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. 

Just Listed! Bank Owned Home In Gated Community

Bank Owned Home In Gated Community -The Preserve

Located at 1340 Preservation Way, this bank owned home in gated community of The Preserve in Oldsmar, Florida, is an excellent value for such a well appointed home!  Open style home enjoys 3988 square feet of heated living space with 2-car garage, pool & hot tub, and pond.

4 bedrooms, 5 baths too!  Oldsmar is located in north Pinellas County with easy accessibility to the surrounding Tampa Bay.

Just listed by The PURTEE Team, check out this Bank Owned Home In Gated Community here.

Florida Housing Market Upbeat For October 2012

Realtor Doing Business

Pending sales, closed sales and median prices rose, while the inventory of homes and condos for sale dropped in the Florida housing market in October, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

Having watched the trends over the last year and a half, Florida’s housing market has finally picked up momentum and gotten on the right path.  Here in Pinellas County and Tampa Bay, the trend that began to tell the story started in March of 2011 when the Absorption Rate stayed consistently in the double digits.  As the inventory has been absorbed, active listings have decreased by 48% from 12,172 in Oct. 2010 to 6,305 in Oct. 2012!  Our shrinking inventory is at its lowest point since at least Oct 2005. Currently, there is less than one home per buyer once again. Inventory stands at a 5 month supply. Median price climbed 14% from a year ago and average price is up 8%. 65% of October’s sales were non-distressed properties (908 of the 1,397 closings for the month). Pending contracts jumped by almost 18% over last October and sales leaped up 29% for the same period resulting is an strong showing for the month.

The latest Florida unemployment rate fell to 8.5%… the lowest in nearly 4 years! That is good news going forward. “Once again, everything that should be going up in the market is going up, and everything that should be going down is going down,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “As impressive as the year-over-year gains for October are, far more impressive are year-to-date gains of 2012 over 2011. They indicate the depth and resilience of this recovery.”

Those are a lot of numbers to digest, but the bottom line is that buyers are coming back into the market and often finding it a challenge to locate the right property.  There is no time better to use the
VIP Buyer Program!!!  You are able to search MLS Multiple Listing Service) using your own criteria right from our website. By sending the us the questionnaire, your information goes directly into MLS and you find out when a property that meets your needs comes on the market… within moments!  So many of our clients are using this system with great success.  We encourage you to try it as well.

We continue to bring REO/foreclosure properties onto the market and there are several in the pipeline. Many of these properties actually go under contract before ever making it to MLS and public knowledge.  Always check out our HOT DEALS, too!  We are your onsite link to these properties and an excellent resource for you.  The PURTEE Team combines experience, expertise and integrity in every transaction we do. Do not hesitate to call on us.  Call 727-871-6286 or email  And check out our Buyer/Seller Tips for questions and answers about buying or selling property.

FHA Loans After Foreclosure Offer Eligibility At 3 Years

For many residents who went through a foreclosure, an FHA loan might be their best option to buy a home while prices remain reasonable and mortgage rates are still low.  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures home loans so banks can offer loans with lower downpayments and more flexible income requirements.

Here’s what the FHA says about eligibility for FHA loans after foreclosure or short sale:

• Previous mortgage foreclosure: Borrowers are generally not eligible for a new FHA-insured mortgage if, during the previous three years, their previous principal residence or other real property was foreclosed, or they gave a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

Exception: The lender may grant an exception to the three-year requirement if the foreclosure was the result of documented extenuating circumstances that were beyond the control of the borrower, such as a serious illness or death of a wage earner, and the borrower has re-established good credit since the foreclosure.

Divorce is not an extenuating circumstance. An exception may, however, be granted where a borrower’s loan was current at the time of the divorce, the ex-spouse received the property, and the loan was later foreclosed.

The inability to sell the property due to a job transfer or relocation to another area does not qualify as an extenuating circumstance.

• Borrower current at the time of short sale:
A borrower is considered eligible for a new FHA-insured mortgage if, from the date of loan application for the new mortgage, all mortgage payments on the prior mortgage were made within the month due for the 12-month period preceding the short sale, and installment debt payments for the same time period were also made within the month due.

• Borrower in default at the time of short sale:
A borrower in default on a mortgage at the time of the short sale (or pre-foreclosure sale) is not eligible for a new FHA-insured mortgage for three years from the date of the pre-foreclosure sale.

Exception: A lender may make an exception to this rule for a borrower in default on a mortgage at the time of the short sale if the default was due to circumstances beyond the borrower’s control, such as the death of a primary wage earner or long-term uninsured illness, and if a review of the credit report indicates satisfactory credit before the circumstances beyond the borrower’s control that caused the default.

On a short sale, long-term job loss or layoff would be considered an exception considered to be circumstances beyond the borrower’s control. FHA loans after foreclosure might be worth buyers looking into. The PURTEE Team is happy to recommend lenders who might offer that product.

Information Provided By Florida Realtors®

New Construction Bids In Tampa Bay On The Upswing!

BidClerk, a provider of construction project data and marketing tools for building product manufacturers, contractors and distributors, just released their quarterly BidClerk Construction Index (BCI). According to their report,  4 metro regions in Florida had an increase in actively bid construction projects.  Overall, Florida actively bid construction activity increase of 9.6 percent compared to one year earlier. Private construction rose 19 percent, while public construction rose 4.3 percent.

The Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater came in strong! 
In a year-over-year analysis for the Tampa-St. Pete region, actively bid public and private construction projects rose 24.5 percent compared to one year ago. Private projects increased 23.7 percent and public projects increased 24.9 percent!! Result… new construction bids in Tampa Bay rising.

Quarter-over-quarter, combined private and public construction projects in Tampa-St. Pete increased 16.9 percent. Private projects decreased 9.1 percent and public projects rose 37.8 percent!!!

This is a huge positive indicator, especially when compared to the national numbers… Nationally, actively bid combined public and private construction projects increased 3 percent in the third quarter of 2012, compared to the same quarter a year ago. Third quarter 2012 public construction increased modestly, rising just 0.2 percent, while third quarter 2012 private construction rose 12.3 percent, year-over-year.

The PURTEE Team continues to bring you current updates on the real estate market in Tampa Bay area. Like us on FACEBOOK and get new blog post entries as they are written.

Why Voting YES For Amendment 4 Important This November

The Florida Property Tax, called Amendment 4, is on the November 6, 2012, state ballot in Florida as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.  If passed, according to TaxWatch analysis, the amendment would create Florida jobs, grow Florida’s GDP and increase the personal income of Floridians.

The proposed amendment (which would take effect January 1, 2013) would prohibit increases in the assessed value of homestead property if the fair market value of the property decreases; reduce the non-homestead maximum assessed value increase cap from the current 10% down to 5%; and
provide additional homestead exemption for first time Florida home buyers.

“Florida TaxWatch estimates that the passage of Amendment 4 would result in the creation of 19,483 private, non-farm jobs over the 10-year period of the analysis (2013-2022), an increase in the Florida GDP by approximately $11 billion and an increase in personal income by more than $5.3 billion.”

The analysis also estimates that between 319,861 and 383,810 additional home sales would occur due to the effects of Amendment 4 during the 10 years following its being implemented.  The home market is on the rebound but still sluggish. This amendment hopes to provide a stimulus to set a new momentum in motion.  The PURTEE Team encourages you to vote YES on Amendment 4.

Mortgage Rates Record Low But Who Can Get Financing?

Home FinancingReady to take advantage of record low mortgage rates to either re-finance or to buy a new property?  Not so fast… as realtors, we are concerned (like most of our colleagues) that current lending conditions to acquire a home loan are unreasonably tight.  Lenders are taking an excessive amount of time to approve loans from even the most qualified of buyers and the amount of information required is amazing. Why is it so hard to get financing?

We understand that lending institutions took a beating during the real estate market downturn with thousands of foreclosures and short sales taking profits off the books. HOWEVER, profits in the financial industry have climbed back to pre-recession levels, lending standards still remain unreasonably tight.  Buyers who are qualifying for loans in today’s environment seem to be the highest tier of credit score worthiness.  According to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors®, 53% of August loans went to borrowers with credit scores above 740. In comparison, only 41% of loans backed by Fannie Mae had FICO scores above 740 during the 2001 to 2004 time period, while 43% of Freddie Mac-backed loans were above 740.

“Sensible lending standards would permit 500,000 to 700,000 additional home sales in the coming year,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “The economic activity created through these additional home sales would add 250,000 to 350,000 jobs in related trades and services almost immediately, and without a cost impact.”

You can count on The PURTEE Team to monitor this situation.  Yun says advises that the 12-month default rates have been abnormally low since 2009. Fannie Mae default rates have averaged 0.2 percent while Freddie Mac’s averaged 0.1 percent, which are notable given higher unemployment in the time frame.

“Sales this year are projected to rise 8 to 10 percent. Although welcoming, this still represents a sub-par performance of about 4.6 million sales,” Yun says. “These findings show we need to return to the sound underwriting standards that existed before the aberrations of the housing boom and bust cycle, and thoroughly re-examine current and impending regulatory rules that may cause excessively tight standards.”


Unique Mortgage Strategy For Baby Boomers Seeking Florida Lifestyle Retirement

A recent article in the Washington Post talked about a new offering of 5 or 7 year fixed rate mortgages.  This was originated at the Health Federal Credit Union in Rockville, Maryland.  In just three months, they have generated over 100 of these mortgages representing over $100 million and an interesting mortgage strategy!

“As baby boomers pay off their first homes, area banks and credit unions say they’re seeing a rise in the number of second-home and vacation property purchases, many of which are being financed with short-term loans.

‘We call it the ‘goodbye mortgage,’ Callis said. ‘People are saying, ‘The house is paid off, the kids’ college is paid off, I really can afford to buy – and pay off – that dream home in Florida, too.’”

With the recent economic struggle, many baby boomers have had to put retirement plans on hold.  As the market finally seems to be recovering, what better time to take advantage of both low interest rates and depressed market pricing.  We are still seeing cash purchases here in Tampa Bay at 58% and yet this option might go far in easing the burden of making an all-cash purchase yet giving a shorter life to the day when this dream home is totally paid off.  This could be a financing product worth keeping an eye on…  The PURTEE Team stays up to date on market conditions and can help you whether considering a purchase or selling your home.  Email us at

Mortgage Rates Still Under The Microscope

Mortgage Rates Under The Microscope

Industry analysts are having a difficult time agreeing on the direction of mortgage rates over the short term.  According to, an even number (31% each) believes rates will either go up or stay the same over the next few weeks while 38% expect a further decline.

Mortgage rates, at a new record low of 3.62% for a 30-year fixed and 2.89% for a 15-year, tend to follow along with the 10-year US Treasury note.  As demand for Treasury bonds increase (considered a safer investment in times of economic uncertainty), the yield falls.

This trending of the mortgage rates record lows has brought some relief to the slowly recovering housing market.  According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales rose in May, matching the highest level in the past two years, and are well above year-ago levels. Monthly and annual gains were seen throughout the country.

We are certainly seeing a strong come back here in the Tampa Bay market!  Inventory continues at record low levels and the mortgage lender still have a tight fist around our buyers taking advantage of these low rates.  Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said longer term comparisons are more relevant. “The housing market is clearly superior this year compared with the past four years. The latest increase in home contract signings marks 13 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Actual closings for existing-home sales have been notably higher since the beginning of the year and we’re on track to see a 9 to 10 percent improvement in total sales for 2012.”

If you are interested in exploring a purchase along the pristine beaches of Tampa Bay, let The PURTEE Team help!  We bring the advantage of excellent market knowledge and experience to every transaction.
Contact us today!