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Fla.’s median prices, new listings up in Jan.


ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2018 – Florida's housing market reported rising median prices and more new listings in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

"There's an ongoing shortage of housing inventory in many markets across Florida," says 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. "January's statewide homes sales reflected the tight supply, and – when combined with rising median sales prices – it puts pressure on potential homebuyers. Working with local Realtors can help buyers and sellers understand the factors influencing their local markets.

"On the buyer front, new pending sales for existing single-family homes in January ticked up slightly, 0.1 percent, year-over-year; pending sales for townhouse-condo units increased 8.1 percent. On the sellers' side, new listings for single-family homes rose 1.1 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listingsincreased 3.6 percent."

Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 16,564 last month, down 1.3 percent compared to January 2017. Meanwhile, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $240,000, up 9.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Thestatewide median price for condo-townhouse properties in January was $179,900, up 11.7 percent over the year-ago figure.

January marked 73 consecutive months that the statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in December 2017 was $, up percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $549,560; in Massachusetts, it was $382,000; in Maryland, it was $275,674; and in New York, it was ®Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor.Lately, condo and townhouse sales growth has been outpacing that of single-family homes, and the reason is that the picture for condos and townhouses has been much more balanced. The single-family home market, by contrast, continues to be held back by inadequate levels of new construction."

January's for-sale inventory remained tight with a 3.9-months' supply for single-family homes and a 5.9-months' supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.03 percent in January 2018, down from the 4.15 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to the Florida Realtors Research & Statistics section on Realtors also have access to local market stats (password protected) on Florida Realtors' website.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®  
Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Ron Mastrodonato on February 22nd, 2018 11:25 AM

Remind buyers to unfreeze their credit


NEW YORK – Jan. 31, 2018 – Following last year's Equifax data breach, many people froze their credit-score accounts to safeguard them from potential identity theft. But with the spring home buying season on the horizon, potential home shoppers may face some hassles getting approved for a mortgage if they don't remember to unfreeze their credit first.

Lenders tend to pull reports from the three main credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – when approving a buyer for a mortgage.

People who froze their accounts during the Equifax data breach need to remember where they froze it and to unfreeze it, says John Danaher, president of consumer interactive at TransUnion. "You may want to take a day or two to unfreeze them before you apply, but definitely make sure they are all unfrozen," he told ABC News. "It could potentially cause an issue if (mortgage lenders) can only get one or two out of the three."

Security freezes prevent credit reporting companies from releasing your credit report without your consent, and they prevent thieves from opening an account or getting credit using your personal information. But a freeze can also potentially delay, interfere or prohibit timely approval of any financing request or application, such as with a mortgage, rental housing, new loans, utilities and more.

Many Americans rushed to freeze their credit last year when a massive Equifax data breach was exposed. Hackers stole personal data, including Social Security numbers, birth certificates, addresses and some driver's license numbers of an estimated 143 million Americans.

When you freeze a report, you're often given a PIN that allows you to freeze or unfreeze the report at your own discretion. Or, you can contact the three nationwide credit bureaus to learn about unfreezing credit:

Source: "TransUnion Exec Talks Credit Scores and Real Estate," ABC News (Jan. 28, 2018) and "Here's Why You Probably Don't Want to Freeze Your Credit," Huffington Post (Sept. 14, 2017)

© Copyright 2018 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Ron Mastrodonato on February 2nd, 2018 10:59 AM

HUD awards $83M to support Fla. homelessness efforts


WASHINGTON – Jan. 12, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that 327 local Florida agencies will receive $83 million to help their efforts to help the homeless.

Nationally, HUD says it will distribute a record $2 billion to more than 7,300 local homeless assistance programs. HUD's Continuum of Care grants provide critical support to local programs that serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

HUD has posted a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding, including the 327 in Florida that will receive money.

A few grants may yet be distributed. Due to the last year's hurricanes, HUD extended the application deadline for communities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands until February 16, 2018.

"HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors," says HUD Secretary Ben Carson. "We know how to end homelessness and it starts with embracing a housing-first approach that relies upon proven strategies that offer permanent housing solutions to those who may otherwise be living in our shelters and on our streets."

"Continuums of Care are critical leaders in the work to end homelessness nationwide, adds Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. "When communities marshal these and other local, state, private, and philanthropic resources behind the strongest housing-first practices, we see important progress in our collective goal to end homelessness in America."

Last month, HUD reported that homelessness crept up in the U.S., especially among individuals experiencing long-term chronic homelessness.

HUD's 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 553,742 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, an increase of 0.7 percent since last year. Homelessness among families with children declined 5.4 percent nationwide since 2016, while local communities report that the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness and Veterans increased.

HUD's 2017 homeless estimate points to a significant increase in the number of reported persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness, particularly in California and other high-cost rental markets experiencing a significant shortage of affordable housing.

© 2017 Florida Realtors®

Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Ron Mastrodonato on January 15th, 2018 9:57 AM

‘Tappable equity’ at record high, but tax law could change impact


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jan. 8, 2018 – Jacksonville-based Black Knight's monthly Mortgage Monitor found that homeowners' "tappable" equity reached a record high in the third quarter.

As of Sept. 30, 42 million homeowners with a mortgage had nearly $5.4 trillion in equity available to borrow against, assuming a maximum 80 percent total loan-to-value ratio, according to the report. More than 80 percent of all mortgage holders now have available equity to tap via a first-lien cash-out refinance or home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Under the recently passed tax reform plan, however, interest on HELOCs is no longer deductible, according to the report, increasing the post-tax expense of such products for those who itemize.

Black Knight's Ben Graboske says the math would still favor HELOCs for many borrowers with high unpaid principal balances who take out low-dollar lines of credit. However, for low-to-moderate "unpaid principal balance" borrowers taking out larger amounts of equity – assuming interest on cash-out refinances remains deductible – the post-tax math may now favor a cash-out refi.

Florida is among states with the highest percentage of non-current loans and seriously delinquent loans, Black Knight reported.

Source: MBA NewsLink (01/08/18) Sorohan, Mike

© Copyright 2018 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Ron Mastrodonato on January 9th, 2018 10:56 AM

Wealth Surge Boosts Second-Home Market

Over the past 12 months, many well-off Americans have been getting wealthier. The United States added more than a million new millionaires over the past year as stock prices rose, according to the Global Wealth Report published last month by Credit Suisse.

That has helped fuel increases in many second-home markets across the country. Hawaii and Colorado may be the two luxury markets that saw the largest upticks in 2017, according to data from®.

Top 5 Luxury Markets


The following markets saw the biggest increases in luxury home prices in 2017, according to®:

  1. Maui: Nearly 33%
  2. Eagle County, Colo.: 31.5%
  3. Brooklyn, N.Y.: 30%
  4. Kauai, Hawaii: 25%
  5. Hawaii’s Big Island: 24.8%

Indeed, Maui, Hawaii, and Eagle County, Colo., were the two markets that posted the nation’s fastest luxury price growth. The two locales even trumped traditional luxury hubs like New York and San Francisco. (Luxury sales are defined as the top 5 percent of sales in a given metro area.)

Luxury home prices in Maui rose almost 33 percent, reaching an average of $2.49 million in 2017 compared to the year prior, according to®. Other Hawaiian islands also ranked within the top 10. Kauai ranked number four in the nation, posting a 25 percent increase in average luxury prices in 2017. Hawaii’s Big Island also ranked number five with a 24.8 percent price increase last year.

Eagle County, Colo., which is home to ski resorts like Vail and Beaver Creek, ranked number two on the list. Average luxury prices jumped there by 31.5 percent in 2017 to $2.89 million. “More than anything, people look at property here as a blue chip asset in a real estate portfolio,” Matthew Blake, a Vail-based broker for LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, told Mansion Global.

Source: “Hawaii, Colorado See Biggest Luxury Price Surges of 2017,” Mansion Global (Dec. 26, 2017)

Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Ron Mastrodonato on January 4th, 2018 11:53 AM


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