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Jose E. Humaran's Blog

By Jose E. Humaran | Broker in Miami Lakes, FL
  • Fla.’s housing market reflects changing conditions in Nov. 2013

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Florida, Home Buying in Florida, Home Selling in Florida  |  December 19, 2013 2:13 PM  |  176 views  |  No comments

    Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings and a stabilizing supply of homes for sale, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

    “As Florida’s economy gains strength, it signals new trends for the housing market,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “In November, we marked 24 months – 2 years – of consecutive gains in statewide median sales prices, year-over-year, for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties. With prices rising and many homeowners seeing renewed equity in their homes, we’re seeing less distressed sales.

    “On average, home sellers received about 94 percent of their asking price in November. These favorable conditions are encouraging more traditional home sellers to list their properties, which in turn is boosting inventory levels slightly from the previous month.”

    The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $169,900, up 13.3 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in November was $131,299, up 17.2 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 (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in October 2013 was $199,500, up 12.7 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $199,200. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in October was $427,290; in Massachusetts, it was $320,000; in Maryland, it was $256,651; and in New York, it was $230,276.

    Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes eased slightly in November to 16,620, down 1.2 percent compared to the year-ago figure. Closed sales of condos and townhomes last month totaled 7,576, down 7.1 percent compared to November 2012.

    However, the closed sales data reflects fewer short sales and cash-only sales in November: Traditional sales in Florida rose 10.9 percent for single-family homes and 2.8 percent for condo-townhome properties. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

    “November’s data reflects changes in the dynamics of Florida’s housing market,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “While traditional sales and those financed by mortgages are up, there was a decline in both short sales and cash-only sales. This suggests that the investor presence, which had been so strong in the market, may be diminishing. It signals a continued return to what we would consider a more traditional market.”

    Meanwhile, new listings for existing single-family homes last month rose 14.8 percent and new listings for condos and townhomes rose 5.4 percent over November 2012 figures, according to Florida Realtors. Inventory was at a 5.6-months’ supply in November for single-family homes and at a 5.8-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties.

    According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.26 percent in November 2013, up from the 3.35 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

    To see the full statewide housing activity reports, visit the research page on Florida Realtors’ website.

    Source: Florida Realtors®
  • More buyers would need jumbo loan under proposal

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Florida, Financing in Florida  |  December 18, 2013 1:31 PM  |  120 views  |  No comments
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – government-owned enterprises that free money in the mortgage market by buying loans from banks – has floated a new proposal designed to lower Fannie and Freddie’s role, and fund more mortgages through the private sector: It wants to lower the maximum amount of a loan Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase from lenders.

    FHFA is publishing the proposed rule in the Federal Register and taking consumer comments.

    Under the proposal, the loan cap in most areas of the U.S. – generally outside high-cost housing areas – would drop to $400,000 from its current $417,000 for one-unit properties – about a 4 percent reduction. In higher-cost areas that currently have a higher loan limit, the loan cap would also go down by about 4 percent, taking a maximum loan in high-cost areas from $625,500 to $600,000.

    According to FHFA, under its authority as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the rule would modestly reduce Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s business at the high end of the market, invite private capital to re-enter the market, and limit taxpayer exposure to losses.

    The move is not yet official, however. FHFA has invited public input on potential operational and technical issues associated with the planned decrease before it undertakes any modifications, including whether six months’ advance notice is adequate; whether FHFA should announce a multi-year schedule of decreases; and the timing of any future loan limit reductions.

    FHFA says no final decision will be made until the comments are reviewed. If FHFA doesn’t make changes, the proposed limits go into effect on Oct. 1, 2014.

    The deadline for public comments is March 20, 2014.

    More information on the proposal can be found at the Federal Housing Finance Agency website. Comments can be mailed to:

    Federal Housing Finance Agency
    Office of Policy Analysis and Research
    400 7th Street, SW, Ninth Floor
    Washington, D.C. 20024

    Comments can also be submitted via email to loanlimitinput@FHFA.gov.

    Source: Florida Realtors®
  • CoreLogic: 48,000 completed foreclosures in Oct.

    Posted Under: Foreclosure in Florida  |  December 9, 2013 1:45 PM  |  78 views  |  No comments
    CoreLogic released its October National Foreclosure Report. It finds 48,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in October 2013 – a sale where the bank actually took the home – down from 68,000 in October 2012 for a year-over-year decrease of 30 percent.

    On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures decreased 25.6 percent from 64,000 reported in September.

    According to CoreLogic, Florida had 114,588 completed foreclosures year-to-year by October. As a judicial state – meaning one in which foreclosures generally take longer because they must go through the court system – the recovery has taken more time. However, a non-judicial state had the second-highest level of completed foreclosures by October – Michigan with 50,186.

    Overall in Florida, 7.1 percent of homes with a mortgage were part of the foreclosure inventory in October, for a 3.1 percent year-to-year decline.

    Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.6 million completed foreclosures across the country. As a basis of comparison, prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.

    As of October 2013, approximately 879,000 homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure – still owned by a mortgage holder but at risk of being taken over by a lender and known as the “foreclosure inventory” – compared to 1.3 million in October 2012 for a year-over-year decrease of 31 percent.

    The October foreclosure inventory represented 2.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage compared to 3.1 percent in October 2012. The foreclosure inventory was down 2.9 percent from September 2013 to October 2013.

    “Year over year, the foreclosure inventory, as a percentage of all homes with a mortgage, has declined almost a full percentage point to 2.2 percent,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “This is good news for the housing and mortgage finance markets, but the rate remains elevated relative to the pre-crisis level of about 0.6 percent.”

    Still, “the scourge of an elevated foreclosure inventory is easing,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Additionally, the rate of serious delinquencies, which fell more than 25 percent year over year, is at the lowest level in nearly five years.”

    October 2013 report highlights

    • The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in October 2013 were: Florida (115,000), Michigan (50,000), California (46,000), Texas (43,000) and Georgia (39,000). These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

    • The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in October 2013 were: District of Columbia (57), North Dakota (411), Hawaii (491), West Virginia (514) and Wyoming (694).

    • The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Florida (7.1 percent), New Jersey (6.7 percent), New York (4.9 percent), Maine (3.8 percent) and Connecticut (3.7 percent).

    • The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.6 percent), Nebraska (0.6 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent) and Colorado (0.7 percent).

    Source: Florida Realtors®
  • Conforming loan limits unchanged in 2014

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Florida, Home Buying in Florida, Financing in Florida  |  November 27, 2013 11:21 AM  |  81 views  |  No comments
    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that the 2014 maximum conforming loan limit for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will remain at $417,000 for one-unit properties in most areas of the country.

    National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Steve Brown issued a statement praising the move since FHFA earlier suggested that it might lower the loan limits.

    “In September, when reports surfaced that FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco was considering using conservator authority to lower loan limits, NAR cautioned that such an experiment would jeopardize homeownership for many creditworthy buyers, especially first-time home buyers who are often less likely to meet the 20 percent minimum down payment requirement,” Brown said.

    According to Brown, the mortgage market already faces a number of potential challenges, and a change to loan limits would have added one more element of risk.

    “In January 2014, many changes stemming from the Dodd-Frank Act will go into effect, including the ability-to-repay requirement,” he said. “In addition, risk retention regulations remain in flux, including the definition of a Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM). Lowering loan limits at this time would create even more confusion and uncertainty, and we would run the risk of reversing the progress that’s been made in the economic recovery.”

    Conforming loan limits – the maximum amount of a loan before a buyer requires a jumbo mortgage – can change at the end of each year. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) establishes the maximum conforming loan limit that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may set for mortgage acquisitions and requires annual adjustments to reflect changes in the national average home price.

    Source: Florida Realtors®
  • Fla.’s housing market continues on positive track in Oct.

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Florida, Home Buying in Florida, Home Selling in Florida  |  November 21, 2013 12:40 PM  |  69 views  |  No comments
    Florida’s housing market continued its upswing in October 2013, with more closed sales, higher median prices, more new listings and a stabilizing supply of homes for sale, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

    “Florida’s economy continues to improve, and that’s good news for the housing market,” says 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “October marks 23 months in a row that statewide median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties. Last month, the median days on market (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to sell) was 46 days for single-family homes and 48 days for townhouses and condos. That means 50 percent of homes on the market in Florida sell in less than two months.

    “On average, sellers received about 94 percent of their asking price in October. Interested home sellers are paying attention to this positive trend and entering the market, which in turn is helping to stabilize inventory levels.”

    Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,728 in October, up 6.5 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

    Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes last month rose 3.4 percent over the previous October, and new listings increased 16.4 percent. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $169,000, up 16.6 percent from the previous year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

    According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September 2013 was $199,300, up 11.4 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $428,810; in Massachusetts, it was $325,000; in Maryland, it was $256,672; and in New York, it was $230,000.

    Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 8,598 units sold statewide last month, up 3.1 percent from October 2012. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos last month eased slightly, down 3.6 percent compared to the year-ago figure, but new listings rose 9.8 percent. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in October was $130,000, up 22.1 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in September 2013 was $198,600.

    Inventory was at a 5.5-months’ supply in October for single-family homes and at a 5.6-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

    “The housing numbers continue to hold up, bolstered by strong employment growth and population in-migration,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “We are, however, noticing that there has been a steady decline in the share of cash sales in the market, suggesting that investment activity in Florida real estate may be waning. This takes an important element of demand out of the equation.

    “Equally important is the slight rise in inventories we have seen in the past few months. Both factors are linked, but both are happening gradually and the market should be able to adjust to the changes.”

    According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.19 percent in October 2013, up from the 3.38 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

    To see the full statewide housing activity reports, visit the research page on Florida Realtors’ website.

    Source: Florida Realtors®

  • Fla.’s housing market continues upswing in 3Q 2013

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Florida, Home Buying in Florida, Home Selling in Florida  |  November 6, 2013 2:41 PM  |  61 views  |  No comments
    Florida’s housing market continued to improve in third quarter 2013 with more closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and a stabilizing supply of homes for sale compared to the same quarter in 2012, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

    “Data from the third quarter of 2013 shows that Florida’s housing market continues to grow and gain strength,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “The housing sector is vital to the state’s economy, and Realtors across the state are reporting increased activity in their markets.

    “At 7.0 percent, Florida currently has a lower unemployment rate than the nation, according to the August unemployment figures (the latest state data available.) More jobs will provide more stability for future growth in the state’s housing market and overall economy.”

    Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 60,661 in 3Q 2013, up 17.3 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

    Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes rose 17.9 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 3Q 2013 was $175,000, up 18.6 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

    Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 27,200 units sold statewide in the third quarter, up 11.3 percent from the same three-month period in 2012. Pending sales for townhouse-condos in 3Q 2013 increased 12.4 percent compared to a year ago, while the statewide median for townhouse-condo properties was $130,000, up 23.8 percent over the same quarter last year.

    In 3Q 2013, the median days on market (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to sell that month) was 48 days for single-family homes and 54 days for townhouse-condo properties.

    “What’s remarkable for the third quarter data is that all metro areas in Florida show year-over-year increases in both prices and sales for single-family homes, and year-over-year increases in sales for condo-townhome properties,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Inventories have begun to pick up a little bit, which may be consistent with cash sales declining as a percentage of overall sales. We’re alert to the fact that it may signal a trend, which could be good for the long-term stabilization and health of Florida’s housing market.”

    The inventory for both single-family homes and for townhouse-condo properties stood at a 5.3 months’ supply for the third quarter, according to Florida Realtors.

    According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.44 percent for 3Q 2013, up from the previous year’s average of 3.54 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

    To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to the Research & Statistics section of floridarealtors.org.

    Source: Florida Realtors®
  • More MLSs Add New-Home Listings

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Florida  |  October 16, 2013 12:31 PM  |  49 views  |  No comments

    Sixteen multiple listing services nationwide recently have signed agreements to add new-home plans and community information in a “new home channel” on their MLS dashboard, announced Builders Digital Experience Inc., a homebuilder marketing company.

    BDX is a joint venture with Move Inc., the operator of realtor.com®, and Builder Homesite Inc., a homebuilder consortium. In recent months, realtor.com® added a “New Homes & Communities” section to its site, which is powered by BDX.

    “Across the country, over 63 percent of new homes are sold by agents, and our relationships with these MLSs allow them to bring an unprecedented level of new-home information and tools directly to their members,” says Tim Costello, CEO of BDX.

    The following MLSs will soon be adding new-home information to their databases:

    • Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (Washington, D.C., metro area)
    • California Regional Multiple Listing Service
    • Austin Board of REALTORS® (Austin, Texas)
    • East Bay Regional Data Inc. (Concord, Calif.)
    • Contra Costa Association of REALTORS® (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
    • Bay East Association of REALTORS® (Pleasanton, Calif.)
    • Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service (Jacksonville, Fla.)
    • South Florida MLS (Jupiter, Fla.)
    • Midwest Real Estate Data (Chicago)

    The following MLSs already already have added new-home information for its members:

    • San Diego County Regional Multiple Listing Service (San Diego metro area)
    • Regional MLS (Portland, Ore.)
    • Tucson Association of REALTORS® MLS (Tucson, Ariz.)
    • Arizona Regional MLS (Phoenix)
    • Regional Multiple Listing Service Florida (Maitland, Fla.)
    • MLSListings in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area
    • Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (Las Vegas)

    Source: Builders Digital Experience Inc. and “MLSs Signing up with Move Joint Venture to Provide Members with Info on New Homes,” Inman News (Oct. 15, 2013)

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