Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fla.’s housing market continues growth in March

ORLANDO, Fla. – April 22, 2015 – Florida's housing market continued its positive track in March with more closed sales, higher median prices, increased pending sales and new listings, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
Closed sales of existing single-family homes statewide totaled 24,811 last month, up 24.6 percent in a year-to-year comparison.

"Positive growth in Florida's housing market is encouraging sellers and buyers," says 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. "Inventories for existing single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties remain in a stable range with a 5 to 6 months' supply.

"On the buyers' side, new pending sales for existing single-family homes in March increased 12.9 percent year-over-year, while pending sales for townhouse-condo units increased 1.4 percent. On the sellers' side, new listings for single-family homes rose 8.6 percent year-over-year and new townhouse-condo listings rose 5.5 percent."

March marked the 40th consecutive month that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year.

"Strong price growth has helped many Florida homeowners rebuild home equity, but it can also pose a challenge for first-time buyers hoping to close on their dream home before rates rise," Barbar adds.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $190,000, up 9.2 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in March was $152,000, up 8.6 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in February 2015 was $204,200, up 8.2 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $190,200.

Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 11,083 last month, up 13.7 percent compared to March 2014.

The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in March: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 36.9 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 30.5 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

"The housing market continues to thrive on the growing Florida economy – jobs are up and so are sales," says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. "The continued fall of cash sales as a percentage of total sales suggests that demand is increasingly coming from household owner-occupants, a trend that bodes well for market stability. Days on the market are down, as is inventory, particularly at the low end of the market. This points to a potential sweet spot for homebuilders.
"If there is a concern in the market, it lies in the upper-middle price ranges, where inventories and time on the market are up even though sales growth is strong," adds Tuccillo. "This will bear watching over time."

Inventory was at a 5.1-months' supply in March for single-family homes and at a 6.1-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.77 percent in March 2015, down from the 4.34 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors' website under "Research." Association members (login required) also have access to local data specific to their market.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Buyers Shift Focus to Condominium Market

Naples, Fla. (April 17, 2015) - Overall activity in the Naples area real estate market across all price categories remains steady, according to the First Quarter 2015 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). Most notable in the report was the $300,000 - $500,000 price category for condominiums in which the overall closed and pending sales increased by double digits in the first quarter of 2015. Statistics show a recent shift in buyer focus from single-family homes to condominiums.
Broker analysts reviewing the First Quarter 2015 Market Report agree that a new trend may be emerging, as the report showed condominiums outperforming single-family home sales. As such, these analysts predict condominiums will see continued rise in activity moving into summer.
"Pending and closed sales in the mid-level price range [$300K - $500K] for both March and first quarter outperformed all other areas of the market," said Phil Wood, President & CEO of John R. Wood Properties.  "Perhaps this is reflective of vacation home buyers who want a place to escape the winter weather. Condos are the easiest way for them to do so, since exterior maintenance issues are handled by the associations."
"The difference in performance between the single-family home market and condo market in the $300,000 -$500,000 price category for the first quarter is quite impressive," said Steve Barker, Advising Broker for Equity Realty. "Pending sales for condominiums in the $300,000 - $500,000 price category increased 53 percent. Yet, while the single family home market is very good, pending sales for single-family homes in this same price category increased only half that, at 26 percent."
Supporting analysis presented by Cindy Carroll SRA, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll & Carroll, Inc., at NABOR®'s Economic Summit earlier this month, several brokers including Kathy Zorn, Bill Coffey and Mike Hughes pointed out that the First Quarter 2015 Market Report indicated location as a big factor in home sales activity.
Hughes remarked that, "the overall median closed price in all geo-specific areas of the county increased double digits compared to the same quarter last year." Zorn added, "in both the Central Naples and South Naples areas, the median closed price rose 17 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014."
Overall inventory for the $300,000 - $500,000 price category in the first quarter of 2015 increased 14 percent from 934 homes in the first quarter of 2014 to 1,061 homes in the first quarter of 2015. Only the inventory in the over $2 million price category had a larger increase - 18 percent - expanding from 400 homes in the first quarter of 2014 to 471 homes in the first quarter of 2015.
"The number of people paying cash for their homes remains strong," said Barker, who added, "a stunning 73 percent of all home sales in the first quarter of 2015 were cash-only purchases. Strict lending standards combined with low inventory continue to give the advantage to cash buyers in this housing market."
"We also see that in March, traditional sales dominated the market at 91 percent," said Bill Poteet, owner and broker at Poteet Properties. "There were 921 traditional sales and only 19 non-traditional [short sale and/or foreclosed] sales." He went on to note that March's market performance is typically a leading indicator of the trend we can expect going in to the summer.
The NABOR® 1Q 2015 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® 1Q 2015 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings:  
  • Overall pending sales increased 3 percent from 3,532 in 1Q 2014 to 3,628 in 1Q 2015.
  • Pending sales in the single-family home market increased 5 percent from 1,563 single-family homes in 1Q 2014 to 1,634 single-family homes in 1Q 2015.
  • Pending sales in the condominium market increase 1 percent from 1,969 condominiums in 1Q 2014 to 1,994 condominiums in 1Q 2015.
  • Overall closed sales decreased 4 percent from 2,409 in 1Q 2014 to 2,312 in 1Q 2015.
  • Closed sales for single-family homes decreased 13 percent in the $0 - $300,000 price category from 473 single-family homes in 1Q 2014 to 412 single-family homes in the 1Q 2015,
  • Closed sales for single-family homes increased 14 percent in the $300,000 - $500,000 price category from 264 single-family homes in 1Q 2014 to 300 single-family homes in 1Q 2015.
  • Overall median closed price increased 13 percent from $265,000 in 1Q 2014 to $300,000 in 1Q 2015.
  • Overall median closed price for homes over $2 million increased 11 percent from $2,877,000 in 1Q 2014 to $3,200,000 in 1Q 2015.
  • Median closed price for condominiums in the $2 million and above price category decreased 13 percent from $2,775,000 in 1Q 2014 to $2,405,000 in 1Q 2015.
  • Overall inventory decreased 3 percent from 4,405 homes in 1Q 2014 to 4,253 homes in 1Q 2015.
  • Inventory of single-family homes in the $0 - $300,000 price category decreased 28 percent from 537 single-family homes in 1Q 2014 to 385 single-family homes in 1Q 2015.
  • Inventory of single-family homes in the $500,000 - $1 million price category increased 21 percent from 529 in 1Q 2014 to 640 in 1Q 2015.
  • Inventory for condominiums in the $2 million and above price category increased 77 percent from 39 in 1Q 2014 to 69 in 1Q 2015.
  • Average days on market decreased 11 percent from 95 in 1Q 2014 to 85 in 1Q 2015.
The NABOR® March 2015 Market Report was also released and reflected these overall (single-family and condominium) findings: 
  • Overall pending sales increased 9 percent from 1,399 homes in March 2014 to 1,520 homes in March 2015.
  • Overall closed sales increased 3 percent from 981 homes in March 2014 to 1,014 homes in March 2015.
  • Overall median closed price increased 12 percent from $248,000 in the 12-months ending March 2014 to $278,000 in the 12-months ending March 2015.
  • Overall median closed price in the $0-$300,000 category increased 9 percent from $165,000 in the 12-months ending March 2014 to $189,000 in the 12-months ending March 2015.
  • Overall inventory decreased 3 percent from 4,405 homes in March 2014 to 4,253 in March 2015.
  • Average days on market decreased 16 percent from 94 days in March 2014 to 80 days in March 2015.
"The statistics show that the lower the price category, the faster the home will sell and the higher the price category, the longer it takes to sell," said Brenda Fioretti, Managing Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. "For example, homes in the $0 - $300,000 price range sold in an average of 64 days in the first quarter of 2015, while homes in the over $2 million price category stayed on the market 152 days before they sold."
The First Quarter 2015 and March 2015 Market Reports reflect exactly what all three economic experts predicted at NABOR®'s 4th annual Economic Summit: that the real estate industry in Florida is very good and will continue to stay very good through 2015. 
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 5,000 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.
To view the entire report, visit

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Owning cheaper than renting in 76% of U.S. metros

IRVINE, Calif. – April 9, 2015 – RealtyTrac released its Residential Rental Property Analysis the first quarter of 2015 and found that the monthly house payment (median-priced three-bedroom home) is more affordable than the monthly fair market in 76 percent of U.S. counties included in the analysis.
The report also ranked the markets with the best – and worst – potential returns on residential rental properties from a real estate investor perspective, along with the most affordable – and least affordable – markets for renting from a renter perspective.
The analysis included 461 U.S. counties with a population of at least 100,000 and sufficient home price, income and rental data.
On average, fair market rents (set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) were 28 percent of estimated median household income; monthly house payments on a median-priced home (10 percent downpayment with property taxes, home insurance and mortgage insurance included) were 24 percent of the estimated median income.
"From a purely affordability standpoint, renters who have saved enough to make a 10 percent downpayment are better off buying in the majority of markets across the country," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
However, Blomquist says "factors other than affordability are keeping many renters from becoming buyers – a reality that means real estate investors buying residential properties as rentals still have the opportunity to make strong returns in many markets across the country." He also notes that the data RealtyTrac analyzed are not the only variables in a buy-versus-rent decision.
Only two metro areas and cities in Florida ranked in any of RealtyTrac's top 10 or bottom 10 lists for renting or investing. Miami-Dade (including Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach) ranked No. 4 nationwide in the "least affordable rental markets" list. The analysis finds it takes 45 percent of an owner's median income to rent, while it takes only 34 percent of median income to buy a home.
For real estate investors, only Pasco County made the top 10 list for annual investment return. According to RealtyTrac, the annual gross rental yield for a cash buyer in February 2015 at 19.20 percent compared to the nation's top investment city, Baltimore, Maryland, which saw 24.82 percent returns.
Among the 56 counties with most favorable conditions for buying, the most affordable for buying was Bay County, Michigan in the Bay City metro area, where it takes only 11 percent of the area's median income to make house payments on a median priced-home.
The top U.S. market for renting is Delaware County, Ohio, in the Columbus metro area, where it takes only 14 percent of the area's median income.
While the Miami-Dade area ranked fourth for high market rents, Bronx County, New York, led the list. In the Bronx, a median-income home pays 69 percent monthly in rent. However, the cost of ownership is so high that renting remains the preferred option there.
Investment returns
The average potential annual gross rental yield for homes purchased in February 2015 was 9.34 percent for all metro areas, calculated by annualizing the rental income and dividing that amount into the purchase price of the property.
Markets with the highest potential annual gross rental yields for homes purchased in February 2015 were:
  • Baltimore City, Maryland (24.82 percent),
  • Clayton County, Georgia (24.26 percent),
  • Wayne County, Michigan (21.08 percent)
  • Pasco County, Florida (19.20 percent)
  • Trumbull County, Ohio (18.36 percent)
Markets with lowest returns on residential rental properties:
  • New York County/Manhattan, New York (2.34 percent)
  • San Francisco County, California (3.20 percent)
  • Kings County/Brooklyn, New York (3.63 percent)
  • Marin County, California (3.84 percent)
  • Williamson County, Tennessee (3.89 percent)
Investment markets with rising rental returns
  • Douglas County, Oregon (potential returns up 119 basis points from a year ago)
  •  Linn County, Iowa (109 basis point increase)
  • Henderson County, North Carolina (109 basis point increase)
  • Kendall County, Illinois (89 basis point increase)
  • Sussex County, Delaware (80 basis point increase).
  • Cook County, Illinois (43 basis points increase)
  • King County, Washington (12 basis point increase)
  • Long Island, New York (49 basis point increase)
  • Nassau, New York (24 basis point increase)
  • Wake County, North Carolina (30 basis point increase)
© 2015 Florida Realtors®  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Articles about Real Estate Growth in Naples

Naples Area Among Top 10 in Nation for Growth -  Naples News


Naples Leads State in February Job Growth - Naples News 


Naples Area Home Prices Jump 25% - Naples News


 Talis Park Sales Momentum Continues into the New Year - Naples News 


Naples Expected to Lead State in Economic Growth - Naples News 


Naples Homes Soar to Record Breaking Prices - Naples News 


Florida Leads Nation in All Cash Sales - Florida Realtor 


Home Sales Heading to Fastest Pace Since 2006 - 


Real Estate Market Hits Era of Good Feelings - Ft Myers News-Press


House Prices within 6% of peak levels of 2007! - Market Realist


Naples Home Prices Jump 13% - Naples News 


Naples Ranked 4th Happiest City in the US - News-Press


Talis Park Phase II Site Work Begins at Talis Park -  Naples News


Naples Job Growth #1 in Nation - Forbes 


Median Home Prices Rose 9% in June Compared to a Year Ago - Naples News 


Talis Park marks major milestones in second quarter - Naples News


May's Real Estate Market Stays a Steady Course - NABOR 


Talis Park YTD Sales reach almost $49M after strong May - Naples News 


Southwest Florida has slim inventory of finished new houses - Herald Tribune 


McGarvey Builds Model at Talis Park - Naples News 


Naples and Bonita Make Top 10 beaches in US - FoxNews 


43% of 2014 Buyer paid all Cash - Marketwatch


Prices of Naples-Marco Houses up 26% in Quarter - Naples News 


Talis Reports 16 Sales, 21 Reservations in April - Naples News


Talis Park Reports $26.3M in first quarter sales - Naples News 


Naples-Marco Island Area lead the State in job Growth - News-Press 


Naples Ranks #7 as Happiest and Healthiest Place in the Country - Business Insider 


Home Prices Soar in February - Naples News 


Prato Estate Neighborhood 66% Sold! - Naples News 


Kitson to start Phase II of the Vyne House at Talis Park - Naples News


Naples Area Fastest Growing Metro Area in the Country - USA Today  


That boom you heard is Southwest Florida building industry: It's back - Naples News

Housing's Strength Report from Merrill Lynch - Video
Naples-Marco market No. 1 in home price forecast, research firm says - Naples News

Hertz execs to officially start in SW Fla. on Monday
- Naples News


North Naples entertainment center would include hotel, more dining, brew house - Naples News

Collier County home prices jump nearly 15 percent - Naples News


Overall Median Home Prices Rises for 14th Consecutive Month - Naples


Collier, Lee population growth among top three in state, new study shows - Naples News

CoreLogic: Prices to Rise 12.3 Percent in August - Real Estate Economy Watch

Fairgrove at Talis Park nearly 50% sold - Naples News

"Naples Packed with High Concentration of Millionaires" - Fox4

"Scholten Construction Inc. to start estate home at Talis Park - Naples News

"Million Dollar Home Sales Jump in US" - Bloomberg

"The New Housing Bubble Illusion" - Motley Fool

"US home prices rise 12.2 percent, best in 6 years" - AP

"Naples Ranks #3 of Where Millionaires Live in America" - Kiplinger

 "Naples Ranked #2 Among Top Retirement Spots for Real Estate Investors! - 

"Pending home sales highest in more than six years" - Reuters

"Foreign Investors Eyeing U.S. Real Estate, What it Means for Buyers" - Fox News

"Home Prices in Naples Increase 17% - Naples News

"US Homes Sales Rise to 5-Year High - AP

"Surprise Shortage Boost Home Prices" -

"Florida Housing Market Continues Upswing in November" - FAR

"Florida Ranks 3rd in Population Growth" - Naples News

"Naples Residents Among the Nations Weathiest" - Naples News
"New Foreclosures Lowest in 6 Years" - RealtyTrac
"Housing Market Post Gains" - Wall Street Journal

"Naples Home Prices up almost 10%" -

"Prices Rise in October" - DS NEWS
"New Home Sales Climb 5.7% in September" -ABC News

"Naples Makes Top 10 Housing Markets through 2016" - Housing Predictor

Naples area home prices soared 25 percent year-over-year in January

NAPLES, Fla. - Naples area home prices soared 25 percent year-over-year in January, beating last January’s eye-popping increase of 20 percent.
Overall median closed home prices in the Naples metropolitan statistical area, excluding Marco Island, hit $322,000 in January, up year-over-year from $258,000 in January 2014 and $215,000 in January 2013, according to a Naples Area Board of Realtors report released Friday. That’s a more than $100,000 jump in two years.
“It’s phenomenal,” said Naples broker Pat Pitocchi, immediate past president of NABOR.
The dramatic increase is being fueled by a number of factors, including punishing winter weather in the Northeast that has been breaking temperature records, a highflying stock market, historically low interest rates and an influx of international buyers, she said.
NABOR’s report followed other recent studies of Southwest Florida’s housing market that revealed that the number of cash sales is dropping, as are the number of new homes being built in the under-$250,000 price range.
Prices last January were driven by the upper end of the market. That wasn’t true at the start of this season.
Median home prices in the $1 million to $2 million range were essentially flat year-over-year in January 2015, while those in the $2 million-and-up category dropped 4.5 percent to $2.292 million.
“After such skyrocketing prices in this price segment, I’m not surprised there’s a slowdown,” Pitocchi said. “It was not sustainable.”
Instead, the bump up was fed by a 26 percent jump in condominium prices, to $265,000.
Condos are sought after by seasonal and older buyers, said NABOR President Mike Hughes, as well as those who have been pushed out of the single-family market by rapidly rising prices.
Single-family home prices hit $375,000 in January from a year earlier, a 15 percent increase.
Short supply, but easing
While supply is still shrinking — inventory levels fell 5 percent, to 4,515 year-over-year, NABOR’s report said — Hughes said that it has been “hovering between 4,000 and 4,500 for quite some time.” That’s a good sign that short supply, which has been constraining sales, is easing, he said.
Closed sales dropped 16 percent for the period, to 607, and pending sales remained flat, NABOR reported.
Low inventory is also the main reason prices are rising and closed sales are falling on Marco Island, according to Susan Ackerson, president of the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors. The trade group said Monday that overall closed sales on Marco fell 8 percent, to 88, in January from the prior year. Median sale prices rose 8.5 percent to $410,000.
Buyers from abroad
International visitors are flocking to buy homes in Southwest Florida, but their impact has been mixed, said Naples broker Glenn Ginsburg,
For instance, the strong dollar compared to the Canadian loonie has eroded the purchasing power of Canadians, traditionally the biggest segment of foreign buyers, he said.
On the other hand, political tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere have caused some of their citizens to look for new safe havens for their money, including real estate in Southwest Florida.
“People are looking to invest in a stable economy,” he said.
Pockets full of cash
Meanwhile, the influence of institutional investors is waning in Naples-Marco Island, and that’s affecting cash sales, according to a report released Friday by RealtyTrac.
Institutional investors, who usually pay cash, bought 9.2 percent of all single-family homes in the metro area in the first quarter of 2013, and that helped push up prices during the ensuing years, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of the research firm.
But as single-family prices rose above the “sweet spot” of $200,000, those investors “effectively priced themselves out of the market,” Blomquist said.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, such investors only made up 1.4 percent of the market, which in turn brought down the number of cash sales. In the last quarter of 2014, cash sales fell 57 percent, to 7,764, from 67 percent, or 8,362, a year earlier RealtyTrac reported.
Nevertheless, other buyers who use cash, including equity-rich buyers from the North, continue to stream into the market. That’s made Naples-Marco Island second only to Miami in terms of cash sales nationally, Blomquist said.
New home boom
New homes continue to ease the inventory shortage in the region — though only for those with fat wallets.
A report released Thursday by Metrostudy showed that the annual new home starts rate in the combined Naples-Fort Myers market has grown for 14 consecutive quarters.
The report includes detached and single-family homes, but not condominiums.
The annual starts rate grew to 4,083 in the fourth quarter of 2014, up 25 percent from the same quarter a year earlier, Metrostudy said.
But while upper-end housing is booming, not much is being built in price ranges under $250,000, according to David Cobb, director of Metrostudy’s Naples-Fort Myers region.
Only 571 homes that cost less than $250,000 were built in the fourth quarter last year, down 53 percent from a year earlier, while new homes under $150,000 are practically nonexistent, Cobb explained.
“The price of land and labor has been increasing for the past three years, and that makes it difficult to deliver product under $250,000 in the newer master-planned communities,” he said.