Single Women Own More Homes Than Single Men Do

28 01 2020

Single women own more than 1.5 million more homes than single men in America’s 50 largest metro areas, according to a new study conducted by LendingTree, an online lending marketplace.

All the single ladies are outpacing men in homeownership

Even though women earned just 79 cents for every dollar men made in 2019 – regardless of job type or seniority – single women in the U.S. currently own about 5.1 million homes, while single men own 3.5 million homes.

It is a continuation of a trend that the National Association of Realtors reported in late 2018, when single female buyers made up 18 percent of overall homebuyer demographics, second to married couples. While single male buyers came in third, they tended to purchase more expensive homes (at a median price of $215,000) than single female buyers (median price of $189,000).

Why single women are outpacing single men when it comes to homeownership is a bit of a mystery, although the desire to nest could be a factor. “We do know single females tend to really value homeownership, not just as a financial investment but also as a place where they can live,” NAR Director of Demographics and Behavioral Insights Jessica Lautz said in a statement about the report. “They really desire a place they can own.”

Caregiving responsibilities could be another reason. According to the Pew Research Center, 21 percent of children live with single mothers, while only 4 percent live with single fathers. “Even if she doesn’t have young children, she is likely a caregiver in another way,” Lautz said of the typical single female buyer. “Maybe she has children over 18 who live with her, or maybe she’s caring for an older parent.”

In all of the 50 largest metropolitan area surveyed by Lending Tree, single women owned more homes than single men do.

Jacksonville had the 12th largest gender gap of single homeowners in the study. Single women in Jacksonville own and occupy 49,328 households, while single men own and occupy 33,035 households, a gap of 4.60 percent.

Source: LendingTree





Housing sales, inventory trending up in Florida

4 12 2018

Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, rising median prices and more new listings in October compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,272 last month, up 8.5 percent compared to October 2017.

October marked 82 consecutive months (more than six and a half years) that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties increased year-over-year.

Rising interest rates are having a ripple effect across the housing market as the Federal Reserve increases borrowing costs. Analysts expect the Fed to raise rates again a few times in 2019. Areas with strong job or population growth, like Florida, may be able to weather higher mortgage rates, analysts say.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.83 percent in October 2018, up from the 3.90 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.





$250K Home Giveaway Sweepstakes for U.S. Military or Veterans

28 09 2017

Realtor.com® and Veterans United Home Loans, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) purchase lender, have teamed up to launch a $250,000 Veterans Day Home Giveaway Sweepstakes.

The contest will award up to $250,000 toward a home purchase to a U.S. military service member or veteran.

Veterans and current members of the military can enter the sweepstakes until Oct. 29 at realtor.com/homegiveaway.

The winner will be announced on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The winner will receive $250,000 (less tax withholding) at the closing of a home purchase transaction.

For more details, go to https://www.realtor.com/homegiveaway/rules.

Source: Realtor.com®





Pending Home Sales Hit a 10-Year High in April

28 05 2016

Pending home sales rose for the third consecutive month in April and reached their highest level in over a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

All major regions saw gains in contract activity last month except for the Midwest, which saw a meager decline.

The Pending Home Sales Index – a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings for homes that have not yet sold – hiked 5.1 percent higher to 116.3 in April from an upwardly revised 110.7 in March. Year-to-year, it’s 4.6 percent above April 2015 (111.2).

After last month’s gain, the index has now increased year-over-year for 20 consecutive months. Vast gains in the South and West propelled April’s pending sales in April to its highest level since February 2006 (117.4), says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

“The ability to sign a contract on a home is slightly exceeding expectations this spring, even with the affordability stresses and inventory squeezes affecting buyers in a number of markets,” Yun says. “The building momentum from the over 14 million jobs created since 2010 and the prospect of facing higher rents and mortgage rates down the road appear to be bringing more interested buyers into the market.”

Mortgage rates have remained below 4 percent in 16 of the past 17 months, but Yun says it remains to be seen how long they will stay this low. Along with rent growth, rising gas prices – and the fading effects of last year’s cheap oil on consumer prices – could edge up inflation and push rates higher. For now, Yun foresees mortgage rates continuing to hover around 4 percent in coming months, but inflation could potentially surprise the market and cause rates to increase suddenly.

“Even if rates rise soon, sales have legs for further expansion this summer if housing supply increases enough to give buyers an adequate number of affordable choices during their search,” adds. Yun.

Following the housing market’s best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007 (5.66 million) and a decent increase (1.7 percent) in April, Yun expects sales this year to climb above earlier estimates and be around 5.41 million – a 3.0 percent boost from 2015. After accelerating to 6.8 percent a year ago, national median existing-home price growth is forecast to slightly moderate to between 4 and 5 percent.

Pending sales in the Northeast climbed 1.2 percent to 98.2 in April, and are now 10.1 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index declined slightly (0.6 percent) to 112.9 in April, but it’s still 2.0 percent above April 2015.

Pending home sales in the South jumped 6.8 percent to an index of 133.9 in April – 5.1 percent higher than last April. The index in the West soared 11.4 percent in April to 106.2, and it’s now 2.8 percent above a year ago.

Source: National Association of Realtors





June Home Starts Surge – Highest Pace in 28 Years

18 07 2015

The U.S. Commerce Department announced that housing starts in June climbed 9.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million homes. All of that growth came from a 28.6 percent surge in multi-family housing that put apartment construction at its highest rate since November 1987. Starts for single-family houses slipped 0.9 percent last month.

U.S. builders broke ground on apartment complexes in June at the fastest pace in nearly 28 years, as developers anticipate that recent job gains will launch a wave of renters.

The gains show that what had been a sluggish construction sector is now running on economic adrenaline. Strong job growth and a rebounding economy have increased the numbers of buyers and renters searching for homes, while gradually rising mortgage rates have spurred homeowners to finalize deals.

Housing starts jumped 35.3 percent in the Northeast because of apartments, while climbing 13.5 percent in the South. Home construction slumped in the Midwest and West in June.

Nationwide, housing starts have risen 10.9 percent year-to-date.

Over the past 12 months, employers have added 2.9 million jobs, meaning there are more people with paychecks to spend across the broader economy. The impact of those job gains and the unemployment rate drop to 5.3 percent has surfaced in housing, where demand is outpacing the supply of homes and creating more pressure to build houses and apartments.

The market for new homes for sale had just 4.5 months of supply in May, compared to 6 months in a healthy market.

Approved building permits increased 7.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.34 million in June, the highest level since July 2007. The bulk of that increase came for apartment complexes, while permits for houses last month rose just 0.9 percent.

There are other signs that builders are increasingly optimistic.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday climbed to 60 this month, a level last reached in November 2005 – shortly before the housing boom gave way to the mortgage crisis that triggered the Great Recession. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

Mortgage rates have started to rise, although they remain low by historic standards.

Source: The Associated Press





U.S. New-Home Sales in May Climb to Best Levels Since 2008

24 06 2015

Purchases of new U.S. homes surged in the Northeast and West in May, as steady job growth over the past year has lifted the real estate sector.

The Commerce Department said that new-home sales rose 2.2 percent in May 2015 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, the strongest pace in more than seven years.

Sales of new homes have soared 24 percent year-to-date, helped by the additional incomes from the employers hiring 3.1 million workers in the past 12 months and relatively low mortgage rates. The sharp increase in purchases could help drive more employment in the construction sector and broader economic growth, potentially offsetting the setbacks to growth in the manufacturing sector caused by cheaper oil prices and a stronger dollar that has hurt exports.

Last month’s sales gains were concentrated in the Northeast, where sales jumped 87.5 percent. New-home sales increased 13.1 percent in the West, but slipped in the Midwest and South.

The median sales price has fallen slightly, dipping 1 percent over the past 12 months to $282,800.

The increases have caused the supply of new homes to dwindle to 4.5 months, compared to the six months’ supply generally associated with a healthy market.

Still, homebuilders are preparing to meet this demand, having broken ground on more houses this year and plan to continue construction. Approved building permits rose increased 11.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million, the highest level since August 2007, the Commerce Department reported last week.

Existing homes are also seeing strong sales as the economy continues to muscle up.

Sales of existing homes climbed 5.1 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Tight supplies have lifted prices, which have climbed 7.9 percent over the past 12 months to an average of $228,700, about $1,700 below the July 2006 peak.

Much of the increased buying activity flows from a stronger job market and relatively affordable mortgage rates.

Borrowing costs are low by historical standards, but they have been rising in recent weeks at a speed that might prompt more people to buy homes.

Average 30-year fixed rates were 4 percent last week, according to the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That average has increased from a 52-week low of 3.59 percent.

Soure: Associated Press





U.S. existing home sales rise in December but down for 2014

24 01 2015

U.S. home resales rose slightly in December but fell overall for the year, the first annual drop since 2010 and another sign that the housing market recovery remains uneven amid expectations of a pick-up in 2015.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales increased 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.04 million units last month. That was slightly below economists’ expectations for a 5.06-million-unit pace.

“The still-tight mortgage credit conditions and more challenging first-time homebuyer affordability that were revealed by the failure of home sales to continue recovering last year remain serious concerns as we head into 2015,” said Ted Wieseman, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

First-time buyers made up 29 percent of transactions in December as well as for the year as a whole, well below the level needed to boost growth in the housing market.

For all of 2014, existing home sales fell 3.1 percent, the first annual drop in four years. The housing market has struggled to maintain momentum since stagnating in the second half of 2013 following a run-up in mortgage rates.

At December’s sales pace it would take 4.4 months to clear all available houses from the market, down from 5.1 months in November and the lowest since January 2013.

However, a decline in mortgage rates, an easing of lending standards and the resurgent health of the U.S. economy over the last few months has spurred optimism that sales could strengthen this year.

And the outlook for the economy remains upbeat. In a separate report the Conference Board said its Leading Economic Index rose 0.5 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in November.

December’s jump was driven by gains in most of the index’s components, suggesting the short-term outlook is getting brighter and the economy continues to build momentum, the Conference Board said.

Source: Reuter





Delinquent Homeowners Two Years Behind on Mortgage Payment Can Now Qualify For Loan Modification

21 10 2014

Florida borrowers two or more years late on their mortgage payments could get another chance to save their homes following a change in loan modification rules by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Federal mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced the elimination of an eligibility cap that forbid loan modifications to people with delinquencies of 720 days or more.

The change was made to the “streamlined modification” program, which was created in 2013 and billed as a more automatic route to lower mortgage payments because no application or exchange of paperwork is required.

It’s estimated that nearly half of borrowers nationwide who are ineligible because of the 720-day cap, would otherwise be able to get a loan modification through the program, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Lenders must comply with the cap elimination by April 1, 2015, but are being encouraged to make the change immediately. Borrowers who were previously denied a streamlined modification because they were more than two years late on payments must be reevaluated, according to letters sent to lenders and mortgage servicers Oct. 1.

“We’ve had multiple clients receive approvals under this program,” said Paul Baltrun, director of corporate development for the Law Office of Paul A. Krasker in West Palm Beach. “It’s very little paperwork, mostly just phone conversations with the lender, and the turn time is quicker.”

The streamlined modification program was developed because of consistent complaints from borrowers that banks repeatedly lose loan modification paperwork in a bureaucratic process that can take years to complete. Banks have also said obtaining the correct employment and payment documents from borrowers can be a hurdle in completing a modification.

Under the program, lenders send contracts to borrowers with new payment amounts. The modification could include a fixed interest rate, an extension of the loan to 40 years, and possibly deferring a portion of the debt owed to the end of the loan so it’s not included in current payment calculations.

Also, borrowers are encouraged to apply for other loan modification plans, such as the Home Affordable Modification Program, which could offer a better deal.

If the borrower agrees and makes three on-time payments, the modification becomes permanent.

Baltrun said it’s hard to gauge how many people the change will affect. Although the worst of the foreclosure crisis is over, he said a significant number of homeowners are still looking for modifications because they have lost jobs, or have used up their savings trying to stay in their home.

“I think it will help a small number of people in specific circumstances,” said Baltrun, who believes removing the cap is a good change. “Why would someone who is 721 days late be declined when someone who is 719 days late is approved?

Other eligibility requirements for the streamlined modification include homeowners must be at least 90 days late on their mortgage and can’t have more than 20 percent equity in their home.

About 3 percent of Florida homeowners with mortgages were 90 days late or more on payments during the second quarter of this year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Nearly 10 percent were either 90 days delinquent, or in foreclosure.

While that’s still the second highest foreclosure and serious delinquency rate in the nation behind New Jersey, it’s an improvement from where Florida was at the end of 2011 when 18 percent of mortgages were in the same position.

Streamlining modifications is increasingly important in Florida where foreclosure courts are moving cases more quickly through the system. That means less time for negotiating with the bank before a final foreclosure judgment is issued.

“You can’t even keep people in their homes very long anymore,” said Deerfield Beach-based attorney Bonnie Lynn Canty, who defends foreclosures. “Used to be four years out before you were looking at a (foreclosure) sale date. Now, it’s at the most two years.”

Source: Palm Beach Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek





Florida Tops in the U.S. for Cash Sales of Homes in July

16 10 2014

Florida had the largest share of cash sales of any state in July, with 49.7 percent, a new report from CoreLogic shows.

For the United States as a whole, cash sales made up 32.9 percent of total home sales in July, the lowest share since August 2008 and down from 35.9 percent in July 2013.

Besides Florida, other states with the largest percentage of cash sales included Alabama (47.6 percent), New York (44.5 percent), West Virginia (42 percent) and Idaho (39.9 percent).

Of the largest 100 core based statistical areas measured by population, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach had the highest share of cash sales at 57.9 percent, followed by Cape Coral-Fort Myers (57.3 percent), Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (56.5 percent), North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (55.8 percent) and Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Mich. (55.8 percent).

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md. had the lowest cash sales share at 15.4 percent.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal.





Ponte Vedra Dominates Priciest Home Sales in Second Quarter

13 10 2014

The second quarter of 2014 saw a number of multi-million dollar home sales in the Jacksonville area, with the majority of them in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The top sale of the quarter was a 4,200-square-foot home in the 800 block of Ponte Vedra Beach Boulevard, and nine more of the top 20 sales were nearby

Together, the 20 homes sold for just over $49 million, with the average price of the list around $2.5 million.

As well as Ponte Vedra Beach, the other waterfront areas of the region — not surprisingly — helped fill out the list, with Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Fernandina Beach all snagging spots. Jacksonville proper had three homes on the list.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Augst Home Prices Up 6.4 Percent Over Last Year

8 10 2014

Home prices continued the annual gains in August but have appreciated at a slower pace since hitting a peak a year ago.

CoreLogic, which tracks data on the housing market, reported that prices rose 6.4 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago, representing 30 months of year-over-year increases.

Home prices hit a high of 12 percent year-over-year in October 2013 and has been dropping since then.

“Continued moderation of home price appreciation is a welcomed sign of more balanced real estate markets and less pressure on affordability for potential home buyers in the near future,” Fleming said.

Prices were up 0.3 percent in August over July.

At the state level, including distressed sales, all states showed year-over-year home price appreciation in August.

Prices reached new highs in nine states — Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming — plus the District of Columbia.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationally increased 5.9 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago and 0.3 percent on a monthly basis.

Also, taking out distressed sales, 49 states and the District of Columbia showed year-over-year home price appreciation in August, with Mississippi being the only state to experience a decline (-1.7 percent).

CoreLogic’s forecast shows that home prices, including distressed sales, will increase 0.2 percent from August to September and by 5.2 percent from August to August 2015.

“Home prices continue to rise, albeit more slowly, across most of the U.S.,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

“Major metropolitan areas such as Riverside and Los Angeles, California, and Houston continue to lead the way with strong price gains buoyed by tight supplies and a gradual rebound in economic activity.”

Source: CoreLogic

 





Twenty Mile at Nocatee

24 09 2014

Inspired by history, Twenty Mile will be Nocatee’s newest and most distinctive community featuring large oak trees, split-rail fencing and a rustic, old-Florida style. Set on the largest lots in the community — all with views of the nature preserve or the lake — homes in Twenty Mile will be up to 6,000 square feet with prices starting at $400,000.

The name of the community refers to its location, the halfway point in the 40 miles between St. Augustine and Fort Caroline. Spanish Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles first blazed a path in the area in 1565, as he and his men marched 40 miles from St. Augustine to claim Fort Caroline from the French. In the 1700s, a military outpost known as Twenty Mile House was established, serving as a “half way” station for soldiers and travelers.

The price point is a change when compared to the last several announcements. Although Nocatee has offered homes priced from $200,000 to more than $1 million in the past, many recent Nocatee additions have been lower: Willow Cove, a Nocatee community announced in 2012, started at $170,000 for a 2,100 square-foot townhome and more recently, Addison Park prices for 1,600- to 2,900-square-foot single-family homes started in the low $200,000s.

Part of PARC Group CEO Rick Ray’s approach to Nocatee, he said, has always been to monitor demand is and then fill the areas slated to become neighborhoods with where the demand is in real time.

Ray said Twenty Mile will be one of Nocatee’s most distinctive communities, featuring large oak trees, split-rail fencing and a rustic, old-Florida style.

The two new neighborhoods are the latest in a series of additions to Nocatee, including new neighborhoods — Greenleaf Lakes, Siena and Cypress Trails — and a kayak launch site.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





The Energy Hua Hin oceanfront condo in Thailand

10 08 2014

The Energy Hua Hin CondoNew oceanfront condo project in Hua Hin, Thailand priced from the USD $50K. Project is under way and Phase 1 and 2 are expected to complete in 2015. The Energy will endlessly recharge and revitalize residents through the natural beauty of Hua Hin Beach in a town with intriguing historical sties and access to every convenience of modern life. The Energy is a home where everyday is a holiday.

Every building at The Energy Hua Hin has been meticulously designed to blend Colonial architecture with modern functionality. The project offers a new way of living by catering to urban dwellers in an ambience that charmingly evokes another era gone by.

The Energy Hua Hin condos comprise eight-story low-rise buildings angled to catch cool sea breezes while providing great privacy. Each unit is ready to move in, being fully furnishes in a vintage style with all the comforts required by modern urban dwellers. Amenities include a 5-star hotel reserved for residents’ guests only, 10,000 square-meter (approx. 100,000 S.F.) sports complex with Thailand’s first virtual reality game dome, infinity edge swimming pool, squash, bowling, tennis, badminton, pool table, table tennis, sauna, jogging, and more.

Hua Hin is among Bangkok residents’ favorite destinations for a relaxing weekend, being just a two-hour drive from the capital city. The small town, with its distinct style that combines classical and contemporary architectural designs, exudes a timeless charm and an aura of happiness that repeatedly draws visitor back.

Message me for more info.





New Home Sales Increased 6.4% in April

23 05 2014

Sales of new homes increased by 6.4 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted rate of 433,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sales of existing homes also increased last month, but only by 1.3 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Put the two reports together, and it’s an encouraging sign that housing has shaken off its winter-induced doldrums. But sales of both new homes and existing homes were below what they were in April 2013.

Lawrence Young, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, expects total home sales for 2014 as a whole will be below what they were in 2013, primarily because of the “sluggish first quarter.”

The average price for a new house sold last month was $275,800, according to Census Bureau.

The median price for an existing home in April was $201,700, according to NAR.

Mortgage rates are trending down, but they’re still higher than were a year ago. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.14 percent with an average 0.6 point this week, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, the rate averaged 3.59 percent.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Residential Real Estate Price Growth is Strongest Since 2005

4 02 2014

Home prices — both nationwide and in Jacksonville — are on the rise, according to a report from CoreLogic.

Across the United States, home prices have increased 11 percent from December 2012 to December 2013, including distressed sales.

The CoreLogic Home Price Index report on Tuesday reported the 22nd consecutive monthly year-over-year increase in US home prices based on Multiple Listing Service data.

In Jacksonville, home prices increased 9 percent including distressed sales and 11.5 percent when distressed sales are excluded, on a year-over-year basis.

Sales jumped 1.5 percent from November to December.

The CoreLogic report follows a report from RealtyShack showing an increase in home flipping.

See the full CoreLogic report here.

Source: CoreLogic and Jacksonville Business Journal





Northeast Florida Homebuilding Continues to Rise

16 01 2014

Homebuilding in Northeast Florida continued its upward trend in 2013, with builders in Duval, Clay, St. Johns and Nassau counties pulling nearly 6,000.

Builders in the four counties pulled a combined 5,971 permits, just shy of 2007’s 6,830 permits. The market peaked in 2005, when builders pulled 17,753 permits.

In addition to creating construction jobs, homebuilding is a bellwether for the region’s economy. The upswing — 1,700 more permits than 2012, and practically double permits pulled in 2009, 2010 and 2011 — means that more people are able to afford a home and mortgage, and that they are confident in the economy and real estate market.

As has been the case since 2011, St. Johns County led the region, with builders in that count pulling a total of 2,721 permits.

Builders in Duval pulled 1,907; and there were 900 pulled in Clay, and 443 in Nassau.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Cash, investors still driving Jacksonville home buys

20 12 2013

The majority of residential sales in Jacksonville are still all-cash deals and are being driven by institutional investors.

According to RealtyTrac’s November 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which covers single family homes, condominiums and townhomes, 20.3 percent of sales in November were to institutional investors and 56.8 percent were cash sales.

Institutional investor purchases are defined by RealtyTrac as residential property sales to non-lending entities that purchased at least 10 properties in the last 12 months.

Jacksonville is among the top five markets in investor purchases, joined by Columbus, Ohio, Phoenix, Atlanta and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.

Jacksonville was also among the highest markets for third party foreclosure auction sales (3.9 percent), trailing Miami (4 percent) and Atlanta (3.9 percent).

“The housing market recovery continued to be driven by investors and other cash purchasers in November,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a news release. “Lenders are taking advantage of this environment to unload more of their bank-owned inventory and in-foreclosure inventory at the foreclosure auction.

“But as the backlog of distressed inventory available dries up in many of the markets with the most efficient foreclosure processes — namely California, Arizona and Nevada, with Georgia not far behind — overall sales volume is declining and will continue to do so until more non-distressed sellers enter the market.”

Source: RealtyTrac and Jacksonville Business Journal





Jacksonville Home Prices Up Nearly 20% in November

13 12 2013

The median sales price for homes in Jacksonville took a nice bump in November — rising nearly 20 percent year over year.

The median sales price last month was $154,000, up 18.9 percent from November 2012, according to the latest data from the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR.)

“November’s numbers are encouraging and show a substantially stabilized market,” NEFAR President Carol Zingone said in a news release. “Lender mediated properties are declining, and while prices have risen to the point where sellers are getting more of a return on their investment, prices overall are still within reach for most buyers.”

Here are some other key figures from the report:

  • Closed sales were 1,531, down 1.9 percent.
  • Inventory of homes for sales was 9,203, down 10.7 percent.
  • Months supply of inventory was 4.9, down 26.9 percent.
  • Pending sales were up 14.7 percent, to 2,357.
  • New listings were up 21.9 percent to 2,357.

Source: Northeast Florida Association of Realtors and Jacksonville Business Journal





Investor Demand in Housing Market Begins to Wane

11 09 2013

The proportion of investors involved in the housing market has fallen in the last few months. As their numbers dwindle, it may allow other buyers to step in. Can this be the sign that the housing market is cooling down?

Investors have gone from accounting for 23 percent of home purchases in February to about 20 percent in June – the lowest level since September 2012, according to data from Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance survey.

Their numbers will likely decrease even more in the coming year. About 48 percent of investors recently surveyed say they plan to lessen their home purchases over the next year, according to a recent survey by ORC International. Only 20 percent of the investors surveyed say they plan to buy more homes in the next year, a drop from 39 percent 10 months earlier.

“Investors helped stabilize a housing market that was in free-fall and they did so by taking advantage of fire-sale home prices,” says Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “Now you see few fewer bargain prices in the market and that’s a reason investor demand is coming off its peak.”

In recent years, many buyers – particularly first-time homebuyers – may have lost out to investors’ all-cash offers on homes. Both banks and sellers may have been lured by the quick deal that cash offers typically provide over offers from buyers who require financing.

But with less competition from investors, some housing experts say this may allow an opportunity for other potential buyers to get into the market.

Source: Reuters





Florida’s Housing Market Continues Positive Trend in August 2013

31 08 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.

“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.

Source: Florida Realtors








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