Tampa Bay Real Estate Update

Greetings From The Purtee Team In Tampa Bay!

Tampa_Skyline copyForget the recent floods and the traffic, pay no heed to the summer heat and humidity – Tampa Bay really is the place to be according to Money Magazine. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Purtee-Team-Realty-Executives-Adamo/103150156409986?ref=hlThe magazine on Monday ranked Tampa as the best large city in the Southeast and one of five “urban gems” across the United States offering an abundance of culture and amenities at “livable prices.” The ranking lauded Tampa’s robust job market and affordable property prices while highlighting the city’s “international aspirations” with events like the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup run and the Bollywood Oscars. Our pristine beaches are always ranked at the top of any list.  St Pete beach was recently named #1 city beach (Clearwater Beach has already had that honor).Absorption_July_2015 copy

 Tampa Bay is definitely on the radar for the place to be and there is a vast amount of new development throughout the Bay.  So convenient to have the beautiful beaches, the amazing transformation of downtown St Petersburg with its waterfront location and upscale museums and restaurants.  So how does this affect the real estate market? Record breaking tourism, mega large headquarters bringing thousands upon thousands of new jobs, and several tough northern winters are dramatically escalating demand.

In Pinellas County which includes the beaches, the last several months have seen record high absorption rates resulting in a seller’s market and frenzied buying, especially at certain price points and in certain locations.  Single family homes have surpassed condos in growth primarily because of the still tight financing guidelines for condos. However, we are seeing signs of improvement there. 

Out of 3203 listings of single family homes at the beginning of July, there were1304 sales!  The highest percent of sales (33.2%) were in the $200,000-$400,000.  In condos, 2452 listings resulted in 750 sales.  The same price range represented 21% of the sales. 42.07% of condo sales were under $100,000.  In this total of 2054 sales, 50% were purchased with cash. A glimmer of hope on financing is that conventional loans rose to 32%.

Whether you are considering buying or selling, this market is on the move and you seriously want to have a knowledgeable realtor on your side with experience in negotiating a possibly touch transaction.  If you are a seller, take a look at preparing your home to show the best it can (See Blog).  Appraisers are having a difficult time keeping up with the market… they are required to look backward while we agents are able to look at the future.  Maneuvering through getting your home to appraise needs experience. Considering listing your property? Contact us to get a better understanding of the market and what your property might be worth today. Contact Us About Selling Your Home.  If you are a buyer, you really need a realtor who can fight for you.  The agent’s fee is paid by the seller so there is no cost to you to have this help in securing a property.  Financing – do not even start looking until you have been pre-qualified and know the price you can afford.  Internet shopping… there are lots of great websites with tons of information, BUT bargains and deals are negotiated.  They do NOT magically appear on the internet. Our VIP Buyer program is free of charge and well worth the advantage you get!

See what others are saying about the PURTEE TEAM (Testimonials).  We are here to help! Contact us Today!  and BIG NEWS!! Our website should be totally mobile friendly by the 1st of September and you will be able to customize searches and navigate the site right from your mobile device… we want to give you the latest technology to go with our knowledge and expertise! 

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.” 

In May, some flood insurance policy costs revert to 2013 levels

WASHINGTON – April 15, 2014 – David L. Miller, associate administrator with the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, part of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), released a memorandum with guidelines for insurance companies that sell flood insurance on behalf of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The guidelines – called “Phase I Implementation of the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014” – generally roll back the cost of flood insurance policies for most homeowners and buyers to the level charged before October 2013 when higher rates kicked in. The new guidelines become effective May 1, 2014.

“The purpose of this bulletin is to stop charging full risk-rates for all types of Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) properties covered by section 3 of the (newest flood law), which includes primary residences and businesses,” Miller says in the memorandum.

Section 3 of the new flood law requires insurance companies that sell flood insurance on behalf of FEMA – called Write-Your-Own (WYO) companies – to restore Pre-FIRM subsidized rates for:

* Pre-FIRM properties not insured when Biggert Waters was enacted

* Pre-FIRM properties sold after Biggert Waters was enacted

″ Policies for Pre-FIRM properties rated full-risk under Biggert Waters due to a lapse in coverage

There are two gray areas in the memorandum for homebuyers. Since May 1 is two weeks away, what happens to homebuyers who need flood insurance before then? Until today’s memo was issued, owners and buyers paid the higher flood insurance rate to get or maintain coverage, and they expected to receive a rebate sometime in the future.

“Some insurers are ‘working it out,’ but supposedly, the full-risk rate premium is to be charged until May 1,” says Lisa S. Jones, a flood insurance specialist with Carolina Flood Solutions and consultant to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). The two-week hiatus is awkward, and it’s not clear how individual insurance companies will choose to handle it. However, going against the rules “could get them into trouble,” Jones says.

The second gray area involves the actual charge for a flood insurance policy, and some homeowners could face a surcharge later after FEMA completely rolls in the new law.

“Currently, homeowners are paying the higher rates and expecting a refund later,” says Jones. “Under the new rules, rates temporarily roll back completely to their pre-October 2013 level. But the new law still allows some increases. Once the law is fully implemented, some individual homeowners and buyers may not see a difference, or will have to pay higher premiums on secondary homes once the surcharges and annual increases are applied at renewal.”

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

House Flipping Making a Comeback!

Remodel For House FlippingThe housing crash of 2006-2011 nearly brought a halt to a once highly successful venture of buyers purchasing homes, fixing them up and reselling them for a quick profit within six months, also known as house flipping.  However, for a second year in a row there has been an increase in the number of properties that are being flipped.  These flipping deals bring in an average $37,375 per transaction.

Buyers looking to flip homes are being more selective than before the crash adhering to the following guidelines:

1.  Location matters-the best places to flip properties in 2012 were Orlando, Florida; Richmond, Virginia; Tucson, Arizona and Charlotte, North Carolina.  Flipped homes in Orlando were purchased for an average of $100,397 and were sold for an average of $174,895 for gross profits of almost $75,000.  Tampa Bay is also coming on strong to fix up property for resell.

2.  Cash matters-with banks having tighter restrictions on loaning money, investors that have cash on hand tend to have the upper hand.

3.  Renovations matter- but so does a budget-spending around 25 percent of the expected resale price is the ideal target for renovations as anything over that amount becomes risky.  The upgrades that offer the most money back on resale are window replacements, minor kitchen remodels and fixing garage doors.

4.  Flexibility matters-be prepared to possibly hold on the resale of the property.  Some banks require a 90-day hold on a property to justify a higher resale price.  Ultimately a buyer needs to be prepared to not sell a property within days that will lead to lightning fast profits.  It may be best to hold on to the property for a while as the housing market continues to recover, which could eventually secure a higher resale price.  Home values are on the rise, with a year-over-year price increase of 11.6 percent which signifies that getting into the market now could yield some great rewards with flipping homes.

For more information, go to: http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=2&id=290732

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: http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=2&id=289406

Homeowner Tax Benefits Add Up

As April 15th nears yet again and you are preparing to pay Uncle Sam, don’t miss looking for homeowner tax benefits that may ease the pain of tax season.  While some Americans debate whether buying a home is still part of the American dream, it is fair to say that tax code remains highly favorable to people who own instead of rent.  Whether you were a first-time buyer, a longtime homeowner who refinanced, or a seller in 2012, there are a host of important deductions available.

HouseLogic.com, a consumer website created by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) points out seven important tax tips for home owners:

1. Mortgage interest is your best friend. Taxpayers collectively get roughly $100 billion annually in mortgage interest breaks. If you bought a home or refinanced in the last few years, the savings are even more significant, as more than half your monthly payment goes toward interest.

2. Mortgage insurance is still deductible. There were fears that the deduction for personal mortgage insurance would fall victim to fiscal fights in Washington. However, Congress left it in place. That’s a huge boon to lower-income homeowners who often can’t afford a big down payment and must pay private mortgage insurance until they have at least 20% equity in their homes.

3. Taxes are tax deductible. It sounds odd and is frequently overlooked, but homeowners can deduct their local and state property taxes on federal tax returns. There also may be special property tax benefits for lower-income home owners based on your state or municipality of residence, so look into further breaks specific to your community.

4. Qualified renovations count. Fixing a leaky faucet or putting crown moulding in the living room is not tax deductible. But there are a number of items in the tax code that allow for tax breaks and credits. A host of items covered under residential energy efficiency can provide tax relief, including new solar panels or certain water heaters. There are also deductions available for home office improvements, as well as for medically necessary changes, such as an entry ramp or a handicap-accessible bathtub.

5. Unqualified renovations can count later.
While that addition might not be “necessary,” the expense could be an important part of reducing your tax burden when you sell. This is especially noteworthy in hot real estate markets or for homeowners sitting on big property appreciation. The IRS allows you only $250,000 of tax-free profit when you sell a primary residence, but you can deduct any renovations that boosted your home’s value from any total profit to get under that threshold. Find those receipts if you’re sitting on a big profit and planning to sell.

6. Claim selling costs.
If you sold a home in the past year, costs including title insurance, advertising, and real estate broker fees can be claimed. You can claim certain repairs to reduce capital gains on the sale, presuming they were made within 90 days of sale and clearly for the intent of marketing the property. If selling a home less than what you originally paid, look for a loss to offset other income… even if it is a loss carry forward to next year.

7. Don’t forget moving expenses.
If you bought a home in 2012, there’s a chance you did so because of a job-related move. If this is the case, you may be able to deduct some expenses, provided you have the receipts. You must have moved 50 miles or more, and the reasons for your move can’t be personal.

Home ownership can really pay off for many reasons!  Contact The Purtee Team today to discuss your homeownership goals for 2013 whether you are looking to buy or sell, we are the experts in the Tampa Bay, Florida  Area.

 *Homeowners should consult a tax professional for specific advice about their own transactions or circumstances. Information on The Purtee Team Blog should not be relied on as tax or legal advice.

 Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/taxes-incentives/home-is-where-the-tax-breaks-are-7-tips/#ixzz2NMlKuZdz

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 www.floridagulfproperty.com or email us at info@floridagulfproperty.com 

Supply Of Homes For Sale Decreases – Demand On The Rise!

USA TODAY released national statistics last week showing nationwide the supply of homes for sale continueing to shrink.  They refer to year-to-year the first 2 weeks of January as down 14% in inventory.  Yet demand is up 9.2%!2012 Absorption Rate

Here in Tampa Bay, we have been watching the Absorption Rate eat up available inventory month after month.  This inventory turnover refers to how much of the existing inventory during the month was sold and removed from the market.  We saw the trend begin back in March of 2011… but look what happened in 2012, especially in single family homes!!!

The result? Home prices have nowhere to go but up. Many sellers who have been waiting on the sidelines until their home values come back up have been renting their homes or condos. But the lack of sellers in the market is not the only thing keeping the supply of homes for sale down.  According to Realty Trac,  there are fewer distressed properties for sale. Nationwide, foreclosure sales were down 7 percent through the first nine months of last year from the same period in 2011.  Here in Tampa Bay, of the 6101 listings left at the end of 2012 in Pinellas County only 17% of those were distressed. Yet 32.5% of those listings sold during the motn of December were foreclosures or short sales.  Currently, our supply of homes for sale is down to a meager 4 months supply… equating to only 1 home per buyer looking!

Looking for a home in this kind of market? It may not be easy. The PURTEE Team is very knowledgeable about the current market and how to maneuver in it. Contact Us Today!

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 www.purtee2.protechflorida.com and learn more about how The PURTEE Team can help navigate you through the purchase process.