30 11 2009

Homebuyer Assistance Programs Extended:

On Nov. 6, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law an extension and expansion of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. Among other provisions, the extension adds money for certain move-up buyers; creates one deadline for signing a contract and a later deadline for closing; changes income requirements; and limits a purchased home’s cost to $800,000. 2009 Florida Realtors® President Cynthia Shelton notes that extending the buyer tax credit and expanding it to reach more homebuyers is the right thing to do, “as it’s critical to maintaining positive momentum in the housing market and in the overall economy.”

As details are clarified and are available, tax credit information will be updated on the Homebuyer Center, which offers Florida Realtors® the tools they need to help potential homebuyers and sellers benefit from these homebuyer assistance programs.

Click Here for a Information Packet About the $8,000 Tax Credit





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

20 10 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 24, 2009 – Florida’s existing home sales rose in August – marking a full calendar year (12 months) that sales activity increased in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

Existing home sales rose 28 percent last month with a total of 13,850 homes sold statewide compared to 10,813 homes sold in August 2008, according to Florida Realtors. The state association also reported a 45 percent increase in last month’s statewide sales of existing condos compared to the previous year’s sales figure.

Sixteen of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased existing home sales in August; 18 MSAs also showed gains in condo sales. A majority of the state’s MSAs have reported increased sales for 14 consecutive months.

“For a year now, statewide sales of existing single-family homes in Florida have increased each month compared to the year-ago figures,” says 2009 Florida Realtors® President Cynthia Shelton, CCIM, CRE, a broker and director of investment sales with Colliers Arnold in Orlando. (CCIM stands for Certified Commercial Investment Member and CRE is the Counselor of Real Estate designation). “This is encouraging news, and while it shows the beginnings of recovery, the housing market still needs time to continue its gradual absorption of housing inventory that will help stabilize home prices. That is why it is critical for Congress to extend the first-time homebuyer tax credit into 2010. And, because it’s now taking longer to finalize a home sale, first-time buyers who want to take advantage of the $8,000 federal tax credit need to act quickly, or they may miss the closing deadline of Nov. 30, 2009.”

Florida’s median sales price for existing homes last month was $147,400; a year ago, it was $188,500 for a 22 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 July 2009 was $178,300, down 14.6 percent from a year earlier, according to NAR. In Massachusetts, the statewide median resales price was $310,000 in July; in California, it was $285,480; in Maryland, it was $273,769; and in New York, it was $205,000.

Signs point toward continued positive momentum in the housing sector, according to NAR’s latest industry outlook. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts existing home sales will rise through the fourth quarter. “Unless the tax credit is extended, no one should be surprised to see home sales drop in the first quarter of next year,” he said. “However, the fundamentals of the housing market and the economy are trending up, and we expect home sales to generally pick up in the second quarter of 2010. The buyer psychology may be shifting from, ‘Why buy now when I can purchase later,’ to ‘I don’t want to miss out on a recovery.’”

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 4,674 units sold statewide compared to 3,222 units in August 2008 for a 45 percent increase. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $107,500; in August 2008 it was $158,100 for a 32 percent decrease. The national median existing condo price was $178,800 in July 2009, according to NAR.

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.19 percent last month, down significantly from the average rate of 6.48 percent in August 2008, according to Freddie Mac. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written. 

Among the state’s larger markets, the Daytona Beach MSA reported a total of 686 homes sold in August compared to 573 homes a year earlier for a 20 percent increase. The market’s existing home median sales price last month was $132,700; a year ago it was $164,200 for a 19 percent decrease. A total of 135 condos sold in the MSA in August, up 27 percent over the 106 units sold in August 2008. The existing condo median price last month remained level compared to a year ago at $184,300.

© 2009 Florida Realtors®





Cardell has a special offer for military families in Fishhawk Ranch!

8 06 2009

Cardel Homes has a special opportunity for military families ONLY, the Jade 2 is now offered at $319990. It has reached frame stage so it can be ready for you buyers by mid August. The Jade 2 has a triple car garage, an impressive elevation, large bedrooms, breakfast nook and lanai extension as well as some very nice designer touches. This home prices out at $391,276; that’s an amazing reduction of $71,286 for military families.





Blueberry Farms increasing in the Florida Gulf Coast region

19 05 2009

One of our clients is closing on a parcel of land in Pasco County which will be used as a Blueberry Farm.  The region is known to have the ideal climate for the optimum production of the new hybrid blueberry strains!

It is estimated that demand for the crop will sharply increase, and Florida Blueberries are being exported all of the world; including a significant amount to Japan. 

Julie and I have been seeking out ideal parcels of agricultural land for such farms, key factors are drainage as wet areas are poorly suited.  The Central Gulf coast region is said to have the correct temperature ranges and weather for first crop of the season thus demanding top price.





Incredible deals in Tampa Real Estate

24 04 2009

I just helped one of my buyers purchase a home in New Port Richey that sold for $160,000 two years ago for $57,000.  It was a bank foreclosure and is just under 1400 square feet,  and my client is thrilled!

Last week another one of my buyers purchased a two year old, 1900 square foot, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in Polk County for $75,000.  You couldn’t come close to building a home for that.  Exceptional values are out there, but you have to be decisive and cash speaks volumes. 

Both clients were cash buyers and are extremely pleased.  Typically we are seeing that homes like this are getting multiple offers within 48 hours, and that the banks are choosing the cash buyers for less money rather than wait and risk a mortgage denial.  This is particularly true in the lower and middle price ranges.





Florida’s existing home, condo sales rise in February 2009

3 04 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. – March 23, 2009 – Florida’s existing home sales rose in February, making it the sixth consecutive month that sales activity showed increases in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). February’s statewide sales also increased over January’s figures in both the existing home and existing condo markets.Existing home sales rose 20 percent last month with a total of 9,858 homes sold statewide compared to 8,181 homes sold in February 2008, according to FAR.

February’s statewide existing home sales were 16.7 percent higher than January’s statewide sales.Florida Realtors also reported a 15 percent gain in statewide sales of existing condominiums in February, continuing a trend in recent months for higher statewide sales of both the existing home and existing condo markets compared to year-ago levels. Statewide existing condo sales last month increased 25.1 percent over the total units sold in January.

Thirteen of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased existing-home sales in February while 11 MSAs also showed gains in condo sales. It marks the eighth month in a row that a number of markets have reported increased sales.Florida’s median sales price for existing homes last month was $141,900; a year ago, it was $199,300 for a 29 percent decrease. Industry analysts with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) report a significant downward distortion in the current median price due to many discounted sales, including a large number of foreclosures.

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 January 2009 was $169,900, down 13.8 percent from a year earlier, according to NAR. In California, the statewide median resales price was $254,350 in January; in Massachusetts, it was $321,000; in Maryland, it was $244,820; and in New York, it was $205,000.Significant variations in local markets continue, according to NAR’s latest housing outlook, which also notes that it will take time for the impact of the economic stimulus to show in housing data. “Some markets appear to have reached the tipping point of accelerating home buying,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Improvement from the economic stimulus isn’t likely to show as closed home sales before summer, although we may see an earlier lift from lower mortgage interest rates.”NAR analysts estimate the impact of the federal economic stimulus package and lower interest rates on the housing market to be about 900,000 additional home sales in 2009 compared to conditions before the stimulus package. By the end of the year, NAR expects inventory to fall below an eight-month supply, which would be consistent with home price stabilization.

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 3,198 units sold statewide compared to 2,785 sold in February 2008 for a 15 percent increase. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $109,300; in February 2008 it was $173,900 for a 37 percent decrease. In the latest data available at press time, NAR reported the national median existing condo price was $174,400 in January 2009.Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.13 percent last month, down significantly from the average rate of 5.92 percent in February 2008, according to Freddie Mac. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Among the state’s medium-size markets, the Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie MSA reported a total of 372 homes sold in February compared to 263 homes a year ago for a 41 percent increase. The existing home median sales price was $122,100; a year ago, it was $172,900 for a 29 percent decrease. In the year-to-year comparison for the existing condo market, a total of 71 units sold in the MSA last month, up 22 percent compared to 58 condos sold the previous February. The market’s existing condo median price was $116,700; a year ago, it was $126,700 for an 8 percent decrease.

Story Courtesy of: FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS





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

25 02 2009

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.








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