Home Sales UP 25% in March for Hillsborough County

Still on the fence about buying a home in the Tampa Bay Area?  Here’s some statistics on our housing market.

Home sales were up in March across Hillsborough County as some real estate practitioners hope the housing slump is in the past.lobby 345 Bayshore

Some 1,400 homes were sold last month in Hillsborough, according to the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, the best figures since June 2007. The sales were up 25 percent over February and 20 percent from the year before.

The average sales price also is up from $160,145 in February to $168,071 in March, creating sales in Hillsborough of $235.3 million, compared to $179.4 million the month before.

“Our members have been saying they are seeing positive movement in the housing market. These latest statistics prove that they are indeed experiencing a more positive market,” said Carol Austin, GTAR chief executive officer, in a release.

Nearly 17,000 homes still remain for sale, representing an inventory of just under a year. However, that’s the lowest inventory Hillsborough has seen since October 2006, and inventory was more than 17 months just a year ago.

“These statistics are extremely positive,” said Jack Rodriguez, GTAR president, in a release. “Hopefully it signals a trend to better things ahead, both for real estate and the economy in general.”

Looking to buy or sell a home in the Tampa Bay area? Give us a call 813 784 7744 or search all homes for sale www.TampaBayDwellings.com

Tampa Bay Home Sales Rise! Tampa, Fl Real Estate Market Update

Existing Home Sales Rise 23%



Sales of existing homes rose 23 percent in the Tampa Real Estate Market as bargain hunters snatched up distressed properties and continued to keep home prices lower. That’s the largest jump since September, when sales rose 29 percent.

In the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater metro area, 1,856 existing single-family homes changed hands in February, a 23 percent jump from a year ago. The median sales price, however, fell 27 percent to $131,400; it was $178,900 this time last year, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. The sales price did edge up a bit from January’s median price of $122,400. Experts think this is because some lenders slashed prices of foreclosed homes to get them off their books before the new year.

“The median price of an existing home has now round-tripped all the way back to September 2002 levels,” said Mike Larson, a housing analyst with Weiss Research. “We have a lot of upside-down homeowners in this country, and their ranks are swelling every day.” “Upside-down” means they owe more than the house is worth. Sales were up 20 percent statewide, and the median sales price in Florida dropped 29 percent to $141,900.

The $8,000 new homebuyer credit that was included in the federal economic stimulus package is expected to give an even bigger boost to home sales this summer. Lower prices are needed to work off the inventory of unsold homes, but there’s a downside, Larson said.

As prices continue to fall, more homeowners are finding themselves upside-down. This is tempting many to stop making payments. “We’ll have to see if recent government efforts to modify more loans and expand the ranks of those who can refinance will encourage homeowners to stick things out rather than walk away, mail their keys to the lender and rent elsewhere,” Larson said.

Investors Learn California Market is number 1 in Foreclosures

 If California is number 1 in foreclosures in the U.S. and Tampa, Florida is number 2 in foreclosures;you can expect the housing markets to be similar.  California offers the same type of opportunities with regards to climate and beauty.

The difference is that the Tampa Bay area has an even greater number of homes for sale in the 55K range than California.Waterview Home in Beach Park-Tampa


I thought this was a very interesting article about an investor who is planning on buying property to hold onto.

Some Investors Are Gobbling Up Homes Home sales doubled in California in the fourth quarter of 2008 as investors and speculators bought foreclosed properties—cheap. “This is the buying opportunity of our lifetime,” said Bruce Norris, head of an investment group that expects to purchase at least 100 homes this year in Southern California.

Norris Investment Group prefers properties built between 1980 and 1990 that are smaller than 2,000 square feet. Norris says these homes usually don’t have too many maintenance issues and are the easiest to both rent and sell.

Typically, Norris pays somewhere around $50,000 for these properties and spends another $30,000 on repairs. He expects to rent these properties for at least $1,200 a month until the market for them turns.

He expects that time won’t be too far away. “You cannot have this (low) level of pricing be permanent because it costs too much to build a home [in California],” Norris said. “That’s how you know you’re making a logical decision when everything is falling around you.

When you can buy a finished product someone will want to live in for $55,000, that just has to make somebody pretty wealthy someday.”

If you are looking to invest in Real Estate in the Tampa Bay Area give us a call:

Phone number: Rae Catanese 813 784 7744

Prudential Tropical Realty

Foreclosure activity increases 81 percent in 2008 according to RealtyTrac

 What’s the difference between Florida and other housing markets?  The Tampa Bay area is still a desirable retirement and second home destination. Therefore, we are expecting our market to increase in sales and reducing the amount of foreclosures in our housing market, sooner than other parts of the country.

Hillsborough River, Tampa Florida

Hillsborough River, Tampa Florida

Nevada, Florida, Arizona posted top states for foreclosure rates in 2008.  More than 7 percent of Nevada housing units (one in 14) received at least one foreclosure notice in 2008, giving it the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the year. A total of 77,693 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing during the year, an increase of nearly 126 percent from 2007 and an increase of nearly 530 percent from 2006.

Florida registered the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in 2008, with 4.52 percent of its housing units (one in 22) receiving at least one foreclosure filing during the year, and Arizona registered the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with 4.49 percent of its housing units (one in 22) receiving at least one foreclosure filing during the year.  

I know we’ve all heard NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY, however, the facts are the facts and we have to go by the statistics provided to us by industry experts. ……………This is a quote from Peter Lynch, a well known Real Estate Investor

“Ive found that when the market’s going down and you buy wisely, at some point in the future you will be happy.  You won’t get there by reading “now is the time to buy” Peter Lynch

 If you are interested in finding out more about bank owned and foreclosed properties in the Tampa Bay Area, including the Beaches please call Rae at 813-784-7744

or emailto: info@thetamparealestateinsider.com

Search our Tampa Real Estate Website for homes for sale.

The Tampa Real Estate Insider, your source for the Tampa Housing Market

Tampa Real Estate makes TOP 20 List for positive EQUITY

I found another positive news article from Inman news addressing the Tampa Bay Area Housing Market.  This study shows that Tampa is in the top 20 for appreciation and is a very good sign that now is the best time to buy a house.  It also compares costs of owning versus renting in our market which on a US study is encouraging.  It seems that they are basing this study on the current purchase prices of homes, which has become extremly affordable and the future potential to gain equity within 3-4 years. 

Statistics have shown the Florida Real Estate Market is much different than many other markets across the country.  One, we have foreign money coming into our state from investors looking to get a great deal, two people still want to move to the Sunshine State!

Prospects for buyers improve

Study: Upside by 2012 seen in two-thirds of markets

Inman News

 Purchase a home in 67 of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas and you should be able to build positive equity by 2012, according to a new study comparing ownership and rental costs.

The report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research concluded that prospects for building equity by 2012 have improved somewhat in 36 cities, compared with an analysis performed in the spring. In many markets, declines in house prices and modest increases in rents are helping return rent-to-price ratios closer to historical levels, the report found.

 Equity Accrual Rates in the Top 100 Housing Markets



A new report from CEPR and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NHLIC) updates recent research on the top 100 real estate markets in the United States. The study also compares the costs of ownership and renting in these markets. Click here for copy of tampa-bay-area-makes-top-20-list
Prospects for purchasing a home and building positive equity by 2012 are also good in all 61 markets that don’t fit the report’s definition of a bubble market, its authors said.

The study defined a bubble market as an area where the median home price exceeds annual rent by 18 times or more. An area where monthly rent averages $1,500 a month, for example, would be considred a bubble market if the median home price exceeded $324,000  Our Median Home Sale Price in the Tampa Market as of October 26 2008 for TAMPA is $204,939. You can track median home sales prices and Trends by visiting Altos Reasearch here

If you’ve been considering taking advatange of the buyer’s market feel free to email us info@tamparealestateinsider.com with any questions, or you can search homes for sale in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater by visiting our Real Esate Search site

More Good News for buyers-Tampa Real Estate Market Update

Earlier this year Dave Ramsey, financial author and Radio Talk Show host, was on CNN Larry King Live touting what a great buy Tampa Bay housing is right now. He was on The CBS Morning Show this week again commenting on the real estate market from Nashville Tenn. He said “There is no longer a national real estate market. We are made up of local real estate markets which may be completely different.” He further said, “If I was in Tampa, Florida and I am a buyer this is a great time to buy!”

Thinking about buying or selling real estate in the Tampa Bay Area? Have a Real Estate question?
Feel free to email or call us 813-784-7744
Rae Catanese and Michelle Jordan Realtors.

Search MLS
Prudential Tropical Realty

Article about how you can save money if you buy NOW-Tampa, Fl

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008
Ignore the Headlines
By Dan Kadlec
Correction Appended: February 19, 2008

Famed Money Manager is perhaps best known for his timeless wisdom that you can beat the pros by focusing on stocks of companies where you either work or shop or have some other edge. But a more relevant Lynchism today is this gem: Ignore the headlines.

That’s no easy thing. How do you tune out all the chatter and ink on recession, housing, subprime woes, the credit crunch, rogue traders, insolvent bond insurers, $100 oil and nukes in Iran? It’s enough to make you sit on your thumbs and wait before making any big moves. But what, exactly, are you waiting for?

There has rarely been a moment in history when you couldn’t scare yourself into doing nothing. And yet, as Lynch observed nearly 20 years ago, “in spite of all the great and minor calamities that have occurred … all the thousands of reasons that the world might be coming to an end–owning stocks has continued to be twice as rewarding as owning bonds.”

A top reason to not buy stocks, in Lynch’s view, is if you don’t already own a home–in which case, that should be your first investment, since an owner-occupied home is nearly always profitable. Through a spokesman, Lynch reaffirmed these views to me–housing debacle and all.

When prices are falling, few people have the discipline to buy stocks, a house, gold, art or any other asset. But those who do pull the trigger excel in the long run. As John D. Rockefeller famously said, “The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.” And the streets are stained crimson.

Start with stocks. They have been pummeled this year. GDP braked sharply last quarter, and there has been plenty of panic about a recession. The Federal Reserve is slashing short-term interest rates at the fastest clip in decades. But if you stick to your steady, diversified plan while everyone else is retreating, you will be happy years from now.

For one thing, Fed rate cuts always lift the economy eventually, and the stock market typically starts responding just as headlines get gloomiest. Sure, the market could fall again before recovering. But the recession may be half over already–or we may avoid one altogether. You just never know.

As for housing, certainly some skepticism is in order. Formerly sizzling markets in Florida, Nevada, Arizona and California probably haven’t seen the worst headlines just yet, though they may well be close. And “jumbo” mortgages, those more than $417,000, are likely to remain artificially high for a few more months while banks work through their credit issues.

But let’s say you are emotionally ready to be a homeowner. You have good credit, plan to stay put for five years and have been waiting for the perfect entry point. It’s time to get serious–before an inevitable rise in interest rates wipes out your advantage. “The thing that will make home prices stop falling is the very same thing that will push mortgage rates higher,” says Jim Svinth, chief economist at mortgage firm Lending Tree. So anything you gain by a further drop in prices might be offset by rising financing costs.

Consider a typical home that sells for $218,900. You put down 20% and get a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at today’s rate of 5.5%. Monthly principal and interest come to $994.31. Let’s say that 12 months from now the same house goes for 10% less, or $197,010. But by then the recession is history and the Fed is jacking up rates to stem inflation. If mortgage costs rise a point, to 6.5%, your monthly payment would be $994.94 and you’d have saved nothing.

Meanwhile, home prices might steady and sellers might become less willing to negotiate. And you have spent a year living someplace you’d rather not be.

It’s more complicated if you must sell before you can buy. But that logjam won’t persist forever–and if it appears you’ll be trapped for a few years, try to refinance at today’s lower rates. Risks always seem most acute when the headlines give you ulcers. But that’s exactly when you should think long term–and get off your thumbs.

Thinking about buying or selling real estate in the Tampa Bay Area? Have a Real Estate question?
Feel free to
email or call us 813-784-7744
Rae Catanese and Michelle Jordan

Search MLS
Prudential Tropical Realty

How to make informed decisions when buying a home-Tampa, Fl

Gaylord: Know Your MarketNAR President

Richard Gaylord says consumers need to understand what’s going on in their own area. “There is no such thing as a national housing market – it doesn’t perform like the equities markets,” he says. “What’s really important for consumers is to make informed decisions based on individual needs, desires, and timelines in a given area.

Most people plan to stay in a home for 10 years, and for buyers with a long-term view, housing is an excellent investment.”Typical sellers purchased their home six years ago, with the median price in the third quarter of 2001 at $159,100.

Despite the dip in the national median price over the past year, the median increase in value for home sellers who bought six years ago is 38.8 percent. “Nearly every market is showing positive long-term gains, with a home equity accumulation of $61,700 over the past six years for a typical U.S. home owner,” Gaylord says.

Even in most of the places that are undergoing a large price decline, like Tampa, Florida, a long-term increases are quite respectable, he says. For example, the Sarasota area of Florida is showing a median rise in home value of $112,000 over the typical holding period, and ranks well above norm for overall gains.”

To find a Realtor in your area who can provide you with a detailed comparable market analysis contact us or visit http://www.tampabaydwellings.com/

Housing Trends-Best Places For Real Estate Deals

This was on Forbes.com today and thought it was a very encouraging article for the Tampa area.

Towers of Channelside

Home sales have sunk to their lowest levels since 2001. Investors are jumping ship, foreclosures are mounting and lenders are exercising caution.

Still, there are areas of the county where it makes sense for some to buy. That’s because, in a market slump, sellers eager to unload their homes often accept less money from buyers. New construction also slows. Both bode well for those hoping to score a deal–if the market in which they are buying is expected to experience increased sales.

Tampa and Miami–are expecting to see significant pickups in sales activity, according to Moody’s, and therefore become better buyers’ markets because of a relatively lower risk.

But economists caution that while over the next year the dust may settle in these 10 spots, buyers should be prepared for future swings. This is especially true in the case of riskier markets like Orlando and Las Vegas, where the expected increase in sales volume and housing turnover doesn’t necessarily mean that the price trough is imminent.

If you are in the market to purchase a home please feel free to contact us or visit http://www.tampabaydwellings.com/ to search listings in all of Tampa Bay.

To find such places, we paired with Moody’s Economy.com to research current home sales patterns and sales projections in the country’s 40 biggest real estate markets. Based on models that estimated 2008 housing inventory, sales rates and turnover, we arrived at a list of markets that are experiencing price stalls or declines, but where over the coming year are expected to provide deals for buyers.

“Housing market activity revives when house prices decline sufficiently to restore housing affordability and entice buyers to step up and make a purchase,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “Some markets are already approaching those price points, in many others prices will have to decline much more to get to that point.”