Saturday, March 26, 2011

1 in 5 Canadians interested in buying U.S. property

MONTREAL – March 25, 2011 – A new survey from BMO Bank of Montreal and conducted by Leger Marketing finds that one in five Canadians would now consider purchasing property in the United States. Lower home prices and a strong Canadian dollar have sparked their interest in purchasing U.S. property.

Overall housing prices in the United States have fallen by 30 percent over the past four years. However, prices in traditional Canadian snowbird destinations have dropped even more. For example, prices in Tampa are down 44 percent, Phoenix fell 54 percent, Las Vegas 57 percent, and Miami 49 percent.

“Now, with the American economy and employment gaining strength, home sales should pick up and put a floor under soft prices,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist, BMO Bank of Montreal. “We expect prices to rise over time as the overhang of unsold homes eases.” He also expects the American dollar to strengthen, which would add to the investment potential for Canadians who jump into the real estate market now.

Other survey findings:

• Men are more likely to consider purchasing a U.S. home, 29 percent compared to 16 percent of women.

• Regionally, residents of Alberta (31 percent), British Columbia (28 percent), and the Prairie Provinces (27 percent) are most interested in buying U.S. property.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Naples Rises From Florida Housing Swamp as Wealthy Buyers Return to Market

By Dan Levy - Mar 23, 2011 1:09 PM ET BLOOMBER NEWS

Joshua Bahoff bought a three- bedroom luxury condominium in Naples, Florida, in December for $235,000, about one-third of the price that the seller paid near the height of the U.S. housing boom.

“It was a great deal,” said Bahoff, 59, a Philadelphia dentist who plans to spend one week a month every winter in the 2,700-square-foot (250-square-meter) property in Fiddler’s Creek, a residential and golf development south of the city’s downtown historic district on the Gulf of Mexico. “We can’t see this market going down any lower.”

While much of Florida’s real estate market remains depressed by foreclosures, buyers seeking a second home in the state’s affluent vacation enclaves are “finally getting off the fence,” Karen Van Arsdale, an agent at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples, said in a telephone interview.

Sales in the Naples area last year rose 10 percent, the first annual increase in at least five years, while the median price for homes listed at $300,000 or more gained 4 percent to $544,000, according to data compiled by the Naples Area Board of Realtors. About half of the properties in the market are second homes, and discounts from 2006 peak prices average about 25 percent, said Brenda Fioretti, president of the group.

“Wealth determines housing, and the good places pick up first,” Karl Case, 64, a professor emeritus in economics at Wellesley College in Massachusetts who has been visiting Naples since a family vacation took him there when he was 13, said in a telephone interview. “For people with deep pockets, it’s generally a flight to quality.” "More Details"
Atlantic Coast

Friday, March 18, 2011


NAPLES, Fla.-March 18, 2011- The median closed price for single-family homes continues to rise with February statistics showing a 10 percent year-over-year gain. According to a report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), lower inventory is driving price increases and key indicators show the market firming up.
“February marks the eighth consecutive month that the overall single family home median closed price increased, with the $300,000 and under market leading the way,” said Phil Wood, President of John R. Wood REALTORS®. The median closed price of single-family homes increased 10 percent to $205,000 for the 12 months ending February 2011 up from $186,000 for the 12 months ending February 2010.
The overall inventory in the Naples area decreased five percent in February 2011 to 9,213 available properties compared to 9,682 in February 2010.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Americans confident of real estate recovery

WASHINGTON – March 11, 2011 – The majority of America’s potential homebuyers and sellers – 68 percent – believe that the real estate market and property values will recover in the next year or two, according to a survey released by Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services Inc. That’s up from the 47 percent in a similar survey conducted in April 2010, underscoring a more bullish outlook for the real estate market today.

In addition, 86 percent of Americans still believe real estate is a good investment, despite the recent market volatility.

The survey found that six in 10 respondents are more interested in buying real estate (58 percent); and 59 percent are optimistic about buying given the momentum of the economic recovery. And although the price of many Americans’ homes declined during the recession, 89 percent recognize they can now buy a house at a lower price.

The survey tried to determine why some buyers who want a home are not yet shopping. The top reason (77 percent) was a fear about selling an existing home, followed by concern about getting a fair price for the home (67 percent) and emotions (58 percent).

For those who sold a home in the past year, 78 percent report satisfaction with the sale. Of these, 32 percent were very satisfied with the final price, and 46 percent were grateful they were able to sell given market conditions. A relatively small number (22 percent) were disappointed or resentful about the price they received for their home.

Of the 45 percent of survey respondents looking to trade up, 64 percent want more space or property, 49 percent a nicer house and 41 percent a better neighborhood. Only 21 percent want to scale down, while 34 percent want a similar home.

The survey highlighted the importance of listing a home at the right price: 74 percent of buyers believe that many homes could meet their needs, making price a significant consideration; and 26 percent will pay top dollar for a home that specifically suits their needs. In setting the right price, however, sellers were split, with 53 percent wanting to price right at, or slightly below, market rate to attract more bids; but 47 percent wanting to price slightly higher than market and hoping some buyer will pay more.

Real estate agents
The majority of respondents highlighted the importance of real estate agents in the process of buying or selling their home. Seventy-five percent said that an agent is very important or essential, with only 24 percent saying agents are helpful but not imperative.

The Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey of 1,253 Americans between the ages of 25-64 in the market for buying a home was conducted Jan. 20-27, 2011.