MONTHLY NEWSLETTER – JANUARY 2017

30-A, South Walton, Destin and Miramar Beach Real Estate Newsletter:

Read the entire newsletter:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/l1nqmwpao04kcpn/Monthly%20Newsletter%2002-2017.pdf?dl=0

 

National Trend
These past years of near stagnant economic growth in the U.S. have resulted in rock bottom mortgage interest rates. But that dance has ended and a new band is taking the stage.

Back in the day, we used to say that a one point increase in the mortgage interest rate was like the neutron bomb of real estate; takes out all the buyers and leaves the buildings standing.

Regardless, the fed has indicated that rates will continue to rise this year. Real estate markets are expected to remain stable so long as the consumer confidence levels continue to improve. According to most pundits, the real estate market outlook nationally is very positive.

Local Trend
As you can see on page two, single family home sales are up in Okaloosa and Walton counties by 5.3 and 6.7 percent over last year. The graph on the bottom of that page also illustrates a decline in inventory which helps explain the increases in sales volume. Those sales volume percentage increases are 13.9 and 10.2 percent respectively.

Condo sales are down in Okaloosa and Walton counties by -5.3 and -10.6 percent respectively. Due to both appreciation and a significantly diminished inventory in the lower end of the Okaloosa market, condo sales volume is actually up by  12.9 percent.

Average Days on Market has dropped slightly from 135 to 131 days. The List-to-Sold ratio is a percentage representing the selling price vs the asking price. That percentage is unchanged at 94 percent.

As mentioned last month and is the case across much of the nation, upper end property sales have remained stubbornly sluggish. This is especially true in Destin and Miramar Beach. Many such properties have been on the market for more than two years.  Regardless, the prognosis for our 2017 real estate market is very good!

Please call, text or email us for an update anytime!

Thank you,
Ed & Terri

 

 

 

 

8 Inspirational Videos You Can Watch in 5 Minutes or Less

8 Inspirational Videos You Can Watch in 5 Minutes or Less

We’re always on the lookout for great information to share. The other day, we ran across this article titled 8 Inspirational Videos You Can Watch in 5 Minutes or Less. The videos are great to bookmark and watch whenever you’re in need of a little extra inspiration and motivation.

Enjoy!

P.S. – Feel free to send this article to anyone in your network.  It’s a great way to keep in touch!!

http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/inspirational-videos-sales-five-minutes-or-less?utm_campaign=blog-rss-emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=31928252#sm.0001tp66iqcuadmgwjx185tjiedwf

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2016

Monthly Newsletter 12-2016

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2016

National Trend
Everyone continues to speculate about interest rates. Will they rise next year? Almost certainly. How much is the question. The Fed rate indirectly affects mortgage interest rates as it spiders its way through the economy, however, mortgage interest rates are more closely tied to 10 year treasuries. And while a 50 basis point increase may seem negligible to some, it has the potential to impact the all important consumer confidence index. As the majority of local residential purchases are discretionary, the CCI plays a significant role in our overall market direction.

Local Trend
Over the course of the past 12 months, our market has seen average inventory levels drop from 5,900 properties on the market down to 4,900. Average Days on Market has dropped slightly from 139 to 135 days. The List-to-Sold ratio is a percentage representing the selling price vs the asking price. That percentage has improved slightly from just below 94 percent to just above 94 percent.

Average sales prices have increased by more than 10 percent since last year. This should not be interpreted to mean that values have increased by 10 percent. Part of the increase is due to the fact that the less expensive property segment is drying up. Simply put, fewer inexpensive properties in the mix serves to raise the average. Case in point, the average asking price for a single family home in SE Walton county is now $1,911,247.

As is the case across most of the rest of the nation, upper end property sales have remained stubbornly sluggish, especially in Destin and Miramar Beach. Many such properties have been on the market for more than two years.

Regardless, the outlook for 2017 is very positive. Reasonably stable interest rates and low energy prices should help ensure another great real estate year along the Emerald Coast.

Please call, text or email us anytime!

Thank you,
Ed & Terri

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER-JANUARY 2015

Monthly Newsletter 12-2014

National News    

Keeping up with the changing profile of today’s buyer is an ongoing effort. The recently published 2014 National Home Buyer Profile provides some significant insight:

 

  • 92% – The percent of buyers who used the internet in some way in their home search process
  • 50% – The percent of buyers who used a mobile website or app in their home search.
  • 33% – The percent of home buyers who were first-time buyers, which is down from the historical norm of 40%.
  • 10 weeks — The typical home buyer searched for 10 weeks and viewed 10 homes—this is two weeks shorter than the previous year’s report.

 

So, as print advertising continues to fade into obscurity, the real estate industry continues to embrace new and improved internet technologies. The newspaper ad, and to a large degree the open house, have been relegated down the food chain.

 

Local Trends    

Understanding that 92% of homebuyers used the internet this year to find their home or condo, we publish our listings to approximately 1,027 websites , portals and directories, giving our properties enormous worldwide exposure. Exposure and price are the requisite ingredients to effect the successful sale in today’s market.

As the following Y-T-D stats indicate, Single Family Home sales are flat in Okaloosa, up 7.7% in Walton and up 13.7% in Bay County. Condo sales are down across the board; 6.5% in Okaloosa, 5.8% in Walton and 20.4% in Bay County.

 

Interest rates remain very low. In fact, the 15 year fixed rate mortgage today approximates the 2014 CPI. Great news for buyers. And… mortgage underwriting is beginning to relax in the condo arena. More non-conforming fixed rate financing options are becoming available. As the lion’s share of condos in this market fall into that non-conforming category, we expect to see an uptick in condo sales in 2015.

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to serve on the National Association and Florida Association of Realtors Boards of Directors these past several years, but am looking forward to much less travel in 2015.

 

As always, please feel free to call, text, fax or email us anytime!

 

Merry Christmas and God Bless,

Ed & Terri

 

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER-OCTOBER 2014

Monthly Newsletter 10-2014

We have a lot of opportunities to share information about the housing market and to explain why someone should buy a house or when might be the right time to buy or sell. However, we don’t get as many opportunities to share with members of the community about what to do after you purchase your home.

As a Realtor, we understand homeownership is one of the biggest investments many of us ever make. This is why we want to help you protect, maintain and improve your investment. Whether you are new to home ownership or you are now ready to sell and find that new dream home, we want you to know where to find the resources that will make you exclaim, “There is nothing like homeownership!”

One of the best resources we have found to help tackle all sorts of homeownership questions is a website called Houselogic.com, powered by the National Association of Realtors. Who better to help with answers to all questions about owning a home?

HouseLogic provides a variety of information designed to help consumers turn the house you purchased into the home you envisioned. Its aim is to help homeowners make smart decisions throughout their homeownership journey, allowing them to look at their house as both an investment and a home. This two-sided approach is what we believe sets HouseLogic apart from other websites targeted at homeowners. By encouraging homeowners to look at decisions through a financial filter—home improvement decisions are transformed into home improvement investment decisions.

Other benefits include the ability to create a free user’s account, customizable to your specific needs based on a variety of factors such as if you plan to accomplish updates yourself or hire outside help, the location or the type of home you own and how much you want to spend. The account profile also allows you to keep track of projects, save information or create to-do lists.

The site has tips on all sorts of topics including home improvement, maintenance, taxes, financing and insurance. No matter what your homeownership question is, you will almost certainly find your answers on HouseLogic.com. If not, call us!!

 

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER-September 2014

Monthly Newsletter 09-2014

The National Trend

Pending home sales declined across the south and west last month, overshadowing slight gains in the northeast and midwest.

Average prices have increased, much the result of the lower end of the pricing scale having already being absorbed. Cash buyers have pulled back, which has impacted the sale of investment properties as well.

30 year fixed rate financing is still around 4.25 percent for primary residences. Such financing is not available for condos with heavy rental usage. These condos are referred to as “non-marketable” or “non-warrantable”. Financing options are typically something like 25—30 percent down payment and 5-7 year balloons. That rate can be one to two points higher than the prevailing fixed rate for primary residences. This lack of attractive financing has served to retard condo sales across the nation.

The Local Trend

Here in Okaloosa and Walton counties, we have seen a mixed bag of activity.

Locally pending sales in single-family homes decreased again in August as buyers push back on higher pricing. The average days on market has grown somewhat, although the properties priced most competitively are selling very quickly.

The south ends of Okaloosa and Walton combined have seen a 25 percent increase in single-family home inventory levels as compared with last year. The condo market  has seen a 15 percent increase over the same period.

More inventory on the market does not bode well for future appreciation, but for now, demand is stable.

Please call us anytime to discuss your property or the market in general!

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER-August 2014

Monthly Newsletter 08-2014

Pending home sales rose across the US this month according to the National Association of Realtors.

Nationally, an increase in pending sales has occurred for four of the last five months, which is a good indicator of future closed sales.

Here in Okaloosa and Walton counties, we have seen both positive and negative movements in pending sales during the last five months.

Locally pending sales in single-family homes decreased in July in comparison to June and have teetered back and forth during the last five months.

Okaloosa County single-family homes saw a decrease in comparison to last July’s pending sales, dropping by 40 percent from 115 in July of 2013 to 69 in July of 2014. Walton County, however, saw an increase of 15 percent, with 192 pending sales in July of 2014 and only 167 in July of 2013.

Townhome and condo pending sales have been less encouraging; especially in Walton County where in the last five months only April saw a month-to-month increase in pending sales for these categories. Okaloosa County, on the other hand, saw three month-to-month increases among these property types.

Though the numbers for pending home sales on the Emerald Coast aren’t as encouraging as the national numbers, other indicators continue to anticipate an ever-increasingly stable housing market. For example, July marked 32 consecutive months with year-over-year increases throughout Florida.

Other indicators Florida’s market is continuing to stabilize include a five percent increase in single-family home sales year-over-year. Okaloosa County experienced similar gains in closed sales with a 5.2 percent increase, and Walton County saw a more dramatic increase at 29 percent. Another good sign is the Florida median sales price of single family homes saw a 3.6 percent increase, and the Florida townhome and condo median sales price saw a 7.6 percent increase. Locally, however, we didn’t see similar gains in our median sales prices in single family homes, but we did see a slight increase in townhome and condo prices— in Walton County of .1 percent and 9.2 percent in Okaloosa County.

“Steady as she goes. I think that’s the current slogan for the Florida housing market with continued manageable growth in July,” said John Tuccillo, Florida Realtors Chief Economist in a recent July market update. He also said July data looks very similar to June data when compared to the year before. He added this supports the idea the market across Florida including on the Emerald Coast is settling into a stable pattern.

 

 

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER- JUNE 2014

Monthly Newsletter 06-2014

Existing-home sales made a big jump around the U.S. in May with all four regions of the country experiencing sales gains.

Across the U.S. the total number of single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums that closed in May increased 4.9 percent to 4.89 million, up from 4.66 million in April.  This is the highest monthly increase since August of 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Florida saw a slightly higher increase in existing-single-family-home sales of 8 percent in May, with 23,013 in comparison to April with 21,385, but didn’t see an increase in townhomes and condominiums, as reported by the Florida Association of Realtors based on figures from multiple listing services.  Instead, townhomes and condominium sales continued to decline locally, with a 7 percent decrease compared to last May.

The Emerald Coast made progress in the single-family homes arena. And, also consistent with the rest of the state, townhomes and condo sales are down in Okaloosa County by 32.2 percent through May as compared with the same period last year. However, Walton County bucks the trend with an increase of 22 percent in sales of townhomes and condominiums in the same comparison period.

Existing-home sales made a big jump around the U.S. in May with all four regions of the country experiencing sales gains.

Across the U.S. the total number of single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums that closed in May increased 4.9 percent to 4.89 million, up from 4.66 million in April.  This is the highest monthly increase since August of 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Florida saw a slightly higher increase in existing-single-family-home sales of 8 percent in May, with 23,013 in comparison to April with 21,385, but didn’t see an increase in townhomes and condominiums, as reported by the Florida Association of Realtors based on figures from multiple listing services.  Instead, townhomes and condominium sales continued to decline locally, with a 7 percent decrease compared to last May.

The Emerald Coast made progress in the single-family homes arena. And, also consistent with the rest of the state, townhomes and condo sales are down in Okaloosa County by 32.2 percent through May as compared with the same period last year. However, Walton County bucks the trend with an increase of 22 percent in sales of townhomes and condominiums in the same comparison period.

 

 

 

Monthly Newsletter – May 2014

Monthly Newsletter 04-2014

Based on current technical analysis, interest rates are headed down. Yesterday’s GDP data clearly indicated that the economy is soft and, in fact, contracted in the 1st quarter. This, despite Quantitative Easing which has primarily served to inflate the equities markets. New home sales have seen continued declines nationwide.

Lower interest rates in the near term should help improve that all-important consumer confidence index, which should serve to bolster new and pre-owned home and condo sales.

Many changes are on the horizon as pertains to internet exposure. At issue is how individual Realtor Associations across the nation decide on which, if any, internet syndication portals are allowed to display all of the active listings of the Realtor Association.

These sites receive the fruit (property listings information) free of charge. They then use that information to sell leads back to the agent, whose efforts resulted in the listing submission to their sites to begin with. Frustrating.

Also related is the issue of whether or not a seller wishes to allow their property to be subjected to a “desktop valuation” (AVM) system. These online systems are popular with buyers because the sites “estimate” a property value instantly online. The problem of course is that the information can be grossly inaccurate. Your property may be on the market and worth $500,000. But what happens if a buyer tries to use the AVM on a given website that indicates your value as being $400,000? Many such decisions will be facing us over the next several months.

THE LOCAL TREND

New home sales Y-T-D are down by nearly 30 percent in Okaloosa county. However, new homes sales are up in Walton county (20 percent) and up in Bay county (more than 31 percent) as well. Across the board, inventory levels are higher and closed sales are lower as compared with 2013. Average sales prices are slightly lower today as well.

All news is not bad! At least not so considering that (In direct contrast to other specific points in time over the past 15 years), today’s market has many buyers looking for homes and condos. Anything properly priced in today’s market will sell!

Thanks,

Ed & Terri

 

 

Monthly Newsletter – April 2014