on the market.”

At the end July, there was a 6.4-month supply of homes on the market at the current sales pace, which is 31.2 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.3-month supply.

NAR says that its research has determined that a balanced market generally has a median selling time of slightly more than six weeks, making the current market appear balanced.

In balanced market conditions, home prices generally rise 1 to 2 percentage points above the overall rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

“Our current forecast is for the median existing home price to rise 4.5 to 5 percent this year, and about 5 percent in 2013, which is somewhat stronger than historic norms because of the inventory shortfall most pronounced in the low price ranges,” Yun says.

Inflation (CPI growth) is projected at 2.1 percent for 2012 and 2.3 percent next year.

From 1987 through 2011, analysis of the NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers series showed the typical time on market was 6.9 weeks, while the existing-home sales series showed an average supply of 7.0 months – just above the high end for a balanced market.

NAR’s new measure of days on market shows a longer selling time than earlier findings that measured traditional sellers of non-distressed homes. The new series includes short sales that typically took three months or longer to sell.

“Factoring out short sales, the median time on market for traditional sellers appears to be in the balanced range of six to seven weeks,” Yun says.

During the peak of the housing boom in 2004 and 2005, when inventory supplies were historically low at an average 4.3 months, the median selling time was 4 weeks. Prices in that time rose at an annual rate of 10.3 percent.

In the economic downturn, time on market for non-distressed sellers peaked at 10 weeks in 2009 with a 10-month annualized supply. The median price fell 12.9 percent that year, the biggest annual decline on record.

“Ironically, if housing construction doesn’t pick up to normal levels within two years, supply shortages could be sustained for an extended period and lead to above average appreciation,” Yun says. “Therefore, any unnecessary hindrance to housing starts, such as excessive local zoning regulations or stringent bank capital rules for construction loans, should be carefully re-examined.”

NAR’s new days-on-market figures will be included in future existing-home sales releases. It’s derived from a monthly survey for the Realtors Confidence Index.

The median time on market can be misleading at times, however. If an abundance of fresh listings enters the market, it could skew the average downward.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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

Fancy home photos can help make the sale

NEW YORK – Sept. 4, 2012 – Professional photography of a home can nab buyers’ attention online, and some home sellers even credit the fancy photos for getting their homes sold.

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, 99 percent of home buyers who search for homes online said property photos were among the most useful features, according to research from the National Association of Realtors®.

Listings that include photos get 61 percent more views than listings without photos, according to research conducted by Redfin.

“When people are searching for homes, they search by price range, location (and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms). But then once they have the list, the visual piece becomes a larger and more important part of the decision,” Jani Strand, spokeswoman for Redfin, told The Wall Street Journal. “Photos are the first impression and can generate interest and excitement, which leads to good offers.”

As a result, more real estate professionals are ramping up their photo skills, investing in wide-angle lens cameras and tripods so they can learn the craft of professional photography. Other real estate professionals are forming relationships with professional photographers to capture their listings.

Whichever the case, photo experts say it’s important to carefully judge which photos to include in a listing.

“Do the photos make you want to visit the home? Do they look like they are pulled from a home and garden magazine? Those are the kind of pictures that will appeal to prospective buyers,” The Wall Street Journal article notes.

Also, the first few photos you include on a listing are the most important and should include a photo of the exterior, main living area, kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom, and another attractive feature in the home.

Source: “Get a Picture-Perfect Home Sale,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 26, 2012)

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

NAR: July pending home sales rebound

WASHINGTON – Aug. 29, 2012 – Pending home sales rose in July to the highest level in over two years and remain well above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.4 percent to 101.7 in July from 99.3 in June – and it’s 12.4 percent above July 2011’s 90.5. The data reflect contracts but not closings.

The last time pending home sales were this high, a homebuyer tax credit was about to expire.

“While the month-to-month movement has been uneven, more importantly we now have 15 consecutive months of year-over-year gains in contract activity,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “All regions saw monthly increases in homebuying activity except for the West, which is now experiencing an acute inventory shortage.”

The PHSI in the Northeast increased 0.5 percent to 77.0 in July and is 13.4 percent higher than a year ago. In the Midwest, the index grew 3.4 percent to 97.4 in July and is 20.2 percent above July 2011.

Pending home sales in the South rose 5.2 percent to an index of 111.7 in July and are 15.6 percent above a year ago. In the West, the index slipped 1.7 percent in July to 109.9 but it’s 1.3 percent higher than July 2011.

Existing-home sales are projected to rise 8 to 9 percent in 2012, followed by another 7 to 8 percent gain in 2013. Home prices are expected to increase 10 percent cumulatively over the next two years.

“Falling visible and shadow inventories point toward continuing price gains,” says Yun. “Expected gains in housing starts of 25 to 30 percent this year, and nearly 50 percent in 2013, are insufficient to meet the growing housing demand.”

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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

Fla. has 26% of all U.S. international sales

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Aug. 27, 2012 – Florida Realtors® released its “Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida 2012” today. The survey, conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), found that almost one in five Florida sales in the 12-month period ending in June involved an out-of-country buyer.

Researchers say that the 2012 results closely resemble those in 2011. It’s based on a survey taken by over 1,500 members of Florida Realtors.

The international real estate market – defined as non-resident foreigners who buy residential real estate in the U.S. – is important to Florida. Nationwide, 51 percent of all foreign sales take place in only four states – Florida, California, Texas and Arizona. Of those four states, Florida has the largest share: 26 percent of national sales to foreign buyers closed in the Sunshine State.

Overall, 19 percent of Florida home sales (by dollar volume) went to foreign buyers.

Report highlights

• Nearly all international sales were cash – 82 percent of transactions.

• The median price paid by international buyers was $194,700 compared to an overall Florida median price of $125,100 and a U.S. median price of $167,758.

• Canadian buyers tended to buy in the lower price range; European and Latin American buyers bought at a higher price range.

• Foreign buyers see the U.S. residential housing market as a good value, thanks, in part, to favorable international exchange rates.

• In the 2012 survey, Canadians led the way as United Kingdom buyers faded a bit. Brazil and Venezuela have increased as sources.

• Condos account for 45 percent of properties, townhouses 10 percent and detached single-family homes 36 percent.

• 61 percent of surveyed Realtors said that they worked with an international client in the past 12 months, down from 77 percent.

The complete Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida 2012 is available online.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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

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

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 TopRetirements.com — 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

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

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:

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

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

• HandyAmerican.com: 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.

• Kiplinger.com: 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. Bankrate.com 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. Bankrate.com 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,” Bankrate.com reports.

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

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

Will housing prices soar by 2014?

NEW YORK – April 4, 2012 – Real estate economists and analysts are increasingly optimistic that the housing market will have a dramatic recovery in the next two years, according to results of a new semi-annual survey of 38 real estate economists and analysts conducted by the Urban Land Institute’s Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate.

The economists predict that the national average for home prices will stop falling by this year and a subsequent turnaround will occur. By next year, they project that home prices will begin to rise by 2 percent, and then get a larger boost of 3.5 percent by 2014. The economists also predict that housing starts will nearly double by next year.

They also foresee rental prices continuing to increase for all property types, ranging from 0.8 percent to 5 percent.

The economists’ predictions were made on assumptions that the economy would continue to strengthen, including a larger drop in unemployment.

“While geopolitical and global economic events could change the forecast going forward, what we see in this survey is confidence that the U.S. real estate economy has weathered the brunt of the recent financial storm and is poised for significant improvement over the next three years,” says Patrick L. Phillips, ULI chief executive officer. “These results hold much promise for the real estate industry.”

Source: “Real Estate Will Rock in 2014,” RISMedia (March 31, 2012)

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