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.” 

Florida Realtors Expect Prices To Rise Over 5%!

This is what we have been discussing!

WASHINGTON – March 24, 2014 – According to the just-released National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) Realtors Confidence Index, members expect home prices to continue to rise over the next 12 months, but they expect them to do so at a moderate pace given tight credit conditions and lower home affordability.
The Florida Realtors Confidence Index is a monthly survey distributed to more than 50,000 real estate practitioners. It gauges their expectations about home sales, prices and market conditions. Overall, Realtors expect a median price increase of 3.9 percent over the next 12 months.
Florida is one of four states where practitioners predict the biggest increases – 5 to 7 percent – along with California, Alaska and Hawaii. Tight inventories have helped to lift home values in these areas, according to the survey.
“In states with booming economies like Washington, North Dakota, Texas, Michigan, and the D.C.-metro area, the expected price increase is about 3 to 5 percent,” according to the report.
Real estate professionals also expressed several concerns over the housing market holding back some buyers, particularly due to “unreasonably” tight credit conditions.
“Access to credit was often cited as a deterrent to home buying,” the report says. “About 13 percent of Realtors who did not close a sale in February reported having clients who could not obtain financing.” In those cases, about 6 percent of the professionals said their buyer gave up, while 7 percent said their buyer continued to seek new or other financing.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

Florida’s housing market continues positive trends in Jan. 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2014 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, more new listings, fewer days on the market and the continued stabilization of inventory in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 15,000 last month, up 10.2 percent over the January 2013 figure.

“Price increases are continuing to improve home equity in areas across the state, and combined with still-low interest rates, it’s creating a great opportunity for sellers,” says 2014 Florida Realtors President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and the Villages. “We’re seeing homeowners ready to take that next step and list their properties for sale: Statewide, new listings for single-family homes in January rose 13.8 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings rose 7.4 percent.

“And here at the start of a new year, January marked 26 consecutive months that we’ve seen increases in statewide median sales prices for both single family homes and town home-condo properties, year-over-year.”

Looking at Florida’s townhome-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,377 last month, up 9.3 percent compared to January 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in January: Traditional sales in Florida rose 20.4 percent for single-family homes and 16.9 percent for condo-townhome properties. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

© 2014 Florida Realtors

Property Appraisals Coming Up Short As Tampa Market Heats Up

Real estate sales in key Florida markets have risen as much as 10 percent in the last six months, which is more than they usually increase during an entire year when the market has been stable.  Appraisals are based on previous sales, which is causing a problem in this fast changing market.  With appraisals sometimes coming up significantly lower than a seller’s asking price, this has caused many deals to fall through and home sales to stop at times.

The problems are arising from appraisers using foreclosures and “short sales” as comparable homes in their valuations and when they are failing to take into account market conditions such as low inventory and bidding wars in many areas.  Savvy appraisers no longer include distressed sales in their comps but occasionally we get an appraiser who allows them.  In addition, many banks have increased their requirements to six comparable sales versus a previous requirement of only three, making the appraiser scramble for those extra comps.

Some appraisers are asserting that if the market is riddled with foreclosures then that is what is going to set the market.  They feel that they are simply following the rule of thumb of evaluating what the majority of the sales are in a particular market.  Therefore, if the majority of sales are foreclosures, that is what is going to be used for comparables in that market.  As realtors, we find it very important during an appraisal to be certain the appraiser is taking the market condition into account. For example, The Purtee Team  just sold a listing in a complex higher than any recent sales there.  The buyer put an appraisal contingency as part of the contract.  We went to the appraisal and showed that there were now limited listings available in this highly desirable community and that there were no active distressed sales left.  He was able to go outside the community to justify the contract price.

With some appraisals coming in at 10 to 20 percent lower than an accepted offer sellers are hesitant to put their homes on the market or they are particularly open to cash offers that require no appraisal.  Even buyers are skeptical wanting to be sure they got the best deal for the property they are purchasing.  However, there are some actions that can be taken to combat a low appraisal.  A seller can work with their agent to:

  1. Conduct research to back up your case for why the price was set for the property.  Be sure this information is available for an appraiser to consider in his report.
  2. Request a new appraisal.  There is a rebuttal system in order to challenge the information used in the appraiser’s report.
  3. Get an independent appraisal.

 In today’s market, our recommendation is to be sure the appraisal is done early in case you have to fall back on any of the above actions.  Just as when the market was in a downturn… appraisers have a difficult job.  As realtors, it is important to be right there on the front line to support the contract price where necessary.

For more information:

Home Values Near Public Transportation Performed Better During Recession

Suncoast Beach Trolly
Pinellas County Public Transportation

The age old adage in real estate of “location, location, location” added a twist during this past recession in regards to home values.  A new study released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reveals that during the last recession home values of residential property located near public transportation with high-frequency service performed 42% better on average.

NAR (National Association of Realtors) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “Higher home values reflect greater market demand for areas near public transportation. Transportation plays an important role in real estate and housing decisions, and the data suggests that residential real estate near public transit will remain attractive to buyers going forward. A sound transportation system not only benefits individual property owners, but also creates the foundation for a community’s long-term economic well being.”

These areas can provide access to up to five times as many jobs per square mile compared to other areas in the given region.  Additionally, these areas can have amenities such as lower transportation costs, increased walking access and more robust transportation choices.  Transportation costs can be reduced up to $351 a month for households in these areas.

The data from this survey suggests that residential real estate near public transportation with high-frequency service will remain attractive to buyers going forward.  Ultimately, this study illustrates that investing in public transportation can be a benefit to revitalizing the economy.  Mr. Yun added, “When consumers choose a home, they also choose a lifestyle. Shorter commutes and more walkable neighborhoods matter to a growing number of people, especially those living in congested metro areas.”

For more information on this study, go to


Forget ‘improving’ or ‘rebound’ – ‘Florida market is on fire’

Forget ‘improving’ or ‘rebound’ – ‘Florida market is on fire’ Florida Pool

Daily we receive articles of interest from Florida Realtors® and this one certainly caught our attention.

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 after having traveled the state of Florida 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.

Most of these 5 issues have been covered by The PURTEE Team in recent blogs.  I was just having a conversation yesterday with a builder who was complaining about land prices being too high.  It reminds me of conversations I had in late 2011 with buyers of beach property.  Those buyers listened to media doldrums even as we realtors saw the turn in the market.  Many sat on the sideline and missed golden opportunities to own premium real estate at a fraction of their former value!  She is right about the foreclosures, too. We see them gobbled up quickly as they hit the market.

There is an appetite out there for Florida property and it is even stronger with the relentless snow and cold weather the northern states have suffered this early spring… as we have enjoyed beautiful temperate climates.  Do you agree the Florida market is on fire? You should!  Use a professional to help you understand a good value in today’s market here in Tampa Bay. Contact us today.

Economist Expectations For 2013 Optimistic

USA Today recently surveyed prominent economists to determine economist expectations for the balance of 2013 and got optimistic results.  “After starting the year slowly, the economy will shift into a higher gear this summer and then grow for the next nine months at the fastest pace in three years, according to the median estimates of 46 economists.”  Part of this optimism is due to the government raising their estimate of average monthly job growth and increasing the forecast to 184,000 by 4th quarter.

The estimation is that the first half of 2013 will remain sluggish while the government deals with spending cut, but that mid-year should open up.  “What’s more, the economists expect the effects of the federal cuts to fade by the fourth quarter, with growth picking up to a 2.7 percent pace. They say the housing market is rebounding, a rising stock market is boosting consumer wealth, the European financial crisis is easing and Corporate America is cash-rich.”

What does this mean for the housing market here in Tampa Bay?  If the economists are right, it means the time to buy is right now.  Prices should be expected to rise by mid-year. For sellers, this is a great time to reconsider listing your property.  Unprecedented low inventory, a recovering economy and rising home value… combined with low interest rates can swing the pendulum back to sellers.  This is a changing market and often localized to specific areas.  There is no more important time to use a real estate professional than now.  The PURTEE Team  stays informed about the Tampa Bay market and stand by ready to help both buyers and sellers. Visit our website at or email us at 

Shadow Inventory – What Is Reality?

Shadow InventoryAs realtors here in Tampa Bay, we often hear buyers referring to this huge arsenal of inventory lurking ready to descend and drive prices down.  It is not that this is fiction but there are some pertinent things to understand along with inventory.  First and probably most important, is that our inventory level stands at record lows… only 6101 active listings throughout the entire Pinellas County representing a drop of 21% since the end of 2011.  Of that inventory only 17% are distressed and what we are finding is that the in-flow of distressed inventory is being absorbed faster than it can build momentum.  A quick definition of ‘Shadow Inventory’ is the supply of homes in foreclosure or with seriously delinquent mortgages but not yet on the market.

Nationwide, CoreLogic out of Washington has cited a drop in shadow inventory from 2.6M in October 2011 to 2.3M in 2012.  The media and many housing experts had predicted a huge impact from shadow inventory resulting in inventories to skyrocket and put downward pressure on home prices.  An increase in short sales as an alternative to foreclosure, along with loan modifications has help reduce this impact.

According to Anand Nallathambi, president of CoreLogic, “We expect a gradual and progressive contraction in the shadow inventory in 2013 as investors continue to snap up foreclosed and REO properties and the broader recovery in housing market fundamentals takes hold.”  Locally, the reality is that these foreclosures are golden and usually priced aggressively. For that reason, the pent up demand for property along this Tampa Bay coast is multiple offers and often bidding wars.  If you as a buyer make a bid for one of these foreclosure properties pay heed to your realtor who understands this current environment.  No one wants you to overpay, but on the other hand in the current environment low ball offers are going nowhere.  Visit us at and learn more about how The PURTEE Team can help navigate you through the purchase process.



As Sellers Come Back To The Market – Inventory To Increase

Most sellers not in the position of being forced to sell during the market downturn refrained from listing their property.  Many put long Shrinking Inventoryterm renters in place to supplement carrying costs and others simply decided not to make a move… especially those with declining property value.Sellers Come Back To The Market 

The result has been steadily declining inventory as you can see from this chart.  From November 2010 to November 2012, inventory in Pinellas County has reduced by over 48%!   According to the National Association of Realtors, The housing market continued to show signs of strengthening in November, with existing home sales climbing to its highest level in three years.

As a result, home prices are beginning to creep back up. Year to year, the average price in Pinellas County is up almost 11%. A variety of economists are forecasting prices to continue on that path in 2013.  That will be the stimulus for for sellers to consider listing their properties again. As Sellers Come Back To The Market, prices should stabilize somewhat as inventory begins to rise.

 In looking for a balanced market between buyers and sellers, there should be a 6 month supply of inventory. Currently in Pinellas County in Tampa Bay, Florida, there is only a 4 month supply.  With rising prices, sellers are expected to resume their more normal cyle of selling.  Plus there is definitely and incentive to take advantage of the reduced value properties while the opportunity is here!

If you are considering listing a property in Tampa Bay, it would be well worth your while to speak to a member of The PURTEE Team of Realty Executives. Contact The PURTEE Team About Selling Your Home. 

According To Top Economists Florida Housing Market Growing Stronger

Florida Housing Market Growing Stronger

Florida’s residential real estate market will continue its upward trend into 2013, though the pace of recovery may be slower than the U.S. as a whole, according to leading U.S. economists speaking last Wednesday at Florida Realtors® 2013 Real Estate and Economic Forecast Conference in Orlando.”

When we look at the market statistics, we can see the slow but steady climb showing the Florida housing market growing stronger.  Inventory absorption has been in the double digits since March of 2011 and each month the toll is the record low inventory. Nov_2012_Absorption Rate In all of Pinellas County, there are only 6,193 active residential listings!  That means there are only 1.07 active listings for each buyer planning to purchase property currently.

There are other signs of Florida’s steadily improving residential market, according to Dr. John Tuccillo, chief economist for Florida Realtors. Here is what he outlined:

• Months’ supply of single-family homes is below 6 months
• Latest data (October 2012) shows 44 percent of closed sales were paid in cash, signifying strong demand from investors
• Foreign buyers make up 19 percent of closed sales in Florida (October 2012)
• Traditional (non-distressed) sales now make up over 50 percent of Florida’s closed sales
• Closed sales include fewer REOs (real estate-owned) and more short sales
• Shadow inventory has been declining since 2009, though it remains a key factor in the state’s housing market going forward since Florida is a judicial foreclosure state (meaning foreclosures go through a court process)

We are seeing strong closed sales and rising prices.  There is a pent up demand for housing that is only being fueled by the increase in people Migrating to Florida (see our recent Blog).  “Tuccillo said he expects employment in the state to grow by 10 percent in 2013; residential sales to increase by 10 percent; prices (same sales index) to rise by 5 percent; commercial activity to revive; and inventory to grow as the market improves.”