Saturday, August 20, 2011

Average Floridian getting younger

WASHINGTON – Aug. 18, 2011 – The U.S. Census Bureau released new information from the 2010 Census, and it shows that the majority of Florida growth came from working-age adults, 18 to 64 years old, who settled in counties on the edge of major cities.

Two decades ago, Florida had the highest median age in the U.S.; 10 years ago, the state ranked No. 2. Based on the just-released numbers, it’s now No. 5.

The recent Census information has valuable data for real estate agents considering a farm area or choosing a message for advertising. It includes statistics about Florida’s residents sorted by area, age, sex, household type, family type, housing units, and race and origin groups.

The Census Bureau has already released some of the information. The latest data, however, adds more information and allows much of it to be manipulated to create a more robust analysis.

New topics include:

• single year of age by sex
• more detail on children, including adopted, stepchildren and grandchildren
• race and Hispanic origin of householder
• more detail on household relationships
• group quarters population by sex, age and group quarters type
• housing tenure (rented or owned) by age, household type, race and Hispanic origin of householder
• mortgage status of owned housing units

Accessing the information

Summary tables can be found on the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder website. A good place to start is the quick tables, noted as “QT” in the search results list, which show a summary of a topic for one geographic area at a time. The geographic comparison tables (noted as “GCT”) are a good place to start for a first look at a topic across geographies, such as all places within Florida.

A summary file version of the information is also available for users who want to download the set of detailed tables for all of the geographies within a state and run their own analysis and rankings.

Florida’s existing home, condo sales up in July

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 18, 2011 – Florida’s existing home and existing condo sales rose in July, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Existing home sales increased 12 percent last month with a total of 15,517 homes sold statewide compared to 13,874 homes sold in July 2010, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide sales of existing condos last month also rose 12 percent compared to the year-ago sales figure.

“Realtors in markets across the state are reporting increased activity from potential homebuyers who are ready to advantage of historically low mortgage rates and current availability of affordable housing options,” said 2011 Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart.

Fifteen of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing home sales in July; 13 MSAs had higher existing condo sales.

The statewide median sales price for existing homes last month was $136,500; a year ago, it was $137,700 for only a 1 percent decrease. 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 June 2011 was $184,600, up 0.6 percent from a year ago, according to NAR. In Massachusetts, the statewide median resales price was $325,850 in June; in California, it was $295,300; in Maryland, it was $247,100; and in New York, it was $221,595 Read More of Store

Friday, August 12, 2011


Report Shows Inventory Decreased 19 Percent

NAPLES, Fla.-August 12, 2011- Key indicators such as pending sales, inventory and the median closed price show signs of real estate stability during challenging economic times, 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).

Overall pending sales increased two percent with 776 contracts in July 2011 compared to 760 contracts in July 2010. The median closed price for properties over $300,000 increased two percent to $550,000 for the 12 months ending July 2011 compared to $540,000 for the 12 months ending July 2010.

“The fact that we are not seeing volatility in the residential real estate market is positive. Home prices and sales are level but seem to be trending upward, inventory is declining, the average days on the market are declining, all indicators of the stabilization process,” said Tom Bringardner, President/CEO of Premier Commercial, Inc.

“The decrease in the percentage of non-traditional sales, foreclosures and short sales, is contributing to the stabilization and is good news for the real estate industry,” said John Steinwand, President of Naples Realty Services.

In July 2011 the Naples area saw 87 foreclosed sales compared to 250 in July 2009.

According to Kathy Zorn, Broker/Owner of Florida Home Realty, “There were more closed sales recorded in the first seven months of 2011 (8,110) than there are available in our current inventory (7,010) which sends an encouraging message to consumers that our market is stabilizing.”

The July 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 for the 12 months ending July 2011 increased 3 percent with 10,030 contracts compared to 9,785 contracts for the 12 months ending July 2010.

 Single-family home pending sales increased 3 percent in July 2011 with 447 contracts compared to 432 contracts in July 2010.

 Condo sales for the 12 months ending July 2011 increased 3 percent with 4,108 sales compared to 3,995 sales for the 12 months ending July 2010.

According to Brenda Fioretti, NABOR President and Managing Broker of Prudential Florida Realty, “Inventory continues to drop at a rate of 19 percent for this period and we currently have less than 9 months of inventory, which is the lowest we have seen since tracking the available inventory in April 2007.”

The available inventory in July 2011 is 7,010 properties compared to 8,731 properties in July 2010.

“Since April 2007, inventory has declined by 5,000 units. Investors continue to purchase properties in the Naples area which is helping in the reduction of available inventory,” said Mike Hughes, Vice-President of Downing-Frye Realty.

“Naples has two of the most desirable natural assets in the world, the warm weather and the beach. The influx of capital and the increased sales activity in the beach area is due to the lifestyle opportunities that buyers see there,” said CoCo Waldenmayer, Managing Broker of Engel and Voelkers.

Pending sales in the Naples Beach area for the 12 months ending July 2011 increased 12 percent with 1,747 contracts compared to 1,553 for the 12 months ending July 2010.

To view the entire report, visit

Market Statistics

Thursday, August 4, 2011

State forecasts property value increases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Aug. 4, 2011 – In a sign that Florida’s housing market may be on the road to recovery, the state’s top economist expects an increase in school property tax rolls next year of 1.3 percent.

Though that is actually a slight decrease from the original forecast of 2 percent, it is one of the most promising signs yet that Florida’s ailing and hard-hit housing market is on the mend after four years of plunging values.

Florida’s housing market was one of the hardest hit in the nation, the victim of an overwrought housing bubble, loose mortgage standards and a tourism-based economy.

The state’s housing woes have become fodder for national newspaper and magazine articles spotlighting the housing glut, examining over-developed South Florida subdivisions with plummeting home values.

But now Realtors, economists and property appraisers say they see signs of a housing market recovery.

“We turned the corner,” said state economist Amy Baker, though she cautioned the economic recovery is still fragile. Her forecast was part of a discussion Wednesday of adjusting estimated property tax revenue this year. More Details

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vacation homes: Why it might be time to buy

WASHINGTON – Aug. 2, 2011 – Home price declines remain the norm in many areas, but experts say certain luxury markets are picking up steam and attracting affluent vacation-home buyers.

The median second-home price fell 11 percent to $150,000 in 2010 from the prior year, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). And the price dropped 25 percent since 2006, compared to a 22 percent decrease for the overall housing market.

Experts say sales activity depends on geography, with buyers more interested in prime vacation spots. However, financing remains a challenge since banks remain skittish about writing jumbo mortgages.

For many second-home buyers, though, the investment value is not a big concern. NAR says more than 80 percent of second-home buyers made their purchases to simply enjoy the home – not as an investment – with the number of all-cash deals up to 36 percent in 2010 from 29 percent in 2009, enabling buyers to forego a complex mortgage process.

Prices have stabilized or started to rise in Santa Monica, Calif.; Aspen, Colo.; the Hamptons, N.Y.; and Hilton Head, S.C. Meanwhile, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; Vail, Colo.; and Miami and Palm Beach remain depressed but offer some bargains.

Source: Wall Street Journal (07/23/11) Silver-Greenberg, Jessica