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Areas hit hard by downturn now see highest gains

Areas hit hard by downturn now see highest gains

MIAMI – Aug. 18, 2016 – The markets hardest hit by the real estate downturn have been registering the sharpest increases in home prices for more than a year.

A decade after becoming the epicenter of the crash, Miami’s property market is seeing the highest price jumps since 2006 – the peak of its last housing boom.

Several critical factors are separating this property rise in South Florida from the last one, however. Condominium buyers are putting up bigger deposits, for example – generally 50 percent of the purchase price, compared to 10 percent to 20 percent deposits during the last buildup.

Banks are also beginning to fund more projects in South Florida, but they’re asking developers for a larger financial stake, typically a substantial level of pre-construction sales.

“People are calling this another boom in Miami, but this is different,” says Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development, which is developing the Residences by Armani/Casa project in Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach in partnership with Related Group. “Today’s buyers have learned from the last boom – and so have developers.”

It’s not just Miami. The same higher-price trend can be seen in Las Vegas and in parts of Arizona and California. In Phoenix, one of the U.S. cities hit hardest by the real estate crash, home values have risen 29 percent from their previous low point.

Source: Washington Post (DC) (08/18/16) McMullen, Troy

© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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Building a home in Florida

Building a home in Florida

CHICAGO – Aug. 17, 2016 – The average time it takes to complete a new single-family home is seven months in Florida and nationally, according to recent Census Bureau data. That completion time includes nearly a month for getting the permit to start the project – 27 days in Florida – and then another 6 months to complete the construction.

Houses built for sale took the shortest amount of time – 6 months to complete after obtaining building permits. On the other hand, homes built by owners averaged the longest time at nearly a year. Homes built for rent averaged about 9 months from permit to completion, the data shows.

Homebuyers generally have the longest waits for a new home in the New England area, which had the longest time from permit to completion at 10 months. On the other hand, the Mountain region had the shortest amount of time at 6 months. The region also has the shortest waiting period from permit to construction start.

Breakdown by region of the average months from permit to completion of a new single-family home

  • Pacific: 8 months
  • Mountain: 6 months
  • West North Central: 8 months
  • West South Central: 7 months
  • East North Central: 8 months
  • East South Central: 8 months
  • New England: 10 months
  • Middle Atlantic: 10 months
  • South Atlantic: 6 months

Average days by region from permit to start on a new home

  • Pacific: 31 days
  • Mountain: 15 days
  • West North Central: 20 days
  • West South Central: 35 days
  • East North Central: 23 days
  • East South Central: 25 days
  • New England: 28 days
  • Middle Atlantic: 27 days
  • South Atlantic: 27 days

Homes in metro areas took, on average, nearly 7.5 months to complete – about 2 months shorter than homes started in non-metro areas.

The 2015 Census data also found that 66 percent of single-family homes sold while under construction, 32 percent sold before construction started, and 12 percent sold within one month of completion.

The percentage of single-family homes completed last year that were not yet sold was only 6 percent, the same percentage as the first quarter of 2016.

Source: “Time to Build a Single-Family Home in 2015,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (July 20, 2016)

© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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3 Bedroom Bargain!

11800 FRONT BEACH 2-308, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

11800 FRONT BEACH 2-308, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

LEAST EXPENSIVE 3 bed 3 bath w/bunks in Grand Panama Beach Resort. One of the finest properties on PCB. This condo will not disappoint with it’s views of the city and Gulf of Mexico. Stainless Appliances, Granite Counter-tops,tile flooring in the main areas, and carpet in the bedrooms. The carpet was professionally cleaned in June. This unit also comes with a dehumidifier to keep the moisture down. Air condition Units were owner and friends and family used only so little wear and tare on them. This complex has 2 really nice pools, 2 spa’s and 1 kiddie pool. Fitness center and conference room. Parking is located under this condo for convenience. Don’t miss this opportunity to own the best!

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3 Bedroom Grand Panama!

11807 FRONT BEACH 509, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

11807 FRONT BEACH 509, Panama City Beach, FL 32407 

Beautiful 3 bed 2 bath East facing corner unit on the 5th floor! The 5th floor park and walk to your condo no elevators to deal with. The most desired floor in Tower 1. This unit has never been on a rental program. Grand Panama Beach Resort is one of the most desired and newest resorts on the Beach. Fitness Center, business center, event center, tiki bars, 2 pools.

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Lowest Priced Unit In Grand Panama!

11800 FRONT BEACH 2-302, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

11800 FRONT BEACH 2-302, Panama City Beach, FL 32407 

LOWEST PRICED – 1bed 2 bath Condo in Grand Panama Beach Resort. Grand Panama is one of the nicest most in demand Resorts on the beach. The 3rd Floor level has the large party deck the only floor that has one. Luxury at its best. Hardwood Floors, granite counter tops, tile floors,stainless appliances, 2 pools, fully equipped fitness room, 2 hot tubs, Tiki bar, This a great condo with a great layout.

Pictures coming soon!

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Renting vs. Owning a Home

Renting vs. Owning a Home

Renting vs. Owning a Home

The Cost of Renting vs. Owning a Home in Every State

Housing is the biggest expense for many Americans, accounting for more than 30 percent of a household’s yearly expenditures, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But housing costs can vary greatly, depending on where you live — and whether you’re a renter or owner.

To find out where your housing dollar will go the furthest, GOBankingRates surveyed the cost of renting versus owning a home in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The study found it’s more expensive to own a home in only eight states and the District of Columbia, with renting the more expensive option in 42 states.

“Mortgage rates have been near historic lows for quite some time now,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist of real estate and rental marketplace Zillow. “This makes those monthly payments lower than monthly rent.”

With rents so high, though, it can be difficult to save up for a down payment and make the jump to homeownership, she said. If you’re considering becoming a homeowner, click through to find out if you should own or rent a home in your state.



Renting vs. buying a home in Florida:

  • Monthly rent in Florida: $1,695
  • Monthly mortgage in Florida: $1,297

Rents have been rising in the Sunshine State — especially in South Florida where the population is growing and demand for rentals has increased, the Sun Sentinel reported in April.

In fact, Miami is the eighth-most expensive rental market in the U.S., according to the Zumper National Rent Report. More and more adults are living with roommates in Miami to offset high rents, Gudell said.

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Penthouse Level in Shores of Panama!

9900 THOMAS Drive 2326, Panama City Beach, FL 32408

9900 THOMAS Drive 2326, Panama City Beach, FL 32408 

This top floor level one bedroom, two full bath condo has beautiful sunset & Gulf views. The unit has been recently renovated with new furniture. Bunk room can be closed off to create a second bedroom with private bath. Reserved parking space is included in listing.

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Jumbo Mortgages now Cheaper than Smaller Loans

Now is the Time to Buy the Luxury Home

‘Jumbo’ mortgages now cheaper than smaller loans

Now there’s a good reason to buy the big house!

NEW YORK – July 1, 2016 – Banks will give you a better interest rate if you buy a more expensive and, presumably, bigger home.

The interest rate on a 30-year jumbo loan currently stands at 3.71 percent – a notch below the rate for a “conforming” mortgage, which weighs in at 3.73 percent, says Greg McBride, senior vice president and chief financial analyst for Bankrate.

The lower rate on jumbo mortgages is a reversal from the typical trend over the years, in which banks have charged higher interest rates for larger loans on the theory that they are inherently riskier.

However, the two rates “have gradually compressed over a couple of years,” McBride notes. “About 12 months ago, they flipped.”

Jumbo rates spiked during the Great Recession, rising to more than 1.5 percentage points higher than conventional, conforming loans before settling out one percentage point higher around 2011, according to HSH, an online mortgage resource site.

While smaller, conforming loans are backed by federal mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, jumbos are not, which makes them inherently riskier to banks. However, conforming loans have become relatively more expensive for banks to offer. That forces them to charge somewhat higher rates compared to jumbos.

Bankers have also determined that while jumbo loans may be bigger, the more affluent homebuyers who take out jumbos are better bets overall, with lower default rates. As a result, lenders feel less pressure to include the cost of future foreclosures in the cost of a jumbo mortgage.

Source: Boston Globe (06/28/16)

© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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Florida’s Economy will Outpace U.S. Economy

Florida Best for Business

Florida's Economy will Outpace U.S. Economy

Forecast: Fla.’s economy will outpace U.S.

ORLANDO, Fla. – June 29, 2016 – Spurred by rising job growth and home construction, Florida’s economy is expected to continue to grow at a faster pace than the national forecast for the next four years, according to the latest forecast from UCF economist Sean Snaith, director for the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the UCF College of Business Administration.

“The fundamental underpinnings of the housing market in Florida continue to strengthen. Job growth in Florida is forecasted to continue outperforming the U.S. labor market and more baby boomers continue to reach the end of their working lives,” wrote Snaith in the second-quarter Florida & Metro Forecast. “This bodes well for continued population growth via the in-migration of workers and retirees.”

From 2016-2019, Florida’s economy, as measured by Real Gross State Product, is expected to expand at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent through 2019, outpacing the projected average for U.S. real Gross Domestic Product growth for the same period.

Nominal Gross State Product is expected to break the $1 trillion mark in 2018, according to the Florida & Metro Forecast, and climb to $1.074 trillion in 2019. That would make Florida’s economy the 16th largest in the world, as ranked by the World Bank.

The pace of Florida’s labor market recovery is expected to continue to exceed the recovery in the national job market through 2019. Labor-force growth will average 2 percent from 2016 to 2019 thanks to consistently robust job creation. Payroll job growth in Florida continues to outperform national job growth with year-over-year growth expected to average 3.9 percent in 2016, 2.4 percent in 2017, 1.1 percent in 2018 and 0.8 percent in 2019.

The improved outlook should entice more Floridians to seek employment while also attracting out-of-state job seekers, Snaith said. In addition, it should lift consumer sentiment and consumption spending.

However, Florida faces a growing single-family housing shortage due to the shrinking inventory of existing homes and a pace of housing starts that trails growth. The two trends are rapidly pushing prices up in the single-family market.

“While this looks like another housing bubble, it’s really just an old-fashioned shortage in the single-family market,” Snaith said. “It is expected to correct itself as new housing starts ramp up over the next few years.”

Median existing home prices have reached $213,000 compared to $122,200 during the housing crisis. Yet while housing prices have increased, global property information company CoreLogic estimates 15 percent of Florida’s mortgage holders are still underwater, meaning they owe more in mortgage debt than the value of the home. Florida is second only to Nevada (17.5 percent) in percentage of mortgage holders with negative equity.

© 2016 Florida Realtors®

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Is it better to Rent or Buy?

Better to Rent or Buy

Better to Rent or Buy

Buy vs. rent: 5 things to consider

Better to Rent or Buy?

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – July 1, 2016 – Buying a house is the largest investment most people ever make, and it’s not a decision you should enter into lightly, say personal finance experts at the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. If you’re considering making the leap from renter to owner, there are some things you should consider.

Where you are
A 2016 study from the National Association of Realtors found that more than one-third of all homebuyers are 35 and younger. While people five or 10 years older might still be recovering from the housing crash, millennials seem ready to start a new chapter in their lives. And this group may be onto something.

In 70 percent of the major markets across the nation, buying beats renting in less than two years. A Zillow analysis of rent vs. purchase costs found that it takes an average of 1.9 years to break even on a home purchase. In larger cities, you would need to live in a home for three years or more to break even on comparable rent, but that number drops to 1.5 years or less in Cleveland, San Antonio, Kansas City, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit and Indianapolis.

When to buy
A study from Black Knight Financial Services analyzed national price appreciation and household income. Today, 21 percent of median income is required to purchase a median-priced home with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Considering the current rate of home price appreciation, combined with a 0.5 percent annual increase in mortgage interest rates, it may become more difficult.

If home prices and interest rates continue to rise at the same pace, the average monthly payment on the median home will rise by $114 within 12 months and would be $240 more per month in 24 months.

How long to stay
House prices fluctuate year to year. And you’re leveraged when you buy, so a price drop of just 5 percent could mean a huge loss if you have to sell. However, if you own for five or more years, there’s much less risk. Home prices are more likely to move at least a bit higher over longer periods of time. And you’ll have built up more equity in your home by paying down the mortgage over five years that will cushion you against a drop in prices.

CPAs advise not spending more than 28 percent of your gross pretax income on your monthly housing payment. Another rule of thumb is that your combined debt (housing expenses, credit cards, student loans, alimony, car loans, etc.) should be between 30 percent and 40 percent of your pretax income.

Costs of remaining a renter
Renters aren’t immune from price increases. If you live in a popular neighborhood with no rent control, your rent is most likely to rise over time. A fixed-rate mortgage won’t increase, and you will build equity if you own rather than rent. Also, there aren’t any tax write offs available to renters; your landlord generally gets those honors.

When you sit down and crunch the numbers, does it make more financial sense to buy or rent? There are many free calculators online to help you create and analyze different financial scenarios. If now isn’t the right time, you can continue to save for a downpayment until you’re ready.

A CPA can help
As a trusted, independent financial advisor, a CPA understands the different options available to you.

Copyright New Pittsburgh Courier Jun 8-Jun 14, 2016