Skip to main content

Tag Archives: florida sales

Florida’s existing home, condo sales up in December 2009

Jan. 25, 2010 – Florida’s existing home sales rose in December, marking 16 months that sales activity has increased in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

Existing home sales rose 33 percent last month with a total of 14,630 homes sold statewide compared to 11,013 homes sold in December 2008, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide existing home sales last month increased 4.3 percent over statewide sales activity in November.

Florida Realtors also reported a 91 percent increase in statewide sales of existing condos in December compared to the previous year’s sales figure; statewide existing condo sales last month rose 22 percent over the total units sold in November.

Seventeen of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased existing home sales and higher condo sales in December. A majority of the state’s MSAs have reported increased sales for 18 consecutive months.

Florida’s median sales price for existing homes last month was $140,400; a year ago, it was $155,300 for a 10 percent decrease. Housing industry analysts with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) note that 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. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in November 2009 was $171,900, down 4.4 percent from a year earlier, according to NAR. In California, the statewide median resales price was $304,520 in November; in Massachusetts, it was $285,000; in Maryland, it was $245,569; and in New York, it was $210,000.

According to NAR’s latest outlook, home sales are seeing a boost from the federal homebuyer tax credit. “There are many more potential buyers who can enter the market in the months ahead,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Activity should ramp up for another surge in the spring when buyers take advantage of the expanded tax credit, which hopefully will take us into a self-sustaining market in the second half of 2010. In all, 4.4 million households are expected to claim the tax credit before it expires, and balance should be restored to the housing sector with inventories continuing to decline.”

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 5,968 units sold statewide last month compared to 3,132 units in December 2008 for an increase of 91 percent. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $107,000; in December 2008 it was $130,300 for an 18 percent decrease. The national median existing condo price was $178,000 in November 2009, according to NAR.

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.93 percent last month, significantly lower than the average rate of 5.29 percent in December 2008, according to Freddie Mac. Florida Realtors’ sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Among the state’s larger markets, the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton MSA reported a total of 849 homes sold in December compared to 638 homes a year earlier for a 33 percent increase. The market’s existing home median sales price last month was $247,900; a year ago it was $246,000 for an increase of 1 percent. A total of 763 condos sold in the MSA in December, up 45 percent over the 527 units sold in December 2008. The existing condo median price last month was $111,400; a year earlier, it was $112,900 for a decrease of 1 percent.

December 2009 MLS Stats for Pinellas County FL

Lot’s of great info here! Take a look at the number of active homes on the market today compared to the past couple of years. The median home price is also on the rise. If we see the unemployment rate go down we could see a much faster recovery in Pinellas County. The number of bank owned homes is also on the way down! Does this mean the end of the great deals? I don’t think so. I’ve seen some great deals in the past few weeks! Like mutiple 3 & 4 bed, pool homes in Clearwater for under $130,000!

Click on the links below and view the pdf. files.

Pinellas December 2009 All Reports: “Condo’s & Single Family”

November 09 monthly foreclosure &short sales report

You still have time to negotiate and buy a “Short Sale” property before the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit and the $6,500 move up credit runs out! But don’t delay because what I experienced last year was at about 60 days before the end of the tax credit sellers of non “short sale” homes got a higher sold price to list price percentage because they negotiated harder with buyers because they knew that they had the only homes buyers could close on and still get the credit! The morale of the story here is if you want negotiating power, start early.

Have questions? Call or Email me

Fed housing program encourages short sales

Fed housing program encourages short sales

WASHINGTON – Dec. 1, 2009 – The Obama Administration, through the Treasury Department, announced new housing guidelines yesterday. While a series of announcements highlighted different programs, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) focused on changes that will make it easier for real estate associates to deal with short sales and “deeds in lieu of foreclosure.”

The program’s official name is the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), and it’s part of an existing initiative, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAFA applies to loans not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which cover over half of all U.S. mortgages; however, Fannie and Freddie will issue their own versions of HAFA in coming weeks.

While HAFA’s goal is simple – increase the number of short sales and “deeds in lieu of foreclosure” by simplifying the process – the rules are complex, and it comes with 43 pages of guidelines and forms. Among other things, HAFA:

• Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds).

• Prohibits servicers from requiring a reduction in the real estate commission agreed upon in the listing agreement (up to 6 percent).

• Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed.)

• Provides financial incentives: $1,500 for borrower relocation assistance; $1,000 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs; and up to $1,000 for investors.

The program does not take effect until April 5, 2010, but servicers may implement it before then if they meet certain requirements. The program sunsets on Dec. 31, 2012.

For more information, read the Nov. 30 HAMP news release:

To read the complete 43-page short sale guidelines, go to:

Deficiency Judgments: The Real Risk

There are numerous websites showing the legal and theoretical possibilities of being sued after foreclosure. Many so-called “foreclosure experts” threaten homeowners with the possibility of being sued after foreclosure, and having their wages garnished, cars repossessed, or given enormous tax bills from the IRS. Since so many state foreclosure laws do allow deficiency judgments, there is always the danger of being sued after foreclosure. However, most of the foreclosure advice being given to homeowners is wildly inaccurate. In almost every single case, what usually “actually” happens is…

The bank, after the foreclosure, would have to sue the former foreclosure victims for the deficiency judgment if one even exists. This means the bank would have to hire lawyers, pay attorney fees and court costs, and would simply have a judgment against them. There is no expectation that they would ever be able to collect on that judgment, and banks are aware that homeowners go into foreclosure because they run out of money. So, if they know homeowners have experienced a financial hardship and do not have any money, and the mortgage company has already lost money on the loan due to the foreclosure, there is little reason for them to sue again. They just move on with attempting to sell the property on the open market and recoup some of their losses.

When a homeowner sells the property before the foreclosure and sells it at a lower amount than what is owed on the loan, this is called a short sale, and is one of the most common ways that homeowners can stop foreclosure on their homes. In this case, the homeowners would get a 1099 at the end of the year, since the bank is forgiving the difference in the loan amount. Forgiven debt is counted as income. But this is only a possibility when a homeowner has worked out a short sale with the bank and a buyer, and the home has actually transferred ownership through the short sale.

When the house is sold at sheriff sale for a loss, this is not forgiven debt. It is merely a sale of the house, and homeowners do not get a 1099 if they do not receive any profit from the sheriff sale and if no debt is forgiven. The house is just taken from them to pay the bank and the bank gets the property back because that was pledged as collateral on the original loan. The legal mechanism of foreclosure allows for the sale of the property at a public auction, but has nothing to do with forgiving any portion of the actual debt represented by the foreclosure judgment.

So that is what actually happens in the vast, vast majority of foreclosure situations. Banks rarely pursue deficiency judgments unless they know the homeowners have a lot of cash and other assets that would make it worth suing them. This is not the case in most foreclosures, though. While literally hundreds of online resources and charlatans will threaten homeowners with the possibility of a deficiency judgment and all of its ill effects after foreclosure, the banks themselves are wise enough to recognize that suing their former clients is not in their best interests in all but the most extreme cases. In fact, most lenders would gladly give former foreclosure victims another loan, if they met the qualifications; so there is no reason to turn away future business due to an unfortunate financial hardship that led to the foreclosure.

Economists pronounce the recession over

NEW YORK – Aug. 13, 2009 – The majority of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal say the recession is over and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke deserves another term.

Of the 47 economists the newspaper surveyed, 27 said the recession has ended and 11 predict another trough this month or next. The rest refused to commit. But they were nearly unanimous in saying that Bernanke should be rehired.

“He deserves a lot of credit for stabilizing the financial markets,” says Joseph Carson of AllianceBernstein. “Confidence in recovery would be damaged if he was not reappointed.”

Poll respondents believe Bernanke has more than a 70 percent chance of being asked by President Barack Obama to remain at the helm of the central bank.

Gross domestic product is expected to grow 2.4 percent in the third quarter at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. Economists were also heartened by a better-than-expected jobless report in July.

Florida’s existing home, condo sales rise in 4Q 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 12, 2009 – Sales of existing single-family homes in Florida rose 13 percent in fourth quarter 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the latest housing statistics from the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). A total of 30,163 existing homes sold statewide in 4Q 2008; during the same period the year before, a total of 26,635 existing homes sold statewide. It marks the second consecutive quarter that Florida has reported higher existing home sales; sales activity rose 5 percent in 3Q 2008 compared to the same period the previous year, according to FAR.

Florida Realtors also reported a 3 percent gain in statewide sales of existing condominiums in the fourth quarter compared to the same time the previous year. This marks the first three-month period that has noted increased statewide sales in both the existing home and condo markets compared to year-ago levels.

Twelve of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased sales of existing homes in the fourth quarter compared to the same three-month-period a year earlier, while eight MSAs showed gains in condo sales. A growing number of local markets have reported increased sales activity over the past few months, according to FAR.

The statewide existing-home median sales price was $161,200 in the fourth quarter; a year earlier, it was $216,600 for a decrease of 26 percent. According to industry analysts with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), there remains a significant downward distortion in the current median price due to many discounted sales, including a large number of foreclosures. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.

To gain insight into current trends in Florida’s real estate industry, the University of Florida’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies conducts a quarterly survey of industry executives, market research economists, real estate scholars and other experts. According to the fourth quarter 2008 survey, respondents’ increasing concerns about the economy have dampened the investment outlook for various types of properties.

However, one positive sign is the recent dramatic increase in refinancing with the availability of 5 percent mortgage rates in mid-December, according to Dr. Wayne Archer, center director. If additional programs are put into place that create 4.5 percent Federal Housing Administration mortgages for people who have difficulty making payments, he said, it will do even more to stabilize the housing industry.

In the year-to-year quarterly comparison for condo sales, 8,374 units sold statewide for the quarter compared to 8,098 in 4Q 2007 for a 3 percent increase. The statewide existing-condo median sales price was $136,400 for the three-month period; in 4Q 2007, it was $190,400 for a decrease of 28 percent.

Continuing low mortgage rates remain another favorable influence on the housing sector. According to Freddie Mac, the national commitment rate for a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.86 percent in 4Q 2008; one year earlier, it averaged 6.23 percent.

The outlook for housing and the economy remains clouded despite improved affordability conditions, according to NAR’s latest industry forecast. “For a sustainable housing market recovery and, thus a sustainable economic recovery, we need a significant housing stimulus and mortgage availability for qualified borrowers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.