Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Record Low Mortgage Rates Spur Naples Growth

NAPLES, FL, May 29, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that the month of May 2012 has set the all-time record for the lowest interest rates ever for both the 30 year fixed rate mortgage and the 15 year fixed rate mortgage. A 30 year loan is 3.78% while the 15 year has fallen to just 3.04%. This marks the fourth straight week that rates have broken all-time records. The local Naples, Florida real estate and remodeling markets have been positively impacted as the mortgage rates have fallen to record lows, according to Grand Woodworking and the Glenn Bradley Group.
Glenn Bradley is a local Naples real estate expert with the Glenn Bradley Group, a full-service real estate firm with Coldwell Banker Previews International. Mr. Bradley has been a Naples resident for over 10 years. ''With interest rates hitting historically low levels, we're also seeing inventory in Naples hitting very low levels. We currently have more than 30% of our inventory under contract. Additionally, we've had nearly 5,600 closed sales since the first of the year and only have 8,900 listings on the market. Our absorption rate has increased dramatically. Renovations are also happening right now. With two like kind homes -- one having a number of custom features such as hand milled cabinets, or quality custom built-ins will always sell faster and typically for more than the blank canvas.''

The beneficial effects of the historically low interest rates have also increased the Naples remodel and custom woodworking markets according to Neil Heuer. Mr. Heuer is a co-founder of Grand Woodworking, a premiere source for fine custom architectural woodwork in the greater Naples area. Grand Woodworking is often called upon to match or extend elaborate fine woodworking in high end homes and businesses. According to Mr. Heuer, ''We have seen a dramatic increase in remodeling business coming due. Homeowners committed to living in their homes are recognizing the historically low borrowing rates and financing home upgrades. People are renovating their bathrooms and kitchens like we have never seen before. In Naples estate owners use millwork and other fine woodworking to distinguish themselves and their properties. As Grand Woodworking creates custom work we are able to give customers something highly customized and very one of a kind.''

The record low interest rates have boosted both investor sentiment and business expansion. Mr. Heuer said that his firm is currently updating the fine woodworking for the Brighton Building within Bay Colony -- an exclusive property sitting directly on the Gulf of Mexico. As to the future in Naples and for the Florida real estate and remodeling markets, Mr. Heuer added, ''This is a good sign for the Florida economy as these home owners associations are now aggressively investing in the common spaces in higher end buildings.''

To learn more about Grand Woodworking or to view their portfolio of previously produced projects including custom cabinetry, unique hand built furniture, and stunning architectural millwork please visit: http://www.grandwoodworking.com.

About Grand Woodworking The premiere source for fine custom architectural woodwork in Naples, Florida is Grand Woodworking. All woodworking projects are custom designed and precision fitted ensuring a true heirloom piece worthy of passing to the next generation. Grand Woodworking is well known for Florida's finest custom cabinets and custom cabinetry. To learn more please call: 239-594-WOOD (9663).

Friday, May 25, 2012

NOW is the Best Time to Buy a Home!

May 18, 2012

This could be the best time in a generation to buy a home. Here’s why:
Housing affordability is the best it has been in decades.
Nationwide, average home prices are approximately one-third lower today than at their peak in 2006.
The cost to buy is very often less than the cost to rent a comparable property. In fact, buying is cheaper than renting in 98 out of America’s 100 major markets.
Interest rates are at an historic low, and today’s low rates can be locked in for the next 30 years.
The general economy appears to be improving, with employment increasing, median wages rising, and little indication of possible inflation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Florida Real Estate News Continues to be Positive!

Florida’s real estate professionals find reasons to be optimistic in first quarter

Filed under BusinessFloridaResearch on Monday, May 14, 2012.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s real estate market outlook improved in the first quarter of 2012, according to the University of Florida.
The Survey of Emerging Market Conditions, conducted quarterly by the Kelley A. Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at UF’s Warrington College of Business Administration, revealed that those in the real estate business felt optimistic because of the falling unemployment rate and because they see more activity in rental housing, such as lease signings. The unemployment rate dropped from 9.9 percent in December 2011 to 9 percent in March.
“Positive outlooks for occupancy and rent growth along with an improving employment trend are increasing our respondents’ optimism about the real estate markets in Florida,” said Timothy S. Becker, director of the Bergstrom Center.
The UF Commercial Real Estate Sentiment Index, a measure of the respondents’ own business outlook, reached its highest level since 2007. Bergstrom Center officials attributed the rise to lenders and owners sensing a better lending environment with banks as well as an improving economy.
“With billions of dollars of loans coming due over the next year, the increased lending activity is a welcome sign for real estate owners and investors looking for debt capital to refinance quality properties,” Becker said.
Property fundamentals including occupancy and rental rates improved this quarter with progress in single-family and condominium development, apartments, industrial, land investment and capital availability. Occupancy expectations were rated most favorably in the premium office market. Respondents cited a better employment outlook as the reason for optimism.
Although respondents were optimistic about the industry and the overall economy, they cited concerns about the upcoming presidential election and the state government’s financial situation.
Respondents said that significant policy changes would most likely not be in place before the November elections and not resolving those issues could lead to harsh economic results. Among those issues are the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax break, which are both scheduled to expire after 2012, and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that are set to take effect in 2013. Respondents also were concerned with artificially low interest rates, inflation and increased gas prices.
Overall, the survey revealed that the future for real estate in Florida looks positive, but political and economic uncertainties remain. A majority of respondents expect a slow and measured recovery until the conclusion of the presidential elections.
A total of 189 Florida professional real estate analysts and investors, representing 13 urban regions of the state and up to 15 property types, participated in the survey. The survey is done for participants in the commercial real estate market in Florida.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

More market improvement seen

Last week we reported some market stability locally and some decent appreciation in the residential market that is the combined cities of Coeur d'Alene and Dalton Gardens. Other markets across the nation are also experiencing positive real estate movement, but certainly not all. As we have opined here before, it will be a long slow climb out of the housing recession. In fact, those markets showing improvement represent about half of the markets surveyed by the National Association of Realtors, yet it does indicate the market may be beginning to stabilize.
Nationally, the U.S. median single-family existing-home price dipped 0.4 percent from a year ago in the first quarter, to $158,100. Real estate owned (REO) and short-sale properties, accounted for 32 percent of first quarter sales, down from 38 percent a year ago.
"Home prices lag sales activity because the transactions were negotiated mostly in the previous quarter," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Given the steadily dwindling supply of inventory and notably higher listing prices that are being negotiated today, prices are expected to show further improvements in the near future."
First quarter, for-sale inventory at the end of March stood at 2.37 million existing homes. This is down 21.8 percent year over year. Inventories have been declining since a record 4.04 million in the summer of 2007, NAR said.
"We now have broad shortages of lower-priced homes in much of the country, with very tight supply in Western states for homes through the middle price ranges. This is good news for many sellers who wish to list now, or for those waiting for prices to improve," Yun said.
Total sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums in the U.S. rose 5.3 percent on an annual basis in the first quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million.
"This is the highest first-quarter sales pace since 2007. With strong market fundamentals, total home sales this year should rise 7 to 10 percent," Yun said.
Regionally, sales rose the most in the Midwest, 11.7 percent year over year, to 1.02 million. The region posted a slight annual increase in median sale price, 0.8 percent, to $125,300.
In the Northeast, sales increased 6.6 percent to 590,000. The region's median sales price dropped 3.2 percent from a year ago to $226,300.
The South saw a 4.1 percent jump in sales, to 1.76 million, and 1.2 percent rise in median price, to $143,600.
The West saw the smallest sales increase, 1.4 percent, to 1.2 million. Median price in the region fell slightly, 0.9 percent, to $196,200. Our median price in Coeur d'Alene and Dalton at the end of March was $150,000 reflecting a 4 percent increase over first quarter 2011.
First-time buyers accounted for a third of sales nationwide in the first quarter, a slight year-over-year increase. Cash buyers, mostly investors, made up 32 percent of sales last quarter, while investors made up 22 percent.
Of 146 metro areas, 74 saw median sales prices increase year over year in the first quarter, compared to only 29 in the fourth quarter. Of the 20 metro areas to see the highest year-over-year jumps in sales prices in the first quarter, five were in Florida. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., saw the biggest price jump, 28.1 percent, to $117,600.
As we continue to remind you, we may already be past the bottom of the market in our area, yet with interest rates still historically low, even a slight increase in prices makes housing affordable to a lot more people.
Trust an expert... call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cape Coral Real Estate Market Improving As Confidence Grows

It’s as if the traditionally busy winter shopping season never stopped for Cape Coral real estate. Over the past few years Cape Coral real estate agents have grown used to a spike in home sales during the winter season followed by lulls in the later part of spring and summer. But this year the busy winter shopping season has continued on into the spring. Craig Cunha, a real estate agent with Blue Water Realty of Southwest Florida, has noticed that rising buyer demand is causing a lack of inventory while the volume of sales just continues to press forward.
Cape Coral Real Estate
Luxury Home In Cape Coral Florida
We asked Dustin Gardner, a real estate agent with Schooner Bay Realty, Inc, for his thoughts on the Cape Coral real estate market and he says “supply is shrinking and there’s still a lot of pent up demand.” And he went on to say that “people are beginning to realize the bottom is here, and they want to get in now because they feel prices are going to be heading upwards.”
Adding strength to the idea that the Cape Coral real estate market is improving, James Sommers of Miloff Aubuchon Realty Group, has noticed that more and more homes are being built. He pointed out that there’s a lot more new building permits being pulled than in the past few years. He said, “it’s as if buyers are fighting over the same properties, with more and more homes seeing multiple offers now.” Home builders are seeing this trend, and they’re trying to capitalize by meeting demand and putting up more homes.
Homes on the waterfront in Cape Coral Florida
Dockside in Cape Coral Florida
What’s behind this surging interest in Cape Coral real estate? “There’s a noticeable change in confidence, the whole economic situation is improving” said Terrence Trombetti, a real estate agent with Gulf Coast Realty Network. He believes Florida is poised for a comeback, and that the last crash in home prices essentially pulled property values back in line where they should have been had they not risen at such an unsustainable level during the boom. He sees low mortgage rates, low homes prices and improving employment as reasons as to why the market is making its come back now.
Adrian Waring, a local agent that selling Cape Coral real estate with Priceless Realty LLC, agrees that the market has really picked up and is continuing to see an increase in home sales even into the normally slow spring season. He said “he feels like he’s at least twice as busy as he was this time last year.”
Before mortgage rates and home prices start to go up, potential home buyers of Cape Coral real estate may want to check in with their local real estate agents.

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