March Stats for Orlando

According to the Florida Association of Realtors, sales of existing home sales in Florida rose 24 percent in March, with 16,294 homes sold statewide compared to 13,090 homes sold in March 2009.

In addition, while March’s statewide existing-home median price of $137,000 was down 3 percent from $141,300 a year ago, it was 4.3 percent higher than February’s statewide existing-home median price.

Florida Realtors also reported a 63 percent increase in statewide sales of existing condos in March compared to the previous year’s sales figure, with 7,148 units sold compared to 4,387 in March 2009.

March’s statewide existing-condo median price of $96,900 was down 11 percent compared to the year-ago figure of $108,500, but it was 5.1 percent higher than February’s statewide existing-condo median price.

In metro Orlando, 2,489 existing home sales took place in March, a 36 percent increase over 1,828 in March 2009.

The median price for homes in March 2010 was $132,200 in the metro area, a 12.7 percent decrease from $151,500 in the year-ago period.

Investors Pop Out Of The Woodwork

Bottom or not – a large number of folk are keen to take advantage of the low real estate prices we’re seeing.

More than 12 percent of homebuyers today plan to purchase a home as an investment, compared to less than half, only 5.6 percent, just seven months ago, according to a recent Move.com Homeownership Survey.

The survey of 1,004 consumers, conducted from October 16 to 18 this year, found:

  • Foreclosure buyers are confident they will profit from discounted purchase prices, as well as healthy appreciation rates over the next five years.
  • Most foreclosure buyers, 58.2 percent, expect to pay 20 percent or less than market price for a foreclosure, while 38.5 percent expect a 25 percent or greater discount.
  • Expectations are high — 73 percent expect their properties to appreciate ten percent or more in five years, 28 percent expect their purchases to appreciate 20 percent or more.

Not all buyers will make the ‘right’ decisions when purchasing however, and may folk still seem to overestimate their ability to get a loan in today’s market.

For more info on Orlando foreclosures, call 407-290-3408.

Orlando Sales Data: November 2009

For those unconvinced that we’re now bumping along the bottom, the following data make interesting reading. Realtors are often accused of “talking up the market” – and on occasion they do – but I think these numbers speak for themselves. Click the following image to enlarge.

  • Orlando home sales in November 2009 were up 101.62 percent over November 2008; year-to-date sales are up 59.43 percent.
  • “Normal” sales made up 36.55 percent of sales in November, while 63.45 percent of sales were either bank-owned or short sales.
  • There are currently 8,633 pending sales, of which 3,023 were newly filed in November. There were 3,326 pending sales in November 2008.
  • The median price of all existing homes sold in November 2009 decreased 5.38 percent (to $123,000) when compared to October 2009 ($130,000) and decreased 25.90 percent compared to November 2008 ($166,00).
  • The median price for “normal” sales in November was $173,960; the median for bank-owned sales was $84,000; and the median price for short sales was $122,000.
  • Affordability climbed to 209.06 percent in November; first-time affordability increased to 148.66 percent.
  • The inventory level increased during the month of November by 259 homes to 16,002, and is currently 34.44 percent lower than November 2008. There is a 7.15-month of supply.
  • Year to date, Osceola County sales are up 106.84 percent; Orange is up 81.18 percent; Lake County is up 36.63 percent; and Seminole is up 28.18 percent.
  • Call the Orlando Real Estate Pros for more info or to view current deals on 407-290-3408.

    Good Faith Estimate Mortgage Disclosures

    Changes are a-coming… On January first the federal government expects everyone to be using the new consumer-friendly Good Faith Estimate mortgage disclosures and the new settlement statements.

    The issue here is important to consumers because the new paperwork provides numerous protections the old forms did not. Most importantly, they make it extremely difficult for loan officers to “low ball” the estimated fees and charges on the mortgage and then later hit homebuyers with surprise increases at closing.

    Before, if the estimated fees from the lender were $2,000 but the total on the settlement sheet came to $3,000, the homebuyer would have to come up with the difference. That was abusive.

    Under the new rules, starting January 1, the lender or broker will be subject to what are known as “tolerance” limits. Any charges over the limits will have to be eaten by the lender or broker – and there will be zero tolerance for increases on certain fees.

    Other types of charges, such as for title insurance and settlement services, generally won’t be allowed to come in more than 10 percent above the upfront estimate.

    All consumers making loan applications on or after January 1 must receive the new forms at application and at closing.

    This is all good news for the consumer.

    Tax Credit – Deadline is Now

    While buyers should never rush into the decision to buy a home, if the tax credit is a motivating factor, there is a deadline. Unless legislation extends the deal, you’ll have to close escrow by Nov. 30 to take advantage of the maximum $8,000 tax credit available for first time home buyers.

    However, given the 30 to 45 days – or longer – it takes to close escrow – especially on some distressed properties – you can’t wait until Nov. 30 to buy a home. In fact, if you’re not under contract in the next week or so, chances are, you will miss the deadline.

    The federal tax credit for 2009 is only for first-time home buyers – people who’ve had no ownership interest in a home in the three years prior to the purchase. Single and head of household tax payers can earn no more than $75,000. There’s a $150,000 ceiling for married couples filing a joint return.

    A tax credit is a big deal because, unlike a tax deduction which reduces your taxable income, a tax credit reduces the taxes you owe, dollar-for-dollar.

    This home buyer tax credit can also net you a rebate if the credit is more than the taxes you owe. The rebate is the difference. If you owe no taxes, your rebate can be a maximum $8,000.

    So far, 1.4 million people have used the credit, including 160,000 in California, the Internal Revenue Service said Friday.

    For an Orlando real estate tax credit home purchase, contact us here at the Orlando Real Estate Pros ASAP: 407-290-3408.

    Pending Home Sales on a Record Roll

    According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) press release, contract activity for pending home sales has risen for six straight months, a pattern not seen in the history of the index since it began in 2001.

    The “Pending Home Sales Index”, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it was 100.7. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market momentum has clearly turned for the better. “The recovery is broad-based across many parts of the country. Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time buyer tax credit,” he said.
    Read the release >
    View the Daily Forecast Update >
    View the video >
    View Pending Home Sales Index >

    Housing Market Continues To Improve

    Pending home sales jumped again – up by 3.2 percent for July, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s the sixth straight month of improvement. The pending sales index is now at its highest level since June of 2007, a full 12 percent above a year ago.

    Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, pointed to two key factors that are pushing up market activity – The near record affordability of house purchases caused by moderate prices and low mortgage rates. Plus, the eight thousand dollar federal tax credit for first time buyers.

    Meanwhile, there is more evidence that prices are turning around in growing numbers of markets around the U.S. Freddie Mac’s most recent home price index, released last week, showed national prices up by an average 2.7 percent. Orlando real estate is seeing markedly increased sales activity over a year ago, although mostly in the condo market.

    There was more good news on the mortgage front with average rates on thirty year fixed rate loans declining to just below 5.2 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Fifteen year rates averaged 4.6 for the week.

    Looking at the larger economic picture, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s top forecaster, Orawin Velz, continues to predict that the recession will be over shortly – or already is over. She cited rising consumer expenditures – up two percent in the third quarter compared with a minus one percent in the second quarter. Plus manufacturing output is up, and new layoffs declined last week.

    Who knew?

    Realtor Killed in Foreclosed Home: An Inside Perspective

    “So anyway, this is the kitchen – beautiful isn’t it – and in the living room you will notice the, um, the dead body on the floor?”

    Many of you telephone us, having seen something you like the look of online, and ask us to just meet you there at the property for a viewing. We’ve never met you, you’ve never been to our office – you’re not even a client.

    Some buyers are surprised when we want to “pre-qualify” them before meeting them at an empty house or putting them our cars; that is, make sure they are ready, willing and able to purchase a home before they we show them homes.

    This period is also an opportunity for the buyer to decide if they would like the Realtor in question to represent their home buying interests, while the Realtor also has an opportunity to decide whether or not the buyer is likely to be um, an axe weilding psychopath? You see, meeting random strangers who want to go see houses isn’t really part of a Realtor’s job description, although many agents are willing to take the risk in the hope of finding a client. But in reality, a buyer should become a client first, get pre-qualified for a loan second, and look for houses last of all. But I digress.

    Back to the story: the dead man on the living room floor is 45 year old Ricardo Contreras, a California agent that had gone missing the week before. In this case, the victim was actually male – which only goes to prove that equal opportunity is alive and well in the murder business. 

    And which is why an agent might respectfully ask to meet with you at the office before showing you homes. They’re not being awkward, they just don’t know you from Adam. Chances are that you’re not a homicidal maniac but you might not have a penny to your name, which is far, far worse. Personally, I don’t mind being found dead on my own living room tile, but on a dirty carpet in a foreclosed home? Mamamia… the indignity of it all!

    Original news post

    Orlando Home Sales Increase Again

    Orlando home sales in the market grew more than 43 percent in June 2009, according to the Orlando Realtor Association.

    Association members sold 2,131 homes last month in the Orlando metropolitan area, and the sales growth has finally helped bring down area inventory supply to single digits.

    Nearly 46 percent of the homes were either bank-owned or distressed property sales. Homes in the Orlando area spent an average of 104 days on the market before being sold in June, and the average home sold for 93.8 percent of its listing price – which may surprise many.

    About 184 single-family homes sold in the $200,000-$250,000 range, while 10 homes sold for $1 million or more.

    Along with stronger sales, 7,230 homes were awaiting closings, more than double the 3,329 that were pending at this time last year.

    Duplex, townhome and villa resales also jumped nearly 32.8 percent, from 131 in June 2008 to 174 last month.

    Orlando Home Sales Up 38%

    Orlando home sales were up 38 %  over the same period last year. Orlando housing inventory of homes for sale dropped below 20,000 listings for the first time in since December 2006. However, of the 1,854 closings in May, 51 % of the homes were either bank-owned or distressed. Foreclosed and distressed home sales are playing a massive role in establishing Orlando’s median home price. The median home price for all Orlando homes sold in May was $130,000. This represents a 38.51 % decrease compared to last May, but the median price for “normal” home sales is $165,000. The median home price for bank-owned home sales is $82,000 and the median home price for distressed home sales is $140,000.

    There are currently 19,123 homes listings available for purchase through the Orlando MLS. For assistance in finding some of these once in a life time foreclosure bargains, contact us here at the Orlando Real Estate Pros or call 407-290-3408.

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