Updates from August, 2012

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  • Fla.’s Housing Market Continues Positive Trends in June 2012

    11:57 am on August 9, 2012 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   Filed under: Agent information, Consumer news and advice, Florida, Florida Association of Realtors, Housing Market, Median Sales Price, NAR, National Association of Realtors, Real Estate Trends, Seller Info, Statistics, Supply and Demand, The Housing Market


    ORLANDO, Fla., July 19, 2012 – Florida’s housing market had increased pending sales, more closed sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale in June, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

    “Florida’s housing recovery continues its positive momentum,” said 2012 Florida Realtors President Summer Greene, regional manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale. “All of the signs point to solid gains, which is good news for the state’s economy. In June, pending sales were up 31 percent for existing single-family homes and nearly 23 percent for townhouse-condo units compared to a year ago. The trend shows that many buyers are ready to purchase their Florida dream home, but a lack of financing options and overly restrictive credit standards remain obstacles.”

    Pending sales refer to contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed; closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

    Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,800 in June, up 5.3 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department and vendor partner 10K Research and Marketing. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $151,000, up 8.2 percent from June 2011. (More …)

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  • Positive Trends in Florida Housing Market, January 2012

    2:02 pm on February 29, 2012 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , , ,   Filed under: Agent information, Buyer Info, Consumer news and advice, Florida, Florida Association of Realtors, Housing Market, Seller Info, Statistics, Supply and Demand, The Housing Market


    Positive Trends in Fla.’s Housing Market in Jan. 2012

    ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 22, 2012 – Florida’s housing market reported gains in median sales prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

    “We’re seeing positive signs of a strengthening recovery in Florida’s housing market,” said 2012 Florida Realtors® President Summer Greene, regional manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale. “In both the statewide single-family and condo-townhome markets, pending sales are higher and the statewide median sales price rose — up 5.3 percent to $129,000 for single-family homes and up 18.8 percent to $95,000 for condo-townhomes. Improving the availability of affordable financing to qualified buyers and investors would continue to stabilize Florida’s housing market and economy.”

    The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. Sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes, according to housing industry analysts. (More …)

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  • Florida Leads Top 10 Cities for Home List Price Increases

    11:59 am on November 8, 2011 | Comments:0
    Tags: Florida Housing Market   Filed under: Bradenton, Charlotte County, Florida, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, The Housing Market


    A top-ten list of the U.S. housing markets that experienced the greatest year-over-year increase in median list price—just released by the National Association of REALTORS®—turns out to be all but completely dominated by Florida markets.

    Only three non-Florida markets broke into the ranking, the first appearing at #6. The top five are Ft. Myers-Cape Coral, Miami, Naples, Sarasota-Bradenton and Punta Gorda. The other Florida markets included on the list are Lakeland-Winter Haven and Daytona Beach.

    Published: Friday, November 4, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.

    Florida communities, including Sarasota-Bradenton and Charlotte County-North Port, dominated a list of the 10 cities that have seen the largest percentage increase in median list prices when comparing September with a year earlier.

    The list from the National Association of Realtors speaks to the lack of available properties on the low end of the market; to the growing number of high-end owners getting off the fence and trying to sell; and perhaps to seller’s confidence about what they can get for their homes.

    Sarasota-Bradenton was No. 4 on the ratings, culled from 4 million listings on more than 900 multiple listing services around the country. The median list price during September was $233,0000, 16.5 percent higher than a year ago.

    Charlotte County-North Port was $169,000, up 14 percent from a year ago.

    Other markets up in Florida include Fort Myers-Cape Coral, whose 34.5 percent increase put it at No. 1; Miami, with 25.6 percent increase at No. 2; Naples, at No. 3; Lakeland-Winter Haven, at No. 7; and Daytona Beach, at No. 9.

    The other non-Florida communities were Shreveport-Bosier City, La.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Boise City, Idaho.

    Nationally, the median list price has risen 1.6 percent to $190,000, the NAR reported.

    Courtesy of the Sarasota-Herald Tribune

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  • Soaring Prices Suggest a Florida Phenomenon

    9:25 am on September 22, 2011 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , , , ,   Filed under: Agent information, Buyer Info, Charlotte County, Consumer news and advice, Florida, Home owner information, Manatee, Median Sales Price, pricing, Sarasota, Seller Info, Statistics, Supply and Demand, The Housing Market

    The numbers leap off the page.

    Seven of the top ten markets in the nation whose media list prices are up year over year are Florida markets. According to the latest data from Realtor.com, the world’s largest real estate site, Florida single family home and condo prices are zooming at the same time that the rest of the nation is still recovering from the first quarter’s double dip.

    August median prices in Fort Myers are up 33 percent from 2010. Miami is up 24 percent, Punta Gorda 20 percent, Sarasota-Bradenton 10 percent, Daytona 9.3 percent and Lakeland-Winter Haven 8.8 percent. Compared those increases to the national average increase for median list prices from all 146 metros tracked by Realtor.com: .46 percent.

    These amazing year over year numbers are not simply the result of being compared to prices during the August 2010 nose dive following the end of the tax credit. They are the real thing. A handful of Florida markets have been leading the Realtor.com hit parade since the end of the first quarter.

    With a high saturation of condos, resort, retirement and second homes, these markets were devastated by a combination of foreclosures evaporating demand. Massive inventories of distress sales and slow absorption drove prices to peak lows.

    Florida has a long way to go to get healthy. The median property in a number of Florida markets has lost half its value or more since 2006. The peak to trough price differential in many Florida markets is over 50 percent, among the greatest in the nation, according to Case-Shiller. In Miami, for example, prices fell over 50 percent and didn’t trough until the double dip in the first quarter of this year. Prices in Fort Lauderdale fell from 2006 at least 46 percent to 2010. Naples fell 52 percent. Tampa, 43 percent. Orlando, 51 percent.

    It makes sense that at some point bargain prices like these in prime Florida markets will attract investors, both foreign and domestic, and there have been bargains indeed. In Vero Beach, for example, the discount on foreclosures reached 53 percent in the second quarter; state-wide the media discount was 40 percent according to RealtyTrac. By all accounts that seems to be the case. In several markets, notably Orlando, Sarasota, Lakeland and Miami, demand has been strong enough to bring supply and demand into close enough balance to reduce median time for listings in inventory by five to 25 percent.

    Why then are markets like Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando, where prices fell nearly as much as South Florida markets, not participating in the renaissance? Discounts, deals and demand—such as it is—don’t tell the whole story.

    The answer is fewer foreclosures, and in turn, reduced inventory. What differentiates markets like Fort Myers and Miami from Tampa and Orlando not just geography by a significant decline in foreclosure filings in South Florida that began early this year and reached 60 percent year to year decline in foreclosure activity in July and August.

    Miami-Dade County recorded 3,352 foreclosure-related actions in August, a 61 percent decrease from a year ago. Broward County had 2,806 foreclosure actions, a 63 percent decrease, while Palm Beach County recorded 2,035 foreclosure-related actions, a 66 percent decline, according to

    During the second quarter of 2011, foreclosure actions plunged by 51 percent in the tri-county South Florida region compared to the same three-month period in 2010, according to a new report from CondoVultures.com, a site listing condos.

    Fewer filings means fewer REOs are being listed, which has contributed to the significant reductions in inventories shared by all of the markets were pries are zooming. Almost all have reduced their inventories in the past 12 months, some dramatically. Since last year inventories of condos and single family homes are down 41 percent in Fort Myers, 47 percent in Miami, 32 percent in Punta Gorda, 33 percent in Sarasota, 32 percent in Daytona and 38 percent in Lakeland.

    How long will the Florida phenomenon last? Will double digit price increases discourage bargain hunters and encourage local owners to list their properties and dilute the inventory vacuum that has been behind the price? Is the foreclosure fall off a result of servicer processing delays rather than fewer defaults?

    Perhaps Bank of America answered that question when it doubled its foreclosure filings in South Florida in August. With a default rate well into the double digits, Florida still ranks number one in defaults. Until the larger economic picture improves, it’s hard to believe the Florida price phenomenon will last much longer.

    “Florida, particularly South Florida, is still in a real estate crisis and experts predict it will take a couple of years for Florida to win its battle over this downturn…Looks like there are going to be lots and lots of good bargains here in beautiful South Florida for those with the wherewithal to purchase them,” says Florida real estate attorney Rosa Eckstein Schechter.


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