Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Housing inventory down 22% nationwide


WASHINGTON – Jan. 24, 2012 – Housing inventory slid to 1.89 million homes in December – down 6 percent from the previous month and 22.3 percent from the prior year, according to Realtor.com.

In the 145 markets tracked by Realtor.com, only Springfield, Ill., registered a year-over-year increase. Inventories plunged 49.7 percent in Miami, 49.1 percent in Phoenix, and 46.6 percent in Bakersfield, Calif.

Meanwhile, the national median price edged up 5 percent year-over-year.

Asking prices – the amount sellers include on a Realtor.com listing – climbed 32.5 percent in Miami, 21.7 percent in Naples, 21.5 percent in Fort Myers-Cape Coral, and 19.4 percent in Punta Gorda, according to Realtor.com.

However, asking prices were down 11 percent in Detroit, 10 percent in Chicago, 7.6 percent in Las Vegas, and 7 percent in Sacramento.

Source: “Housing Inventory Ends Year Down 22 Percent,” Wall Street Journal (01/19/12)

Saturday, January 21, 2012


A service from the Naples Area Board of REALTORS®
January 20, 2012

Annual Pending and Closed Sales Rise

NAPLES, Fla.-January 20, 2012- The 2011 Naples area real estate activity has led to a five year low of inventoryaccording to a report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island).

Statistics compiled by NABOR show an increase in overall sales with inventory diminishing in Collier County, which is an encouraging sign that the favorable market conditions are moving buyers.

"Homebuyers have fewer choices today in 2012 than they had in 2011. Sales have continued to increase which has resulted in the overall available inventory to decline and naturally increase prices in some market categories," said Kathy Zorn, Broker/Owner of Florida Home Realty.

Brenda Fioretti, NABOR Media Relations Chairman and Managing Broker of Prudential Florida Realty agrees, "As the winter sales season begins in the Naples area, we currently have 1,564 fewer homes on the market than we did at the same time in 2010. The loss of listings includes 1,000 properties in the $300,000 and under price bracket. This is the lowest level of available homes and condos we have seen at the start of a new year since 2007!"

The available inventory declined 17 percent in 2011 with 7,581 available properties compared to 9,145 available properties in 2010. In the under $300,000 market category, the available inventory declined 21 percent to 3,771 properties in 2011 compared to 4,763 properties in 2010.

"Overall pending sales and closed sales increased year over year as our inventory continued to decline in 2011. Pending sales increased 8 percent and closed sales increased 5 percent," said John Steinwand, President of Naples Realty Services.

Every market category showed sale increases in both pending and closed sales with the largest increase in the $1 million and above categories.

"Closed sales in the $2 million and above luxury market increased 12 percent with 223 sales in 2011 compared to 199 sales in 2010," said Bill Poteet, 2012 NABOR President and President of Poteet Properties. "The traditional market has become a large percentage of our total market share (66 percent) as the number of short sale and foreclosure sales diminishes."

The 2011 report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condo sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. An overall summary combines the statistics for both single family and condominium properties. The statistics are presented in chart format, along with the following statistics:

¨ Single family pending sales increased 5 percent with 5,162 contracts in 2011 compared to 4,896 contracts in 2010.

¨ Condo pending sales increased 11 percent with 4,908 contracts in 2010 compared to 4,422 contracts in 2010.

¨ The overall median closed price over $300,000 increased 2 percent to $550,000 in 2011 from $540,000 in 2010.

The 2011 fourth quarter report showed overall pending sales for the 12 months ending December 2011 increased 8 percent to 10,071contracts compared to 9,319 contracts for the same 12 months of 2010.

¨ Overall closed sales in the $1 million to $2 million category increased 38 percent with 76 sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to 55 sales in the fourth quarter of 2010.

¨ Single-family home sales in the $500,000 to $1 million price range increased 13 percent with 90 sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to 80 sales in the fourth quarter of 2010.

¨ Condo sales declined 2 percent to 793 sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to 808 sales in the same quarter of 2010.

To view the report, visit www.NaplesArea.com

The Naples Area Board of REALTORS (NABOR) is an established organization (Chartered 1949) whose members have a positive and progressive impact on the Naples community. NABOR is a local board of REALTORS and real estate professionals with a legacy of nearly 60 years serving 4,000 plus member-customers. NABOR is a member of Florida REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORS, which is the largest trade association in the United States with more than 1.3 million members and over 1,400 local boards of REALTORS nationwide. NABOR is structured to provide programs and services to its membership through various committees and the NABOR Board of Directors, all of whose members are non-paid volunteers.

View the Fourth Quarter 2011 Statistics
View the Annual 2011 Statistics

Monday, January 16, 2012

Foreign buyers see big bargains in U.S. real estate

MIAMI – Jan. 16, 2012 – Foreign investors are finding plenty of deals in the U.S. when it comes to real estate, and, as such, more international investors are flocking to key states to buy their piece of the American Dream. www.ScottSorensonRealEstate.com

Mexico is the top country of origin for foreign buyers purchasing U.S. homes, according to a recent study by Credit Sesame, which used National Association of Realtors® data for its findings.

“In this period of tremendous uncertainly globally, real estate here is a safe haven,” Susan Wachter, professor of real estate and finance at The University of Pennsylvania, told MSNBC.com.

The top destinations of foreign investors for U.S. real estate purchases are:

1. Florida: Thirty-one percent of all home purchases are made by foreign buyers, with most coming from Cuba, Haiti and Colombia.

2. California: Twelve percent of all home purchases, with most coming from Mexico, the Philippines, China, India and Vietnam.

3. Texas: Nine percent of all home purchases, with most coming from Mexico, India, Vietnam, China and the Philippines.

Source: “Housing more affordable than ever ... for foreign investors,” MSNBC.com (Jan. 13, 2012)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fla. real estate brokers sunnier than most

MIAMI – Jan. 12, 2012 – Florida real estate brokers may be the cheeriest in the South.

The latest Beige Book report from the Federal Reserve once again has the Sunshine State avoiding the general gloom hitting the housing industry throughout the Atlanta district, which spans the Southeast. While brokers in the region said November and December brought “soft” home sales, Florida said sales actually “rebounded” after a brief soft patch. The reason: international buyers and cash deals. www.ScottSorensonRealEstate.Com

Florida’s housing shout-out came in a relatively upbeat Beige Book, which the Fed issues about every six weeks as an anecdotal report card on the nation’s economic health. Most districts reported somewhere between “modest” and “moderate” growth, suggesting the recovery is holding steady.

South Florida received two mentions, both tied to the region’s strong tourism rebound. Describing encouraging dispatches from tourism businesses throughout the Southeast, Fed authors wrote “South Florida in particular experienced greater travel activity from Canadians and South Americans.”

In a more discouraging passage, the Fed said most Atlanta district business “contacts” said extra hiring in the winter was mostly “temporary and seasonal.”

“However,” the report continued, “there were some scattered reports among healthcare and hospitality contacts in South Florida that hiring was occurring as a result of increased demand or expansion.”

Indeed, healthcare and hospitality companies have accounted for almost 60 percent of the 28,000 jobs added in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in 2011.

Only Nevada and California vied with Florida for being hardest hit by the housing crash, so it’s natural for Florida to enjoy a stronger turnaround than places where prices didn’t fall as far. Florida’s relative optimism on the sales front has been a recurring theme in the Beige reports this year.

There is some reason to celebrate. Since 2008, only Nevada has seen home sales grow faster, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2008, the real estate bubble was rapidly deflating. Since then, sales are up 47 percent in Florida. That’s far ahead of most states, but well behind Nevada, where sales are up 62 percent.

Sales, though, remain depressed. They’re off 44 percent since Florida’s peak in 2006. Nationally, home values are off about 19 percent from their peak level in 2007, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Final pending sales report shows 7.3% surge

WASHINGTON – Jan. 2, 2012 – Pending home sales continued to gain in November and reached its highest level in 19 months, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 7.3 percent to 100.1 in November from an upwardly revised 93.3 in October. It’s also 5.9 percent above November 2010 when it stood at 94.5. ScottSorensonRealEstate.Com

The index hasn’t been this high since April 2010 when it reached 111.5 as buyers rushed to beat the deadline for the homebuyer tax credit. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

The gains might result partially from delayed transactions, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Housing affordability conditions are at a record high, and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who’ve been on the sidelines, but contract failures have been running unusually high. Some of the increase in pending home sales appears to be from buyers recommitting after an initial contract ran into problems, often with the mortgage.”

“November is doing reasonably well in comparison with the past year. The sustained rise in contract activity suggests that closed existing-home sales, which are the important final economic impact figures, should continue to improve in the months ahead,” Yun says.

Pending home sales are not affected by NAR’s recently published rebenchmarking of existing-home sales because the index uses a different methodology based directly on contract signings, and it’s adjusted for seasonality.

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 8.1 percent to 77.1 in November but is 0.3 percent below November 2010. In the Midwest, the index increased 3.3 percent to 91.6 in November and is 9.5 percent above a year ago.

Pending home sales in the South rose 4.3 percent in November to an index of 103.8 and remain 8.7 percent above November 2010. In the West, the index surged 14.9 percent to 121.2 in November and is 2.9 percent higher than a year ago.