Central Florida Real Estate Blog

Florida's Housing Market: Prices, Inventory Up in July 2014

August 22nd, 2014 3:37 PM by Joe Bornstein

As reported by Florida Realtors (www.floridarealtors.org/) in ORLANDO, FL on August 21, 2014:

Florida's housing market reported rising median prices and increased inventory in July, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,099 last month, up 5 percent over the July 2013 figure.

"Florida's housing market continued its steady pace in July," said 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. "Median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties in July – marking 32 months in row for higher median prices. Statewide, inventory (active listings) for single-family homes last month rose 17.5 percent year-over-year, while the townhouse-condo inventory of active listings rose 10.9 percent."

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $185,000, up 3.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis (IDA) department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in July was $137,500, up 7.4 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors®(www.realtor.com), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in June 2014 was $224,300, up 4.5 percent from the previous year the national median existing condo price was $215,700. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in June was $457,160; in Massachusetts, it was $365,000; in Maryland, it was $284,553; and in New York, it was $229,000.

Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,984 last month, down 6.7 percent compared to July 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 61.1 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 54.8 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo said, "The July numbers look very much like June's when each is compared to the prior year. This tends to verify our preliminary view that the market is settling into a stable pattern. I'm asked a great many times about the 'new normal,' meaning how the Great Recession changed the housing market. We are now beginning to see that the 'new normal' is really the 'old normal' with statistical patterns reminiscent of the market that prevailed prior to the frantic run-up of prices.

"The only troubling area is condo sales. The declines here, coupled with the sharper declines in condo cash sales, suggest waning interest on the part of investors. This is an area that will bear watching."

Inventory was at a 5.5-months' supply in July for single-family homes and at a 5.7-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac (www.freddiemac.com), the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.13 percent in July 2014, down from the 4.37 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

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Clearly the market is still favorable for home sellers.  If you are considering listing your home, give Cathy Nanfeldt a call.  I will be happy to provide a Comparative Market Analysis for your home at no charge to you.  407-704-0423 or cathynanfeldtrealtor@gmail.com

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FICO Scoring Changes May Help More Qualify for Mortgages

August 22nd, 2014 1:37 PM by Joe Bornstein

FICO, the nation’s most popular credit-scoring system, announced it is tweaking some of the criteria used in coming up with consumers’ scores, which could help consumers save more money in qualifying for mortgages and other types of loans.

The changes include reducing the toll that overdue medical bills can take on credit scores, as well as removing other past penalties from consumers who have paid off debts that had been assigned to collection agencies. A consumer whose only major delinquency comes from an unpaid medical bill could see their credit score rise by 25 points due to the changes.

The changes come after a recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study, which found that both paid and unpaid medical debts were unfairly penalizing consumers’ credit ratings. An estimated 64 million Americans have a medical collection item on their credit reports, according to Nick Clements of Magnify Money (www.magnifymoney.com), a personal finance site.

The FICO changes will go into effect this fall, but borrowers may have to wait a year or more until they see the impact of the changes in their scores, lenders say.

The changes may help consumers with blemished past credit histories or high medical debts qualify for mortgages more easily. Consumers with higher scores also might qualify for a lower rate, housing experts say.

"In recent years the [credit score requirement] has been dialed so tightly that only fairly upper-tier consumers were able to qualify for a loan," says Lawrence Yun, National Association of REALTORS®’ chief economist. "We're looking at people who are currently being denied potentially being offered a mortgage because of this."

Click Here-"FREE" Market Value Report

In June, the average FICO score for a closed mortgage was 728, a drop from 742 a year prior, according to data from Ellie Mae, a company that processes mortgage applications for lenders. FICO scores range from 300 to 850.

Borrowers with higher FICO scores can usually expect to pay less in interest on a loan. A borrower with a FICO score of 675 may nab a 4.75 percent interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which would be about  $2,086 a month in payments on a $400,000 loan, according to Informa Research Services (www.informars.com). In comparison, a borrower with a 700 FICO score may qualify for a rate of 4.212 percent, which could drop the monthly payment to $1,959 and bring a $127 savings.

The credit scoring changes will not remove any unpaid debts from a credit report, so some lenders may still be able to factor that information into their lending decision.

“This move will ultimately make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans, who have been shut out of the housing market or forced to pay higher mortgage interest rates because of flawed credit scores,” Steve Brown, NAR’s president, said in a statement. “Since the housing crash, overly restrictive lending has been the greatest obstacle to home ownership. NAR will continue to support efforts to broaden access to credit for qualified homebuyers.”

In other news, two of the big national credit bureaus Experian and TransUnion (www.transunion.com) recently reported they’ve  added verified rental payment data into credit files, which will be used to compute a consumers’ score when applying for a mortgage. A recent Transunion study showed that the inclusion of rental data could raise some consumers’ scores. For example, nearly 20 percent of renters’ scores rose by 10 points or more after just one month.

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www.rockspringsrealty.com

Are you interested in purchasing a foreclosed home?  Rock Springs Realty can help!  Please click the following link www.rockspringsrealty.net/BuyingForeclosures/REO's for answers to your questions about foreclosures.

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As reported by Florida Realtors® (www.floridarealtors.org) on August 14, 2014:

RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com/) released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for July 2014. It finds that foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 109,434 U.S. properties in July. That's an increase of 2% from the previous month but down 16% from one year earlier. One in every 1,203 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing in July.

"July was the 46th consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity was down on a year-over-year basis," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "After nearly four years of falling foreclosures, we are starting to see evidence that foreclosure numbers are normalizing at the national level. The 16% decrease in July was exactly half the annual decrease we saw a year ago in July 2013, when U.S. foreclosure activity was down 32% on a year-over-year basis.

Florida

Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Illinois and Ohio had the top U.S. foreclosure rates. While Florida foreclosure activity decreased 30% year-over-year in July – the 12th consecutive month with an annual decrease – the state still had the nation's highest foreclosure rate for the 10th consecutive month.

One in every 469 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing in July – more than two and a half times the national average.

Looking at cities, Florida had eight spots on the "top 10" for highest foreclosure rates among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Ocala ranked No. 1, where one in every 296 housing units with a foreclosure filing, or more than four times the national average.

Other Florida cities in the top 10 include Orlando-Kissimmee at No. 2 (one in every 357 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at No. 3 (one every 404 housing units); Lakeland at No. 4 (one in every 407 housing units); Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 5 (one in every 421 housing units); Port St. Lucie at No. 6 (one in every 434 housing units); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at No. 7 (one in every 448 housing units); and Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 8 (one in every 478 housing units).

www.rockspringsrealty.net/search_bankownedforeclosures

The two "top 10" cities outside Florida include Columbia, S.C., at No. 9 (one in every 484 housing units); and Akron, Ohio, at No. 10 (one in every 525 housing units).

Other report findings

• 49,624 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in July, a 5% increase from the previous month, but still down 18% from a year ago.

• Despite the annual decrease nationally, foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 14 states, including Nevada (up 128%), Texas (up 29%), New York (up 17%), Massachusetts (up 12%) and Michigan (up 6%).

• 51,595 U.S. properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction in July, up 10% from the previous month but down 3% from a year ago.

• Lender repossessed 25,937 U.S. properties via foreclosure (REO) in July, down 4% from the previous month and down 30% from a year ago. It's the lowest level since April 2007.

RealtyTrac posts an interactive map on its website that shows Florida foreclosures by county.

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Are you interested in purchasing a foreclosed home?  Rock Springs Realty can help!  Please click the following link www.rockspringsrealty.net/BuyingForeclosures/REO's for answers to your questions about foreclosures.

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As reported in the Orlando Sentinel online (www.orlandosentinel.com) on August 7, 2014:

Rising prices, stagnant wages and creeping interest rates are pushing Central Florida's new-home buyers into Lake and Osceola counties, where real estate struggled the most during the downturn.

After home prices collapsed starting in 2007, partly built subdivisions seemed almost frozen in time and attracted few customers. The market for new homes all but died in some parts of Lake and Osceola.

But as new-home prices throughout the region shot up 20 percent during the past 18 months, more buyers were priced out of developments in Orange County, where land prices are higher. They are trading shorter commutes for lower mortgage payments and more space farther away from Orlando.

Closings on new homes were down slightly in Orange from the second quarter of last year through the same period this year, according to MetroStudy (www.metrostudy.com), which tracks new-home construction. But in Lake and Osceola counties, closings were up sharply during the same period. Seminole County, meanwhile, is nearly built out.

Film director Michael Jordan and his wife had been house-hunting in the Orlando area for about two years and found their search gradually extending from the Dr. Phillips community to Windermere and Winter Garden and then farther out as prices climbed.

"I didn't want to look in Clermont. It seemed so far away," said Jordan, who was moving with his wife from Pennsylvania for work. "One morning, a few months back, I was lucky and had some free time. I thought: 'Let me just drive out there and see what it's like.'"

Jordan said he was pleasantly surprised with Clermont's quick access, albeit on toll roads, to Orlando, airports and tourist areas. The couple also liked the new shops and restaurants amid Lake County's rolling hills. Last month, they purchased a house with about 3,500 square feet in the Legends Golf and Country Club for $340,000. The price was higher than typical for Lake County, but Jordan said they got much more for their dollar than they would have closer to Orlando.

Several factors have made outlying areas more attractive to new-home buyers.

The first is cost. In the fall of 2012, new-home prices averaged $290,000 in Orange County, but they increased to $350,000 by June of this year, MetroStudy reported.

In Lake and Osceola counties, by contrast, average new-home prices climbed from $200,000 to about $240,000 during the same period.

"Projects in further-out locations may have some opportunities with the kind of pricing buyers need," said Anthony Crocco, regional director of MetroStudy.

Slowly climbing interest rates also factor into buyers' decisions. Rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages were 4.17 percent in June They have bounced around for months but remain well above the low point of 3.2 percent in February 2013.

Meanwhile, wages have risen more slowly than home prices. During the 18 months when new-home prices shot up about 20 percent, average household income in Metro Orlando rose only a few percentage points to reach $55,841, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Joe Ziler, president of the Kevco home-construction company (www.kevcohomebuilders.com/), said he has been buying lots for construction in Lake County developments that have seen little or no activity in years. He recently bought 19 in the Sleepy Hollow community in Leesburg. Typical buyers for homes less than $200,000 are couples with blue-collar jobs, he said.

Orange County still has the greatest amount of home construction, with 1,099 closings in the second quarter — down 3 percent from a year earlier. Orange continues to have development near Winter Garden, the Horizons West project in southwest Orange County and Lake Nona in south Orlando. Much of east Orange remains undeveloped.

Farther out, where land is less expensive, Lake County had 439 closings in the second quarter, an increase of 55 percent from the second quarter of 2013. And Osceola County had 619 closings, up by about the same amount.

Orlando-area real-estate broker Michael "Bo" Julian, co-owner of Julian Properties Inc., said he has seen the migration of buyers to more remote addresses as prices have risen.

"In established areas, if you're going into the new-home market, you're going to have to go further out or else you're going to have to go for an older house," he said.

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If you are interested in learning more about the pros and cons of buying a new home, Rock Springs Realty can help!  Click here (www.rockspringsrealty/NewHomes) for information and valuable tips.

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Wednesday July 30, 2014, Altamonte Springs, Florida 


Barry Botwin, Mortgage Lending Officer with 
Contemporary Mortgage Services in Altamonte Springs announced that they are currently offering loan programs for those consumers who otherwise would not qualify for traditional or government loan programs such as FHA or VA loans. 

Per Mr. Botwin, "we can now underwrite and fund borrowers who are 1-day out of Bankruptcy and/or Short Sale. So all those buyers who had a short sale a year or two ago, or last week, may have the ability to qualify under these new alternative lending programs." 

Here are some highlights to the new programs: 
- 24 Month Bank Statement Program - Business or Personal / Self Employed
  FICO score 600-649 to 75% LTV- Greater than 650 Maximum LTV 80%
- Up to 75% “No Seasoning” on Recent Short Sales
  Can be combined with Bank Statement Program for Self Employed            
  FICO 600-649
- Owner Occupied with Short Sale Greater than 1 Year to 80%LTV
- Owner Occupied with a Bankruptcy or Foreclosure > 2 Years to 80% LTV
- Owner Occupied Cash Out to $1,500,000
- Second Home and Non Owner to 75% LTV
- Consumer Assistance: Unlimited Gift Funds, Seller or Institutional
  Seconds to a CLTV of 80%, Seller Concessions to 6%
- Acceptable FICO Score Starting at 500!
- 30 Year Amortization, No Balloon!
- No Cash Reserves!
- No Prepay Penalty!
- 50% Debt To Income Standard!
  FTHB is 43% DTI - FTHB with a score > 650 a 50% DTI Allowed.
  Adjustments apply based on LTV, loan size and program.

For more information, please contact Barry directly at:  

Barry K. Botwin
Contemporary Mortgage Services
Licensed Mortgage Lender
Email: barry@contemporarymortgage.com
407-834-3377  Office
407-234-0329  Mobile
407-260-1344  Fax
800-226-2999  Toll free
www.contemporarymortgage.com/barrybotwin
NMLS #: 216724   CMS NMLS #: 205042
                                               ####################################

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Just Listed! 2676 Glen Forest Drive Apopka, FL 32712

August 4th, 2014 5:10 PM by Joe Bornstein

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Listings Photo
$254,900.00
2676 Glen Forest Drive

Apopka, FL 32712



Beds: 3 Rooms: 11
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 2193
Garage: 3 Built: 2007
 

SHORT SALE. GORGEOUS 3-BED, 2-BATH, PLUS DEN, POOL HOME IN WEKIVA RUN! This move-in ready one-owner home features upgraded stone elevation & a paver drive, walkway, entry & 3-car garage.
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If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Joe Bornstein
Rock Springs Realty, LLC
8773332811
www.rockspringsrealty.net



 
  Visit this listing here

Just Listed! 3908 Santa Elena Lane Kissimmee, FL 34744

July 30th, 2014 12:49 PM by Joe Bornstein

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Header_2
Listings Photo
$188,900.00
3908 Santa Elena Lane

Kissimmee, FL 34744



Beds: 4 Rooms: 9
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 1956
Garage: 2 Built: 2010
 

4-BED, 2-FULL BATH "WATERFRONT" HOME IN GATED RAINTREE AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE! This one-owner, well-maintained home features a relaxing view of the lake from the backyard.
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If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Joe Bornstein
Rock Springs Realty, LLC
8773332811
www.rockspringsrealty.net



 
  Visit this listing here

As reported in the Orlando Sentinel (www.orlandosentinel.com) on July 17, 2014.

Central Florida appears to be an island of increasing foreclosure activity in the middle of a state where the business of repossessing houses has declined during the past year, a study released today shows.

In Metropolitan Orlando, foreclosure legal filings increased 20 percent in June from a year ago and the region ranked second nationally for its foreclosure rate in June, according to real estate research firm RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com). Metro Orlando houses received 2,663 notices in June. And the amount of activity also increased for nearby Volusia and Polk counties last month from a year earlier.

In contrast, Florida's foreclosure actions actually dropped 13 percent during that time. In addition, the Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville metro areas all experienced foreclosure declines during the last year. Nationally, filings were down 16 percent from June 2013.

Orlando's deeper dive into foreclosure during the last year may reflect lenders' increasing impatience with holding onto the properties. They may be less interested in sitting on vacant residential asset pools at a time when homes are no longer increasing in value as much as they did in the past, said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

"It's a reflection that even while the foreclosure starts are down — meaning fewer homeowners are going into foreclosure — more people who have been in foreclosure are now going to the auction block and losing their homes," Blomquist said. "Certainly the slower home-price appreciation means that banks have less to gain by holding onto foreclosures for a longer period of time."

How much have home values been rising in the four-county Orlando region, which includes Orange, Lake, Seminole and Osceola counties? RealtyTrac reported year-over-year appreciation of 13 percent for Orlando residential properties in June from a year earlier, which was far less significant than year-over-year price gains as high as 23 percent during points in 2013.

Even if the banks are more motivated to dispose of their distress properties now that prices have softened somewhat, it does appear they are still taking substantial losses on Orlando-area foreclosures. Blomquist said lenders are taking an average loss of about $100,000 on Metro Orlando houses they are auctioning off.

One thing that is certain for Orlando is that its mounting volume of foreclosures does not indicate that homebuyers who purchased in recent years are the ones getting into trouble now.

RealtyTrac analyzed the recent foreclosures in the metro area and found that 60 percent of houses that received a notice during June were saddled with mortgages originated in the boom years of 2005, 2006 and 2007. Of the Orlando-area properties that got foreclosure notices in June, only 6 percent had been financed with mortgages approved during the past three years.

In June, Florida once again led the nation in foreclosure rates, with one legal notice for every 409 homes. Even though foreclosures appear to be dissipating throughout the state, eight of the nation's top 10 foreclosure markets for June were in the Sunshine State.

And in the Orlando area, one house got a foreclosure-related notice for every 353 homes in the region.

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Just Listed! 525 Sand Wedge Loop Apopka, FL 32712

July 7th, 2014 9:51 AM by Joe Bornstein

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Listings Photo
$304,900.00
525 Sand Wedge Loop

Apopka, FL 32712



Beds: 5 Rooms: 11
Full Baths: 4 Sq. Ft.: 3108
Garage: 3 Built: 2002
 

GORGEOUS 5-BED,3-BATH,POOL HOME IN ROCK SPRINGS RIDGE WITH OVER $88,000.00 IN UPGRADES & IMPROVEMENTS. Not an REO or Short Sale, available for quick move-in. 24-hour response to all offers.
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Joe Bornstein
Rock Springs Realty, LLC
8773332811
www.rockspringsrealty.net



 
  Visit this listing here

Just Listed! 6001 Powder Post Drive Orlando, FL 32810

July 5th, 2014 12:07 PM by Joe Bornstein

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Listings Photo
$159,900.00
6001 Powder Post Drive

Orlando, FL 32810



Beds: 4 Rooms: 11
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 1723
Garage: 2 Built: 1996
 

MOVE-IN READY 4-BED, 2-BATH HOME W/HUGE YARD IN ORLANDO. This split plan, one-owner home has been very well maintained and is not an REO or short sale.
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Joe Bornstein
Rock Springs Realty, LLC
8773332811
www.rockspringsrealty.net



 
  Visit this listing here

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