Jenelle Ferrer

Jenelle Ferrer
Your Realtor

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lake Mary Open House


Good news for June sales

Pending home sales rise in June
WASHINGTON – July 28, 2011 – Pending home sales increased in June following a wide swing down in April and then up in May, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Month-to-month activity increased in the West and South but declined in the Midwest and Northeast. However, all regions show strong double-digit gains from a year earlier.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.4 percent to 90.9 in June from 88.8 in May, and is 19.8 percent above the 75.9 reading in June 2010, which was the low point immediately following expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there may be some increase in closed existing-home sales.

“For the majority of transactions, the lag time between pending contacts to actual closings is one to two months. Therefore, the two consecutive months of rising activity should lead to overall improvement in closed sales in upcoming months,” he said. “Though a higher than normal cancellation rate can hold back final closing figures, it could well be that some past cancellations are nothing more than delayed buying decisions rather than outright cancellations.”

Yun said tight credit and economic uncertainty have been constricting the market. “The best way to ensure a more solid recovery in housing is to simply return to normal, sound credit standards so more creditworthy homebuyers can get a mortgage,” he said.

“Washington also should not rock the boat with policy changes that would negatively impact affordable credit or otherwise increase the cost of buying or owning a home,” Yun added.

The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.4 percent to 68.9 in June but is 19.4 percent higher than June 2010. In the Midwest the index fell 3.7 percent to 79.7 in June but is 26.4 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 4.4 percent to an index of 99.2 and are 19.1 percent higher than June 2010. In the West the index rose 6.4 percent to 107.0 in June and is 16.4 percent above a year ago.

Existing-home sales this year are expected to total 5.0 million, slightly higher than 2010. Similarly, little change is forecast for aggregate home prices with several indicators, including NAR’s median prices, showing recent signs of stabilization.

© 2011 Florida Realtors®

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Military first-time home buyers eligible for up to $5,000

New grant for military first-time home buyers
WASHINGTON – July 27, 2011 – A new program offers financial assistance to first-time homebuyers who are veterans or active-duty military members. The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation, a nonprofit national organization, offers the program through its Dream Makers program.

Active duty personnel, veterans, retired members of the military and employees of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security may be eligible for a grant up to $5,000 to use toward downpayments and closing costs if buying their first home. The grants can be applied to a mortgage issued by any financial institution.

“Members of the military often put off buying a home early in their careers because they’re moving around the country a lot,” says Kate Kohler, chief operating officer for the PenFed Foundation. “We want to make sure they have resources to add immediate equity into their home when they decide to buy.”

Requirements:
  • Military affiliation – (active duty, reserve, National Guard or veteran) – a Department of Defense employee or a Department of Homeland Security employee.
  • First-time homebuyer or not owned a home for the last three years; or a home has been lost through divorce or disaster.
  • Gross household income, including allowances, used to qualify for a mortgage loan is a maximum of $55,000 per year, or 80% of a community’s median income based on family size.
To view eligibility requirements, visit http://www.pentagonfoundation.org/site/PageServer?pagename=dream_index

Source: “Veterans and Active Duty Can Get Financial Help When Buying Their First Home,” Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (July 25, 2011)

© Copyright 2011 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Beautiful NEW Lake Mary Listing 4/3, 2624 sf, with Pool

NEW Listing: Beautiful Lake Mary home in "A" rated school district.

Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Square Footage: 2,624 
3 Car Garage
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Screened in Pool and Lanai

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For more information, visit http://www.jenelleferrer.com/ 







Monday, July 25, 2011

Short Sales, Long Waits

USA Today came out with an article today that describes the exact frustration so many buyer's have experienced and Realtors avoid.

While a great deal is to be had with Short Sale pricing, it's sometimes not even worth the frustration and hassle of the process.

Many buyers are willing to wait out the process for a bargain, but it doesn't guarantee a closing. Why? Because the bank ultimately decides. If they can't clear a title or decide they're losing to much, they can back out according to the contract at any time.

I've seen closings anywhere from 4 months to 11 months.

Read the article here!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Housing expected to improve!

I know many people have concerns when it comes to the real estate market, but here’s an article that came out just yesterday. I know it’s been said many times this year, but interest rates are at historical lows and it has never been a better time to buy. When it comes down to it, purchasing a home is about stability, security, and/or investment.


Housing expected to improve over last year

WASHINGTON – July 19, 2011 – The U.S. housing market, aided by a recovering rental sector, is unlikely to experience a “double-dip” setback, Freddie Mac said Monday.

In its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for July, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said housing likely will follow the performance of the overall economy for the rest of 2011. Additionally, home sales are projected to be above last year’s numbers by 3- to 5 percent.

The report also indicated that despite record levels of homebuyer affordability and historically low mortgage rates, households were concerned about their financial futures and were holding off making major purchases, notably homes.

The rental housing market showed the clearest signs of a turnaround with the apartment property price index showing a 15.2 percent gain over the year through the first quarter of 2011.

“Following June’s labor market report, households are naturally concerned about their financial futures, which is being reflected in the housing market,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist. “Yet, the single-family market will likely improve over the balance of 2011, in keeping with positive [gross domestic product] forecasts for the United States.”

Copyright © 2011 United Press International Inc.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monthly Market Pulse Report- July 2011


Here are a few key points of what's going on with the market in Orlando:

·  Of the 2,418 sales in June, 963 “normal” sales accounted for 39.83 percent of all sales, while 797 bank-owned and 658 short sales made up 60.17 percent. The percentage of “normal” sales has increased for five consecutive months.

·  The 10,087 homes pending closing in June of this year is up 8.87 percent compared to the 9,265 pendings in June of last year.

·  The median price for “normal” existing homes sold in June is $158,000, an increase of 40 percent from the median price of “normal” existing homes in June 2010. The median price for bank-owned sales is $80,310 and the median price for short sales is $99,000.

·  The Orlando affordability index increased to 249.51 percent in June. First-time homebuyer affordability in June increased to 177.43 percent.

·  Homes of all types spent an average of 103 days on the market before coming under contract in June 2011, and the average home sold for 95.15 percent of its listing price.

·  There are currently 10,559 homes available for purchase through the MLS. The June 2011 inventory level is 35.24 percent lower than it was in June 2010 (16,304).

·  The current pace of sales translates into 4.37 months of supply, the lowest since December 2005.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Orlando Ranks #4 for Rentals

Wall Street Journal just released the following article:

July 11, 2011, 11:53 AM ET
The Top Markets for Rental-Home Investors

Housing markets that have seen the biggest plunges on home values have topped a new ranking of the best markets for rental-property investors.

Las Vegas, where home prices are down by more than 50% from their market peak, offers the best returns on homes maintained as rental properties, according to the report from HomeVestors of America, a property-investment firm, and Local Market Monitor, a real-estate data firm.

The ranking takes into account the potential home-price appreciation and gross rents to forecast the performance of rental properties, specifically single-family homes that are rented out.
Rounding out the top five markets are perennial economic trouble-spots Detroit and Warren, Mich. along with housing boom-to-bust cities Orlando, Fla., and Bakersfield, Calif. Home prices in those markets have fallen below their 2000 levels, creating opportunities for investors to compete with existing housing stock.

But those markets also carry sizeable risks for investors, including the prospect of continued home price weakness. Vacancies are also high—rental vacancies are at 12% in Las Vegas at 19% in Detroit—underscoring the need for job growth to pick up.

The survey comes amid fresh signs that the rental investor is increasingly dominating hard-hit markets. Home price declines first began attracting big investor activity two years ago. Many buyers looked to buy distressed homes at a discount in foreclosure auctions from banks before fixing them up and reselling them quickly.

But faced with increased competition from other home flippers, investors have increasingly turned to buying homes that they can rent out for a few years. Those sales are far more sensitive to price, requiring deeper discounts to ensure that the rental income can cover the cost of property upkeep.
Total Las Vegas home sales hit a five-year high in May, according to DataQuick, a real-estate data firm, with the market fueled by low-priced homes that can most easily be converted to rentals. Around four in 10 sales went for less than $100,000, up from three in 10 sales last year.

According to DataQuick, home re-sales activity hit a six-year high for the month of May in Phoenix, which ranked as the seventh best rental-return market in the HomeVestors analysis. Like Las Vegas, nearly 40% of sales went for less than $100,000, and absentee buyers accounted for around 45% of all purchases.

Other top rental markets, according to the survey, included Tampa, Fla.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Stockton, Calif.

Top 10 markets for rental-property investors
1. Las Vegas
2. Detroit, Mich.
3. Warren, Mich.
4. Orlando
5. Bakersfield, Calif.
6. Tampa-St. Petersburg
7. Phoenix
8. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
9. Rochester, N.Y.
10. Stockton, Calif.

(Source: HomeVestors/Local Market Monitor)



Monday, July 11, 2011

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

70% of Renters Say Owning a Home is a Priority

Shouldn't come as a surprise...who doesn't want to own their own home? In this market, the price is right. Here is an article that came out today:

7 of 10 renters say owning home a top priority
WASHINGTON – July 7, 2011 – According to the 2011 National Housing Pulse Survey released yesterday by the National Association of Realtors®, 72 percent of renters surveyed said owning a home is a top priority for their future, up from 63 percent in 2010.

Seven in 10 Americans also agreed that buying a home is a good financial decision, while almost two-thirds said now is a good time to purchase a home. The annual survey, which measures how affordable housing issues affect consumers, also found that 77 percent said they would be less likely to buy a home if they were required to put down a 20 percent downpayment on the home, and 71 percent believe a 20 percent downpayment requirement could have a negative impact on the housing market.

More than half – 51 percent – of self-described “working class” homeowners as well as younger non-college graduates (51 percent), African Americans (57 percent), and Hispanic Americans (50 percent) who currently own their homes reported that a 20 percent downpayment would have prevented them from becoming homeowners.

Pulse surveys for the past eight years have consistently identified a downpayment and closing costs as homebuyers’ top obstacles that make housing unaffordable. This year, 82 percent of respondents cited these, followed by confidence in one’s job security.

The survey also found that two-thirds of Americans oppose eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction (MID), while 73 percent believe eliminating the MID will have a negative impact on the housing market as well as the overall economy.

“The MID facilitates homeownership by reducing the carrying costs of owning a home, and it makes a real difference to hard-working American families,” NAR President Ron Phipps said. “Homeownership offers not only social benefits, but also long-term value for families, communities and the nation’s economy. We need to make sure that any changes to current programs or incentives don’t jeopardize our collective futures.”

When asked why homeownership matters to them, respondents cited stability and safety as the top reason. Long-term economic reasons such as building equity followed closely behind. On a local level, respondents said neighbors falling behind on their mortgages and the drop in home values were top concerns. Foreclosures also continue to remain a large concern, with almost half of those surveyed citing the issue as a problem in their area.

© 2011 Florida Realtors®

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Foreign buyers help housing market

While this is geared more towards South Florida, the following article reflects what is currently happening in Central Florida as well.


MIAMI – July 6, 2011 – Foreign buyers are helping to stoke home sales in U.S. vacation hot spots decimated by the real estate crash, especially in southern Florida.

For the 12 months ending in March, 31 percent of Florida’s home sales were to foreign buyers, up from 10 percent in 2007, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.

In Arizona, 6 percent of sales in the same period were to foreigners. That was down from 11 percent last year but still up from 5 percent in 2007, the data show.

Foreign buyers are being enticed by low U.S. home prices, down 30 percent nationwide since peaking in 2006, and the weakened dollar, which makes their money go further. Since the start of 2006, the Canadian dollar has soared 18 percent against the U.S. dollar, while the euro has gained 22 percent, says data tracker Oanda.

U.S. home prices, meanwhile, have fallen far more than the national average in some places, down 55 percent from their peaks in Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix, and 36 percent in Los Angeles, says Zillow.com. Those are three of the most popular areas for foreigners searching for real estate on Trulia’s website, that company says.

Sales are so brisk in the Miami region now that more houses and condominiums could sell this year than in 2005, the peak year, says Ronald Shuffield, president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors in Coral Gables, Fla.

“International buyers have been the fuel for the Miami recovery,” Shuffield says.

About 40 percent of buyers are international vs. less than 35 percent before the bust, he estimates. Many buyers are South American investors snapping up condominiums to rent out, says Peter Zalewski of market researcher Condo Vultures.

In the Phoenix region, there are at least 20 percent more foreigners in the market now than usual, says Don Hammer, manager of Realty Executives in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

One of those shoppers is retired hedge fund manager Peter Duerr of Austria. He’s planning to buy a home in Scottsdale, having sold one there in 2005. “The U.S. is a great buy right now,” Duerr says.

The largest share of foreign buyers, 23 percent, come from Canada, the Realtors’ survey found. China followed at 9 percent. The survey includes foreigners living abroad, those in the U.S. with long-term visas and new immigrants.

© Copyright 2011 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc., Julie Schmit.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Prices Poised to Climb

The latest (today) real estate news in the country reads as follows:

“Prices for U.S. homes may climb as soon as the third quarter, ending declines as foreclosures decline make more home available for sale, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said.”

Read it here: http://bloom.bg/iyMEvx.

What’s been going on with Central Florida real estate? Prices are stabilizing and the amount of inventory is the lowest it’s been in quite some time, while home sales have steadied. Fewer homes on the market mean more aggressive bids on properties. Many of you have seen this firsthand: you place an offer, but there are multiple offers on the same property. Most of these properties, short sales and REO/Bank Owned homes, are selling at list price or higher.

Does this mean it is inflation? By no means, these prices are still lower than market value but more people want a good deal and understand the market.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please feel free to email me!

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