Posts Tagged ‘Orlando Housing’

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Luxury home sales – oh, my…

May 4, 2011

Somebody once told me to give them “just the facts” and so here you go – the facts:

We had another interesting month in the Central Florida region for luxury homes. I know this blog is titled a luxury real estate blog but honestly, there is precious little to talk about.

According to the Mid-Florida MLS, we currently have 404 luxury homes (over $1 Million in value) active and for sale in the Orlando area. However, in April there were only thirteen (13) homes sold over $1 Million with the vast majority of the sold homes located in the SW area of Orlando also known as Dr. Phillips or Windermere. Winter Park had four sales with Lake Nona having one sale. There is simply not much to brag about with these ugly statistics.

What is selling? Eighty (80%) percent of the homes sold in the month of April were under $200,000. Most were cash meaning that we still have a strong presence of investors in the market. The bulk of sales representing 46% of the homes sold were under $100,000.

Having sold homes for over 20 years, I can honestly say that these figures are indicative of the fact that Central Florida remains in a housing slump, prices have bottomed out but are not appreciating at this time and loans are still hard to obtain. In short, not much change from the past few months. Investors currently control the market.

The facts may not be what we had hoped for but it is a reflection of challenging economic times in the United States. Here’s hoping for a stronger month of May for all of us!

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Generational real estate selling and other minsinformation.

April 28, 2011

We live in a time when people want quick answers and quick resolutions to all their questions. How many times a day do you see articles with “Five ways to Happiness” or “Seven steps to selling your home”? Here’s a fact: there aren’t any quick or fast steps to doing anything. It’s just the use of a catch phrase to get your attention. Imagine how great life would be if we could solve things in three easy steps? It just not that simple.

One of the main things I see is that realtors are being misled to believe that their clients are now internet social butterflies and that so much business is done via the web. This is simply not true. While more than 80% may look on the web for a home; the majority of individuals still rely on word-of-mouth or personal relationships to find a realtor to assist them. For instance, a recent fact published by the American Affluence Research Center reflects that only 12.5% of affluent clients even use social media. That’s not very good odds for those seeking to attract the luxury market via the web, through Facebook or other social networking venues.

The other common mistake I see in today’s real estate world is labeling clients. Of course, you know about “boomers” but now we have the newest which is the Millenial generation. The Millenial Generation was born between 1977 and 1998 and has approximately 75 million members. REALTORS are being led to believe that this age group is the next big wave of buyers. Let me assure you – I don’t see this happening. Why? Because I personally have millenials (with college degrees) living under my roof and they can’t find jobs that pay enough to afford a home. Fact: College degrees don’t guarantee a high-paying job thereby making home ownership affordable. I have friends who also have children who graduated college, who are hard-working and driven BUT who are also waiting tables and working part-time at corporations just to get an opportunity for full-time employment. Where do they live? At home with their parents! In addition, many of my friends have not only their grown children living at home but also their parents. These are the people who are helping to support the Millenials. I wish more people would write about that fact.

Millenials and Gen “X” and “Y” are watching the world economy in turmoil and they are scared for their future. I’m not sure they see the value in home ownership and they may just wait it out for a few years and see how the United States government (and lending instituions) respond to our economic crisis.

What is factual? At the end of the day it is still about relationships. Get out from behind your computer and meet people. Stay in touch with friends and former clients. While I personally have a blog, Facebook page and I tweet like a maniac, I do so for fun. I don’t expect business to boom because I do all my social networking. People will buy homes because they need a place to live. But as for me – know any investors or better yet – let’s do lunch?

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Will work for a home? Unemployment affects housing.

June 1, 2010

It’s almost summertime and the market is starting to turn. It’s great news for some but not so great for others.

According to a study released Friday by NeighborWorks America, 58 percent of homeowners who’ve received assistance through its national foreclosure counseling program reported the primary reason they were facing foreclosure was reduced or lost income.

NeighborWorks was created by Congress in 1991 as a nonprofit organization to support local communities in providing its citizens with access to homeownership and affordable rental housing. In January 2008, with the foreclosure crisis raging, Congress implemented the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program and made NeighborWorks the administrator.

The organization says that over the course of the NFMC program, the percentage of homeowners who’ve cited wage cuts or unemployment as the primary reason they were facing foreclosure has steadily increased.

In November 2009, 54 percent of NFMC-counseled borrowers reported reduced or lost income as the main reason for default. Six months earlier in June 2009, it was 49 percent; in February 2009, 45 percent; and in October 2008, 41 percent.

These steady increases parallel the nation’s unemployment rate, which until the November 2009 employment report, had marched upward since October 2008.

“With unemployment numbers not likely to dip below nine percent in 2010, our report proves what many already believed to be true. Unemployment and reduced income are having a devastating effect on our nation’s homeowners,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

So what does the future hold for real estate? Well as you can see a lot depends on the ability to create jobs in today’s world. WE NEED WORK and we need for Congress to act now to shore up  unemployment numbers. This could be a long recovery for our nation – but we WILL recover and we will go back to work.

I look forward to that day.

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Don’t worry…be happy

January 17, 2009

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A client asked me today when he was going to hear some good news. When was he going to hear something positive about the real estate market? He was tired of hearing that his home isn’t selling because no one is buying. I feel his pain.

But here’s some simple truths. There is good news. It’s the old silver lining in every cloud syndrome and I think it bears repeating.

1. THINGS WILL GET BETTER. Once we work our way out of this (and I think it will be sooner than later) – the housing industry WILL recover and we will have a stable and secure real estate market. Will it happen tomorrow? Unlikely.  But could it happen THIS YEAR? Very likely.

2. HOUSING IS STILL A GREAT BUY. Rates are ridiculously low and prices are even lower. If you EVER wanted to own a home – buy now. BUY…BUY…BUY. Homes are listed at crazy low prices. I can tell you this, investors are buying and they are going into the rental market. Smart people see the opportunities. Other people see problems. Be smart!

3. ENJOY YOUR HOME. Life is not only about the bottom line. If you loved your house before…you will still love it now even if it isn’t worth as much. It’s STILL YOUR HOME.

4. LEARN TO COPE. Life has its ups and downs. Good times and bad times. But hey…we are still here, we still have a roof over our heads and the sun will come up tomorrow. Enjoy.

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Dear Mr. Future President…

August 31, 2008

Dear Mr. Future President:

As the housing industry goes…so goes the economy. This is important to remember.

More than half of all Americans think that with the election of a new President we will see an improvement in the housing industry. I tend to agree. Why? Because it can’t get any worse and no one, at this stage of the election process, seems to be willing to take a stand on housing and the economy. So yes…with a new President should come SOME relief from our housing crisis. But how will he do it?

Most Americans still believe in the dream of home ownership. Most, however, feel that they are going to be shut out of the market due to either their inability to get a loan, lack of down payment, or unrealistic housing prices. Mr. Future President, you have a problem.

For too long we have ignored what some refer to as our housing tsunami which has created a serious economic crisis for America. Interestingly, it’s going to start to have a ripple effect throughout the world soon. Someone, specifically our new President and our elected representatives have to start thinking of smart options to fix our housing crisis.

We have willing buyers and willing sellers but LENDERS are withdrawing in record numbers. Appraisers are afraid to assign any value to properties and the economy starts to tank. The federal government must step up and work with lenders to guarantee the loan process. For those who think the taxpayers should not “bail out” the housing market…think again. Without a housing rebound you may see the beginnings of a recession turn into something far worse.

Central Florida is starting to turn around. But it could just as easily slide back if we don’t find lenders willing to loan mortgage money to qualified buyers. Mr. Future President, think long and hard about today’s housing crisis. I think the future of our country and most certainly the success of your tenure will depend upon it.

God Bless America!