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Tom Priester's Blog

By Tom Priester | Managing Broker in Jupiter, FL
  • 2014 Florida Hurricane Season is Officially Underway

    Posted Under: General Area in Florida, Market Conditions in Florida, Property Q&A in Florida  |  June 3, 2014 11:34 AM  |  369 views  |  No comments

    Just how long can Florida go with no hurricanes


    It has been a long time since Florida has had a hurricane to deal with. A very long time. A record breaking long time. As we start off our 3rd day of the 2014 Florida hurricane season one can only wonder if we can continue our record breaking streak before the season ends on November 30th. Sure the waters are calm now but.....



    The record breaking years of 2004 and 2005 are still fresh on many residents minds. If you remember 2004 was the year we had four hurricanes hit; Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Never before had we had 4 hurricanes cross our path in a single year. Then mother nature whacked us in 2005 with another 3 hurricanes. It has now been over 8 years since a hurricane crossed the Florida coast and we are overdue. Way overdue.

    How overdue are we? Consider that the last time Florida had a hurricane make landfall was Wilma. That was an amazing 3,143 days ago. Never since we have kept records have we come anywhere close to that number. We are overdue. Way overdue.

    Experts are predicting a slow season with estimates of between 8 and 13 tropical storms and between 3 to 6 hurricanes. El Nino is a weather pattern that is in force and expected to keep storm chances down this year. Last year was the first hurricane season in 45 years that there were no storms reaching a Category 2 intensity. We are way overdue but the experts say it may not be this year. Let's hear it for 9 years without one!

    When it comes to real estate in Palm Beach and Martin Counties Paradise Sharks knows the waters like the back of our hand. Your home can have many features that can help protect you from the day a hurricane does decide to come for a visit. Concrete block construction, impact windows, flood zones, proper roof types and tie downs, the list goes on. If you need help in locating the right home, in the right location at the right price give us a call and learn why swimming with the sharks might just be the smartest real estate decision you will ever make. Always interesting, always fun.


    Fins way up for no hurricanes in 2014............



    Tom Priester
    Principal Broker

    Paradise Sharks Real Estate

    Direct Line 561 308-0175
    tom@tompriester.com
  • Housing Prices in Florida Should be Heading Higher; MUCH Higher

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Florida, Home Buying in Florida, Investment Properties in Florida  |  August 9, 2013 6:14 AM  |  778 views  |  No comments

    Premier Locations Like Jupiter are Quickly Running Out of Land
     

    Another sign that the local real estate market is beginning to stabilize. The number of properties in our current inventory dropped again as of August 1st but only by an average of 0.5% in the north county region. Compare that to a 7.8% drop on July 1st and a 7.2% drop on June 1st and you can see the difference.


    Still many sellers are priced "ahead of the market" but we are seeing more price reductions than we have in many a moon. With DiVosta (Pulte) wrapping up the Abacoa project after a 15 year run and DiVosta (Buz) banging heads with town officials on density issues on the last large parcel in Jupiter there is little room for future new construction. Buz's parcel is just shy of 300 acres and located west of the Turnpike. You do not need a Master's of Economics from Harvard to recognize when supply is constricted and demand is high where prices will be heading. With international buyers making up about 20% of our market and tens of thousands of Baby Boomers looking to purchase homes in Florida over the next 20+ years future demand is almost guaranteed. 



    If your long term plans include a home in the Jupiter area and you are not in the house you want to be in, now is the time to act. Feel free to contact me at any time for a complimentary consultation on putting together the right strategy to get you into the perfect long term home.

    We who are lucky to live here know there isn't another place like Jupiter and I can still get you a condo across the street from Florida's best beach for around $150,000 and for you investors it will cash flow just fine.

    But do not delay because today's bargain prices will not last.....
  • Investor Demand for Foreclosures Incredibly Strong

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Palm Beach County, Home Buying in Palm Beach County, Investment Properties in Palm Beach County  |  April 29, 2012 8:32 AM  |  587 views  |  No comments


    The Foreclosures are Coming, the Foreclosures are Coming!

    The cries of Paul Revere come to mind as I keep hearing “The foreclosures are coming” and “Wait until that shadow inventory comes to the market. No doubt there are signs of higher foreclosure numbers coming but to date the opposite has been true. As you may recall, we reported in this column that 1st quarter foreclosures in Palm Beach County were down about 28% from year ago levels. Since then the trend remains the same and this week we hit a new 8 week low.

    The chart above shows you the six-month trend of foreclosures in Palm Beach County which accurately reflects the trend over the past 180 days. For the 2nd week in a row we have seen a significant drop in foreclosure numbers after hitting a quarterly high 3 weeks ago. This week a total of 175 properties were foreclosed upon which was below the 184 we had last week. With that number we stay well below the 6 month average of 213 per week and even further below the 386 units we saw foreclosed on during the same week in 2011.

    Interest rates now sit at new lows and Realtors are finding very few options for ready, willing and able buyers in many market segments. The investor grade market has gone bonkers over the past few weeks and I can show you direct comparisons where prices of some properties are higher as much as 80% in less than a year. Last week one investor put a bid in on a property 10% over list price and ended up as the lowest offer out of 13 received so you can see where prices in this segment are going. Investor interest continues to grow and you see that at the foreclosure auctions where they are snapping up deals every day of the week.

    As the word spreads that the right south Florida real estate investment is a “no-brainer” the numbers of investors chasing the same properties has dramatically increased and competition is stiff. With home prices at historically low levels and rental rates on the rise many investors are finally seeing what we have been telling them for years; that there is no more compelling investment than some of these deals. However, due to the huge increase in demand one must be careful and look under rocks for unique opportunities. The amount of cash flowing into the market is impressive and we will continue to watch to see where prices go from here.

    There are many rocks dotting the landscape but finding the right one is...........


  • Palm Beach County Foreclosure Rate Down 28% in 2012

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Palm Beach County, Home Buying in Palm Beach County, Foreclosure in Palm Beach County  |  April 8, 2012 7:27 AM  |  578 views  |  No comments


    Two Month High in 3rd Party Success Rate

    While the Palm Beach County Clerk was closed for Good Friday there was plenty of room on the docket earlier in the week. So last week’s drop below 200 for the first time in 4 weeks can probably be blamed on many things but certainly not the Easter holiday. We keep hearing that 2012 will be the year we see much higher foreclosure numbers but to date those projections have not come to fruition. For the 1st quarter of the year we sit at 2,812 foreclosed properties compared to 3,926 during the same period last year. So instead of a big increase in 2012 we are down about 28% from year ago levels.

    The chart above shows you the six-month trend of foreclosures in Palm Beach County which accurately reflects the trend over the past 180 days. After 4 straight weeks of increases we had a reversal with a significant drop in this week’s total. A total of 191 properties were foreclosed upon which was well behind the 247 we had last week. With that number we drop behind the 6 month average of 214 per week but still far below the 368 units we saw foreclosed on during the same week in 2011.

    So for those calling for higher foreclosure numbers in 2012 we better get prepared for huge jumps in the coming quarters. With a severe shortage in quality inventory in many market segments, especially the single family home under $400,000, one has to scratch their head wondering what takes these banks so long to make decisions. The sooner we get these homes into the hands of new owners the sooner we can take off the band aid and see the scar has finally healed. 

    “Experts” tell us the market is going to have a very difficult time absorbing all this excess inventory but from what I see that is far from the truth. Banks seem to be holding back on releasing these homes in an attempt to push prices higher  and not flooding the market. But as with most of their decision making that is a flawed concept as 2% a year goes to property taxes, then add in association fees, insurance expense and their other costs the last thing they want to do is hold property. That is unless they want to lose more money.

    So we are sitting, waiting and wishing for more inventory from these foreclosure auctions......

  • Palm Beach County Foreclosures Jump but BOA Program Might Help

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Palm Beach County, Home Buying in Palm Beach County, Foreclosure in Palm Beach County  |  March 24, 2012 8:48 AM  |  636 views  |  No comments


    New Bank of America Program Could Mean Fewer Foreclosures

    All signs continue to point to higher foreclosure numbers during the year as the recent settlement 5 of the major banks reached with the government truly frees them up with a clean slate and the freedom to push delinquent loans through the system. Unique ideas keep coming and this week Bank of America started testing a new program where they will allow delinquent homeowners to do a deed in lieu of foreclosure and let them rent back the homes at market rate. Actually sounds like a great program but we will see how the banks enjoy being landlords. Initially Florida is not included in the program but certainly something to keep an eye on.

    The chart above shows you the six-month trend of foreclosures in Palm Beach County which accurately reflects the trend over the past 180 days. After hitting a multi-year weekly low during the week of February 6th, foreclosure numbers have now increased for the 5th time in 6 weeks and this week we hit a nine week high. A total of 232 properties were foreclosed upon which was ahead of the 212 we had last week. With that number we jump well ahead of the 6 month average of 211 per week but still far below the 338 units we saw foreclosed on during the same week in 2011.

    Investors who know how to play the auction game and are able to minimize risk with quick research have been doing very well lately as far as a percentage of auctions that go their way. This week those numbers dropped to 12.5% which is still a historically high number but the lowest weekly success rate we have seen in 4 weeks.

    The new Bank of America test program could have a significant impact on the real estate market moving forward as if they are successful no doubt other banks will follow their lead and on the surface keeping people in their homes even if they no longer own them makes good sense, They may even then package those loans as performing assets and sell them to investors. Very interesting concept.

    The south Florida market remains crazy busy on many segments, interest rates leveled off this week after last week’s jump and finding homes for clients remains difficult.

  • Palm Beach County Foreclosures Hit 8 Week High

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Palm Beach County, Home Buying in Palm Beach County, Foreclosure in Palm Beach County  |  March 16, 2012 9:29 AM  |  632 views  |  No comments


    Direction of Local Real Estate Market Difficult to get a Firm Handle On

    For the second month in a row we have seen actual foreclosure numbers retreat in Palm Beach County from the higher numbers we had been experiencing since October of last year. It is widely believed that foreclosure numbers during 2011 where lower than should have been due to the “robo-signing” debacle that clogged the system up. Projections have been for higher numbers this year but so far in Palm Beach County that has not been the case but the times they may be changing.

    The chart above shows you the six-month trend of foreclosures in Palm Beach County which accurately reflects the trend over the past 180 days. After hitting a multi-year weekly low during the week of February 6th, foreclosure numbers have now increased for the 5th time in 6 weeks and this week we hit an eight week high. A total of 212 properties were foreclosed upon which was ahead of the 190 we had last week and almost in perfect alignment with the 6-month average which currently sits at 210. Even with that increase we stayed far below the 356 foreclosures we had last year before all the paper signing questions were raised.

    We continue to see third party bidders doing quite well at these auctions and for the 15th time in 17 weeks their success rate exceeded 15%; this week winning 16.04% of all auctions. Investors continue to flood the market in waves and that trend is one bound to continue. There main problem is landing deals and prices on investment grade properties continue to increase. Just this week 2 foreclosed properties my clients participated in drew 10 and 16 bidders respectively and a selling price far above list price. Cash on cash returns remain very solid and with an inflationary period seemingly looming those purchasing at today’s prices should be handsomely and left wondering why they did not buy more.

    No doubt the biggest news that will affect future foreclosure numbers both here and across the country is the recent $25,000,000,000 (yes 25 BILLION) settlement that the banks reached with our representatives in Washington. This agreement now provides a much needed “clean slate” that should once again clear the way for banks to push forward foreclosures which should bring us higher numbers as we get deeper into 2012.

    We will keep watching and watch for our update Sunday on interest rates that have spiked significantly this week raising some concern.

  • February Slowdown in Palm Beach County Foreclosures Continues

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Palm Beach County, Home Buying in Palm Beach County, Foreclosure in Palm Beach County  |  February 26, 2012 11:19 AM  |  688 views  |  1 comment


    3rd Party Success Rate at Palm Beach County Foreclosure Auctions Down Again

    The foreclosure process is a daily reminder of how the market run up of real estate prices earlier in the century proves what goes up must come down. And crashing down they came but the historical support level for pricing has been broken and with real estate now trading some 20% lower than normal price growth it remains potentially the best investment opportunity one will ever see. Most expectations are for prices to continue to stabilize throughout the year as a projected increase in foreclosure numbers over 2011 continues to keep the lid on any significant increases.

    The chart above shows you the six-month trend of foreclosures in Palm Beach County which accurately reflects the trend over the past 6 month period. After hitting a multi-year weekly low two weeks ago, foreclosure numbers jumped for the second week in a row. A total of 184 properties were foreclosed upon which was well ahead of the 147 we had the week before. Even with that increase we remained below the 6 month average which currently stands at 205 and also well back of the 233 units foreclosed on in the same week of 2011.

    We continue to see third party bidders doing quite well at these auctions but for the second straight week their overall success rate dipped below 15%. Prior to that we had gone over three months without a weekly showing below that threshold. With a third party success rate of only 11.96% we will continue to monitor the action to see if banks are tiring of investors snapping up some amazing bargains and might be tightening up their bidding procedures.

    The weeks biggest foreclosure related news was the Florida Senate’s Judiciary Committee passing their version of the “Florida Fair Foreclosure Act” as lawyers and politicians continue to argue and point blame. The latest legislation is geared towards getting the foreclosure process to move more efficiently and getting abandoned homes on the market quicker. There are also some provisions that reduce the amount of time banks would have to recover any deficiency judgements associated with foreclosed and properties that were sold short with no waiver of deficiency. 

    No doubt the saga continues and we still have a few storms ahead before any clear sailing is in our future.


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