Sarasota Real Estate Market News

CoreLogic: Fla. home prices rising

SANTA ANA, Calif. – April 4, 2012 – CoreLogic today released its February Home Price Index (HPI) report. Excluding distressed sales, month-over-month prices nationally increased 0.7 percent in February from January, but fell year-over-year by 0.8 percent if distressed sales are backed out of the equation and 2.0 percent if they’re included.

In Florida, however, prices rose in February 2012 compared to February 2011 whether distressed sales were included or not. The CoreLogic HCI found that Florida home prices rose 4.7 percent overall, and 1.6 percent without distressed sale numbers. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

Even with the declines, however, the national housing market shows signs of improvement.

“House prices, based on data through February, continue to decline, but at a decreasing rate. The deceleration in the pace of decline is a first step toward ultimately growing again,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Excluding distressed sales, we already see modest price appreciation month over month in January and February.”

“Non-distressed home sale prices, which represent two-thirds of all sales, have appreciated by just over 1.0 percent since the beginning of the year,” adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

HCI highlights February 2012

• Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: West Virginia (+8.6 percent), Michigan (+5.8 percent), Florida (+4.7 percent), Arizona (+4.5 percent) and South Dakota (+4.1 percent).

• Including distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Delaware (-11.2 percent), Connecticut (-7.9 percent), Rhode Island (-7.8 percent), Illinois (-7.1 percent) and Georgia (-6.6 percent).

• Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were: South Dakota (+5.9 percent), West Virginia (+5.6 percent), Maine (+4.5 percent), Utah (+3.7 percent) and Montana (+3.6 percent).

• Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Delaware (-8.7 percent), Connecticut (-4.9 percent), Nevada (-4.6 percent), Vermont (-4.0 percent) and Minnesota (-3.3 percent).

• Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to February 2012) was -34.4 percent. Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the HPI for the same period was -24.6 percent.

• The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines including distressed transactions were Nevada (-60.2 percent), Arizona (-49.8 percent), Florida (-48.6 percent), Michigan (-44.0 percent) and California (-43.7 percent).

• Of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population, 67 are showing year-over-year declines in February, nine fewer than in January.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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

Bidding wars break out over Tampa Bay area homes

Last month, Barry Barker put his home in New Tampa on the market. He expected it would take six months to land a buyer.

The house sold in six days.

Two dozen people toured the property, producing six offers. All of them matched or topped Barker’s asking price of $225,000.

“That’s what shocked me,” Barker said Monday. “I had no idea that many people were looking for houses.”

The sudden demand has sent real estate agents scrambling.

“People are desperate now for houses,” said Tony Delgado, an agent with Homeward Real Estate in South Tampa. “It’s a seller’s market.”

Read more HERE

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

Fla. a top market for international buyers

LAKELAND, Fla. – April 2, 2012 – Bargain prices in American real estate lure foreign buyers, and Florida continues to be the most popular destination, though other states are attracting more foreign interest as well.

More than half of international sales in 2011 – 58 percent – came from four states alone: Florida (31 percent), California (12 percent), Texas (9 percent), and Arizona (6 percent), according to National Association of Realtors® data.

Inman News recently identified the individual markets where foreign buyers make up the biggest share of homebuyers. Among the top markets to make the list:

• Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
• Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
• Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.
• North Point-Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla.
• Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.
• Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.
• New York County, N.Y. (Manhattan)
• Honolulu

See which other real estate markets topped the list, along with more information about the study, at Inman News.

Source: “10 Hot Spots for Global Homebuyers,” Inman News (March 2012)

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

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

Home improvement trends

CHESTER, Pa. – March 19, 2012 – Continuing uncertainty in the real estate market has homeowners asking a major question as the market warms this spring: Is it smarter to move or to improve?

Cost is the driving factor behind home improvement projects again this year, and many owners want to choose projects that provide the biggest return on investment. Power Home Remodeling Group, one of the nation’s largest home remodeling companies, empowers homeowners to get the biggest bang for their home-improvement buck this spring, whether updating a home to increase its resale value or infusing the place with some personality to create your dream home.

“Giving your home some added curb appeal with an exterior makeover will automatically boost the resale value of your property,” says Jeff Kaliner of Power Home Remodeling Group. “If you plan to stay put, focus on cost-effective renovations that make your home more comfortable, functional and low maintenance for your family.”

Cost-effective home improvements

• Energize the exterior. Exterior home improvements are still king when it comes to return on investment this year. Projects like updating siding, window replacement and refreshing entry doors have a dramatic effect on a home’s curb appeal for a relatively low cost. Seven of the top 10 home improvement projects for 2012 are exterior projects garnering anywhere from 69 to 78 percent return on investment – the highest of any other projects this year.

• Choose bold and bright finishes. Fiberglass entry and garage doors are a popular alternative to their pricey wooden counterparts in 2012. A fiberglass door is weather resistant, durable and, above all, maintenance free. The material allows owners to achieve the stylish look of an elegant craftsman or rustic design with decorative glass at a fraction of the price. Bright, bold exterior colors are also popular this year. Make curb appeal pop by choosing a shade of tangerine, yellow or deep purple for an entry door.

• Energy efficiency is still supreme. The top green home trend for 2012 is renovating to reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs. Making the most of empty attic space by adding a bedroom, or at least finishing it with insulation, is a way to keep conditioned air from escaping through the roof. Updating the attic is this year’s third most cost-effective home improvement, garnering a 72 percent return on investment.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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

Realtors say Manatee has become a seller’s market

MANATEE — A sharp drop in housing inventory has equipped Realtors with enough ammunition to promote Southwest Florida as a seller’s market for the first time since the crash.
Inventory for single-family homes under the $300,000 price range between Manatee and Sarasota counties has slipped to its lowest in five years, while pending sales flirt with 11-month highs, according to local Realtor Associations.

Read more here:

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

Fla. ranked first in 2011 home sales to Canada

SARASOTA, Fla. – March 15, 2012 – The strength of the Canadian dollar, sustained low pricing in the U.S. housing market, and perceptions regarding the general economic outlook continue to encourage Canadians to purchase a home in the Sunbelt states.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2011 Profile of International Buying Activity, Florida and Arizona are top choices because of their favorable winter climate. In fact, 58 percent of all international sales in 2011 came from just four states: Florida at 31 percent, followed by California at a distant 12 percent, Texas accounted for nine percent and Arizona at six percent.

Even for international buyers it’s location, location, location. Forty-three percent of those surveyed report a favorable location as their clients’ most important factor when choosing where to purchase. That was followed by 27 percent who stated their clients’ top reason to buy in the U.S. was that they view U.S. real estate as a profitable investment.

Canadians specifically purchase due to a perceived positive return on their investment. They also showed a strong desire for a lakefront recreational location. In fact, eight percent of Florida re-sales were to Canadians in 2010. Similar culture, closeness to their native homeland and lack of a communication barrier are also factors steering Canadians to the lower 48 U.S. states.

The NAR profile also showed that in the 12-month-period ending March of 2011, Canadians accounted for 23 percent of all foreign buyers – the largest of any country. In a 2010 article, Canada’s largest daily newspaper The Globe and Mail reported that a vast majority of Canadians were paying cash for their purchase.

“There are few lenders who have a mortgage process tailored for Canadians looking to purchase a home in the U.S.,” said Sheila Blom, Florida mortgage market manager for M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. “Our parent company is based in Toronto, so naturally we have relationship products specifically designed to meet the needs of Canadian customers for purchasing or refinancing their primary residence, second home or investment property in the U.S.”

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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

Trulia: 1 in 3 home searches cross state lines

SAN FRANCISCO, February 2, 2012 – According to real estate search engine Trulia, “House hunters near and far eye Florida real estate.” Seven of the top 10 metros with high demand from out-of-state residents are in Florida. Even with a backlog of homes unable to complete the foreclosure process, big price declines mean more people want to move to Florida than leave. In fact, one-third of all Miami home searches were done by people living more than 500 miles away.

Trulia’s Metro Movers Report looks at where homeowners are today and, by analyzing where they search for a new home, provides a look at where they want to live tomorrow. The Winter 2012 report examines all property searches on among all U.S. metropolitan areas between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.

“Today’s house hunters are deal seekers,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “Although locals in Florida, inland California and the Southwest are suffering from high foreclosure rates and lost equity, huge prices declines … have drawn house hunters from across the country. As America’s retirement capital, Florida has received the most attention from prospective homebuyers and renters from the Northeast and Midwest. Baby-boomers who had planned to retire to cheaper places during the boom years can once again buy in Florida.”
There are geographic preferences that differ between Florida house hunters in New York and Chicago. New York is the top source of long distance (100 miles or more) home searches for properties along Florida’s Atlantic coast and Central Florida (e.g., Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach). Meanwhile, more searches for Gulf Coast homes (e.g., North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota and Cape Coral) come from Chicago than anywhere else.

Overall, the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area had the highest demand from online seekers through Trulia’s website. For every one resident considering a move out of the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville region, almost nine people considered moving in.

Trulia’s top 10 list includes the number of interested out-of-area residents compared to each resident considering leaving. A rating of 2, for example, means that two people are considering a home inside an area for every one person considering a move out:

1. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville: 8.80
2. Lakeland-Winter Haven: 7.60
3. North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota: 6.62
4. Cape Coral-Fort Myers: 2.59

5. Tulsa, Okla.: 2.48
6. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach: 2.46
7. Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach: 2.44

8. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.: 2.43
9. Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, S.C.: 2.40
10. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: 2.30

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

May 18, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Short sale sellers need to close in 2012

WASHINGTON – Feb. 3, 2012 – If a bank writes off debt in a short sale, it’s a “taxable event,” and the lender tells the Internal Revenue Service about the deal by submitting a “Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt” at the end of the year. Home sellers must acknowledge the amount when they fill out their federal taxes. Through Dec. 31, 2012, however, the federal government forgives any tax liability associated with forgiveness of a mortgage loan.

“In general, homeowners believe the government will extend this tax provision,” says San Diego Realtor Joy Bender. “However, as evidenced by the First Time Homebuyer Credit expiration in 2010, you can’t always count on the government to bail you out.”

The government generally considers forgiven debt to be income. If a seller has signed legal loan papers to take out a $200,000 mortgage and the lender accepts $100,000 in a short sale, for example, the seller received the equivalent of $100,000 in free money by government estimates. As a result, the IRS taxes it. For tax year 2012, however, the government still forgives the debt; in 2013, it might not.

The tax amount can be significant. On a debt of $100,000, a short-sale seller in the 25 percent tax bracket could end up owing $25,000 in income taxes.

Since short sales can take months and even fall through, homeowners considering a short sale may want to start the process sooner rather than later.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

May 18, 2012 Posted by | News related to Sellers, News related to Short Sales and Foreclosures | Leave a comment

(Sarasota) Agents say buyers are pouring in

Real estate agents, normally an upbeat group, are simply gushing at the market conditions right now.

Read More HERE


May 18, 2012 Posted by | News related to Buyers, News related to Sellers, News related to the Market | Leave a comment

Best way to sell a house? Get out of the way

WASHINGTON – Jan. 27, 2012 – Realtors say sellers may believe they’re being helpful by following buyers and their agents around a home during a showing, commenting on every room and answering questions – but often they inadvertently kill the deal.

Experts say buyers find it uncomfortable to comment about changes they would make to a property with the seller standing there, and they also become suspicious about the reasons for the “hard sell.”

When circumstances arise that make it impossible for the seller to leave during a showing or inspection, they should stay out of the buyer’s way, going upstairs when the buyer is downstairs and vice versa. They also should not communicate with the buyer or his/her agent to avoid misunderstandings, allowing their agents to answer questions instead.

“Real estate agents, Realtors, brokers – that’s our job to answer questions and be the buffer between the two sides,” stresses Eddie Berenbaum, broker-owner of Century 21 Redwood Realty in Arlington, Va. “If the owners appear to be overly excited, they may come off as being desperate to the purchaser. If the purchaser seems overly excited about the house, that’s a bad way to start negotiations.”

When sellers are asked a question, they should provide unemotional, brief and to-the-point responses; and they should talk to their agents beforehand about how to present their reasons for the sale.

Source: Washington Times (01/27/12) P. D20; Brown, Rachel

May 18, 2012 Posted by | News related to Sellers | Leave a comment