According to Forbes, Florida offers good values “where investors get the best bang for their housing buck, and where aspiring homeowners have the best prospects of making an economically sound purchase.”
From Jacksonville Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/news-wire/2015/06/22/existing-home-sales-hit-highest-level-since-2009.html?iana=ind_rre
Jun 22, 2015, 10:39am EDT Updated Jun 22, 2015, 12:35pm EDT Kent Hoover
Sales of existing homes jumped to their highest level in nearly six years in May, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The 5.1 percent increase in May brought sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million. That’s 9 percent above the pace a year ago. Included in this total are sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominums and co-ops.”Solid sales gains were seen throughout the country in May as more homeowners listed their home for sale and therefore provided greater choices for buyers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
“However, overall supply still remains tight, homes are selling fast and price growth in many markets continues to teeter at or near double-digit appreciation,” he said. “Without solid gains in new home construction, prices will likely stay elevated — even with higher mortgage rates above 4 percent.”
The median price for an existing home was $228,700, nearly 8 percent above what it was a year ago.
The number of first-time buyers rose to 32 percent, the highest level since September 2012.
That’s an “encouraging sign,” Yun said, “and is the result of multiple factors, including strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low downpayment programs,” he said.
Find the original article here: “30-year Loan Rate Falls to 3.80%”
WASHINGTON (AP) – Dec. 19, 2014 – Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year.
The rates’ historically low levels could be a boon to potential homebuyers. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.80 percent this week from 3.93 percent last week. It is now at its lowest level since May 2013.
At the beginning of the year, the 30-year rate stood at 4.53 percent.
The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, declined to 3.09 percent from 3.20 percent last week.
Mortgage rates often follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which also has fallen to its lowest levels since May 2013. It traded at 2.14 percent Wednesday, down from 2.17 percent a week earlier. The 10-year note traded at 2.21 percent Thursday morning. Bond yields rise as prices fall.
The recent decline in mortgage rates has come despite the October end of the Federal Reserve’s monthly bond purchases, which were intended to keep long-term interest rates low. The central bank is edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows given a strengthening U.S. economy, but the Fed said Wednesday that it will be “patient” in deciding when to do so. Chair Janet Yellen said she foresaw no rate hike in the first quarter of next year.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-year mortgage rose to 0.6 point from 0.5 point last week. The fee for a 15-year mortgage also increased to 0.6 point from 0.5 point.
The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.95 percent from 2.98 percent. The fee was unchanged at 0.5 point.
For a one-year ARM, the average rate declined to 2.38 percent from 2.40 percent. The fee held at 0.4 point.
There were about 118,000 foreclosures in Florida between October 2013 and October 2014 – more than a fifth of the national total.
By Richard Webner Thu, Dec 4, 2014 @ 5:53 pm
Florida’s foreclosure inventory rate fell to 4.1 percent in October, the lowest it’s been in several years, according to a report from CoreLogic, a real estate tracking firm.
The rate has dropped three percentage points since October of last year, when 7.1 percent of mortgaged homes in Florida were undergoing foreclosure. But it’s still above the national average of 1.6 percent. Florida and New York are tied for the second-highest rate, behind New Jersey, which has a rate of 5.5 percent.
Almost 118,000 foreclosures were completed in Florida between October 2013 and October 2014, a slight increase from the 115,000 foreclosures during the same span a year earlier, according to the CoreLogic report. In the 12 months ending in October, Florida’s foreclosures comprised more than a fifth of the national total of 561,000.
Florida’s foreclosure inventory rate remains high because the state was hit especially hard by the housing crisis, said William Hardin, director of the Hollo School of Real Estate at Florida International University. Also, foreclosures take longer to work their way through the system here than in most other states, he said.
Over the past few years, though, Florida’s rate has dropped faster than the national rate. Hardin said that could be because underwriting standards for mortgages in Florida became so high after the housing crisis.
“There was an 8-year period when there weren’t a lot of mortgages originating,” he said.
The CoreLogic report also states that 8.4 percent of Florida’s mortgaged homes were at least 90 days behind in their payments. That’s down from 11.6 percent in October 2013, but double the national rate of 4.2 percent.
In October, one of every 400 housing units in Duval County were undergoing a foreclosure, according to a report from RealtyTrac, a real estate tracking firm. That’s above the Florida rate of one in 444 housing units.
In Saint Johns County, one in 818 housing units went through foreclosure; in Clay, one in 335; in Baker, one in 642; and in Nassau, one in 583, according to the RealtyTrac report.
Dane Leslie, a realtor at Watson Realty Corp. in Mandarin, said he’s seen a big drop in foreclosures in the Jacksonville area over the past few years. Around 2010 and 2011, about four or five of every 10 houses his firm listed were short sales — houses that lenders have accepted as payments for debts, even though they’re worth less than the debts. Today, about one of every 10 houses are, Leslie said.
“That’s a huge reduction, but we still have a ways to go,” he said.
Richard Webner: (904) 359-4370
The original article can be found here: http://jacksonville.com/business/2014-12-04/story/floridas-foreclosure-rate-continues-decline-remains-above-national-average
Written By: Andrew Thurlow
Kyle Passkiewicz of Watson Realty Corp. is always looking for a new niche in the market.
“As a broker, you need to always be changing your target demographics,” said Passkiewicz, who was recently named as one of the top real estate agents in the country by Real Trends, a consulting and analytics company.
More than 9,500 agents made Real Trends’ second annual “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” list, which ranks agents and teams by transactions and sales volume in all 50 states and more than 250 metro areas.
Passkiewicz was ranked No. 5 for transactions in the country, with 610 units sold – a feat that also earned him the No. 1 ranking in the state.
“Jacksonville is such a small market compared to a lot more areas where there are a lot more houses,” he said. “It’s not a market like New York City, so to be in the top was definitely a big deal.”
But Passkiewicz didn’t want to take all the credit.
“I have a great team that helps me handle those large transactions, particularly CEOAndy Allen of Corner Lot Properties,” he said.
Jacksonville-based Watson Realty Corp. is a full-service real estate company with nearly 1,300 sales associates and 42 sales offices throughout Northeast and Central Florida.
As real estate in Florida begins to stabilize, properties are becoming easier for brokers to sell, said Andy Allen, who has been flipping homes for six years.
“Prices are coming back rapidly since the recession,” Allen said. “We’re flipping about eight to 12 homes per month.”
According to RealtyTrac.com, eight Florida cities are in the top 15 nationally, with Jacksonville holding the No. 8 position.
“With these hedge funds and the amount of money in Jacksonville, it has really depleted the inventory and become very healthy,” Passkiewic said. “It’s become an efficient market where stuff that’s meant to sell does.”
Right now, the historic districts that surround Downtown are on the up, Passkiewicz said, including Jacksonville Beach, Riverside, San Marco and Avondale.
From Jax Daily Record: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=542663
Wednesday, April 9, 10:18 AM EDT
Compiled by Max Marbut
Corner Lot Properties hosted a charity golf tournament March 24 at San Jose Country Club to tee off its three-year Blessings in a Backpack partnership with Hendricks Avenue Elementary School.
NFL Hall of Fame member and former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, current and former Jacksonville Jaguars Josh Scobee, Marcus Stroud and Bryan Barker and PGA Tour golfers Bud Cauley, Chris Stroud and Russell Knox were among those who participated.
Andrew Allen, Corner Lot Properties CEO, said more than $40,000 was raised at the inaugural event.
Blessings in a Backpack provides elementary school children on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year.
Children who qualify are fed during the school week by federal government programs and Blessings in a Backpack provides food over the weekend. Nearly 25 percent of the students at Hendricks Avenue Elementary School are on the federal program.
“This partnership with Corner Lot Properties and Blessings in a Backpack will make a big impact for our families who worry how they will feed their children,” said Lacy Healy, principal of Hendricks Elementary School. “This will help our students focus on learning and not if they will be hungry.”
Corner Lot Properties will begin its backpack program at Hendricks Elementary at the start of the 2014 school year in August.
“As an A-rated public elementary school, Hendricks is overlooked as a school in need,” said Allen. “It’s in Corner Lot Properties’ backyard, so we’ve made a three-year commitment to Hendricks for the Blessings program, but we’re also looking forward to supporting others throughout the year.”
Blessings in a Backpack provides for approximately 1,300 children in seven Duval County schools and 295 children are in the program at five schools in St. Johns County. For more information, visit jaxblessingsinabackpack.org.
Walk for ALS Saturday
Most days, Alexander McRae Graham and Hampton Harris Graham are busy running the company that their great-grandfather founded in 1916. But on Saturday, the brothers will join more than 1,000 ALS patients, supporters and friends at Seven Bridges in Tinseltown to unite in the fight to find a cure for a deadly illness.
Their dad, Henry Harris “Tip” Graham Jr., died from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2010. Tip Graham had a rare form of the disease known as familial ALS.
About 5-10 percent of ALS is familial, meaning it occurs in families in which there is a history of ALS.
Several genes associated with ALS have been identified or at least mapped to a specific region of a chromosome.
The brothers now have to live with the fact that having a parent with familial ALS gives them a 50 percent chance that they also carry the genetic abnormality that can cause the disease.
A portion of the money raised at Saturday’s Walk to Defeat ALS will go toward research, including funding studies at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.
ALS progressively paralyzes its victims, attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord. Currently, ALS has no known cause, treatment or cure.
The Walk to Defeat ALS is the association’s signature event in which all funds directly support research, programs and patient care.
Last year, the events raised more than $1 million in Florida.
Interested walkers should call (888) 257-1717 or register online at WalktoDefeatALS.org.
March for Babies April 26 at EverBank Field
The 2014 First Coast March for Babies, the main annual fundraiser for the March of Dimes Northeast Florida Division, is April 26 and will have a new route that starts and finishes in the Pepsi Cabana Villages at EverBank Field.
More than 5,000 walkers and runners are expected for the 2.5-mile walk, with funds going to support
prenatal wellness programs, research grants, NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies.
“One out of seven babies in Florida is born premature, so raising money to help babies in our community is more important than ever,” said Randy Swift, VyStar Credit Union senior vice president of member services and First Coast March for Babies chairman. “The people who participate in our walk help more moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.”
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m. A donation of $10 is suggested for those who participate. New teams and sponsors interested in supporting the event should contact the March of Dimes at (904) 398-2821 or visit marchforbabies.org.
In addition to the walk itself, activities include fitness demonstrations, a Kids Zone with face painting, bounce houses, and snacks and beverages provided to walkers and other attendees.
The event is supported by Gold Sponsors Wells Fargo and Citi, Top Corporate Partner Publix Super Markets Inc. and Media Partner WJXT-TV.
New address for Family Support Services
Family Support Services of North Florida, the lead agency for foster care, adoption and family preservation in Duval and Nassau counties, is in new office space in Jacksonville’s Southbank area. The agency is now at 1300 Riverplace Blvd., Suite 700 in the AvMed Building. The main phone number remains (904) 421-5800.
The move consolidates 120 staff currently located in several locations into one office. The agency will continue to have assigned staff members serving clients out of the Department of Children and Families’ Davis Street location and the Duval County Courthouse.
Family Support Services also operates a full-service office in Nassau County.
New look for local nonprofit
Jewish Family & Community Services, a full-service social service agency for families and children of all faiths, rebranded its 96-year-old agency with a new look and messaging to better communicate the help it provides to thousands of people in Northeast Florida each year.
“We felt the time had come to freshen our look, better present our services and re-introduce ourselves to a community we have served since 1917,” said CEO Colleen Rodriguez. “We are one of the better-kept secrets in Jacksonville and we’d like to improve how people see us for the good of the 15,000 people we support annually.”
The agency received a matching grant from Cause Populi, a firm in Miami created by a group of entrepreneurs, marketers and communicators, that helps agencies spread the word about their missions.
Cause Populi will spend six months helping rebrand the agency and two of its core programs (First Coast Adoption Professionals and Dupont Counseling) with the new logo, new messaging and new websites.
The agency offers child welfare services, support for Holocaust survivors and other members of the Jewish community, and emergency financial assistance and food to any qualified person in need.
“Our assistance goes out to all quarters of Northeast Florida. We’re here to support anyone who needs it,” Rodriguez said. “And we want to make sure that message is sent in a clear and engaging way to let people know we’re here to help.”
TAMPA, Fla. – March 21, 2014 – Over the next five years, the median price of single-family homes will approach the peak reached before the housing market tanked in 2006, predicts the Demand Institute, a nonprofit think tank run by The Conference Board and Nielsen.
However, the Institute predicts that some local markets will rebound faster than others, creating an unbalanced recovery.
Among the 50 big metro areas projected to see housing appreciation between 2012 and 2018, the top five are predicted to have average gains of 32 percent – but the bottom five will average gains of just 11 percent.
Tampa, Jacksonville, Memphis, Milwaukee and St. Louis are expected to record the largest increase in the median price of an existing single-family home. At the state level, New Mexico, Mississippi, Maine, Illinois and New Hampshire are predicted to have the highest value gains.
The national median price is expected to grow at an annual rate of 2.1 percent from 2015 to 2018 driven primarily by new-household formation, according to the study.
Source: Reuters (02/26/14) Chadbourn, Margaret
Zillow predicts 2014 to see a continuation of this positive trend. Take a look at Zillow’s four bold predictions for real estate and mortgages below, and the top 10 hottest housing markets for 2014.
Do you think our predictions will come true? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #HousingTrends2014.
For more information about the predictions, visit Zillow Research.
(Jacksonville, FL –September 9, 2013) While new housing activity has been heating up in many Florida markets for the past two years, Jacksonville’s housing market had slow growth or was flat until the past couple of quarters. This is according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.
In the Jacksonville Market (Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties), 1,368 single-family units were started in 2Q13. This represents an increase of 44.2% compared to last year’s rate of 949 units. Single-family quarterly closings totaled 1,229 units which is 37.3% higher than the 895 closings in the same quarter last year. The annual closings rate (past 4 quarters) totaled 3,968 units, which is 26.6% above the rate of 3,135 units per year recorded a year ago. “Since builders have a significant backlog of new sale contracts, we expect continued growth in starts and closings over the next few quarters, at least,” said Crocco.
Total single-family inventory, comprised of units under construction, finished vacant units and models, equaled 2,492 units on the ground at the end of the second quarter, a 7.5 months of supply. Overall, housing inventories increased by 30.3% compared to last year. Compared to last year, under construction inventory rose 43.9%, or 454 units to 1,488. Finished vacant inventory increased by 16.6% from 686 units last year to 800 this year. Model home inventory is up 12 units from last year to 204 total models. Builders in this market are closing 19.5 homes per year per model compared to 16.3 last year. “Increases in housing inventory are mostly in the under construction category, indicating strong end user demand. We anticipate low finished inventory levels in the near term given the sales contract backlogs at most builders,” said Crocco.
This quarter, 137 lots were delivered to the Jacksonville market, a 54.9% decline from 304 lots delivered in the same quarter last year. Vacant developed lot inventory stands at 18,052 lots, a decrease of 12.8% compared to 20,704 lots last year. Based upon the annual starts rate, this lot inventory represents 47.6 months of supply, a decrease of 29.7 months from last year. “Lot development is picking up in the “A” and “B” locations and we anticipate increased development activity in the coming quarters. The vacant developed lot ratio will continue to decline nicely and now shows under 4 years supply overall, down from almost 8 years of lot inventory, just a year ago,” said Crocco.
In the Jacksonville MSA, the number of jobs has increased by 15,500 jobs over the 12 months through May 2013, representing an increase of 2.6%. The Professional & Business Services sector (8,600 or 9.4%), Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (3,800 or 3%), Leisure & Hospitality (2,400 or 6.9%), Education & Health (2,500 or 3.4%), and Construction (1,600 or 5.9%) sectors recorded significant gains over the past year. “None of the sectors exhibited a decline or addition of 1,000 jobs or more over the past year,” said Anthony Crocco, Regional Director of the Metrostudy’s Jacksonville Market.
“Our forecast is for strong activity through year end, at least, with builders working to hang on to margins in an environment of cost increases. At the same time, builders are looking hard at lot and land positions to secure the future lots needed to grow their respective businesses,” said Crocco.
For information contact:
anthony crocco @ 407.875.9090 x820
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
Jacksonville led the United States in foreclosures last month, according to the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
In July, Florida had the highest number of foreclosure filings and the highest state for foreclosure rate, according to the data.
Among the highest U.S. metro area rates, nine of the top 10 were in the Sunshine State, led by Jacksonville, then Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, Ocala, and Palm Bay-Melbourne.
According to data from RealtyTrac, Florida posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the third consecutive month in July, with one in every 328 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month. That was more than three times the national average.
Florida foreclosure activity increased 8 percent from the previous month and was up 7 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.
Florida foreclosure activity has increased on an annual basis in 16 of the last 19 months, according to the data. Meanwhile, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased 74 percent from a year ago and bank repossessions increased 13 percent from a year ago.
To view the full report on the economic overview for Florida, click here.