Friday, August 31, 2018

Let's Talk... Hot Off The Press

Pending home sales have dropped for 

seven straight months

NAR says that sales are slowing because of high pricing
By Dennis Lynch | August 29, 2018 02:00PM

A house for sale and National Association of 
Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun 
(Credit: Pixabay)
Pending sales for existing homes nationwide dropped by 0.7 percent in between July 
and June, and have now fallen for seven straight months on an annual basis.
The National Association of Realtors’ study of those sales suggests that the slowdown
 is because of high pricing. Pending sales in July were down 2.3 percent year over year. 
The organization’s analysis is based on contracts signed for existing single-family 
homes, condos and co-ops, also making it an indicator of what closed sales could 
look like in a month or two.
The western U.S. saw the biggest year-over-year dip in pending sales, dropping 
by 5.8 percent. Sales in the southern U.S., which has been one of the stronger 
egions in recent years, dipped by 0.9 percent.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said those declines “weighed down” the 
overall national numbers. He said the latest numbers are a reflection of overheated 
markets, pointing to the western U.S. as the prime example.
Years of inadequate supply and strong job growth “have finally driven up home prices 
to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it,” Yun said.
The latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index suggested that pricing may 
be hitting a ceiling in many major U.S. metros. Home prices in 20 cities part of 
the index rose at their slowest pace since 2016. Climbing mortgage rates are also 
likely affecting the pace of price growth and sales.
Yun added that if new home construction picked up, prices would likely come 
down to a point that first-time buyers could afford again. First-time buyers spent 
around 23 percent of their income on a typical starter home in the second quarter, up 2
 percent from the first quarter.
He predicted sales of existing homes this year would drop by 1 percent to 5.46 
million and pricing would increase by around 5 percent.Tags: home priceshome sales

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Let's Talk...

Florida Weekly Correspondent

WEDNESDAY - APRIL 25TH, 2001: “Lunch very good — 210 people — smooth as silk, good preparation… Dinner was good, 100 or so with six... Find out more...
Let's Talk... Hot off the Sand!

LINES in the SAND 

A dispute between beachfront property owners and the public in Florida’s Panhandle and a new state rule designed to mediate that dispute has called into question the future of one of the Sunshine State’s most precious resources: 825 miles of sandy beach.
LINES in the SAND | Naples Florida Weekly ON THE BEACH IN FRONT OF THE RITZ-Carlton Naples, there is no visible line drawn in the sand indicating what part of the beach is public and whi...       

Monday, August 27, 2018

Let's Talk...

Today’s Millennial Homebuyer
In the last quarter of 2017, millennials accounted for 23 percent of newly originated mortgage dollars. On average, millennial homebuyers are 31 years old with an income of $64,000. The average mortgage balance for younger millennials is $167,000 and $210,000 for older millennials.
When it comes to credit scores, 77 percent of millennials with a mortgage have a 661 VantageScore or greater with an average score of 716 and 16 trades on file. Geographically, millennial homebuyers are most prevalent in the South and West regions.
© 2018 Florida Realtors®

Study: Most millennials need to 

improve their credit score

COSTA MESA, Calif. – Aug. 24, 2018 – Experian released a study on the borrowing behaviors of millennials, the largest credit population in the United States. The study found that only 39 percent of millennials without a mortgage have a prime or better score, and the majority face higher delinquency rates.
“This data presents good news for younger, thin-file millennials interested in buying a home,” says Michele Raneri vice president analytics and business development at Experian. “We’re seeing that small changes in financial behaviors such as building a history of on-time payments and improved credit practices can help lenders shift from viewing millennials as high-risk to low-risk relatively quickly. Knowing where you stand from a credit perspective is critical to improving or maintaining your financial well-being.”
To better understand the borrowing behaviors of millennials, Experian looked at personal loan trends, credit scores, bankcard behaviors and mortgage trends of 60 million younger adults.
According to a recent study from the National Association of Realtors®, 86 percent of millennials believe that buying a house is a good financial investment – Experian’s research found that only 15 percent have a mortgage today.
In addition, with 61 percent of millennials near prime or worse, many need to improve personal loan and bankcard usage habits to obtain lower rates when they’re ready to secure a mortgage.
“Often, young people start their credit journey with a couple of mistakes first, but in the end, these mistakes create opportunities to learn how to use and build credit responsibly,” says Rod Griffin, director of consumer education and awareness at Experian. “This study presents clear areas of opportunity for millennials as they age and prepare to enter the mortgage market.”

Key findings
  • In the U.S., the average consumer VantageScore is 677 and credit scores generally become more prime (661-780) as people age. Younger millennials (age 22-28) have an average near-prime score of 652 with older millennials (age 29-35) at the prime score of 665.
  • Millennials without a mortgage have an average age of 28, income of $33,000, 623 VantageScore and eight trades on file. Of them, 39 percent are viewed as prime or better (661 or higher).
  • Personal loan originations are dominated by older generations. Over the last four years, millennials account for 21 percent of all new personal loan dollars with a 40 percent increase in balances since 2011.
  • Younger millennials have an average per loan balance of approximately $7,300 while older millennials have an average balance of approximately $11,700.
  • Nationally, delinquency rates on personal loans are on the decline at 1.32 percent. Millennial delinquency rates in the fourth quarter of 2017 stood at 2.08 percent for younger millennials and 1.51 percent for older millennials.
  • As of the fourth quarter in 2017, millennials account for 20 percent of new bankcard dollars. On average, younger millennials carry a balance of just under $3,000 with older millennials carrying approximately $7,500. Millennial bankcard delinquency rates are higher than the U.S. average of 1.54 percent – 2.33 percent for younger millennials and 2.18 percent for older millennials.
© 2018 Florida Realtors®

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Let's Talk Hot Off the Press...
July Housing Market in Naples Defies National Trends

Naples, Fla. (August 24, 2018) - According to the National Association of REALTORS July market report, existing home sales in America decreased for the third straight month as a result of the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation's housing market.
Conversely, homes sales in the Naples area were up 8 percent in July according to the July 2018Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). The nation has only a 4.3-month supply of home inventory, while Naples has a healthier 6.25-month supply of inventory.

"The Naples area overall median home price increase in July 2018 seems to be the only statistical category where we match national trends," said Kathy Zorn, broker/owner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Pristine, "Naples saw an 8 percent increase in its overall median closed price in July 2018 compared to July 2017; whereas nationally, median closed prices went up just 4 percent. But median closed prices for properties over $300,000 in the Naples area decreased 2 percent in July 2018 compared to July 2017."
Interestingly, while July's overall inventory fell 1 percent to 4,871 properties from 4,928 properties in July 2017, inventory increased 5 percent in the $300,000 and below price category. In fact, inventory for single-family homes in this price category jumped 21 percent in July to 345 from 286 in July 2017. 
"There are 1,154 single family homes and 1,722 condos for sale under $500,000 currently," said Brenda Fioretti, Managing Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. "Economists predict home sales in America during 2018 will not be as good as 2017. However, we're seeing the opposite in the Naples area. Granted our sales were hampered by a hurricane in 2017, but there are no signs that interest in buying a home in Naples this year might drop because of temporary climate or environmental phenomena. We have a healthy inventory, an increase in closed sales, price stability and a decrease in the days on the market compared to July 2017."
July also saw a huge 39 percent jump in condominium closings in the Naples Beach area. Closed sales for August look strong too in this segment as pending sales for condominiums in the Naples Beach area increased 55 percent in July 2018 over July 2017!
Overall pending sales in Naples were up 11 percent in July, with only one price segment ($500k-$1M) reporting a decrease compared to July 2017.
"Pending sales for luxury condominiums [$2 million and above] in July were up 150 percent," said Budge Huskey, President, Premier Sotheby's International Realty. "The strength of the luxury market segment for both single family and condos continued into the summer months, a reflection of sustained confidence among the affluent witnessing the longest economic expansion cycle in the nation's history and record corporate earnings."
How buyers are purchasing homes in Naples is very different than the national average home buyer, as well. Cash sales accounted for only 20 percent of home purchases in July nationally. But in Naples, cash sales accounted for 50 percent of all home sales in July. 
The NABOR® July 2018 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® July 2018 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings: 

According to Cindy Carroll, SRA, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll & Carroll, Inc., inventory in neighborhoods west of US 41 are beginning to tighten. "I think we can expect some upward price pressure in areas where the inventory supply level is below 4 months, like Pelican Bay."
Carroll also noted that the number of affordable homes in areas like Golden Gate City and South Naples is growing. "In April 2018, Golden Gate City had a 1.3-month supply of inventory; today it's at a 3.7-month supply. While a majority are priced on the high end of the $0-$300,000 price category, it might still provide some new opportunities for first-time homebuyers." 
In response to the question of whether home sales will be affected by a longer-than-average red tide occurrence, Huskey responded, "Clearly it's a situation we are all watching closely, yet currently there's no reflection in the pace of home sales. While impossible to ignore if at the beach on a day in which it's more prominent, a block or two east you wouldn't be aware of any issue and inland sales represent the vast majority of all activity in the market."
If you are looking to Buy a New Home or Sell Your Home in Naples, contact me today by e-mail or by calling 239.404.7787 so that I can provide you with an accurate market comparison so you can determine the right asking Purchase or Listing price. 
I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Let's Talk... 
6 Costs Homeowners Overlook
and How to Pay for Them...
By the Experts at Hippo
RISMEDIA, Friday, August 17, 2018— For many people, a house is the biggest investment they'll ever make. And whether you're a first-time homeowner or you're buying your third property, you're bound to end up covering some unexpected expenses. Here are six costs homeowners tend to overlook and how to pay for them:
1. Property taxes
Be prepared to pay property taxes and keep in mind that they rarely decrease. Homeowners often pay them every month along with their mortgage payments. If your loan is backed by the Federal Housing Administration, you're required to have an escrow or impound account.
If you don't have to make property tax payments through an escrow account, they may be due at the end of the year. In some counties, you might pay them in installments.
2. Homeowners association fees

Whenever you move into a new home or condominium, you become part of a community. In many cases, there are fees associated with the maintenance and general upkeep of shared common areas. The money collected might cover snow removal, landscaping or repairs to a meeting room.
Monthly homeowners association (HOA) fees for standard single-family homes tend to cost between $200-$300, but rates can vary depending on several factors, including how recently a housing community was built and the kinds of amenities that are available. That's why it's best to know how much fees cost upfront. In West Hollywood, Calif., for example, residents in Sierra Towers condos get access to a 24-hour concierge service and valet parking, but spend around $4,000 per month on HOA fees.
3. Insurance premiums
If you own a home, another cost you should include in your budget is insurance. The average annual homeowners insurance premium costs $1,120, according to recent data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, but the amount you pay may be higher or lower based on where you live and the kind of policy you choose. Homeowners insurance typically covers personal possessions, liability for injuries that take place on your property, the structure of your house and additional costs associated with living elsewhere if your home is severely damaged. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you might need a supplemental policy like flood insurance.
4. Repair and maintenance costs
Repairing or replacing a roof, furnace or air conditioner can be expensive, and at some point, you might have to address plumbing issues or trade in some old appliances.
The cost of home maintenance is another thing you'll have to factor into the cost of homeownership. You'll need money to keep your yard, gutters, carpet and everything in between in tip-top shape.
Financial experts generally recommend setting aside 1 percent of your home's value to cover the cost of unexpected repairs and maintenance. If you're trying to save money, you're better off doing some of the work yourself. Just make sure you have enough funds for the materials you need to get the job done.
5. Costs associated with selling a home
Having a home that's well-maintained not only lets you enjoy your house while you're living there, but also prevents you from being saddled with additional costs when you're ready to sell it.
Replacing your roof or furnace might be something you want to put off, but failing to make necessary repairs or meet demands made by potential homebuyers could hurt your market value or cost you a sale.
6. Pest control costs
Pests are a real concern for many homeowners. Over time, all sorts of critters—like termites, ants, spiders and rodents—might invade your home. Depending on how serious the problem is, you might need to fumigate your house.
If you're interested in buying a home, make sure you hire an inspector to check for bugs and termites that could cause structural damage. While lenders don't always require homebuyers to pay for pest inspections, it's important to have one done. You don't want to close on a house only to find out later that there's an issue. Termite inspections generally cost between $75-$150, according to Angie's List.
Build a rainy-day fund!
It's always better to be prepared for a storm than to be caught in a downpour without an umbrella. Despite the high costs, owning your own home can be a rewarding experience.
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst by keeping enough money in your savings account to cover unforeseen costs. Make sure you account for all of the hidden expenses and fees associated with buying a home and budget accordingly.
This appeared first on RISMedia's Housecall.
Hippo is an InsureTech company that's reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners. Hippo Insurance is available to homeowners in 10 states throughout the U.S. and will be available to more than 60 percent of the nation's homeowners by the end of 2018.