Monthly Newsletter, December, 2017

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2017

National Trend
According to many of the financial pundits, the passage of tax reform assures another great year in real estate. According to The Conference Board, the Consumer Confidence Index® improved in October and increased further in November.

The Index now stands at 129.5 (1985=100), up from 126.2 in October. The Present Situation Index increased from 152.0 to 153.9, while the Expectations Index rose from 109.0 last month to 113.3.

Local Trend
As noted last month, real estate inventory levels in both the condo and single family home arenas are low. As indicated on page 2, the total dollar volume of sold properties is up significantly over last year, which causes many to ask if we are heading toward another bubble.

The answer is, probably not. The 2007 bubble was much the result of the unbridled availability of credit, coupled with little or no down payment requirements. Outside of FHA and VA type loan programs, real estate sales today have 20% down payment requirements. Many of our sales today are cash.  It is safe to assume that a buyer who purchases a $3 million home with cash is spending his/her last $3 million.

The highest dollar sales in November were a $2,649,000 condo and a $5,950,000 single family home. Interestingly, both properties had incredibly long days on the market. Respectively, they took 2,028 and 1,966 days to sell.

We end the year on an incredibly welcomed high note and anticipate an equally upbeat message this time next year!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and May Peace Be With You!

Ed, Terri, Kay, Denis and Tammy

 

 

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, NOVEMBER 2017

Monthly Newsletter, November 2017

National Trend
According to the ULI (Urban Land Institute), the immediate future of real estate promises “a relatively smooth ride”. In concert with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the ULI unveiled their “2018 Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report last month in Los Angeles. The consensus of real estate experts and analysts surveyed by ULI view a “sudden drop in altitude” as highly unlikely. The ULI went further stating “Growth trends and an economic tailwind suggests an expansion of the current cycle, amid larger structural shifts in real estate.”

Local Trend
Real estate inventory levels remain tight as evidenced by the paltry 989 condos for sale within our 40 mile stretch of Emerald Coast beaches. Exactly 10 years ago (November 2007) we had 3,411 condos for sale, of which only 43 sold. We’ve come a long way!
SFR (single family residential) homes in Destin/Miramar averaged $684,014 last month while averaging $1,186,747 along 30-A. Condos in Destin/Miramar averaged $393,401 last month while averaging $412,298 along 30-A.

Many buyers who would otherwise be taking profits out of the stock market to diversify into real estate are holding off for the moment. We are being told that they wish to wait for the final disposition as to the tax reform proposals now in the Senate. They say they will resume purchasing after the final outcome but simply want to know what the tax ramifications will be moving forward.

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

Ed, Terri, Kay, Denis and Tammy

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER – OCTOBER 2017

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER – OCTOBER 2017

National Trend
The battle rages over the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) and tax reform.
National Association of Realtors (NAR) and National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) are double-teaming and double-timing in their efforts to save the
MID. Over the past 30 years, we have never seen anyone buy a home or condo
simply because there is a deduction for the mortgage interest paid. Further,
many buyers in this market pay cash and therefore receive no MID.

Bottom line? Pride of ownership and the desire to have a place of your own
(home, condo, investment/vacation) are what really motivate buyers to buy.
Raise the standard deduction so as to not raise taxes and the market will not
miss a beat, IMHO. ☺

Local Trend
Real estate inventory levels along the Emerald Coast remain tight. The average
days on market has declined over the past year and prices have been decidedly
up.

With two significant storms having made recent landfall along the gulf, the
markets have cooled slightly. As we approach the winter season, we are seeing
a level of stabilization in price appreciation. A dip in average sales pricing is fairly
typical for the October through January time period due to slightly fewer
buyers and more inclement weather.

In sum, we approach the year’s end with low inventory levels, high demand for
Emerald Coast properties and low mortgage interest rates. A match made in
heaven!

Please call, text or email us anytime for an update!
Ed, Terri, Kay and Tammy

(850) 837-5500

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER – SEPTEMBER 2017

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER – SEPTEMBER 2017

National Trend
Many smart prognosticators are now predicting that we may be heading for a period of even lower Treasury yields and home loan rates. These smart people believe that within a month or two we will enter a secular bull market (higher prices, lower yields and home loan rates) for Treasuries which will last from 12 to 14 months.

Low inflation is said to be one of the most significant contributing factors. Look for the terms disinflation (lower rate of inflation) and deflation to become more commonplace. Massive increases in the money supply (M1) and near zero Fed funds rate have resulted in lethargic GDP growth. Low home loan interest rates will help keep the American Dream alive 🙂

Local Trend
As is the case in many markets across the nation, Emerald Coast real estate inventory supplies are tight. The average days on market for a properly priced (within 5% of market value) single family home will sell within 60 days. Condos will take longer at 150 days. The record for “days on market” sale last month was a condo that had been on the market for more than 8 years!

Y-T-D single family home sales are up significantly. Okaloosa, Walton and Bay  counties are  +9.17, +13.1 and +12.72 percent respectively.  Condo sales are similarly up, specifically +23.02, +17.3 and +22.42 percent. Residential lots however have declined significantly in all three counties, specifically  –25.3, -7.8 and -6.48 percent.

We expect a brief cooling of the market as things re-stabilize in the aftermath of Harvey and Irma. Disruption of the fuel refining pipeline and the potential impact on insurance companies will cause short term challenges. These challenges will pass quickly.

We give thanks that the Emerald Coast was spared the wrath of Irma and our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by these horrible storms.

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

Ed & Terri
smith@REALTOR.com
850-837-5500

 

 

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!