Friday, April 15, 2011

Florida leads nation in potential job growth

MIAMI – April 15, 2011 – According to a Wells Fargo report released this week, Florida is No. 1 in potential job growth once the state shakes off lingering effects from the recession.

The study looked at regional competitiveness – the factors that might lead employers to create jobs locally. To compile results, Wells Fargo analyzed 20 years of employment data and growth trends. It then projected future growth. While an expected boost in tourism post-recession played a part in Florida’s ranking, Wells Fargo also cited an expanded diversity in the state’s job market, such as the Scripps Research facility in Palm Beach County.

“The influx of new medical research facilities will help reinvigorate … growth in Florida, helping further diversify the state’s economy,” according to the report.

The study found Florida competitive in 22 industries. Georgia – No. 2 on the list – had 21. Wells Fargo considered traditionally white-collar industries as Florida strengths, including professional services, insurance and finance.

Inventory Declines 8% and Median closed prices increase

Report Shows Median Closed Price for Properties over $300,000 Increases

NAPLES, Fla.-April 15, 2011- Inventory continues on a downward trend 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).

The available inventory declined to 8,762 available properties in the first quarter of 2011 down from 9,557 in the first quarter of 2010. “The decline in inventory is a result of the slowing pace of properties coming to the market and the current inventory selling more rapidly,” stated Phil Wood, President of John R. Wood REALTORS®.

“Over the past three years, the months of inventory in the Naples area has continued to decline. In March of 2008 we had just under 38 months of inventory on the market for sale, and today we are hovering in a much healthier range of 12 months of inventory,” said Tom Bringardner, President/CEO of Premier Commercial, Inc.

The median closed price for properties over $300,000 increased to $575,000 in the first quarter of 2010 up from $525,000 in the first quarter of 2010.
“For properties over $300,000, the median closed price jumped 10 percent from quarter to quarter and 5 percent for the 12 months ending March 2011. Pending sale statistics suggest the median closed price will continue to climb,” said John Steinwand, President of Naples Realty Services.

The first quarter report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condo sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The statistics are presented in chart format, along with the following analysis:

 Overall pending sales saw an 8 percent increase, with 3,630 contracts in the first quarter of 2011 compared to 3,346 contracts in the first quarter of 2010.

 Single-family pending sales increased 6 percent with 1,763 contracts in the first quarter of 2011 compared to 1,667 contracts in the first quarter of 2010.

 Condo sales increased 7 percent with 1,114 sales in the first quarter of 2011 compared to 1,042 sales in the first quarter of 2010.

According to Mike Hughes, Vice-President of Downing-Frye Realty, “We may be seeing a glimpse of the kind of year 2011 will be. The statistics are encouraging and the sales activity continues to remain high.”

The March report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condo sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The statistics are presented in chart format, along with the following analysis:

 Overall home sales increased 5 percent to 936 sales in March 2011 compared to 890 sales in March 2010.

 Overall single-family pending sales saw a 6 percent increase, with 732 in March 2011 compared to 689 in March 2010.

 Condo sales saw a 17 percent increase with 525 sales in March 2011 compared to 447 sales in March 2010. March and First Quarter Statistics.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Vacation- and investment-home shares hold even in 2010

WASHINGTON – March 30, 2011 – The market share of vacation- and investment-home sales held steady in 2010, although the sales volume declined with the overall market, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

NAR’s 2011 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, covering existing- and new-home transactions in 2010, shows vacation-home sales accounted for 10 percent of transactions last year while the portion of investment sales was 17 percent – both unchanged from 2009.

“Despite extraordinarily tight credit conditions for purchasing a second home, the market share for vacation and investment homes held steady,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “A sizeable number of buyers made deals with all-cash offerings.”

All-cash purchases have become prevalent in the second-home market in recent years: 59 percent of investment buyers paid cash in 2010, as did 36 percent of vacation-home buyers.

With an overall decline in home sales during 2010, the volume of 543,000 vacation-home sales was down 1.8 percent from 553,000 in 2009. Investment purchases fell 7.8 percent to 867,000 in 2010 from 940,000 the previous year. Primary residence sales declined 5.6 percent to 3.81 million from 4.04 million in 2009.

Foreclosure or trustee sales accounted for 17 percent of investment purchases and 11 percent of vacation-home sales in 2010, compared with 5 percent of primary purchases.

“Second home buyers purchased more distressed homes at discount than did buyers of primary residences,” Yun says.

The median vacation-home price was $150,000 in 2010, down 11.2 percent from $169,000 in 2009, while the median investment-home price was $94,000, which is 10.5 percent below the $105,000 median in 2009. By contrast, the median primary residence price declined a relatively modest 4.5 percent to $176,700 last year from $185,000 in 2009.

The typical vacation-home buyer in 2010 was 49 years old, had a median household income of $99,500 and purchased a property that was a median distance of 375 miles from his or her primary residence; 31 percent of vacation homes were within 100 miles and 41 percent were more than 500 miles.

Investment-home buyers had a median age of 45, earned $87,600 and bought a home that was fairly close to their primary residence – a median distance of 19 miles.

“The fall in home prices has opened opportunities for more families to enter the second-home market – the median income of investment buyers today is lower than it’s been in recent years,” Yun says. While the median income of vacation-home buyers in 2010 is slightly above 2007 when it was $99,100, the median income of an investment-home buyer is 5.7 percent below $92,900 in 2007.

“Even if purchases are delayed due to economic circumstances, the underlying long-term demand – the desire for purchasing second homes – remains because people in their 30s and 40s will reach the prime age for buying and will drive the second-home market in coming decades as conditions permit,” Yun says.

Currently, 40.7 million people in the U.S. are ages 50-59 – a group that dominated sales in the first part of the past decade and established records for second-home sales. An additional 43.8 million people are now in the primary buying demographic of 40-49 years old, while another 40.4 million are 30-39.

Lifestyle factors continue to be the primary motivation for vacation-home buyers, with the desire for rental income driving investment purchases. Vacation homes were more likely to be located in a rural area, while investment homes were more likely to be in a suburban location.

“Vacation-home buyers want the property for their own personal use, with 84 percent saying the primary reason for buying was to use for vacations or as a family retreat,” Yun says. “Rental income generation was the primary motive for investment buyers. At the same time, nearly half indicated they sought to diversify their investments or saw a good investment opportunity.”

Thirty-four percent of vacation-home buyers said they plan to use the property as a primary residence in the future, as did 10 percent of investment buyers.

Twenty-one percent of investment buyers and 14 percent of vacation buyers purchased the property for a family member, friend or relative to use. “Some of these buyers purchase a home for their son or daughter to use while attending school,” Yun says.

Vacation-home buyers plan to keep their property for a median of 13 years while investment buyers plan to hold their property for a median of 10 years.

Thirty-six percent of vacation homes purchased in 2010 were in the South, 27 percent in the West, 19 percent in the Northeast and 15 percent in the Midwest; 3 percent were located outside the U.S.

The distribution of investment properties differed from vacation homes: 32 percent were in the South, 24 percent in the West, 21 percent in the Northeast and 20 percent in the Midwest; 3 percent were purchased outside the U.S.

NAR’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows there are 7.9 million vacation homes and 41.6 million investment units in the U.S., compared with 74.8 million owner-occupied homes.

NAR’s 2011 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, conducted in March 2011, includes answers from 1,895 usable responses about home purchases during 2010. The survey controlled for age and income, based on information from the larger 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, to limit any biases in the characteristics of respondents.

NAR sells the report for $19.95 to NAR members and $149.95 for non-members.
The 2011 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey can be ordered by calling (800) 874-6500, or online at