Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TBO > News

Tampa area home sales soar to highest level since boom

In the Tampa Bay area, 3,267 single-fmaily homes were sold last month, a 17 percent increase over March 2010.
In the Tampa Bay area, 3,267 single-fmaily homes were sold last month, a 17 percent increase over March 2010.
Published: April 20, 2011
TAMPA - The number of existing homes sold in the Tampa Bay area soared last month to their highest level since June 2006, roughly the peak of the real estate bubble.
But the good news only goes so far. The median sale price of a home was just $112,900 in March – less than half of the median sale price five years ago.
The trend shows the powerful influence of investors, who are snapping up properties, but also paying rock-bottom prices for foreclosed homes and "short sales," or homes sold for less than the amount owed on them.
At the least, investors are clearing out the Bay area's massive glut of homes on the market, which is a plus, said Mark Vitner, an economist with Wells Fargo who tracks Florida.
"Prices are about as good as they're going to get," Vitner said.
Florida Realtors, the state's Realtors association, released local and statewide sales figures Wednesday for existing single-family homes and condos for March. The number of sales was good for both types of housing.
In the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area, the number of existing single-family homes sold hit 3,267 last month. That's up 17 percent over March 2010, when 2,782 single-family homes sold locally.
More impressively, it's the highest total since the heady days of the mid-2000s. To find a higher figure you have to go back to June 2006, when 3,442 homes sold in the Bay area, according to Florida Realtors data.
Meantime, the number of condominium units sold last month rose to 1,197. That was up 21 percent from March 2010, when 991 condos sold.
Prices remain stubbornly low, though, because so many foreclosure and distressed housing sales are dragging down prices, the Realtors group said.
For example, the median sale price of a single-family home in the Bay area was $112,900 in March. That's down 14 percent from March 2010, when homes sold for $131,400 locally.
Looking back at June 2006, around the height of the housing boom, the median sale price for a single-family home was $239,600, Florida Realtors data show.
Real estate and title insurance agents are fielding calls from Northerners who want a second home and from investors who see eventual profits. Brenda Wade, a real estate agent with Signature Realty in Brandon, said any home listed for less than $100,000 gets the most calls.
"People recognize value, and they're calling to scoop those up," she said.
Stephen Dorsett, who runs a title insurance company in Tampa called Clear Title America, said at least 65 percent of the deals he's working on involve distressed properties. And the majority of the buyers are using cash to buy them, including buying groups that are picking up 10 to 20 homes per month.
Dorsett is optimistic about the sales trends, but he's nervous about the number of homes that banks are still holding onto and other homes that banks just haven't foreclosed on yet. This so-called "shadow inventory" is still lurking, and when banks finally list them for sale it could erase some of the gains in the housing market, he said.
"The big question is what happens when the shadow inventory hits the market," Dorsett said. "They will come on the market; it's just a matter of when."
For now, the surge in home sales appears to be eating into the Bay area's glut of homes for sale, which is an important step toward repairing the area's housing market, Vitner said. Eventually, builders will begin building new houses as the inventory of existing homes clears out, he said.
According to the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, Tampa has an inventory of 13,024 homes on the market, or a six-month supply. When things were at their worst, in January 2008, the city had a 25-month supply.
Wade, the Brandon real estate agent, has watched the supply dwindle in FishHawk Ranch. At one time, the east Hillsborough community had 350 homes for sale, but that had dropped to about 125 the last time she checked.
Statewide, the sales figures for existing single-family homes were strong as well.
Last month, the number of single-family homes sold statewide was up 12 percent over March 2010. However, the median sale price statewide was $126,300 last month, which was down 7 percent.
The number of condo units sold statewide rose 24 percent last month, but the price of those condos fell 11 percent compared with March 2010

Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome to Apollo Beach!
What would you think if I told you that you could find a 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage newer home for around $170k? Well, I have one that just came back on the market! It has been well cared for and is move in ready. Or how about a beautiful POOL home for $189k! Don't be one of those people who will later say "I wish I had bought in 2011....when prices AND interest rates were LOW."

World Class Waterfront Living:
An update on Bella Sol Luxury Villas at Apollo Beach on Tampa Bay.....I just listed an end waterfront unit for only $350k! It is a 3 bedroom 2 & 1/2 bath 2200 sq ft condo and is beautiful. It is a short sale, but the lender promises an answer to an offer in only 10 days!!
Call me to arrange your no obligation Free Boat Tour.

There are currently 271 listings in Apollo Beach. 174 listings have sold in the last 6 months, so that means we have about 9 months of inventory. Call me now for the best properties before they're gone!
For those needing to sell, please call me to go over your options. We have a system that works for those who need to do a short sale and we can offer a FREE consultation with a lawyer so you can find out what is best for you so you can make an informed decision.So to sum it up....great inventory, low prices, low interest rates, and fantastic weather make it the best time to BUY Florida Real Estate!!

Call Bonnie at (813) 390-7606 and schedule your complimentary boat tour of the Apollo Beach area. Come see why the dolphin and manatee love it here! Experience the waterfront lifestyle in this laid back community that is only a short 20 minute boat or car ride to the city of Tampa or 30 minutes to St Petersburg. Find out why the Tampa Sailing Squadron keeps their boats right here in Apollo Beach! We have a great central location with easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota, Fantastic Pro-Golf, NFL Football, Even Pro Hockey and Baseball!! Yes you can have it all only 76 miles from Walt Disney World in Orlando and the Space Coast.

Search all Tampa Bay properties at or better yet,
call me for a FREE boat tour! Bonnie (813) 390-7606

Monday, April 11, 2011

Real Estate...As Affordable as it Gets!

Somewhere between the media hyping the worst Real Estate Market in decades and
reports that the economy is recovering lays the truth of what is really happening in the

The housing affordability index has returned to pre-housing bubble levels or even fallen
below the average in many US markets, thanks to the combination of exceptionally low
Prices and historically low interest rates. Simply stated, low home prices along with
low interest rates as compared to an area’s median income yields an index that allows
many people to enjoy the benefits of home ownership. This also creates an environment
allowing investors to acquire properties that actually provide positive cash flow in many
cases at better return than many other traditional investments today.

For those who can qualify to obtain a mortgage on a Primary Residence, now is a great
time to buy a home. With the current low interest rates, buyers can rest assured that they
will have affordable housing for years to come as opposed to Renters who can be sure
that their rents will increase as property values rise again. Even if prices drop a little
further, they can still rest easy knowing that they can afford what they bought. Trust me,
the banks are making sure of that!

For those with investments in other areas, now is a great time to buy Investment Real
Estate. The annual returns on investment coupled with the anticipated appreciation of
Real Estate over the long term can seriously outperform many other investment vehicles.
Plus Investment Real Estate is a tangible asset that has virtually no chance of being
valued at zero as many stocks and other investments have done. After all, you can’t live
in a stock!

So whether you are looking for a home to live in, or a tangible asset to invest in, contact
Bonnie Fagoh at (813) 390-7606 or and ask her to set you up with
a ListingBook account. This new technology will let you search properties with up-to-
the-minute MLS (multiple listing service) info. It will let you know when a home that is
just what you are looking for hits the market so that you can get a jump on the best deals.
You can learn firsthand what is happening in your areas of interest and call Bonnie when
you have found what you would like to view in person. And best of all, this service is
FREE to you! Even if you are not ready to buy, call Bonnie to set up your ListingBook
(813) 390-7606

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Should I Accept This Offer?
Today's market can be a difficult one for many sellers to navigate. And while your real estate agent can advise you, the ultimate decision of what offer to accept is entirely up to you.
This decision can come with quite a bit of pressure. Even in the most favorable of markets this can be a difficult time. How do you know when to accept an offer?
Here are some questions to consider.

  • Is the buyer pre-qualified/approved? Selling will require an investment of time and money. You may need to find a new home or a temporary rental. There's nothing worse than buying a new house, only to find out the deal to sell yours has fallen through.

  • Do you need to move? The urgency of your move may dictate what offer you accept. Many sellers need to move quickly for a new job. Or they may need to sell to avoid foreclosure. If you are in a rush, you may need to accept an offer that is less than ideal.

  • How much do you owe? You don't want to sell your home at a loss. And be sure to take closing costs into consideration. Many markets experienced high levels of depreciation over the last year. If you are underwater on your loan, now may not be the time to sell.

  • What is the market climate? Are you likely to get another offer? How long has your home been on the market? Have you had many showings? All of these are factors to consider when contemplating what offer to accept. Above all, ask yourself if this offer was a reasonable offer. There are buyers that may attempt to low ball you. They may see that your home has been on the market longer than your competition. They may know that it's a strong buyers market. And in response they offer a much smaller amount for your home than it is worth. You are not obligated to accept or even respond to these low ball offers. But if you are in need of selling now, every offer warrants consideration or a counter offer.
    In the end, you must accept an offer that works for you. You may be willing to accept a lower amount in exchange for a faster closing date. Or you may wish to hold out for the highest dollar amount.

    Written by Carla Hill

    It is the Best time in History to buy waterfront properties in Florida -- Let me show you.

  • Saturday, April 2, 2011

    April Update

    Spring Market Conditions Bode Well For Buyers
    Optimism about the housing market isn't quite sweeping the nation, but Americans remain sold on the value of home ownership at a good time to be bullish about buying a home.
    With home sales and prices still falling, the spring could shape up as an opportune time to make a deal.
    The housing downturn hasn't shaken consumers' resolve to consider home ownership an integral part of an American Dream, even among home owners with homes that have lost value.
    The eighth quarterly "Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll: The American Dream" revealed that nearly nine out of 10 homeowners say they would buy their same homes again.
    Among those with homes with lost value, the same percentage said they would buy their home again.
    Also, seven of 10 Americans say they would advise a friend or family member to buy a home as a long-term asset.
    The spring could be a good time to take that advice.
    Existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from 5.40 million in January. February 2010 sales were 2.8 percent below the pace in February 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
    The slow sales pushed the median price down to $156,100, the lowest level since February 2002, setting the stage for spring bargains.
    Some experts say the housing market is years away from a full blown recovery and the home buyer tax credit is kaput. However, improvements in employment and manufacturing and other economic sectors, bargain home prices and affordable interest rates could light a fire under buyers who've been sitting on the fence.
    "Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by the twin problems of unnecessarily tight credit, and a measurable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers," said Lawrence Yun NAR chief economist.
    The Allstate survey of 1,000 Americans also found.

  • Buying a home was the best investment among 24 percent, behind "investing in retirement savings" (38 percent), but ahead of "saving money in the bank" (20 percent), and "investing in the stock market" (6 percent).

  • A majority, 58 percent of those who believe the housing crisis will remain a serious problem would still recommend buying a home.

  • Americans are evenly split on whether the federal government should continue policies to encourage home ownership at the same level (46 percent) or scale them back because they cost too much (46 percent).

  • More than half of Americans (52 percent) blame the housing crisis on banks and lending institutions for misleading borrowers and approving bad loans, while 32 percent blame people who bought homes and took out mortgages they couldn't afford, and only 12 percent blame government policies that encouraged too many people to try to own their own homes. "Owning a home continues to be the bedrock of the American Dream – even as incomes are down, jobs are scarce and families struggle to make ends meet," said Thomas J. Wilson , Allstate chairman, president and chief executive officer.
    "Homeownership is viewed positively by the vast majority of Americans as both a place to raise a family and a sound investment," he added.

    Written by Broderick Perkins

    It is the Best time in History to buy waterfront properties in Florida -- Let me show you.