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Monthly Archives: July 2012
Home prices hit a bottom and are finally bouncing back, according to an industry report released Tuesday.
Nationwide, home values rose 0.2% year-over-year to a median $149,300 during the second quarter, the first annual increase since 2007, real estate listing site Zillow reported. Prices were up 2.1% from the first quarter.
Even though June marked the fourth consecutive month of home value increases, overall home prices are still down almost 24% since April 2007, when Zillow began to track home values.
“[I]t seems clear that the country has hit a bottom in home values,” said Zillow’s chief economist Stan Humphries. “The housing recovery is holding together despite lower-than-expected job growth, indicating that it has some organic strength of its own.”
Last winter, Zillow projected that the housing market turnaround would not arrive until the end of the year.
Other home price indexes have also recorded gains lately, including the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. In it latest release, it reported that home prices in 20 major markets rose 1.3% in April, the first monthly increase in seven months.
Where home prices are rising the fastest
Zillow uses a different methodology in calculating home values than other home price indexes like Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Sales of foreclosed, bank-owned properties, for example, are not factored into Zillow’s data. Zillow does include short sales, however, which are more difficult to distinguish from conventional sales.
“Our index is geared to consumers, conventional sellers deciding whether they want to put their homes on the market,” said Humphries.
The indexes that include foreclosures in their market data show larger price declines. The peak-to-trough drop for the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, for example, is about 34% compared with Zillow’s 24%.
Fewer than one third of the 167 metro areas Zillow surveyed recorded annual increases in home values, but the size of the price gains in these areas more than offset the losses posted by the remaining two-thirds of the markets.
In Phoenix, the biggest gainer, home values soared 12.1% year-over-year to a median of $136,200. Meanwhile, the biggest loss sustained by any of the 30 largest metro areas was in Chicago where median home values fell 5.8% to $158,600.
Foreclosures remain one of the biggest risks to the housing market recovery, Humphries said. In the wake of the national foreclosure settlement which clarified how banks can legally pursue foreclosures, Humphries expects the pace of foreclosures to pick up.
“That will translate to more homes on the market,” he said. “But we think demand will rise to absorb that.”
Zillow expects the housing market to continue to slowly recover, with median home values projected to climb 1.1% — relatively flat — over the next 12 months.
Most affordable cities for buying a home
Beaten down markets like Phoenix, Las Vegas and many Florida cities, will likely record greater-than-average gains over the next 12 months, said Humphries.
The results in those places, however, will be bumpy. Home price increases will cause some homeowners who have been patiently waiting for values to rebound to put their homes on the market. And those additional listings could cool prices for a while, resulting in a staircase effect with “price spikes followed by plateaus,” said Humphries.
By Les Christie, CNNMoney
admin in Hillsborough Title,New Hires | July 27, 2012
admin in Hillsborough Title,New Hires | July 25, 2012
Hillsborough Title dedicated the month of June to helping out local charities. Hillsborough Title ran a “like us for charity” contest on Facebook, and held a charity car wash. The Plant City location hosted the charity car wash which benefitted the United Food Bank of Plant City. Food and monetary donations collected totaled more than $1,200. Hillsborough Title, company-wide, ran a contest on Facebook that generated a donation of $1,000 for GTAR’s Realtor Care Foundation and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“I am incredibly proud of the hard-work my team contributed to such great causes,” stated Aaron M. Davis, President/CEO of Hillsborough Title. “The United Food Bank of Plant City is hit hardest in the summer months because donations level out, so it’s astonishing to see the amount of generosity that is carried throughout the community.
The charity car wash was held June 9th where food and monetary donations were welcomed. The Plant City Hillsborough Title team delivered a total of 1,244 pounds of collected food items, and presented the Food Bank with a check for $340.
Hillsborough Title’s Facebook contest helped to raise funds for the Realtor Care Foundation and Relay for Life. The contest concluded with 781 page “likes”. The company generously rounded up the final number and donated a total of $1,000 to the selected charities.
“I was so pleased to see the Realtor Care Foundation as the charity selected to receive the donation in honor of our contest because they have so many wonderful programs in place to better the real estate market and the community as a whole,” explained Davis when asked about his charitable contribution.
The REALTORS® Care is a charitable foundation that was formed to create and provide educational and housing programs and services. Tampa Bay’s REALTORS® are continually making a difference in the neighborhoods in which they live, work and serve. REALTORS® throughout the Tampa Bay Area have a long standing tradition of community involvement and regularly volunteer their time and efforts to numerous charities and worthy causes. From fundraising to volunteering, Tampa REALTORS® remain active in their communities and diligent in their goal to give back. So the formation of the REALTORS® Care Foundation of GTAR was an easy and natural extension of what it means to be a REALTOR® in Hillsborough County.
admin in Hillsborough Title,Real Estate Headline News | July 20, 2012
Brookfield Real Estate and Relocation Affiliates Inc., owner of the Prudential Real Estate franchise network, recently released the quarterly Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey showing that Americans’ confidence in homeownership and real estate continues climbing from the first quarter and a year earlier.
Signs of growing confidence are widespread, according to the national survey. For instance:
69 percent believe that real estate is a good investment despite the market volatility of the past few years, up 6 percentage points from the first-quarter 2012 survey and 17 percentage points from first quarter 2011.
72 percent expressed confidence that the real estate market and property values will improve during the next two years, including a 6-point jump among those “very confident” or “confident” vs. the first quarter 2012, and a 14-point gain in this subset over first quarter 2011.
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents have a favorable perception of the U.S. housing market, up from 60 percent in first quarter 2012 and 52 percent in first quarter 2011).
“The American Dream is clearly on the mend,” says Earl Lee, president, Prudential Real Estate. “Americans are feeling better about homeownership and the ongoing recovery taking place in residential real estate. Many are increasingly optimistic about their personal circumstances and, with housing affordability near all-time highs, they want to act on the opportunity.”
Factors driving homeownership
Homeownership remains the central component to the American Dream, as 78 percent of respondents said owning a home was still “very important” – the same percentage reported in the first-quarter 2012 study. A full 98 percent said homeownership was at least somewhat important.
In addition, with interest rates at historically low levels, 96 percent of respondents at least “somewhat agree” that now is a great time to buy a home – the same percentage reported in the first-quarter 2012 study.
More than the financial reasons to buy a home, respondents placed higher priority on the emotional reasons for homeownership. “Control over living space,” “more space for family,” “safer neighborhood” and “good place to raise a family” rated higher than “a good investment,” “financial security” and “tax benefits.”
“Normalcy is returning to the U.S. real estate market and more people are buying homes for traditional reasons – to raise a family, feel secure and build a future,” says Lee. “Every last emotion is rolled up into owning a home – it’s where life happens – so it’s no surprise that the emotional side outweighs financial reasons for owning a home among respondents.”
The survey also shows that consumers remain cautious about the real estate market and process, as a full 30 percent “strongly agree” that the housing crisis reminds them to be more careful about buying or selling a home; up two percentage points from the first-quarter 2012 survey. In addition:
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents indicated that financing or getting a mortgage is more challenging than it was before the market crisis, which is up from 58% in the first-quarter 2012 survey.
Among those considering a real estate transaction, 39 percent expressed concern they won’t be able to sell their current home, up 11 points from the first-quarter 2012 survey and 10 points from first quarter 2011.
Given the dynamics and challenges of today’s real estate market, nearly three out of four (74 percent) respondents think it is more important than ever to work with a good real estate agent for the best success in buying or selling a home (up from 71 percent in first-quarter 2012 and 67 percent in first quarter 2011).
“Real estate markets are improving around the country and consumers face many choices,” concludes Lee. “Consumers should seek out a real estate professional who can help them make the best choices to suit their needs.”
Source: RIS Media