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The Price Group Recognized Among Top 1%!

Exclusive Celebration of Success Event in Palm Beach

ST PETERSBURG, FL (October 7, 2015) – The Price Group has been recognized among the top 1% of sales associates affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Florida for 2014. David Price attended a gala event in Palm Beach last week to honor the top regional associates from NRT LLC, the largest residential brokerage in the U.S.* The event included more than 125 Coldwell Banker sales associates from Atlanta, Baltimore, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, D.C.

“It takes a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication and passion to reach this level of business in real estate, and The Price Group is among the best of the best,” said Kate Rossi, executive vice president, Southeast Region, NRT LLC.

Participating agents were treated to dinner, dancing, networking and professional development at The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.



Pinellas County Real Estate Market Statistics for November 2010

Click Here for MLS Stats Nov 2010

In November residential unit sales were about the same as November 2009. Right now condo sales are the strongest sector of this market with an increase of more than 12% year over year while sales of single family homes fell by 7.5% since last year. Not too surprisingly, the inventory of single family homes grew by more than 7% and the condo inventory remained at the November 2009 level.
After last month’s spike, the median price for single family homes dropped back to $128,000 for a 12.6% decrease from a year ago. The condo median price also fell by 7.3% to $107,000.
There has been a steady increase in pending contracts for the past six months. In November there were 15.72% more contracts written than a year ago. 56% of these contracts are for bank-owned properties, an increase of over 87% from November 2009. At the same time the 17% of non-bank contracts represent a 17% decrease year over year. In the condo market just over 50% of the contracts are for bank-owned properties, an increase of 92.5% from last year. Bank owned single family properties represent more than 60% of the contracts written, an 82.6% increase from a year ago.
Distressed properties for November 2010 account for just under half of all residential sales. The median sales price for non-distressed properties for the month of November is $160,000, median price of bank-owned properties is 37.5% of the median sales price for non-distressed properties or $60,000 and pre-foreclosure/short-sales are selling 80% of the median sales price for non-distressed properties or $127,000.
Another interesting trend to note is the days on market comparison of short sale properties. So far this year the length of time it takes to close a short sale has actually increased by almost one full month. Days on market for non-distressed properties declined by almost three weeks and bank-owned properties days on market have stayed relatively the same for the year.
It appears that the condo market is the bright spot in the Pinellas County with double digit increases in sales during the month of November 2010 compared to November 2009. It also interesting to note condos are selling at 85% of their list price, and single family homes are selling at 80% of the list price. Cash is king locally as 56% of all sales in Pinellas County are all cash.

Click Here for MLS Stats Nov 2010

Florida’s existing condo sales up in 3Q 2010

Sales of existing condominiums in Florida rose 15 percent in third quarter 2010 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the latest housing statistics from Florida Realtors®. A total of 16,938 existing condos sold statewide in 3Q 2010; during the same period the year before, a total of 14,793 units changed hands.

Fourteen of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing condo sales in the third quarter, according to Florida Realtors. The statewide existing-condo median sales price was $84,000 for the three-month period; in 3Q 2009, it was $106,000 for a decrease of 21 percent.

“A healthy housing market is built on the foundation of a robust economy,” said Dr. Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness. “As the economic recovery continues in Florida – and in particular as the labor market improves – the housing market will follow suit. The price decline in the condo market continues to attract domestic and foreign buyers to Florida to take advantage of this buying opportunity.

“The third-quarter single-family and condo Florida resales data reflect a slowdown relative to second-quarter data as the expiration of the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit in April pulled future demand into the second quarter,” Snaith said, adding that the drop-off was expected.

Meanwhile, in the year-to-year quarterly comparison for existing single-family home sales, 41,122 homes sold statewide for the quarter compared to 44,451 homes in 3Q 2009 for a 7 percent decrease. The statewide existing-home median sales price was $135,200 in 3Q 2010; a year earlier, it was $145,300 for a decrease of 7 percent. 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 the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The University of Florida’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies’ latest quarterly survey of real estate trends reports that the jobless rate remains a top concern for the future outlook of the state’s real estate industry. The survey polls market research economists, industry executives, real estate scholars and other experts.

Timothy Becker, the center’s director, noted that investment in real estate continues to flow into Florida, though investors are wary about the economy. “The apartment sector is the stellar performer,” he said, adding that conditions continue to improve in the commercial sector. “We’re starting to see stabilization across property types in occupancy, with respondents saying they feel better about what rents are going to look like in the near future.”

Low mortgage rates continued to be available during the third quarter of the year. According to Freddie Mac, the national commitment rate for a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45 percent in 3Q 2010; one year earlier, it averaged 5.16 percent.

© 2010 Florida Realtors®

2010 Tax values are in! but don't head to the Skyway Bridge just yet!

So how about that news from the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s office this week? Well before you head out to jump off the Sunshine Skyway read this to get a better understanding of just what that the real estate tax assessment means for you.

Many Pinellas County residents will open that little purple and white envelope this September and suffer from the shock of just how low the Property Appraiser thinks their home is worth. Take heed though, it’s not as bad as you think. You see the Property Appraiser isn’t valuing the home based on interior finishes, which do affect the value and what a buyer is willing to pay, rather they are appraising the exterior condition, square footage of the home and property sales in the area. They are including short sales and foreclosures as comparables to come up with a value. With the recent spike in foreclosed properties selling well below fair market value, because banks don’t want to hold a property over 30 days and the number of short sales that have been sold, would make it appear that the surrounding property values have plummeted. Not true though.

You have to take this “Assessed Value” with a grain of salt because there are many other factors that determine a property’s value. For instance, your property’s interior condition, features and layout play a huge part in determining how appealing a home will be to a buyer, recent sales of comparable properties within a 1 mile radius, sold in the past 6 months or less, plus or minus 15% in Square Footage. If there are enough arms length sales an appraiser will not use short sales or REO’s (bank owned properties) in consideration of valuing the property.

On another note, be aware that there are companies and investors out there that will call or send you a letter if they drive by and see that the property may be distressed and state that your property’s assessed value is X and that they are willing to buy it from you for that value minus repairs. DON’T agree to this as your property may be worth considerably more than the assessed value.

In order to ease your mind and get an accurate picture of your property’s current value speak to an experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy realtor who works in the area the property is located in. Be sure that you ask that they show you the comparables and ask them why they chose those properties. You want to know the value of your home, not a number that they think you want to hear to get the listing. Also visit open houses in your area and check the newspaper for recent sales.

And yes, of course you can call us for a free consultation and market analysis of your property anytime. 727-851-6189

Lifelines dry up for mortgage lending

Jan. 25, 2010 – For more than a year, the government pulled out the stops to revive homebuying by driving down mortgage rates.

Now, whether the housing market is ready or not, the government is pulling out.

The wind-down of federal support for mortgage rates, set to end in two months, is a momentous test of whether the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve have succeeded in jump-starting the housing market and ensuring it can hold its own. The stakes for the economy are massive: If the market again falls into a tailspin, homeowners could face another wave of trouble, and it would deal a body blow to President Obama’s efforts to get the economy on track.

Keeping the mortgage rates at historic lows, which required a commitment of more than $1 trillion, was viewed within the administration as a central plank of the economic strategy last year, senior officials said. Though the policy did not attract as much attention as rescue efforts to bail out banks, it helped revitalize homebuying in some parts of the country and put money in the pockets of millions of homeowners who were able to refinance into lower monthly payments, the officials added.

“We did what we thought was necessary to stabilize the market, but we don’t think the government should continue special efforts forever,” said Michael S. Barr, an assistant secretary at the Treasury Department. “As you bring stability, private participants come back in. We do expect this now that the market has stabilized. I’m not going to say there will be no effect on rates, but we do think you are seeing market signs and market signals that there should be an orderly transition.”

A few federal officials and many industry advocates disagree, saying the government is exiting too soon. They offer dire warnings of higher rates and a slowdown in home sales. Fed leaders say they will end a marquee program supporting the mortgage markets in March. Obama’s economic team, led by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, has decided not to replace it and has been shutting down its own related initiatives.

Over the past year, these programs have enabled prospective homebuyers to get cheap loans, helping those buying and selling property as well as those eager to refinance existing mortgages. If the end of the initiative drives up interest rates, say from 5 percent to 5.5 percent, homeowners could be deterred from refinancing, industry officials say. A sharper increase in rates could make homes too expensive for many buyers, forcing them from the market and causing the recent pickup in home sales to stall.

“Mortgage rates are the lifeblood of the housing market, and we have cautioned the Fed about the sudden stoppage of this program,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

But senior government officials said it could be hard to reverse course without damaging the credibility of the Fed and the administration. If the government loses the trust of the financial markets, preparing them for policy changes could be tougher, possibly resulting in economic disruptions. The officials said they also worry that the mortgage market is becoming overly dependent on federal support, inserting the government too deeply into private enterprise.

Only a new crisis would be able to persuade the administration and the Fed to change their minds, officials said.

“This is a worthy experiment to see if they can begin exiting after providing an unprecedented amount of money to one sector of the economy,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s “It’s a close call, though. I can see why they are debating it.”

The Fed’s policymaking body sets a key interest rate at periodic meetings, which in turn influences rates for all kinds of loans. But mortgage rates also are shaped by the health of the market financing these loans.

Banks typically create giant pools of home loans and turn them into securities that can be traded on the open market. When the system is working, many investors buy these mortgage-backed securities, providing a stream of money for lenders so they can make loans at relatively cheap rates. But the trading of these securities seized up when the financial crisis struck and panicked investors. Government officials feared that the mortgage market would collapse.

The Fed and the Treasury stepped into the breach, becoming the only major buyers of these mortgage-related securities, and they kept the mortgage market flush with cash. The Treasury spent about $220 billion, and the Fed pledged $1.25 trillion, the single largest foray the central bank has made into the markets since the onset of the crisis. In essence, the Fed has been printing money and funneling it to people looking to buy a house or refinance an existing mortgage.

At the same time, the federal government stood behind mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by taking them over and pledging to cover their losses. That helped the firms lower borrowing costs, since lenders know they can’t fail, and the companies passed on their savings to mortgage borrowers in the form of low rates.

Combined, these federal efforts helped push down the rates ordinary Americans pay for a mortgage. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined from 6.04 percent in November 2008, according to Freddie Mac data, and hit an all-time low of 4.71 percent about a year later.

Refinancings surged, while homebuying perked up. Existing-home sales climbed nearly 10 percent in September, their highest level in more than two years.

The policy was the government’s most effective salve for the ailing housing market at a time when other initiatives, such as the administration’s attempts to modify the mortgages of struggling homeowners, produced far more disappointing results.

Now the government wants to end its support for low rates and has been striving to persuade others to buy mortgage securities.

The success of this approach hinges on the willingness of private investors, from China to big Wall Street funds, to buy large amounts of the mortgage securities and fill the void left by the government.

On Christmas Eve, Treasury officials announced a move that would cover losses suffered by investors who buy these securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together now back about half of the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market. The goal was simple, officials said. They wanted private investors to be reassured that mortgage securities are safe to buy.

As the economy showed signs of recovery at the end of last year, the administration and the Fed decided to end their support.

The Treasury stopped buying mortgage securities in December. The Fed said it would taper off purchases gradually, ending them by March 31.

Obama’s economic team could have raised the limits on how much mortgage securities Fannie and Freddie can buy, allowing those firms to replace the Fed’s purchasing program. But Barr said the administration thinks the mortgage business will stand on its own without such special assistance, similar to the way the nation’s biggest banks weaned themselves off federal bailout funds by raising private capital.

“The basic goal is to implement a gradual process where the government’s role in the economy goes down,” Barr said. “It has to be consistent with the basic goal of stability, but it is appropriate.”

Administration and Fed officials expressed confidence that rates will rise only modestly – perhaps a quarter of a percentage point. They attribute their optimism to the lengthy notice they have given the market. The markets already should have anticipated the government’s exit by adjusting interest rates higher. Yet mortgage rates have been falling slightly the past few weeks.

The optimism at the White House and the Fed, however, is not shared across the government. A few senior policymakers at the central bank view the economic recovery as still too fragile, suggesting that purchases perhaps should expand further. These dissenters also warn that mortgage rates could shoot up, perhaps to 6 percent or higher, because private investors buying securities would demand a greater rate of return than the Fed. To reach it, lenders may have to raise rates for consumers.

“Presumably, there is pent-up demand from the private sector, but the question is: At what rate are they going to be interested?” said Eric S. Rosengren, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, who has indicated that he supports expanding the Fed’s mortgage securities purchase program.

There also could be unintended consequences to the government’s pull-out. Last year, big investors such as Pimco sold their mortgage-backed securities to the government and used that money to buy bonds and stocks. That extra cash, which propped up stock prices, could drain away after federal support ends.

Real estate and mortgage finance officials said the timing of the government’s exit seems especially ill-conceived, since the Fed’s support would end just a month before a homebuyer tax credit program, which the real estate industry has credited with jump-starting home sales.

Given the importance of the housing market, some industry officials doubt whether the government will follow through with its pledge to exit the mortgage market in March. Fannie and Freddie officials say that the companies together can buy about $300 billion of mortgage securities by the end of the year before they hit their federally mandated limits. Though it appears reluctant to do so, the administration could use that buying power to cushion the blow after the Fed’s program ends, the industry officials said.

“I believe they do want to end it in March, but it’s like all New Year’s resolutions,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities. “The Fed’s New Year resolution is to go on a diet, go to the gym, give up drinking and clean the garage. They might be able to do one of those things, but to do all four is tricky. They have to drain all the liquidity they added to the financial market so we don’t see a resurgence in inflation, but do it in a way so that the economy does not slip into recession.”

High court: Mediate on foreclosure

TAMPA, Fla. – Jan. 5, 2009 – Florida homeowners facing foreclosure may soon get one last chance to negotiate with lenders trying to take back their homes.

The Florida Supreme Court issued an administrative order last week that requires a third-party mediation program with all new foreclosure lawsuits involving primary residences.

The goal of the order, written by Chief Justice Peggy Quince, is to help handle the state’s glut of foreclosures. An estimated 456,000 foreclosure cases statewide are clogging the court system, she said.

Florida has the third-highest mortgage delinquency rate in the nation, according to the order. “The crisis continues unabated,” Quince wrote.

The order backs a recommendation made in August by the Supreme Court’s residential task force. The court asked the task force to study the problem and offer guidance.

“I’m pleased the court recognized the need of what the task force asked for,” said Alan Bookman, a task force member and former Florida Bar president. “This is going to force lenders and borrowers to talk to each other. They may not be able to work something out, but it’s a start.”

Lenders have spoken out against mandatory mediation and said it would cause even more delays. Alex Sanchez, president and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association, told the Tribune in August that lenders already are in constant touch with borrowers and file foreclosure cases as a last resort.

Sanchez could not be reached for comment Monday.

The mediation order will be executed through the chief judges of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits. Bookman said he expects the program to be in place by mid-February.

The program requires sending all cases involving primary residences to mediation unless the plaintiff and borrower have already done so or both parties agree to opt out.

The cost of mediation is not to exceed $750, according to the order. Lenders would pay the fee initially, though they could recoup some costs if mediation fails and a foreclosure lawsuit is filed in court.

It’s unclear on what date the mediation requirement kicks in, but it does not apply to cases already in the pipeline, Bookman said.

The order likely will apply to cases filed after the chief judges sign orders for each circuit, Bookman said. However, the chief judges could assign a different date.

“They could make it affective for cases filed this week, when the order was signed,” Bookman said.

Most areas of Florida continue to see a rise in foreclosure filings.

However, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area recently saw overall foreclosure filings slow. The November number dropped 9 percent year-over-year and 1 percent from the previous month, according to RealtyTrac, a California company that tracks mortgage activity.

Even so, the area has been rocked by foreclosures. The category of filings known as new foreclosure lawsuits increased in November, from 31,380 the month before to 32,276.

What does the tax credit mean to you?

A Great Deal in Real Estate is Now Better

ote: This is intended to provide an overview only – for specific information or individual concerns, please contact your lawyer, accountant and/or financial advisor.

The federal income tax credit for homebuyers has been extended and expanded to now include homeowners who wish to “move on” after 5 years of living in their current property, as well as first-time homebuyers.

First-time homebuyers, or those who have not owned in the last three years, can receive up to an $8,000 tax credit
Homeowners who have lived in a current home consecutively for 5 of the past 8 years can receive up to a $6,500 tax credit
There may be no future extensions, so all qualified homebuyers are urged to act and have a written, binding contract by April 30, 2010 (close by June 30, 2010)
Income limits are now $125,000 for singles, $225,000 for married couples with a $20,000 phase-out of the credit for both.

According to The National Association of Realtors News Release, dated 11/5/09, an estimated $22 billion has already been added to the general economy resulting from the bill and approximately 2 million people will utilize the tax credit in 2009.

For me information call The Price Group today!

Homebuyer Tax Credit

Real estate Tax credit chart $8,000 & $6,500

Thanks to the newly extended and expanded homebuyer tax credit, first-time homebuyers may still qualify for an $8,000 tax credit and existing homeowners may qualify for a $6,500 tax credit when they buy a new home. That’s a guaranteed federal tax credit that directly reduces the amount of taxes you owe for the entire year. Even if you have little or no federal income tax liability to offset, you may be able to claim the full $8,000 or $6,500 as a refund.
You may qualify for the newly extended $8,000 federal tax credit if*:
You are a first-time buyer or have not owned a home for the past 3 years
You make $225,000 or less if filing as a couple ($125,000 or less if filing single)
You enter into a written contract for sale before May 1, 2010 and close on the new home before July 1, 2010
You don’t sell the home within 3 years of closing
You use the new home as a principal residence, which can be a single-family home, condominium or townhome
The purchase price of the home is $800,000 or less and you did not buy it from a lineal ancestor or descendent
You are not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return
You may qualify for the newly expanded $6,500 federal tax credit if*:
You are an existing homeowner who has owned and lived in your home for any 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years
You make $225,000 or less if filing as a couple ($125,000 or less if filing single)
You enter into a written contract for sale before May 1, 2010 and close on the new home before July 1, 2010
You don’t sell the home within 3 years of closing
You use the new home as a principal residence, which can be a single-family home, condominium or townhome
The purchase price of the home is $800,000 or less and you did not buy it from a lineal ancestor or descendent
You are not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return

FHA boss: FHA is not the new subprime

SAN DIEGO – Nov. 16, 2009 – Federal Housing Administration Commissioner David Stevens said Saturday that concerns the agency is headed for the same financial trouble that snared Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the subprime sector are unwarranted.

Stevens made the remarks during a speech at the National Association of Realtors®’ annual conference and expo in San Diego.

His comments come days after the agency revealed its financial reserves have fallen to a dangerously low level due to more homeowners defaulting on their loans. The FHA does not make loans, but rather offers insurance against default.

That’s led to mounting concerns that it will eventually need an infusion of cash like government-controlled mortgage finance companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

But Stevens sought to dampen those concerns, noting that despite the most severe housing recession in decades, the agency has $31 billion in capital – $3.5 billion more than it had a year ago.

FHA is “the only participant in home financing services in the U.S. economy that hasn’t needed a bailout, hasn’t needed (funds from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program), hasn’t needed special assistance and is still completely self-sustaining,” Stevens said.

“Without FHA there would be no (housing) market, and this economy’s recovery would be significantly slower,” he said.

The FHA has insured nearly a quarter of all new loans made this year, and about 80 percent of that business is from first-time homebuyers.

The agency’s dominant role in first-time home purchases has raised questions about whether it taking on too much risk. Some have drawn comparisons between FHA and the subprime market, which collapsed due to homebuyer defaults on risky loans.

Stevens rejected such comparisons, stressing that the agency has far more stringent guidelines for the loans it insures.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

FHA’s losses have increased with the unemployment rate as more homeowners default on their loans. About 17 percent of FHA borrowers are at least one payment behind or in foreclosure, compared with 13 percent for all loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

An independent audit shows FHA’s reserves have fallen to $3.6 billion, compared with $685 billion in outstanding insured loans for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. That’s a ratio of 0.53 percent and far below the 2 percent threshold required by Congress.

Stevens credited the requirement with keeping FHA on good financial footing.

“That is why we’re still standing while many of others did not survive this tumultuous time,” he said.

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