Bradenton Florida Real Estate News

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hurricanes affect home sales

Home builders across the region stopped construction Tuesday and rushed to secure job sites. Meanwhile, existing-home sales in August already were slow, agents say, and now Ernesto was poised to delay end-of-month transactions.

"Everything grinds to a halt," said David Dweck, president of the Boca Real Estate Investment Club and an agent in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Home insurance companies, including Citizens Property Insurance Corp., stopped issuing policies Monday after officials posted tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Buyers were still hoping to complete purchases so they could move in over Labor Day weekend.

Although Ernesto, by itself, ultimately may prove to be nothing more than an inconvenience, industry observers worry that a busy hurricane season for the third year in a row in South Florida could have a lasting effect on buyers' psyches.

And that's the last thing builders need. Toll Brothers, a big builder in the region and nationally, and other companies already have warned investors that home sales have softened now that the recent five-year housing boom has ended.

"If there's only minor damage, people may say, 'No big deal,'" said Kiku Martinson, director of real estate for Campbell & Rosemurgy in Deerfield Beach. "But if there's a lot of damage, they may think twice."

Since 2004, South Florida has been hit by hurricanes Frances, Jeanne, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Some residents, especially retirees, say they're ready to leave the area because of the increased threat of storms. Agents say buyers tell them they don't want to commit until hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

"If we have to deal with four more Ernestos, then it might have an effect (on the housing market)," said Scott Agran, president of Lang Realty in Boca Raton. "But if we make it through the season with no more storms, then I don't think it will be much of a threat."

But Mark Zandi, chief economist for Economy.com, a West Chester, Pa., research firm, said even a relatively minor storm could influence buying decisions.

"In the long run, if you keep having storm after storm after storm, season after season, it will wear down on the desirability of the area," Zandi said. "I don't think it's overwhelming yet, but it is a growing weight on demand."

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Take a 40 year loan and treat it like a 30

If a prospective homebuyer takes out a 40-year mortgage, he may be able to afford the house of his dreams. But then he balks at the term of the loan, preferring a tried-and-true 30-year FRM. No problem, says Dr.

Don with Bankrate.com. Simply suggest he take out a 40-year FRM and pay it off as if it's a 30-year, adding principal to each monthly mortgage payment, or saving money and paying the equivalent amount once per year. Bankrate.com has a calculator (www.bankrate.com) that can determine monthly payments broken down by principal and interest.

For example, a $200,000, 40-year loan at 7 percent comes out to $1,242.86 per month. That same loan and interest paid off over 30 years comes to $1,330.60. One caveat to this free 40-year to 30-year conversion system, however: When taking out the initial 40-year mortgage, make sure it doesn't contain prepayment penalties. Also, check the math periodically to make sure the lender is actually applying the extra principal payments to the principal.
Source: Bankrate.com

Monday, August 28, 2006

Investors losing confidence in real estate

Investor optimism hit an annual low in August, and has steadily declined since January, according to the latest UBS/Gallup index, released today.

The Index of Investor Optimism dropped two points since July to 53 in August, and has fallen 40 points since January. The index is based on a monthly survey and had a baseline score of 124 when it was established in October 1996.

"One key issue of growing concern to investors is the residential real estate market," UBS announced today. About 44 percent of respondents rate conditions in the real estate market as "only fair," and 12 percent rated real estate conditions as "poor," up from a combined 46 percent who rated the market as "only fair" or "poor" in June and July.

About 70 percent of investors believe that conditions in the real estate market are getting worse, up from 63 percent in June, the survey also found. Investor sentiment toward investing in real estate assets nationwide has also fallen. In August, 50 percent of investors said that now is a good time to invest in real estate related assets nationwide, down from 55 percent in June.

(Source: Inman News)

Do you follow the crowd? When would you say is the best time to buy an investment, when everybody thinks the price will keep going up? Or, is it better when everybody thinks the price will be going down? True investors know that you buy low and sell high. When the crowd says it's time to exit real estate, that's when true investors enter the market.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Housing inventory chart for Manatee County


This chart tells the story of our increasing residential (blue) and condo (red) inventory in Manatee County. This has created our current buyer's market.

--Dan Forbes

Home inventories through the roof

Home inventories through the roof
MELISSA FOLLOWELL
Herald Staff Writer


As the number of home sales and the prices of existing homes in Sarasota-Bradenton continue on a downward spiral, real estate agents are taking a realistic look at the changing market. Sales in the area slumped 49 percent compared to last July as listings remain high.

continue here http://tinyurl.com/h8pvq

Monday, August 21, 2006

10 Best Cities for Real Estate in '06

Buy, sell or hold seem to be the biggest worries of home buyers and real estate investors in the 2006 residential real estate market. After solid double-digit appreciation in many major markets the last five years, investors and home buyers alike see the brakes on growth in 2006. Where to go? Mark Nash real estate author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home lays out where investors and home buyers can make a go it in 2006.

Atlanta, Georgia. Below average appreciation rates that have not matched other major markets.
Austin, Texas. Good news here, affordable housing prices attracting employers. Rising appreciation.
Boise, Idaho. New on real estate investors radar, attracting scores of out-of-state buyers. Good profit prospects.
Dallas, Texas. Prices creeping upward, fueling investor interest.
Houston, Texas. Demand from Katrina transplants driving a strong market.
Las Vegas, Nevada. Market returning to normal appreciation rates, demand stays steady.
Phoenix, Arizona. Ignored in the boom, now being discovered by investors. Most cities here are bargain-priced.
San Antonio, Texas. Waking from a stagnant appreciation period. Good returns projected here.
Seattle, Washington. Good economy and low inventories offer attractive appreciation gains in 2006.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Solid Midwestern values speculate-proof this burgeoning market.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is it time to cut your price?

This timely article will be of interest to those of you trying to sell a home in today's market.

Is It Time to Cut Your Price?
By CHRIS PUMMER, AOL REAL ESTATE COLUMNIST

With the summer home-buying season fast ending, panic is setting in among sellers in slowing markets nationwide forced to consider price cuts to unload their properties.

The U.S. inventory of unsold homes hit a record 566,000 units in June. In some of last year’s hottest regional markets, inventories are five times higher than a year ago.

“Buyers are taking a wait-and-see attitude,” says Blanche Evans, editor of Realty Times, a trade publication. “It’s the nature of buyers to seek a bargain, and if they think prices are going to go lower, they will wait as long as it takes.”

Realtors are advising clients eager to sell to drop their price before the fall/winter sales slowdown. One leading, Washington, D.C.-area broker is telling those who want a quick sale now to cut their asking price to late 2004 levels.

Many sellers are ignoring such advice, suspecting agents are just trying to win easier sales for themselves. Yet a growing number of listings are languishing as buyers and their agents perceive them to be too overpriced to even waste time making an offer on.

“Some sellers think agents just want easy sales, but there are no easy sales these days,” said Boofie O’Gorman, a top-producing agent in Reston, Va., for Long & Foster, a Mid-Atlantic realty firm. “I’m encouraging clients to make price reductions as quickly and deeply as possible. My advice on new listings is to price where it’s painful now, to avoid it being more painful later.
So how do you determine if your property is overpriced, and how much should you shave off if it is?

Here are recommendations from several real-estate experts:

Perish the thought
First, forget about the pie-in-the-sky figure you felt your house was worth. Just like with tech stocks before their 2000 collapse, paper gains aren’t worth crying over — or holding out hope you’ll regain anytime soon.

To make reducing your asking price easier to stomach, consider instead how much you’ve made on your home. Calculate your annualized investment return based on your downpayment, not your purchase price. You may be pleasantly astounded.

Take a head count
How much interest has there been in your property? If 10 qualified buyers have been through and it remains unsold, it’s time to look hard at a price drop.

Evans offers this simple gauge: If you’re getting showings but not offers, the buyers think your home is overpriced. If you’re not getting showings at all, the professionals think you’re overpriced. In the latter case, you may be way overpriced, because the pros aren’t even recommending buyers take a look.

What’s your motivation?
If you don’t need to move, you can sit tight on your price. If you’ve bought another home can’t afford to indefinitely pay two mortgages, and don’t want to be a landlord, the question is how much lower should you go? In that case, cut your price at least by the amount of carrying costs you’ll pay on the vacant house until next spring’s selling season, including taxes, insurance and maintenance. To be safe, consider a full year’s worth.

Check the clock
How long has it taken to sell homes in your price range in your area recently? If yours has been on the market nearly half that time or longer, a price cut’s likely in order.

The reason: Buyers are suspicious about homes up for sale more than a couple of months even if the only thing wrong with them is they were overpriced to start.

A lot to consider
How many listings are there in your area compared with a year ago? The larger the inventory, the more choices buyers have and the more price-competitive you need to be.
If your area’s supply is double that a year ago, it may not be cause for concern, especially in formerly hot markets where inventories were lean last year. If the number of unsold homes rose four times or more, you may want to cut your price sharply now to attract attention in an increasingly crowded field.

Go shopping yourself
On the next Open House day, ask your agent to accompany you on a tour of all comparable homes for sale in your area. Take the measure of each in terms of pluses and minuses vs. your home and then set your price low enough that it beats them all.

The advantage here: By scrutinizing the comps with your agent, you can have an open discussion with him or her that should relieve any suspicion about their price-cutting motives.

So what’s new?
If there’s significant residential construction in your area, you may want to make a pre-emptive price cut. Otherwise, you could soon find a nearby, brand-new home priced less than your similarly-sized, aging model.

Reason being: Developers and builders can’t afford to sit on vacant units, or financing costs will devour their profit. They’ll generally cut prices far quicker than existing home owners for that reason.

Especially bad timing
If you’re selling a condominium that’s drawn little interest, you may want to take decisive action. Unlike single-family home prices that have held up despite declining sales volume, condo prices already are falling off 2.7% nationwide in June from a year earlier and are likely to drop even further.

The reason: Condominiums historically appreciate fastest in value in the latter part of a rising home-price cycle, as buyers get priced out of single-family homes. Conversely, condo prices fall hardest in the first part of a declining market as single-fame homes become more affordable.

A reasoned half-measure
If you don’t want to cut your price yet, but want to attract buyers’ attention, consider contributing to the buyer’s closing costs — $5,000, $10,000 or whatever the maximum your state allows.

By minimizing the cash your buyer needs to bring to the table, you’re essentially helping them get into your home. You still may have to come off your asking price by a fair amount, but you may entice more buyers to take a look with the closing-cost offer.

Walk a mile in their shoes
Ultimately, the best indicator of whether your home is overpriced is to ask yourself: What would I pay for my house today? Put aside sentimental attachments and instead take note of all the home-improvement projects you never got around to.

After years of home sellers making out like bandits, buyers will soon be scoring deals. So at what price do you think your house would be a great deal these days? Add on two or three percent for negotiating room and that may be an attractive asking price, at least for the moment.

Free Hurricane Inspections & Repairs

Want a free hurricane home inspection? Want the state to pay half the cost of any recommended repair to prepare your home for the next storm?

As of today, inspection applications are available at http://www.mysafefloridahome.com, a Web site operated by the Florida Comprehensive Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program. If you have an inspection and hurricane upgrades are recommended, the state will pay up to $5,000 in matching funds to qualified Florida homeowners; and low-income homeowners will be eligible for $5,000 grants with no match required.

There are rules: The program applies only to Floridians who own a single-family, site-built home with an insured value less than $500,000; or owners in a residential building of up to four units providing all unit owners agree to participate. Mobile homes, manufactured homes, second homes, rental properties, apartments and businesses are not eligible. Interested homeowners should apply as soon as possible -- the program's funding, part of the state budget, has a limit.

For immediate assistance, visit the Web site or call toll-free:
(800) 342-2762 in Florida or out-of-state (850) 413-3089.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chickens and today's real estate market

Gertrude Shelby asked her readers a question in a 1926 issue of Harper's magazine: "Did you ever keep chickens?"

Ms. Shelby, a journalist, was using a metaphor to explain the rapid inflation of property prices in Florida in the 1920's. "Put down a pan full of big scraps, and the hens come running. The first ones grab big pieces and depart rapidly. ... The others see the pieces in the beaks, and instead of realizing there's plenty more in the pan, they chase the hens who got the first pieces. That's resale psychology."

Here's how that analogy applies today. A few months ago when we were at the top of market Sellers made a hefty profit (from 2000-2005 we had 145% appreciation). In the following months as the market began to cool most sellers were in denial and refused to reduce their price because of what the home down the street had sold for. Even today Sellers look at the asking prices of their neighbors and say, "My home is better than that so I want to ask more than my neighbor." The result is they are both overpriced.

Sellers can keep chasing what others got last year and miss their opportunity today!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Harvard: slowdown is merely a breather

Cooling home sales nationwide won't last long because continuing strong household growth will fuel more housing demand, Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies says. Over the next 10 years, there will be at least 2 million more new households than were formed over the past decade.

"On the strength of this growth alone, housing production should set records," the report says. Don't expect prices to plunge as a result of the current slowdown, either. Markets are seeing neither big employment drops nor overuilding in housing supply --two conditions that precipitated price falls in the past.

Source: Realtor Magazine

Monday, August 14, 2006

Home buyers have more clout these days

Home buyers have more clout now than they've had for years. So, they are more discerning, and focus only on the best houses at the best prices. If the seller won't negotiate a satisfactory deal, buyers would rather walk away than overpay.

The incidence of failed transactions appears to be rising. Last year, buyers couldn't buy fast enough. Many paid over asking price, overlooked property defects and bought "as is."

Today's buyers are cautious going into a transaction and less likely to accept full responsibility for correcting defects found on inspections. When a resolution can't be reached on an inspection issue and the buyer decides to search for a better deal, the seller is left with two options: He can either put his property back on the market, or he can wait for a friendlier market.

The second approach is risky if you want or need to sell in the near future. Although the current market won't last forever, it may be some time before we see a market that's better for sellers than it is today.

HOME SELLER TIP: Before letting a deal fall apart, sellers should seriously consider their chances of negotiating a better deal with another buyer. Depending on state disclosure requirements, a seller might be required to disclose the inspection issues to future buyers.

For example, in Florida, sellers are required to disclose all material facts to prospective buyers. A material fact is one that affects a buyer's decision to buy or the price he'd be willing to pay.

Disclosing newly found defects to a subsequent buyer could affect how much he'd pay for the property. Also, remarketing a property is a hassle, it takes time and it might be no more lucrative than the first deal. In fact, it could be worse.

Putting a property back on the market in a rising inventory environment can be challenging. Rekindling enthusiasm is difficult because most buyers focus their attentions on the new listings coming on the market, not than those that are back on the market.

A listing comes back on the market because something went wrong. If there are plenty of new listings to choose from, there's less incentive to narrow in on a listing that someone else didn't buy, even the listing is back on the market for a reason other than the condition of the property. For instance, a certain number of transactions fail because the buyers were unable to secure financing.

Last year, buyers were less inclined to withdraw from a purchase over inspection issues. The listing inventory was so limited that they were afraid it would be difficult to find something else to buy.

According to the National Association of Realtors, inventories nationally now represent a 6-month supply at the current sales pace. This puts inventory levels in balance for the first time in years. By comparison, in April 2005, inventories in California represented a little over a 2-month supply; it gave sellers a decided advantage over buyers.

The primary reason there are more listings back on the market is that some sellers are reluctant to accept that the market has changed. It has often been said that when the market changes, sellers are the last to know. This is understandable. No one likes to hear that a valuable asset is worth less than anticipated.

There are sellers who realize weeks after they let a deal fall apart that they made a mistake. If you find yourself in this situation, consider a price reduction to send a message to prospective buyers that you've changed your stance.

THE CLOSING: Sellers can keep further negotiations over inspection issues to a minimum by providing presale inspections reports and disclosure statements to buyers before they make an offer.

Dian Hymer is author of "House Hunting, The Take-Along Workbook for Home Buyers" and "Starting Out, The Complete Home Buyer's Guide," Chronicle Books.

Source: Inman News

Friday, August 11, 2006

Summary of our Current Market Conditions Report

We have just completed our Current Market Conditions Reports for the Residential and Condo market in Mantee County.

Market Conditions Report Summary – July 06

Statistics for Single Family Homes:
Total Single Family Home Listings: 3996 - Up 301% over last year.

Total Expired/Withdrawn Listings: 484

Total Solds: 213 -Down 37.3% year to year

Median Sales Price: $319,900 – Down 8% from last year

Absorption Rate: 9.2 months. This is how long it would take to sell all of today's listings at the rate homes are selling and if no other homes were listed.

Average Days on Market: 78- Up 105%

Statistics for Condos:
Total Condo Listings: 1656 – Up 419% over last year.

Total Expired/Withdrawn Listings: 244

Total Solds: 43 – Down 72%

Median Sales Price: $178,500 – Down 8.9% from last year. Down 24.8% from 2005 high of $237,500

Absorption Rate: 10.4 months. This is how long it would take to sell all of today's listings at the rate homes are selling and if no other homes were listed.

Average Days on Market: 90- Up 210%

Summary:
The residential market is faring better than the condo market in Manatee County. July was not a good month for sales. Fewer homes sold in July than June and sales are down over 37% from last year. Prices have also fallen.

Still, the most serious concern is the absorption rate of 9.2 months. The low of 2005 was 1.6 months in April. Our market is overwhelmed with listed homes that aren't selling.

We have noticed that when our listing is the best obvious value in the neighborhood, it sells. That means sellers must agressively under price their competition to capture today’s buyer.

Seller’s must realize that today’s market is vastly different from last year. They must also take note that we experieced 145% appreciation from 2000 – 2005. That’s unprecedented. Today’s median sale price is ONLY down 8.5% from the high of 2005. That’s very, very mild in comparision to the gain of recent years.

The bad news for condo’s is that today’s median price is down 24.8% from the high of 2005.

Who is likely to be hurt by this market? People who bought in 2005-2006 and are trying to sell today are likely to suffer a loss. Speculators who were looking to make a quick profit by “flipping” are the most vulnerable.

Our advice? Sell it now and cut your losses!

If you would like of copy of the Residential Report or the Condo Report use the Contact Us link to the right to request it.

Home sales to hold steady

Home Sales To Hold Fairly Steady For Balance of Year

WASHINGTON (August 8, 2006) – The housing market is in a process of stabilizing with little change in overall sales volume expected over the balance of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said the indicators already are leveling-off. “We’ve seen a minor easing in closed transactions of existing-home sales, and a slight increase in the leading indicator of pending sales based on contracts,” he said. “New-home sales and housing starts have been fluctuating, so the overall market is stabilizing.”“

On one hand is the rise in mortgage interest rates that has slowed sales in many higher-cost markets, and on the other is 3.8 million new jobs over the last two years,” Lereah said. “This means many potential home buyers could enter the market in the foreseeable future, especially in moderately priced areas where affordability conditions remain favorable. In fact, this is already occurring.”

Although sales will be fairly steady over the balance of the year, declines since last fall mean annual totals will be lower. Existing-home sales are forecast to fall 6.5 percent to 6.61 million this year, the third highest on record after 2005 and 2004. New-home sales are projected to drop 12.8 percent in 2006 to 1.12 million, also the third best on record. Housing starts should be down 9.1 percent to 1.88 million this year.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is running nearly a percentage point higher than a year ago but is likely to rise very slowly in the months ahead, reaching 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

NAR President Thomas M. Stevens from Vienna, Va., said current market conditions are favorable for buyers. “The rise in housing supply is the biggest change in the market over the last year,” said Stevens, senior vice president of NRT Inc. “Clearly, this has taken pressure off of home prices and has significantly widened choices for buyers. At the same time, sellers are getting excellent returns – but in this competitive environment they need real estate professionals more than any time since the 1990s to market their homes and maximize value.”

The national median existing-home price for all housing types is forecast to grow 4.3 percent this year to $229,000, while the median new-home price is expected to rise only 0.5 percent to $242,100 as builders offer incentives to clear unsold inventory.

The unemployment rate should average 4.7 percent for the balance of the year. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, is likely to be 3.5 percent for 2006, while growth in the U.S. gross domestic product is projected at 3.5 percent. Inflation-adjusted disposable personal income is expected to grow 3.0 percent this year.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Source: NAR

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

We have hit bottom and real estate activity is up

An Inman News headline today read,
"Real estate purchases pull out of 3-week slump"
Interest rates plummet in latest Mortgage Bankers A ssociation survey

All indicators and news I receive from the Florida Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors seems to show the real estate market is stabilizing. Buyers are re-entering the market, attracted by recent pull-backs in mortgage rates and competitive price reductions on homes for sale.

Here in our local Manatee County market I watched the median sales price of single family homes drop for several months. But a curious thing is happening. Inventory seems to be topping out. We had only a net increase of 14 homes listed in July in our Gulf Coast Regional MLS. Also the median sale price has increased from $285,000 in April to $319,900 in June.

I am definitely sensing an increase in buyer activity this week. The month of July may go down as the "bottom" of our market correction. Contributing to this trend is competitive prices, low interest rates, and stabilized inventory numbers.

Now is the time for buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines to enter the market. Those who continue waiting may regret it later. It's not possible to time the market. But it IS possible to see the trend. I think I'm seeing a positive trend that will show itself in a stabilized market.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Housing Forecast

From cnnmoney.com


According to the latest housing price forecasts from Fiserv Lending Solutions, a provider of mortgage and consumer lending services, Las Vegas real estate will tumble a whopping 8.2 percent in 2006, the largest predicted fall among the 379 metro areas studied.


Note: Richmond, VA will have a 6.7% increase; Orlando, FL 4.4% increase.

According to the latest housing price forecasts from Fiserv Lending Solutions, a provider of mortgage and consumer lending services, Las Vegas real estate will tumble a whopping 8.2 percent in 2006, the largest predicted fall among the 379 metro areas studied.

Note: Richmond, VA will have a 6.7% increase; Orlando, FL 4.4% increase.





Metro AreaState2005 Q3 Median Price2004 Q3 - 2005 Q3 ChangeForecast
Las Vegas-Paradise, NVNV2720000.103-8.20%
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CACA4220000.165-6.70%
Napa, CACA5520000.179-5.20%
Nassau-Suffolk, NYNY4100000.084-4.50%
Stockton, CACA3420000.297-4.20%
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CACA5440000.08-4.00%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CACA3220000.199-3.90%
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CACA3600000.209-3.80%
Salinas, CACA5140000.219-3.70%
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CACA4640000.157-3.60%
Merced, CACA2610000.371-3.40%
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CACA4970000.171-3.30%
Vallejo-Fairfield, CACA4000000.213-3.30%
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CACA5260000.227-3.20%
Modesto, CACA2890000.32-3.20%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CACA4380000.216-3.00%
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CACA6140000.14-2.70%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CACA6010000.203-2.60%
Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, FLFL1800000.369-2.60%
Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, MDMD3710000.2-2.50%
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FLFL2340000.304-2.50%
Barnstable Town, MAMA3640000.07-2.40%
New York-Wayne-White Plains, NY-NJNY3950000.166-2.30%
Fresno, CACA2350000.26-2.30%
Prescott, AZAZ1950000.322-2.30%
Bakersfield, CACA1920000.352-2.30%
Ocean City, NJNJ3210000.189-2.20%
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CACA5600000.132-2.10%
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MARI2650000.086-2.10%
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CACA5920000.2-2.00%
Atlantic City, NJNJ2210000.177-2.00%
Hanford-Corcoran, CACA1780000.314-2.00%
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CACA7380000.165-1.90%
Chico, CACA2460000.171-1.90%
Punta Gorda, FLFL1280000.331-1.90%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WVDC3680000.244-1.70%
Edison, NJNJ3120000.154-1.60%
Port St. Lucie-Fort Pierce, FLFL1840000.302-1.50%
Boston-Quincy, MAMA3800000.071-1.30%
Visalia-Porterville, CACA1820000.343-1.10%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CTCT4900000.116-1.00%
Essex County, MAMA3770000.056-0.90%
Vero Beach, FLFL1580000.324-0.70%
Newark-Union, NJ-PANJ3530000.136-0.60%
Worcester, MAMA2740000.073-0.50%
Trenton-Ewing, NJNJ2350000.161-0.50%
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FLFL2460000.321-0.40%
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FLFL2740000.316-0.30%
Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MAMA4160000.056-0.10%
Manchester-Nashua, NHNH2670000.0820.30%
Norwich-New London, CTCT2210000.1160.40%
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, ILIL2550000.0970.60%
Philadelphia, PAPA2060000.1140.80%
New Haven-Milford, CTCT2250000.1180.90%
Baltimore-Towson, MDMD2290000.1981.00%
Tacoma, WAWA2100000.1911.30%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WIMN2210000.061.40%
Naples-Marco Island, FLFL2970000.4451.50%
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WAOR2210000.1861.50%
United States2200000.1091.50%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FLFL1520000.3691.70%
Flagstaff, AZAZ2270000.2971.80%
Springfield, MAMA1750000.1071.80%
Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MIMI1260000.0361.80%
Elmira, NYNY77000-0.0391.80%
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WAWA3080000.1631.90%
Salisbury, MDMD1530000.2142.00%
Camden, NJNJ2120000.1422.10%
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJDE2110000.1462.10%
Monroe, MIMI1560000.0472.30%
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FLFL1380000.3382.50%
Kingston, NYNY2590000.112.70%
Denver-Aurora, COCO2470000.0442.80%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FLFL1620000.2872.80%
Warren-Farmington Hills-Troy, MIMI1880000.0262.90%
Lansing-East Lansing, MIMI1360000.053.00%
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CTCT2340000.0973.10%
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, FLFL2220000.4033.10%
Burlington-South Burlington, VTVT2230000.1393.30%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZAZ1820000.4943.30%
Tucson, AZAZ1760000.3363.30%
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LALA1620000.0783.30%
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FLFL1500000.3353.30%
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MIMI1410000.0493.30%
Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, MIMI1250000.0283.30%
Battle Creek, MIMI1170000.0453.30%
Canton-Massillon, OHOH1280000.0243.40%
Rockingham County-Strafford County, NHNH2750000.0583.50%
Ann Arbor, MIMI2240000.0323.50%
Salem, OROR1830000.1153.60%
Boulder, COCO3580000.063.70%
Lakeland, FLFL1320000.2894.00%
Akron, OHOH1460000.0464.10%
Pittsfield, MAMA1690000.1064.20%
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OHOH1560000.0294.20%
Rockford, ILIL1200000.0634.20%
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WIWI2200000.0854.30%
Gary, ININ1360000.0674.30%
Cedar Rapids, IAIA1340000.0344.30%
Toledo, OHOH1260000.0274.30%
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, MEME2490000.14.40%
Orlando, FLFL1780000.3664.40%
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-ILIA1230000.0494.40%
Madison, WIWI2230000.0844.60%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GAGA1820000.0474.60%
Kansas City, MO-KSMO1590000.0514.60%
Green Bay, WIWI1550000.0474.60%
Peoria, ILIL1150000.0534.60%
Colorado Springs, COCO2010000.074.70%
Columbus, OHOH1720000.0294.80%
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IANE1380000.0494.80%
Lancaster, PAPA1610000.1044.90%
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IAIA1110000.0534.90%
Farmington, NMNM1560000.1425.00%
Amarillo, TXTX1110000.0615.00%
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-INOH1640000.0285.10%
Appleton, WIWI1330000.0415.10%
Eugene-Springfield, OROR2090000.1665.20%
Bloomington-Normal, ILIL1710000.0355.20%
Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, WAWA1570000.0325.20%
St. Louis, MO-ILMO1480000.0715.20%
Champaign-Urbana, ILIL1410000.0825.20%
Louisville, KY-INKY1380000.0595.20%
Dayton, OHOH1370000.0415.20%
Gulfport-Biloxi, MSMS1330000.1015.20%
Knoxville, TNTN1160000.0785.20%
Erie, PAPA1080000.0385.30%
Raleigh-Cary, NCNC1850000.0465.40%
Yakima, WAWA1410000.0715.40%
Shreveport-Bossier City, LALA1310000.0915.40%
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PAOH900000.0385.40%
Durham, NCNC1560000.0555.50%
Pittsburgh, PAPA1360000.0325.50%
Fargo, ND-MNND1350000.0665.60%
Topeka, KSKS1080000.0445.60%
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TXTX1040000.0245.60%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SCNC1900000.0455.70%
Gainesville, FLFL1600000.1725.70%
Greensboro-High Point, NCNC1510000.0465.70%
Des Moines, IAIA1480000.0615.70%
Baton Rouge, LALA1560000.0465.80%
Spartanburg, SCSC1240000.0465.80%
Salt Lake City, UTUT1810000.1095.90%
Greenville, SCSC1480000.0485.90%
Lincoln, NENE1380000.0545.90%
Indianapolis, ININ1290000.0476.00%
Tulsa, OKOK1230000.0426.00%
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NYNY1040000.0596.00%
Lexington-Fayette, KYKY1500000.0596.10%
Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land, TXTX1450000.0466.10%
Austin-Round Rock, TXTX1670000.0656.20%
Springfield, OHOH1100000.0266.20%
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MIIN1020000.0426.20%
Chattanooga, TN-GATN1360000.0696.30%
Wichita, KSKS1110000.0296.30%
Sioux Falls, SDSD1350000.076.40%
Kankakee-Bradley, ILIL1310000.0816.50%
Danville, ILIL730000.1046.50%
Reading, PAPA1440000.1246.60%
Columbia, SCSC1380000.0736.60%
Richmond, VAVA2150000.1476.70%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NCVA2090000.2226.70%
Mobile, ALAL1340000.0436.70%
Springfield, MOMO1220000.0636.70%
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro, TNTN1380000.0966.80%
Johnson City, TNTN950000.0686.80%
Jacksonville, FLFL1770000.1976.90%
Glens Falls, NYNY1600000.1816.90%
Birmingham-Hoover, ALAL1580000.0876.90%
Fort Wayne, ININ1070000.0446.90%
Decatur, ILIL860000.066.90%
Oklahoma City, OKOK1210000.0817.00%
Corpus Christi, TXTX1290000.0857.10%
Clarksville, TN-KYTN950000.087.10%
Charleston, WVWV1210000.0577.20%
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WVMD2220000.2187.40%
Springfield, ILIL1120000.0447.40%
Charleston-North Charleston, SCSC2020000.1567.60%
Jackson, MSMS1370000.0697.70%
Spokane, WAWA1680000.1757.80%
Tallahassee, FLFL1640000.1767.80%
Memphis, TN-MS-ARTN1290000.0487.80%
Syracuse, NYNY1180000.0747.80%
Honolulu, HIHI6150000.2247.90%
Little Rock-North Little Rock, ARAR1230000.0677.90%
Dover, DEDE1940000.1778.00%
Rochester, NYNY1200000.0528.00%
Binghamton, NYNY980000.0818.20%
San Antonio, TXTX1380000.0738.30%
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FLFL2130000.2848.50%
Boise City-Nampa, IDID1510000.1438.70%
El Paso, TXTX1140000.0848.70%
Albuquerque, NMNM1460000.1278.80%
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NYNY1930000.158.90%
Montgomery, ALAL1400000.0868.90%
Cumberland, MD-WVMD900000.1539.40%
Ocala, FLFL1520000.2579.80%

How long will this sorry real estate market last?

If you’re finding the local real estate market to be a tough one, just hang on. For five years.

In a recent speech to the Women’s Council of Realtors at Michael’s on East, economist John Tuccillo shared his long-term outlook for the region’s real estate market.

“We all know what has happened in the short term,” said Tuccillo, former chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. “This market has overcorrected after the big boom, and will now rise up to ‘flat.’

Over the next 18 months, we are not looking at a lot of better news within the Sarasota market, but we are not looking at worse news, either. We’ve pretty much absorbed the brunt of what’s going to happen. It’s going to be stagnant through 2007.

“In the longer term, this market has a lot of promise. The economy here is very strong. This is an economy that operates on the basis of people who create jobs, rather than people who absorb jobs. Fifty percent of the adult population of Sarasota County does not work on purpose. Of the other 50 percent, 60 percent are involved in the medical profession, and the other 40 percent are Realtors,” said Tuccillo, bringing howls of laughter from his audience.

“What you get is the picture of a very strong underlying economy,” he said, with long-term population growth in Sarasota and Manatee counties of 16,000 people per year, or 20 percent growth over the next five years.

“We will have to live somewhere, folks.

“We’re in the midst of a pause rather than a recession. It may be a little more lengthy of a pause than you are comfortable with. But over the next five years, this market returns to where it was. The market here in 2011 will very closely resemble the market in 2004.”

Friday, August 04, 2006

Selling a home in a cooling market

A drop-off in buyer demand and rising home inventories has made marketing a home more difficult. RealEstateJournal.com, The Wall Street Journal's guide to property, offers tips:

1. Size up the playing field. Study your local market and investigate other homes' listing prices compared to what buyers are actually paying.

2. Price competitively. Price a residence just below what the market will bear. If a home is overpriced, a buyer will dismiss it and move on to the next one.

3. Use aggressive marketing. (It’s not enough to just put a sign in the yard and hold an open house)

4. Don't delay. Even if an offer isn’t all you had hoped, taking it instead of waiting for a better deal can save money in the long run.

5. Negotiate. Offer concessions to potential buyers, such as making minor fixes. Small expenditures speed a sale and, ultimately, preserve price gains.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Manatee Teachers Paid Well

Today's local paper carried this story:

Manatee teachers among the highest paid in Florida

HERALD STAFF REPORT
MANATEE - A review of salaries released by the Florida Department of Education shows the Manatee County School District ranks seventh among the state's 67 school districts in terms of the average teacher's salary paid.

The average teacher's salary in the Manatee County School District is $44,440, according to a news release. The statewide teacher's salary average is $42,705.

Sarasota's average teacher's salary was reported as the highest in the state - $49,342. Monroe County ranked second, followed by Collier, Dade, Broward, Okaloosa, Manatee, Charlotte, Flagler and Pinellas to complete the Top 10.

The salary review was released by the state education department's division of accountability, research and measurement and posted at www.firn.edu/doc/eias.

"Our school board has made a priority of making our teachers' salaries as competitive as possible," stated Tim McGonegal, Manatee's assistant superintendent of business services. "The key to recruiting teachers to this growing area is to provide our teachers with salary increases so we can retain the good people we are hiring."

The district hired almost 400 teachers in preparation for the 2006-2007 school year, which starts Monday.

A little more than half of the new teachers are filling newly created positions needed to keep up with growth. The additional new hires are filling positions that became open as a result of retirements or departures from the district.

During the 2001-2002 school year, the average teacher's salary in Manatee County was $37,444, which was $1,828 below the state average and earned the district a ranking of 14th in the state.