Fla.’s housing market: Rising sales, prices in Oct. 2014


ORLANDO, Fla. – Nov. 20, 2014 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and a rising inventory in October, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,894 last month, up 17.8 percent over the October 2013 figure.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $177,000, up 4.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis (IDA) department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in October was $139,900, up 7.7 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

“October marks the 35th month in a row that statewide median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties,” said 2014 Florida Realtors®President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. “The state’s housing market continues to benefit from more people moving to Florida, a steadily improving jobs outlook and growing economy.”

Statewide, the inventory (active listings) of single-family homes in October rose 4.9 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo inventory rose 3.4 percent.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), thenational median sales price for existing single-family homes in September 2014 was $210,300, up 5.9 percent from the previous yearthe national median existing condo price was $205,200.In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $460,940; in Massachusetts, it was $325,000; in Maryland, it was $257,575; and in New York, it was $227,500.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 9,377 last month, up 7.4 percent compared to October 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 55.6 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 47.6 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“Everything appears to be moving in the right direction, against a background of moderate and sustainable price changes,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo, “Condo sales stand out, since they had been down for the first eight months of the year when compared with the previous year. However, it’s unclear whether the October numbers signal a revival of the brisk-paced recovery in the housing market, or whether this is a one-month anomaly. The next several months will tell the tale.

“We could be seeing an early onset of the ‘Winter of ’13’ effect, whereby snowbirds, fearing a recurrence of the bitter weather of last winter, are arriving early and looking to lock in homes before the main seasonal rush.”

Inventory was at a 5.4-months’ supply in October for single-family homes and at a 5.9-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.04 percent in October 2014, down from the 4.19 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, visit Florida Realtors website.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

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What’s the next big home feature buyers want?


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Nov. 24, 2014 – Homeowners are showing a bigger appetite for smart home technology. Nearly half of consumers – 46 percent – say it’s important their current home or the next home they purchase have smart home technology, according to a survey of nearly 2,500 consumers, conducted by ERA Real Estate and HGTV.

Survey respondents had recently participated in an HGTV national focus group on smart home technology.

Homeowners and buyers say they see the value in smart home technology for comfort, safety and cost savings, and 51 percent surveyed say they would consider installing smart home technology in their home to make their home more marketable to future home buyers.

The younger segment of the millennial generation is the most likely age group to spend money on smart home technology – 10 times more likely than the percentage of generation X members who say they’d consider adding smart home technology to their homes, the survey reported.

“While still a growing trend, smart home enhancements have the potential to increase savings, safety, and resale value,” says Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “As we have seen through this survey and our one-on-one interactions with buyers and sellers, a smart home is one that is well positioned for the future and aligns with a growing reliance on mobile technology.”

Indeed, 70 percent of millennials say it’s important that smart home technology integrate with their smartphone.

While smart home technology has often been thought to be driven by mainly security, survey researchers did not find security as the main motivation for adding smart home technology.

Instead, homeowners say they’re using or wanting smart home technology mainly because of the money-saving potential, such as through automated climate control, energy management, remote home monitoring and lighting control systems.

What’s more, consumers of all generations said they’d automate their thermostats before their lighting or security systems, and one in 10 Americans say they’d automate their TV over their lighting or security systems.

Source: ERA Real Estate

© Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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5 real estate predictions for 2015


WASHINGTON – Nov. 24, 2014 – Expect the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November.

“The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3 percent growth rate in 2015 – only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace or better,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Governmental fiscal drag has turned into fiscal stimulus; lower energy costs support consumer spending and business investment; further easing of credit conditions for business and real estate lending support commerce and development; and consumers are more upbeat and businesses are more confident, all of which portend faster economic growth in 2015.

“And with that, the economy will produce more and better-paying jobs, providing the financial wherewithal to support household formations and housing activity.”

Freddie Mac economists have made the following projections in housing for the new year:

Mortgage rates: Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4 percent. But by next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and inch up to 5 percent by the end of the year.

Home prices: By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5 percent this year from 9.3 percent last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3 percent in 2015. “Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers,” according to Freddie economists. “Historically speaking, that’s moving from ‘very high’ levels of affordability to ‘high’ levels of affordability.”

Housing starts: Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in 2015, projected to rise by 20 percent from this year. That will likely help total home sales to climb by about 5 percent, reaching the best sales pace in eight years.

Single-family originations: Mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Refinancings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.

Multi-family mortgage originations: Mortgage originations for the multi-family sector have surged about 60 percent between 2011 and 2014. Increases are expected to continue in 2015, projected to rise about 14 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

© Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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Fla. a top destination for retiring baby boomers


ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 4, 2014 – As the baby boomers retire, a significant number follow the same path their parents did – they move to Florida. And historic retirement sites in Southwest Florida continue to draw a significant number of older adults.

RealtyTrac conducted a study on two ends of the age spectrum: the baby boomers and the millennials. To spot trends, RealtyTrac analyzed Census population data between 2007 and 2013 in more than 1,800 counties nationwide to identify shifts in populations, and it overlaid that data with information on median home prices, price appreciation and rental rates.

In Florida, four counties made the top 10 list for baby boomer population growth:

Charlotte County – Punta Gorda (32.9% were baby boomers in 2013, a 34.3% increase since 2007)

Citrus County – Homosassa Springs (32.1% boomers, 28% growth since 2007)

Lee County – Cape Coral-Fort Myers (28.1% boomers, 27.6% growth since 2007)

Lake County – Orlando-Kissimmee (27% boomers, 26.5% growth since 2007)

No Florida county made the top 10 list for baby boomers moving out or millennials moving in; but it appears that one county, Citrus, is trading millennial residents for baby boomer. Citrus County not only made the top 10 list for baby boomers moving in, but it also made the top 10 list for millennials moving out. In 2003, 12 percent of the population was a millennial, a decline of 26.9 percent since 2007.

While RealtyTrac’s statistics don’t draw a direct connection between declining baby boomer markets and those on the upswing, many new Florida residents could come from Georgia, which had four cities on the top 10 list of declining boomers: Fulton County (boomer population down 21.9% since 2007), DeKalb County (down 20.1%), Clayton County (down 15.5%) and Cobb County (down 13.7%).

Overall, RealtyTrac notes four trends in their tracking:

• The millennial generation is generally moving from lower-priced to higher-priced markets for both buying and renting, with the tradeoff being more jobs (lower unemployment) and higher median incomes in their target markets.

• Millennials are also moving from counties with a smaller population (average 178,277) to counties with a larger population (average 587,522).

• The baby boomer generation is generally moving from higher-priced to lower-priced markets for both buying and renting, with the tradeoff being lower median household incomes and slower home price appreciation in their target markets.

• Baby boomers are also moving from counties with a larger population (average 809,464) to counties with a smaller population (261,232).

“The above population trends are also evident within the same metropolitan area, with millennials moving from lower-populated counties to higher-populated counties within the same metro, and baby boomers doing the opposite or moving out of the area entirely,” says Ginny Walker, RealtyTrac’s public relations supervisor.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

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Fla.’s housing market: Prices, listings rise in April


ORLANDO, Fla. – May 22, 2014 – Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings and a slight rise in inventory in April, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,385 last month, up 4.1 percent over the April 2013 figure.

“Florida’s strengthening economy and increased jobs outlook are positive signs for continued growth in the state’s housing market,” said 2014 Florida Realtors®President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. “Statewide, new listings for single-family homes in April rose 9.2 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings rose 1.4 percent. This increase in listings shows many Florida homeowners are continuing to regain equity in their homes. Potential sellers who were on the sidelines now believe the time is right to put their residences on the market.

“And, for the 29th month in row, median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhome-condo properties.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $175,000, up 6.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis (IDA) department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in April was $140,500, up 9.8 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), thenational median sales price for existing single-family homes in March 2014 was $198,200, up 7.4 percent from the previous yearthenational median existing condo price was $200,800.In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in March was $435,470; in Massachusetts, it was $314,063; in Maryland, it was $245,891; and in New York, it was $217,500.

Looking at Florida’s townhome-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 10,766 last month, down 5.1 percent compared to April 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhome properties declined 57.9 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 51.5 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“We continue to see the development of a sustainable market here in Florida,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “The numbers all suggest a balanced market, and the slight uptick in inventory is a correction for the historically low levels we’ve seen over the past two or three years.

“If there’s anything that jumps out of these numbers, it is the rapidly disappearing short sale market. The decline in short sales – a characteristic seen all over the country – is a function of rising prices reducing the number of candidate properties for short sales. We expect this will continue as the market continues to improve.”

Inventory was at a 5.7-months’ supply last month for single-family homes and at a 6-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.34 percent in April 2014, up from the 3.45 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

Realtors can find local sales statistics by by zip code and metro area (login required) on Florida Realtors website.

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Fla.’s housing market shows strength in 1Q 2014


ORLANDO, Fla. – May 12, 2014 – Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings, fewer days on the market and a slight uptick in inventory during the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 50,251 in 1Q 2014, up 2.3 percent over the 1Q 2013 figure.

“The first three months of 2014 show a strong housing market in Florida, with diminishing distressed property sales,” says 2014 Florida Realtors President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. “More jobs are being created, putting more Florida residents back to work, and our population continues to increase. All of these factors are bolstering the state’s economy and providing a solid foundation for a strong housing market.

“Statewide, new listings for single-family homes over the three-month-period rose 12 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings rose 8.2 percent. Home sellers, whether in the single-family home market or the townhouse-condo market, received more than 92 percent, on average, of their original listing price during the first quarter of this year.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 1Q 2014 was $168,000, up 9.1 percent from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties during the quarter was $135,000, up 16.9 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Looking at Florida’s townhome-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 24,860 during 1Q 2014, down 0.8 percent compared to 1Q 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month: Short sales for condo-townhome properties declined 55.8 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 52 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“The first quarter statistics reflect the fact that Florida, in part a derivative market, has felt the sting of the northern winter.” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Yet, the market is showing some positive movement. Sales are up, particularly for non-distressed properties. Other data indicate that this is a market that is settling down and returning to more stabilized conditions.”

In 1Q 2014, the median days on market (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to sell during that time) was 58 days for single-family homes and 56 days for townhouse-condo properties.

Inventory was at a 5.7-months’ supply in the first quarter for single-family homes and at a 6-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.36 percent for 1Q 2014, up from the 3.50 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center and look under Latest Releases, or download the 1Q 2014 data report PDFs under Market Data.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

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Fla.’s housing market continued upswing in Aug. 2013


ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 19, 2013 – Florida’s housing market continued its positive trend in August with increased closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and a stable supply of homes for sale, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
“Both sales and prices demonstrate that Florida’s housing market is growing and continuing to gain strength,” says 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “The growth in jobs and other positive signs are putting buyers at ease with how the economy is progressing. At the same time, prices are encouraging sellers to get off the fence and helping to ease inventory pressures.
“August is the 20th month in a row that we’ve seen the statewide single-family home median sales price increase year-over-year.”
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 20,933 in August, up 12.5 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 signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes rose 17.2 percent over the previous August. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $175,000, up 18.6 percent from the previous year.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in July 2013 was $214,000, up 13.5 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in July was $433,760; in Massachusetts, it was $350,000; in Maryland, it was $286,758; and in New York, it was $241,947.
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 townhouse-condos, a total of 9,491 units sold statewide last month, up 6.3 percent from August 2012. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos last month increased 11.6 percent year-to-year. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties was $130,000, up 25.2 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in July 2013 was $209,600.
The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.1-months’ supply in August; inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 5.2-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors.
“The most striking feature of this month’s data relates to new listings and inventory,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Each month in 2013 has seen a rise year-over-year in new listings for both single family homes and townhouses and condos, with the exception of March for condo/townhomes. Balancing out the growth in closed sales, the increase in new listings has contributed to steady inventory. Single-family-home inventory is now at 5.1 months for August 2013, after holding steady at a 5-months supply in May through July. Condo/townhome inventory remains at a 5.2 months supply for the third month in a row.
“Combined with a relative decline in cash sales, this suggests that the pressure on inventories that has plagued the Florida market may be easing.”
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.46 percent in August 2013, up from the 3.60 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center under Latest Releases, or download the August 2013 data report PDFs under Market Data on Florida Realtors’ website.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

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