Foreclosures In Florida Drop By Half In January

Foreclosures In Florida Down 50%
Foreclosures in Florida DOWN By 50%!

Florida received some good news yesterday when it was announced by CoreLogic that Foreclosures in Florida had dropped in half compared to January 2014!

CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released its January 2015 National Foreclosure Report which shows that the national foreclosure inventory declined 33.2 percent and completed foreclosures declined 22.5 percent from January 2014.

“Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5.5 million completed foreclosures across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 7 million homes lost to foreclosure.”

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in January 2015 were: Florida (111,000), Michigan (51,000), Texas (34,000), California (30,000) and Georgia (28,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.  “The foreclosure inventory continues to shrink with declines in all 50 states over the past 12 months,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Florida, one of the hardest hit states during the foreclosure crisis, experienced a decline of almost 50 percent year over year which is outstanding news.” 

Just Listed At Redington Shores Yacht & Tennis Club!

Redington Shores Yacht & Tennis Club
Panoramic Gulf & Bay Views From The 30ft Balcony

The PURTEE Team just listed a beautiful waterfront condominium residence in Redington Shores Yacht & Tennis Club!  Unique along the barrier islands of Tampa Bay is Redington Shores Yacht & Tennis Club, a gated community offering a combination of waterfront condos and private homes. Amenities include clubhouse with fitness, pool & hot tub, tennis courts and 24hr guard gate. The four condominium buildings were completed in 2007 with all-block construction, 10ft ceiling height and split floor plans. Unit 505 in Las Flores enjoys a panoramic view of both Boca Ciega Bay, the intracoastal waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Redington Shores Yacht & Tennis ClubPre-construction builder upgrades are many… from jetted master bath, upgraded cabinetry throughout kitchen and baths, upgraded kitchen, crown molding and tile throughout great room. Full laundry room w/wash tub. Water softener. 30ft balcony. The perfect way to enjoy the Florida lifestyle! MLS # U7727651  For community amenities, click here for Virtual Tour

Madeira Beach Condo-Hotel Resort


Looking for a condo on the beach as a second home?
The new Madeira Beach Condo-Hotel Resort is on our list of new construction opportunities. This luxury development is the ticket to owning a condo in a popular beach resort destination with a return on your investment. The purchaser receives a fee simple deed to the property along with tax and real estate appreciation benefits. When the unit owners or their guests want to use the unit, they schedule their stay with the hotel. While there, they enjoy all the conveniences and amenities of the hotel including concierge, spa, room service and maid service upon request. When not in use, it can be rented through the well established rental program with no worries about maintenance and upkeep. It’s the best of both worlds!

Madeira Bay Resort, located just steps from the white sands of Madeira Beach. It is a mixed use development consisting of townhouses, Condo-Hotels, restaurant and a marina. The totally redone, 44 slip marina with deep water boat slips has a direct outlet to the Gulf of Mexico past the famous “John’s Pass Village”. John’s Pass Village is considered one of our most popular tourist destinations offering shopping, restaurants, music, water sports, boating, deep-sea fishing, sightseeing and of course our famous Gulf sunsets.

The Madeira Bay Condo-Hotel Resort buildings feature Mediterranean architecture, lush tropical landscaping, a heated swimming pool , Ocean’s West Spa and the Mad Beach Fish House Restaurant with waterfront dining and cocktails. The 44 furnished luxury suites in the final phase contain 1 or 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Several feature an additional den or sitting area. All suites will include a washer and dryer, full kitchens with granite counters and balconies with Intracoastal Waterway or bay views.

The building has a secure lobby with 24/7 attended desk and amenities including a fitness room, conference/meeting room, restaurant, marina and heated pool and spa.
Pre-construction prices start at $239,900, but there are only 44 suites available. The initial townhouses as well as the first phase of the 68-suite condo resort hotel quickly sold out pre-construction so now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity to be a part of Madeira beach’s largest and most successful all-suite hotel.

New Bayou Grande Townhomes


As we begin our search for new construction property in the area, the result is impressive! Having gone through years of no building at all, Pinellas County is experiencing record numbers of building permits being pulled each month. One of the first, Bayou Grande Townhomes is worth a look. If you are in the market for a new construction, Bayou Grande Townhomes in St. Petersburg is a must see!
These elegantly appointed, three level homes are quality built by Southern Crafted Homes and 100% Eco Crafted for energy efficiency. They provide 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms, a Bonus room, laundry room, 2 car garage, Great Room, Master Suite with large walk-in closets and depending on the floor plan, either covered balconies on each level or a covered lanai with courtyard views. There are 2 floor plans to choose from with optional elevators. The Arcadia plan has 2,413 Square Feet Total Living and the Beaumont has 1,934 Square Feet Total Living.

Bayou Grande is a quick 5 minute drive to Madeira Beach and John’s Pass Village and centrally located with easy driving to St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas Park and Tampa.
Whatever your pleasure from boating, fishing, golfing, shopping, dining or sunset happy hours the New Bayou Grande Townhomes is the place to be.

New Florida foreclosures up for first time in 17 months

IRVINE, Calif. – Sept. 11, 2014 – Newly filed foreclosures jumped 24 percent in Florida last month compared to a year earlier, a spike that marked the first annual increase since early 2013 and led to speculation about whether a long-predicted flood of home repossessions had arrived.

According to a report from the company RealtyTrac, which measures foreclosure filings nationwide, 6,468 Florida homes fell into foreclosure in August, which was a 74 percent increase from the previous month.

The rise in new cases kept Florida in the top spot on a nationwide foreclosure ranking, a place it’s held for 11 consecutive months.

RealtyTrac analysts and foreclosure defense attorneys had different ideas on what caused the increase in new filings, but agreed it was likely a combination of factors;

• Banks catching up on a 2013 state law that requires them to have specific paperwork before filing a foreclosure.
• A faster court system giving lenders more confidence to pursue a foreclosure.
• The sunset of a federal tax break on short sales.

Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said he links Florida’s increase in new filings to the so-called “fast track” foreclosure law that went into effect July 1, 2013.

The law gives lien holders a way to more quickly process a foreclosure through the courts in certain situations.

But it also requires lenders to have specific documents at the time the foreclosure is filed, including proof of loan ownership, such as the original note, and that they are the correct party to foreclose. If a note is considered lost, affidavits filed under the penalty of perjury are required to attest to the veracity of the foreclosure.

In August 2013, the month after the law went into effect, new foreclosures in Florida dropped 43 percent compared to the previous month and have stayed low since.

“We believe that drop was artificially caused by the law, specifically the requirement that forces servicers to file a lost note affidavit before starting foreclosure if they have lost the note,” Blomquist said. “The August numbers are an early indicator that servicers are finally starting to adjust to that new requirement, and we would expect to see more increases in foreclosure starts in the coming months.”

RealtyTrac measures three types of foreclosure filings – the initial notice, notice of sale and final judgment.

One in every 400 Florida homes had a foreclosure filing in August. In Nevada, which ranked second nationally, one in every 524 homes had a foreclosure filing. Maryland came in third at one in every 532 homes with a foreclosure filing.

“We’ve been talking about a second binge coming through,” said South Florida foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim about new foreclosure filings. “We’ve tried to anticipate it.”

But Oppenheim believes the bulk of the new cases are homeowners choosing foreclosure over doing a short sale after the Jan. 1 expiration of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act. The act allowed borrowers to exempt forgiven mortgage debt from counting as income.

Without the tax exemption, a homeowner forgiven $150,000 in debt could end up owing the IRS $42,000 in taxes, depending on the tax bracket.  The industry group Florida Realtors is hopeful Congress will pass the tax break after the November elections and make it retroactive to Jan. 1.  A homeowner may owe an unpaid loan balance to a bank after a foreclosure, but lenders only have one year to file to collect that debt.

“When the government chose not to renew the exemption, there were unintended consequences,” Oppenheim said.

Copyright © 2014 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Kimberly Miller. Distributed by MCT Information Services. 

Where are the higher mortgage rates?

WASHINGTON – Sept. 16, 2014Mortgage rates were predicted to rise in 2014, but instead they’ve remained entrenched lately at all-time lows for the year.

The average interest on a 30-year, fixed loan last week was 4.12 percent, barely budging from 4.1 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac. But earlier in the year, it projected that the average rate would rise to 5.1 percent by the end of 2014. More recently, Freddie Mac revised its forecast to 4.3 percent.

Rates on the benchmark 30-year mortgage have not moved more than one-tenth of a percentage point on a week-to-week basis all year, a first since 1977, says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist – and there is no reason to believe rates will move much as the year winds down.

The recent flat-lining of mortgage rates is tied to the sluggish U.S. economy and worldwide political tensions.

Source: Washington Post (09/12/14) P. A17; ElBoghdady, Dina

More Singles Than Ever: How It Affects Real Estate

CHICAGO – Sept. 15, 2014 – It’s the age of “selfies,” and more adults stick to themselves.  Single Americans now make up more than half of the adult population, the first time the number of singles has passed the 50 percent mark since the government began tracking the data in 1976.

About 124.6 million Americans indicated they were single in August, or 50.2 percent age 16 or older, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The percentage has been gradually trending upward since the beginning of 2013.

The rise of single households has “implications for our economy, society and politics,” writes Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research Inc., in a report called “Selfies.” He called the proportion of singles today “remarkable.”

What are the implications for real estate?

Singles, particularly younger professionals, are more likely to rent than own a home. They are less likely to have children, and the growth in single households likely will exaggerate income inequality, Yardeni notes.

“While they have less household earnings than married people, they also have fewer expenses, especially if there are no children,” Yardeni writes in his report.

The number of never-married adult Americans has been on the rise, too, increasing to 30.4 percent from 22.1 percent in 1976. The number of divorced, separated or widowed adults also has risen up to 19.8 percent from 15.3 percent.

Some real estate analysts are expecting an increase in singles heading into homeownership in the coming years. For example, single women make up the second largest segment of home purchases, with one out of every five homes purchased by a single woman, according to National Association of Realtors® data. More than 25 million single women over the age of 45 – divorced, widowed or never married – also make up a growing number of homeowners, real estate professionals report.

Some builders cater to this growing segment, reportedly adding two master bedrooms to appeal to the 40 percent of single women who choose to have non-romantic roommates, according to AARP surveys.

Source: “Is Everybody Single? More Than Half the U.S. Now, Up From 37% in ’76,” Bloomberg News (Sept. 8, 2014) and REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

© Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

New Meaning For Cash Sales In Florida Real Estate

In May 2014, the percentage of Florida Real Estate closed sales that were, in fact, all cash sales for Pinellas County was 67.4%.  Up until recently, cash sales as a percentage of sales has been used to indicate the number of investors in the market.  Why?  Investors are far more likely to have the funds available to purchase a home up front, whereas the typical homebuyer requires a mortgage or some other form of financing.

Well… there is a new cash buyer!  Although mortgage rates are still at near an all-time low, people are paying cash to avoid the mortgage process altogether.  About 29 percent of non-investment buyers used cash to fund their housing transactions in the first quarter of this year – the highest level on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Who are they? Baby boomers make up a large bulk of these all-cash deals, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®.

“Cash purchases are on the rise because older homeowners who have decades of home-equity accumulation don’t want the hassle of a mortgage,” Yun says. “With the economy improving and the stock market at record highs, boomers are the ones who are driving the market.”  Meanwhile, the share of investors – who usually use cash – is dwindling, dropping in the first quarter to the lowest level since 2010.

“The whole investor class, the ones doing most of the cash purchasing until now, is stepping back,” Yun says. “Baby boomers are taking their place.”  Baby boomers have more equity than previous generations because they may have owned a home during a 30-year “housing bull market.” In April, the median price of an existing-home was $201,700 compared to $67,800 in 1982, when many boomers had purchased their first properties, Bloomberg reports.

What’s more, about 16.3 million Americans older than 60 owned their homes outright in 2012, up from 12.1 million in 2009, according to Census data.  Baby boomers are expected to remain a strong presence in the housing market much longer than previous generations, too.

They “will be buying and selling well into their 80’s because they are going to be active and healthier for a lot longer than their parents,” says John McIlwain, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington. “They are a rebellious generation, and they’re not going to go along with the idea of traditional retirement.”

Source: “Cash Property Deals Reach Record with U.S. Boomers Retiring,” Bloomberg Businessweek (June 2, 2014)

© Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Average 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.14%

WASHINGTON (AP) – June 27, 2014 – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, hovering near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year loan eased to 4.14 percent from 4.17 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.22 percent from 3.30 percent.

Mortgage rates are about a quarter of a percentage point higher than they were at the same time last year. The increase in rates over the past year or so was driven in part by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its bond purchases, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low. Indeed, the Fed has announced five declines in its monthly bond purchases since December because the economy appears to be steadily healing. But the Fed has no plans to raise its benchmark short-term rate from record lows.

After the central bank ended a two-day policy meeting last week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen sent the message that the economy still isn’t healthy enough to grow at a consistently strong pace without the Fed’s help. Yellen said that despite a steadily improving job market and signs of creeping inflation, the Fed sees no need to raise short-term interest rates from record lows anytime soon.

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3 Tampa Bay Beaches Make Trip Advisor Top 25!

Water's Edge BeachTampa Bay Beaches are always on the favorite lists but this time Trip Advisor has added St. Pete Beach (#9), Caladesie Island State Park (#11), and Clearwater Beach (#21) to its 2014 Top 25 Beaches in the USA!

We pride ourselves about these pristine beaches that draw thousands of visitors to the area each year… sparkling white sand, azure sea, cool breezes – not to mention spectacular sunsets every night!  Congratulations Tampa Bay Beaches!!! No wonder sales are heating up!