Thursday, January 31, 2013

Outside remodeling has biggest return on investment


WASHINGTON – Jan. 30, 2013 – Homeowners looking for the most return on their investment when remodeling should consider exterior replacement projects. According to the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, Realtors® rated exterior projects among the most valuable home improvement projects.

“Realtors know that curb appeal projects offer great bang for your buck, because a home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see,” says National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Gary Thomas. “Projects such as siding, window and door replacements can recoup more than 70 percent of their cost at resale.”

According to the Cost vs. Value Report, Realtors judged a steel entry door replacement as the project expected to return the most money, with an estimated 85.6 percent of costs recouped upon resale. A steel entry door replacement is also the least expensive project in the report, costing little more than $1,100 on average.

A majority of the top 10 cost-effective projects nationally are exterior replacement projects; all are estimated to recoup more than 71 percent of costs.

Three different siding replacement projects landed in the top 10, including fiber cement siding (expected to return 79.3 percent of costs), vinyl siding (72.9 percent) and foam backed vinyl (71.8 percent). Two additional door replacements were also among the top exterior replacement projects. A midrange and upscale garage door replacement were both expected to return more than 75 percent of costs.

According to the report, two interior remodeling projects, however, could also recoup substantial value at resale. A minor kitchen remodel is ranked fifth and expected to return 75.4 percent of costs. Nationally, the project’s average cost is just under $19,000.

The second interior remodeling project in the top 10 is the attic bedroom, with 72.9 percent of costs recouped. With an average national cost of just under $48,000, the attic project adds a bedroom and bathroom within a home’s existing footprint.

On the other side of the value spectrum, the least effective home improvement project is a home office, which would recoup less than 44 percent of the installation cost.

To read the full project descriptions and access national and regional project data, visit

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What’s behind falling housing inventories?


NEW YORK – Jan. 29, 2013 – Home prices are increasing across the country as the number of homes for-sale continues to fall. But at a time when buyer demand is picking up, why is inventory still so low?

Inventories fell to 1.82 million at the end of last year, a 21.6 percent drop from one year earlier, the National Association of Realtors® reports.

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted several reasons behind the dropping inventories, including:

 Sellers hesitant to sell: About 22 percent of homeowners with a mortgage remain underwater, owing more than their home is currently worth. These homeowners don’t tend to sell unless a life-changing event occurs because they don’t want to take a loss on the sale. CoreLogic data finds constrained inventories in areas with the highest number of underwater borrowers.

 Not enough equity to trade up: Homeowners often rely on equity from their current home to make a downpayment on the next home. With fewer homeowners seeing equity, they may not have enough money to move into a pricier home – a constraint on the would-be “trade up” buyer.

 Investors continue to snatch up properties: Investors still snap up properties, but they’ve changed their strategy, which also constrains inventories. Now they’re holding onto properties and turning them into rentals instead of rehabbing and flipping them for profit. The result: fewer homes on the market.

 Banks slowing down foreclosures: Banks have new rules to meet with the foreclosure process, and it’s causing them to move at a slower pace. Banks also are showing a preference for short sales and loan modifications, which curbs the number of foreclosed homes on the market.

 Builders doing less building: Housing starts were at record lows from 2009 through 2011, so there’s less inventory added to the market. A rebound in the new-home market has only recently started to occur.

Source: “Six Reasons Housing Inventory Keeps Declining,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 22, 2013)

U.S. home prices accelerate in November


WASHINGTON (AP) – Jan. 29, 2013 – U.S. home prices accelerated in November compared with a year ago, pushed higher by rising sales and a tighter supply of available homes.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.5 percent in November compared with the same month a year ago. That’s up from a 4.3 percent annual gain in October.

The biggest yearly gain was in Phoenix, where prices jumped nearly 23 percent. Prices in San Francisco increased 12.7 percent.

Prices also increased in half of the cities measured by the index in November from October. That’s up from seven in October. The biggest monthly gains were in San Francisco, Phoenix and Minneapolis.

Monthly prices are not seasonally adjusted and frequently decline over the winter.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Contacts:             Wes Kunkle, NABOR President & Media Relations Committee Chairman, (239) 216-2839
                            Marcia Albert, NABOR Director of Marketing, (239) 597-1666
Naples, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2013) - The Naples area overall median closed price increased a remarkable 17 percent from $175,000 in 2011 to $204,000 in 2012, 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).  
"At our annual Economic Summit held in April, Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, predicted a 10 percent increase in the overall median price by the end of 2012," stated Brenda Fioretti, Managing Broker at Prudential Florida Realty. "At the time, many people were incredulous with his assessment, but now today we are delighted to see the real estate market's prices rebounding and surpassing estimates."
The NABOR® 2012 Annual Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® annual sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium units) findings: 
- Overall closed sales increased 9 percent, from 8,345 units in 2011, compared to 9,121 units in 2012. Overall closed sales increased 20 percent in the $300,000-$500,000 category, from 1,129 units to 1,357 units, and increased 29 percent in the $500,000-$1 million category, from 794 units to 1,022 units, from 2011 to 2012, respectively.
- Overall pending sales increased 6 percent, from 10,070 pending sales in 2011 to 10,683 pending sales in 2012.
- Overall inventory decreased by 13 percent, from 7,581 listed properties in 2011 to 6,557 listed properties in 2012. Pending sales with contingent contracts are included in the overall inventory number.
- Overall pending sales in the Naples coastal area increased 15 percent, from 1,791 units to 2,057 units, in 2012. Closed sales increased 14 percent, from 1,641 units in 2011 to 1,869 units in 2012.
"2012 was a very good year across the board for the Naples area real estate market," stated Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager of Downing-Frye Realty. "From overall pending sales to closed sales and higher median closed prices, along with a continued decrease in inventory, it was a strong year. So strong, in fact, that we now would like to see higher levels of available inventory."
Thomas A. Bringardner Jr., President and CEO of Premier Commercial, added "The continued economic recovery, both nationally and locally, as well as the decrease in the unemployment rate (dropping to 7.8 percent for Collier County in November 2012) and increase in tourism is benefitting the residential and commercial market."
"The overall commercial market has remained relatively steady and now we are seeing modest improvements," he said. "Recent large deals, including the sale of the Fifth Third Bank building and the Venetian Village, in addition to large land deals, highlight the improvement in the commercial market."
The NABOR® 2012 Fourth Quarter Report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® fourth quarter statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium units) findings:
- Overall closed sales increased 22 percent, from 1,689 units in fourth quarter 2011 to 2,061 units in fourth quarter 2012. Overall closed sales increased 58 percent in the $300,000-$500,000 category, from 207 units to 328 units, and increased 51 percent in the $500,000-$1 million category, from 146 units to 221 units, from fourth quarter 2011 to fourth quarter 2012, respectively.
- The median closed price increased 24 percent overall, from $165,000 in fourth quarter 2011 to $205,000 in fourth quarter 2012.
 - Overall pending sales increased 8 percent, from 2,250 pending sales in fourth quarter 2011 to 2,422 pending sales in fourth quarter 2012.
- Overall inventory decreased 13 percent, from 7,580 units for fourth quarter 2011, compared to 6,557 units in fourth quarter 2012.
To view the entire report, visit 
The Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) is an established organization (Chartered in 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 members. NABOR® is a member of the Florida Realtors and the National Association of REALTORS®, which is the largest association in the United States with more than 1.3 million members and over 1,400 local board 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.
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and who subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.