Friday, August 16, 2013



NAPLES, FL (August 16, 2013) - The Naples area condominium market has rebounded with full force as evidenced in a July 2013 report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which showed a 143 percent increase in condominium closed sales in the $300K-$500K price category and a whopping 1200 percent increase in the $2M+ price category from July 2012 compared to July 2013. 

"The condominium market is hot," according to Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager of Downing-Frye Realty. "The July SunshineMLS statistics show us that high-end buyers were out condo shopping as demonstrated by an increase in condominium pending sales of 167 percent in the 2M+ price categoryfrom July 2012 to July 2013. Overall, if you subtract the 'bubble years' of 2004 and 2005, 2013 is looking to be one of the best years on record for home sales."

NABOR® officials point to a prediction made by Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, who stated at the 2011 NABOR® Economic Summit that a sense of urgency would drive the market in 2013. 

"His prediction has become reality," said Steve Barker, Advising Broker for Equity Realty, who explains, "The SunshineMLS statistics show that the inventory is decreasing and the median home price is increasing. This creates a market where buyers are afraid there won't be anything left in their price range if they do not buy now. They are looking for homes in a limited inventory and prices are on the rise."

NABOR®, which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), released its July monthly report which provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation. It also includes an overall market summary. Statistics worthy of attention in this report include:
  • Overall closed sales increased by double digits in all but the $0-$300K category in the 12-months ending July 2013. Closed sales in the $300K-$500K market increased 24 percent from 1,196 in the 12-months ending July 2012 to 1,608 in the 12-months ending July 2013. Closed sales in the $500K-$1M market increased by 26 percent from 906 in the 12-months ending July 2012 to 1,141 in the 12-months ending July 2013. Closed sales in the $1M-$2M market increased by 19 percent from 412 in the 12-months ending July 2012 to 492 in the 12-months ending July 2013. And closed sales in the $2M and above market increased by 33 percent from July 2012 in the 12-months ending July 2012 to 281 in the 12-months ending July 2013.
  • Pending sales increased by double digits in all but the $0-$300K category in the 12-months ending July 2013. Pending sales in the $300K-$500K market increased 33 percent from 1431 in the 12-months ending July 2012 to 1907 in the 12-months ending July 2013. Pending sales in the $500K-$1M market increased by 19 percent from 1078 in the 12-months ending July 2012 to 1287 in the 12-months ending July 2013. Pending sales in the $1M-$2M market increased by 25 percent from 462 in the 12-months ending July 2012 to 576 in the 12-months ending July 2013. And pending sales in the $2M and above market increased by 22 percent from 276 in the 12-months ending July 2012 to 337 in the 12-months ending July 2013.
  • The overall market median closed price increased 19% percent from $190,000 to $226,000, 12-month ending July 2013.
  • The overall average days on market decreased 41 percent in the $2M and above category from 403 days to 238 days, July 2012 compared to July 2013 and 31 percent in the $1M-$2M category from 271 days to 186 days, July 2012 compared to July 2013.
  • The median closed price for condominiums in the $2M and above category increased 36 percent from $2,650,000 in July 2012 to $3,600,000 in July 2013.
  • Condominium inventory decreased by 23 percent from 3,299 available units in July 2012 to 2,534 units in July 2013. 
According to appraisal expert Cindy Carroll, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll & Carroll, "Consumer demand, especially in the coastal condo market, is driving home prices upward. In addition, falling inventories point toward continuing price gains."

John Steinwand, President of Naples Realty Services, suggested two possible contributing factors for the increase in condo demand:
  1. The stock market's performance has helped Baby Boomers recover investment losses and, in turn, this is helping them make the decision to sell their homes up north and purchase property in Florida,
  2. Homeowners who lost their homes in the recession and became local renters are now qualifying for new home loans. 
"We hope the July surge in sales, especially in the condo market, will encourage homeowners that were once reluctant to sell to put their homes on the market now. Our statistics show that this is as good a time to sell as it is to buy," says Wes Kunkle, NABOR® President and Commercial Broker at Kunkle Realty, LLC. "In March 2007 there were 12,440 homes for sale in the Naples area and today, there are 5,028 - a 60 percent decrease! With inventory down, days on the market down, and median closed prices up, sellers would be in a good position to sell to the surplus of buyers who are looking to purchase right now."


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

CoreLogic: June home prices up 11.9% year over year


IRVINE, Calif. – Aug. 6, 2013 – Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 11.9 percent in June on a year-over-year basis, according to CoreLogic’s June Home Price Index (HPI) report released today. It’s the sixteenth consecutive monthly increase in home prices nationally.

On a month-over-month basis, including distressed sales, home prices rose 1.9 percent compared to May 2013.

According to CoreLogic, Florida numbers fall close to the national average. Including distressed sales, prices rose in June 11 percent year-to-year and 1.8 percent month-to-month.

If Florida’s distressed sales – short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions – are backed out of the equation, the state’s home prices rose 12.7 percent year-to-year and 2.1 percent month-to-month.

The CoreLogic Pending HPI analyzes home price changes for the most recent month. According to that analysis, July 2013 home prices, including distressed sales, are expected to rise by 12.5 percent on a year-over-year basis from July 2012 and by 1.8 percent on a month-over-month basis from June 2013. The CoreLogic Pending HPI is based on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data that measure price changes for the most recent month.

“In the first six months of 2013, the U.S. housing market appreciated a remarkable 10 percent,” says Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “This trend in home price gains is moving at the fastest pace since 1977.”

“The U.S. housing market experienced robust price appreciation during the first half of 2013 and our forecast calls for double-digit growth through July,” adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Despite their rebound of late, home prices remain reasonable in a historical context, with most states near peak affordability levels.”
Highlights of June 2013

• Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Nevada (+26.5 percent), California (+21.4 percent), Wyoming (+16.7 percent), Arizona (+16.2 percent) and Georgia (+14.3 percent).

• Including distressed sales, only two states posted home price depreciation: Mississippi (-2.1 percent) and Delaware (-1.1 percent).

• Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Nevada (+23.6 percent), California (+18.7 percent), Arizona (+14.1 percent), Utah (+13.8 percent) and Florida (+12.7 percent).

• Excluding distressed sales, no states posted home price depreciation in June.

• The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines, including distressed transactions, were Nevada (-44.3 percent), Florida (-38.6 percent), Arizona (-33.9 percent), Rhode Island (-31.7 percent), and Michigan (-31.1 percent).

Monday, August 5, 2013

Multiple offers put S. Fla. home sellers in control


MIRAMAR, Fla. – Aug. 5, 2013 – The spiffy five-bedroom house on a quiet cul-de-sac in Miramar hit the market for $379,900 on a Monday. By the close of business, there were two offers, but listing agent Carlos Martin was preaching patience.

Tempting as it may have been to pick one right then, seller Robert Kull waited a week for more offers to materialize.

It was a wise choice. The home ultimately drew five bids. Kull rejected two cash deals in favor of a full-price offer from a buyer willing to pay above appraised value.

“We knew it was a real strong market,” Kull said. “Carlos said if we just hold out, we’ll get a full-price offer, and sure enough we did.”

Multiple offers are the Holy Grail of the housing recovery, but it takes skill and a dash of diplomacy to sort through all the possibilities.

Homes in good condition and priced fairly almost certainly will attract more than one offer, real estate agents say. Demand far exceeds supply in South Florida and across most of the nation, so investors and young families are all circling the same properties hoping to hit paydirt.

“Multiple offers is the last thing buyers want to hear and the first thing sellers want to be able to say,” said Michael Corbett, a blogger for the real estate website.

Still, that doesn’t mean all sellers are necessarily rejoicing, said Judy Trudel, an agent with Balistreri Realty in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

“When you have multiple offers, it sounds like you’re in the driver’s seat,” Trudel said. “But it’s a very stressful situation.”

Not every multiple-offer situation turns out well. Broward real estate agent Carrie Hazen had a client who received three offers on her Coral Springs home.

That’s the good news. The bad? When the seller made counteroffers late last month, all three buyers bailed.

One of the buyers told Hazen she was backing out because another seller had accepted her contract – even though it’s unethical for a buyer to submit more than one offer at a time.

“Back to the drawing board,” Hazen said. “There are no slam dunks.”

Florida law doesn’t require agents to disclose when their listings get two or more written offers. But a National Association of Realtors code of ethics states that agents must make the disclosure if the buyer asks.

In most cases, the listing agent will collect the offers, announce there are competing bids and have everyone come back with their “highest and best offers” so the seller can pick one.

But some agents and sellers take a different approach.

They’ll negotiate individually with the buyers, making different counteroffers to each, even though they ultimately can sign only one contract.

Playing one offer against the other usually pushes the price higher and allows sellers to assess the motivation and financial strength of all the buyers, Corbett said.

That strategy paid off for Mike Killi, who’s selling his four-bedroom home in Coral Springs. The half-dozen bids gave him and his agent, Dean Ehrlich, the leverage to go back to each buyer and seek more money and the most favorable terms.

They had an offer for $5,000 above the $325,000 list price. But the buyer needed a mortgage, and there was no guarantee the home would appraise. No appraisal is needed in a cash sale.

Killi ultimately took a cash deal for $2,000 more than the asking price. The closing is expected in mid-August.

“We’re really happy with the way it turned out,” said Killi, 33, a social marketing manager for an advertising firm. “When you put your house on the market, you’re really nervous. When you get multiple offers, it very quickly puts you at ease.”

As Killi showed, the highest price isn’t necessarily the best offer. Some of the other considerations: the amount of downpayment, how soon the buyers want to close and whether they’ll agree to pay the difference if the home doesn’t appraise.

“Price is important, but it’s just one factor,” Broward agent Tim Singer said.

Sellers shouldn’t drag out multiple offers longer than a week, said Samantha DeBianchi, an agent in Fort Lauderdale. “It’s just good manners.”

But for some buyers, no amount of etiquette will cushion the blow of not getting the home.

“Somebody is going to get hurt or feel like they were treated unfairly,” said Randy Bianchi, broker-owner of Paradise Properties of Florida in West Palm Beach. “Multiple offers can turn off a lot of people because there’s always a winner and a loser.”