Saturday, March 30, 2013

Big Predictions for Housing for Next 2 Years


Home sales are projected to post some big gains in the next two years, according to Fannie Mae’s latest monthly economic outlook.
Fannie Mae economists predict that existing-home sales will rise by 10.5 percent this year, and by 6.2 percent in 2014. The economists made even bolder projections for new single-family home sales -- growing 15.1 percent this year and 44.1 percent in 2014.
"We expect home prices to firm further amid a durable housing recovery, continuing to boost household net worth, gradually diminishing the population of underwater borrowers, and reducing incentive for strategic defaults," according to Fannie Mae’s report.
Fannie Mae projects that mortgage rates will stay low by historical averages this year, but the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will rise from an average of 3.5 percent during the first quarter to an average of 4 percent during the final three months of 2013. During the fourth quarter of 2014, mortgage rates are projected to tick up to a 4.5 percent average.
Mortgage applications for purchases are projected to increase by 16.8 percent this year and by 17.1 percent in 2014. However, a decline in applications for refinancings will likely cause mortgage originations to be down 14.5 percent this year and by 31.4 percent in 2014, Fannie economists predict.
Source: “Fannie Mae sees housing upturn as 'intact',” Inman News (March 28, 2013)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Existing U.S. home sales reach three-year high

March 22, 2013 12:00PM                                 

Existing home sales across the U.S. grew 0.8 percent in February over the previous month, pushing them to the highest level since November 2009, according to National Association of Realtors data cited by the Wall Street Journal.
The slight increase raised the seasonally adjusted annual rate to 4.98 million — 10.2 percent higher than in February 2012 — for the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
The nation’s inventory also increased to 1.94 million, a 9.6 percent increase from January. And while the huge inventory of homes on the market following the recession had been a drag on the market, the increased inventory is likely coming from homeowners taking advantage of higher home prices, according to the Journal.
“Now that you’ve had a year of price gains, some uptick in the level of inventory would reflect a better housing market. In some sense it’s a positive sign,” Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays, said. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Buying beats renting in South Florida

Buying saves consumers more than 50 percent in South Florida, Trulia study says
Despite the ever-higher number of foreclosures, buying a home still makes more financial sense in much of South Florida than renting one — or so says a new study by real estate data site cited by the Sun Sentinel.
Buying a home costs more than 50 percent less than renting in Broward and Palm Beach counties, the study shows. In Broward County, the average monthly cost of owning is $773, compared with an average rental rate of $1,638. In Palm Beach County, the average home costs $773 a month to own, while renting will set the average tenant back $1,767, the Sentinel said.
The trend can also be found across the nation, the study says. The disparity is greatest in Detroit, where owning a home is about 70 percent cheaper than renting. [Sun Sentinel] –Guelda Voien

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Today’s priciest new listing

March 19, 2013 05:00PM             

Edition Residences
Today’s priciest new listing is a three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 4,416-square-foot condominium in Ian Schrager’s Edition Residences that is asking $12.5 million, according to Condo Vultures. The waterfront condo, which is located at 2901 Collins Avenue, #1404, in Miami Beach, features interior design by John Pawson and access to the building’s poolside cabana and resident-only bayfront. Christopher Leavitt of Douglas Elliman has the listing. (Condo Vultures data includes condos and single-family listings in the main metropolitan areas of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, as well as Monroe County, that are newly listed. Listings are taken from the South Florida MLS.) –Christopher Cameron

Monday, March 18, 2013

Florida’s foreclosure rate still nation’s highest

March 15, 2013 12:00PM             

Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation
Florida, home to the most spots of any state in Coed Magazine’s recent list of “15 Trashiest Spring Break Destinations,” can claim another dubious prize: nation’s highest foreclosure rate, the Sun Sentinel reported. The Sunshine State nabbed the top spot for the sixth consecutive month, per a report from foreclosure data service RealtyTrac, the paper said.
The South Florida region, which includes Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, also had the highest foreclosure rate among U.S. metro areas. In Palm Beach County, foreclosure filings rose 58 percent year-over-year in February.
“Florida is still playing catch-up with delayed foreclosures,” Daren Blomquist, a spokesman for RealtyTrac, told the Sentinel. In recent years, banks had delayed foreclosure proceedings due to the so-called “robo-signing” scandal and the anticipated settlement between mortgage servicers and the states. In February, a $26 billion settlement between numerous state attorneys general and the country’s five largest mortgage servicers was reached, and a spate of foreclosures, in Florida and elsewhere, has followed. [Sun Sentinel] –Guelda Voien

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Florida Housing Market 'On Fire'

Forget ‘improving’ or ‘rebound’ – Fla. is ‘on fire’
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – March 8, 2013 – Lesley Deutch, senior vice president at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, said the “Florida market is on fire” in her latest update on the state’s housing market.
Deutch says she traveled the state recently and visited more than 20 communities. While recovery reports differ between Florida cities and urban areas, she reports five major trends:
1. Land prices. While the price of land continues to rise quickly statewide, Orlando feels the most pressure. Deutch says she saw some submarkets where “land and finished lot prices have now surpassed peak levels.” In Orlando, she sees developers buying raw land “just to gain a position and market share.”
2. Home prices. Some communities, such as Orlando and Naples, are seeing 1- to 2-percent new-home price increases monthly, Deutch says. The hallmarks of a seller’s market have also returned, such as lotteries. She expects a 2013 price increase of at least 10 percent in many Florida markets.
3. 55-plus market. Deutch reports a 20- to 25-percent jump in potential buyers interested in active adult living, according to builders in Southwest Florida. She also notes a boost in customer traffic in second- and third-tier markets.
4. Foreign buyers. It’s more than Miami, Deutch says. While in Orlando, she visited a sales office that had three active buyers: One from Brazil, one from Germany and one from China.
5. Foreclosures. While the state has a notoriously long foreclosure process, Deutch says banks are slowly releasing foreclosures. But investors continue to buy new foreclosures shortly after they hit the market.   © 2013 Florida Realtors®