Home Prices Rise 9.7%, Largest Annual Gain Since 2006: CoreLogicHome prices as measured by the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) had the largest annual increase in January that it had experienced since April 2006.
- We are proud to announce that we are now offering Continuing Education for FL Appraiser license holders. Complete your 7 hour USPAP requirement from the comfort of your home. Choose from such topics as:
- In the depth of the recession, homebuilders stopped building. Sales offices closed. Buyers vanished. Developers mothballed housing projects. But as the housing industry reeled from a global economic meltdown, Irvine, Calif.-based Standard Pacific Homes began to invest in the next housing boom. By late 2009, the company had begun to buy land.
- Given the improvement in local and state residential real estate demonstrated by last week’s 2012 Florida Realtors statistics, there’s a lot of positive buzz, and possibly a bit of wishful thinking taking place among would-be sellers, Realtors, mortgage brokers, appraisers, developers and contractors.
- Florida’s housing market wrapped up 2012 with more closed sales, higher pending sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2013 – Florida’s housing market reported increased sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and the continued shrinking of inventory levels in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.
“This year started out strong for Florida’s housing market,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “Homes sales continue to rise, mortgage rates remain near historic lows and the inventory of for-sale homes is lower than it’s been in years. Plus, the time it takes for a home to sell is dropping; the median days a home is on the market declined about 15 percent for both single-family homes and for townhome-condo properties. However, overly restrictive credit requirements remain an obstacle for many potential buyers, who find it difficult to access affordable financing options.”
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 13,679 in January, up 11.7 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes last month rose 31 percent over the previous January. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $145,000, up 12.4 percent from the previous year.
According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in December 2012 was $180,300, up 10.9 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in December was $366,930; in Massachusetts, it was $303,500; in Maryland, it was $243,741; and in New York, it was $229,000.
The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. Housing industry analysts note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.
Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 6,670 units sold statewide last month, up 2 percent compared to January 2012. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos in January increased 17 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The statewide median for townhouse-condo properties was $112,000, up 18 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in December 2012 was $184,100.
This is the 13th month in a row that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo units have increased year-over-year, according to Florida Realtors’ data.
The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.6-months’ supply in January; inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 6.2-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors.
“I’m particularly impressed with the rise in percentage of list price received by sellers,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo, referring to the January data. Sellers of single-family existing homes in January received an average of 92.2 percent of their original list price; sellers of townhome-condo units received an average of 93 percent.
“This can encourage other potential sellers to come forward, thus easing the market’s inventory crunch,” Tuccillo noted. “But, despite the progress of Florida’s housing market, it’s still being held back by the difficulty consumers have in accessing credit.”
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.41 percent in January 2013, down from the 3.92 percent average during the same month a year earlier.
To see the full statewide housing activity report, go to Florida Realtors website and click on the Research page; then look under Latest Housing Data, Statewide Residential Activity and get the January reports. Or go to Florida Realtors Media Center and download the January 2013 data report PDFs under Market Data. (http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data)
© 2013 Florida Realtors®
CHICAGO – Feb. 21, 2013 – One employment authority has pointed out a trend that could result from rising home sale prices: A relocation of employment-seeking homeowners to cities that offer more jobs. Those relocations could then lower the nation’s overall unemployment rate.
“One factor that has kept unemployment rates high has been the inability of underwater homeowners to relocate for employment opportunities,” says John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “With home prices bouncing back, even those who may now simply break even on a home sale might consider moving to a region where jobs are more plentiful. This could spark a more rapid decline in the unemployment rate over the next year.”
As of December, 130 metropolitan areas had an unemployment rate of 8.0 percent or higher, and nearly 50 had a rate at or above 10 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Meanwhile, about 20 metropolitan areas have an unemployment rate below 4.5 percent.
“It is likely that employers in these low-unemployment regions are actually struggling to find available workers with the skills needed to fill job openings,” says Challenger.
Relocation for an employment opportunity has been difficult with the collapse in home values. At the end of the third quarter, 22 percent of residential properties remained underwater, according to data from real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.
Challenger says relocation is starting to increase among job seekers going through his company’s employment transition programs. Last year, an average of 13.3 percent of those finding new positions each quarter relocated for the job opportunity, up from an average of 11.7 percent in 2011. In 2009 and 2010, as the recession and housing market hit bottom, the relocation rate dropped to just 10 percent.
© 2013 Florida Realtors®
WASHINGTON – Feb. 22, 2013 – The federal government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a rule for the qualified mortgage (QM) that becomes effective in January 2014. The QM creates consumer protection rules for mortgage lending that could make it harder for some buyers to get a mortgage.
The QM information recently released gives loan servicers, industry watchers and consumers a look at the rulemaking process. The rule, which implements a part of Wall Street reform enacted three years ago, forces lenders to make sure loan applicants demonstrate a reasonable ability to repay. If they show that ability, it’s considered a “qualified mortgage.” The rule sets out standards for what’s measured.
The agency says it took into account the needs of both consumers and the mortgage industry in making the rule.
“Our rule should not unduly restrict lenders’ ability to make responsible loans,’” says Peter Carroll, assistant director of mortgage markets at CFPB. “Over time, we expect to see responsible lending practices flourish for all residential mortgage loans.”
Earlier this month, the CFPB issued a guide to aid the implementation of the new mortgage rules. Among the propositions, the agency plans to release plain-language written summaries and video guides for the new rules this summer. The CFPB added that the transition should not be overly jarring, as “the vast majority of loans originated today will meet the standards for a qualified mortgage.”
The agency has not yet released a related rule under Wall Street reform, called the qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule. While the QRM attempts to qualify loans as acceptable for sale to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, some of the standards applied to consumers could overlap. That rule should be released shortly.
For more info on QM
Source: Meg White, Realtor® Magazine
© 2013 Florida Realtors®
NEW YORK – Feb. 26, 2013 – The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined in January, but it rebounded in February rising 11.2 points in one month.
The Index now stands at 69.6, up from 58.4 in January. The Present Situation Index increased to 63.3 from 56.2. The Expectations Index, which gauges consumers’ outlooks six months from now, rose to 73.8 from 59.9 last month.
“Consumer confidence rebounded in February as the shock effect caused by the fiscal cliff uncertainty and payroll tax cuts appears to have abated,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions is more positive than last month. Looking ahead, consumers are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for business and labor market conditions. Income expectations, which had turned rather negative last month, have improved modestly.”
Consumers claiming business conditions are “good” right now rose to 18.1 percent from 16.1 percent, while those stating business conditions are “bad” decreased to 27.8 percent from 28.4 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was mixed. Those saying jobs are “plentiful” increased to 10.5 percent from 8.5 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” edged up to 37.0 percent from 36.6 percent.
Consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased to 18.9 percent from 15.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined to 16.5 percent from 20.4 percent.
Consumers anticipating more jobs in the months ahead improved to 16.7 percent from 14.4 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 21.5 percent from 26.7 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase rose to 15.7 percent from 13.5 percent, while those anticipating a decrease fell to 19.6 percent from 23.3 percent.
Nielsen, a global provider of information and analytics, conducts the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey based on a probability-design random sample for The Conference Board. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was Feb. 14.
© 2013 Florida Realtors®