Tuesday, August 12, 2014

South Florida home prices rising more slowly

South Florida home prices rising more slowly



South Florida’s red hot housing market continued to cool in the second quarter.
The median price of a single-family home in the metropolitan area comprising Miami, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale rose 7.6 percent in the second quarter to $270,000 from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Despite the slowdown from double-digit price spikes a year earlier, South Florida median home prices continued rising at a faster pace than national prices.
The national median existing single-family home price rose 4.4 percent in the second quarter to $212,400 from $203,400 a year earlier, NAR said. That was far slower than the 8.3 percent year-over-year increase in the median price in the first quarter.
“National median home prices began their most recent rise during the first quarter of 2012 but had climbed to unsustainable levels given the current pace of inflation and wage growth,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “At this slower but healthier rate, homeowners can continue steadily building equity. Meanwhile, for buyers, increased supply with moderate price gains is giving them better opportunities to choose.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/12/4285321/south-florida-home-prices-rising.html#storylink=cpy

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Southwest Florida real estate briefs

Southwest Florida real estate briefs

REIS to meet, new website
Real estate economics analyst Mike Timmerman will provide current reports on Southwest Florida market trends and explain their application at the Aug. 12 luncheon meeting of the Real Estate Investment Society (REIS). The presentation will demonstrate the use of market data and studies to forecast supply and demand, recognize growth patterns, and design residential and commercial projects to meet changing market needs. The meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday in the Osprey Room at Pelican Preserve's Clubhouse, on Treeline Avenue at Colonial Boulevard, one mile east of I-75, Exit 136 in Fort Myers. Admission: $30 for members; $40 for guests, which includes lunch. Reservations may be made at www.reis-swfl.org.
The Real Estate Investment Society (REIS) has launched its new website, www.reis-swfl.org, designed to serve the commercial real estate and development industry in Southwest Florida. The website includes a calendar of meetings, hearings, workshops, and events. There are quick links to associated professional organizations, government agencies, economic development offices, elected officials, and sources of current market information. A searchable membership directory allows members and visitors to connect with leading professionals. The site is designed for easy navigation and improved accessibility with mobile devices. Additional real estate investment and development information is presented in the REIS Report, the Society's online newsletter posted on the website every month. Breaking news, insight on current issues, and special alerts are accessible via the REIS discussion group on LinkedIn, where members share information and insight on legal issues, financing strategies, industry events, and related subjects. Information on membership and meeting programs is available at www.reis-swfl.org.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Today's Florida Real Estate Market – Boom or Bust?

Today's Florida Real Estate Market – Boom or Bust?PDFPrintE-mail
Thursday, 07 August 2014

Today's Florida Real Estate Market – Boom or Bust?

/UCWE/ - Florida's amusement parks and real estate are a lot alike. Lots of peaks and valleys, dark tunnels, long lines and tricky turns. TopTenRealEstateDeals.com announces a new tool to help buyers circumvent the confusing Florida real estate market.

Florida real estate has always been different than most states - booms and busts, foreclosures and fortunes. On one hand, tiny concrete-block homes with small yards and no garage that originally sold in the 1950s in Key Biscayne for about $10,000 are now selling for well over $1 million. However, Orlando golf resort condos near Disney World that sold like hotcakes in 2006 for close to $1 million are now lucky to fetch $300,000.

Just like politics, real estate is "local" and the home buying situation varies quite a bit in Florida. Are prices going up or down? Is now a good time to buy a home? Are there any condo bust deals left? Prices are very expensive in some areas but a bargain in other parts of the state. Home selling inventory can be high in one city, but very limited in the next town just a few miles down the road.

Most of Florida seems to be in another boom period. According to the National Association of Realtors, Florida's median home sale prices have increased for 31 consecutive months. Florida real estate attracts more international buyers that anywhere else in the United States, accounting for 23 percent of all U.S. foreign buyers, and is also attractive to investors, vacation home buyers and baby boomers who are reaching retirement age. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the price discounts that were widespread from 2009 to 2012 in Southwest Florida are almost gone. The newspaper points to rising demand and fewer listings causing the price increases.

South Florida is especially hot. Based on the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index report, prices in South Florida have increased over 16 percent in the past year. The housing market in much of South Florida is almost back to the peak sales years of 2005 and 2006. Sixty new condo projects are either under construction or planned for the downtown Miami area - about the same number that were built during the last Florida condo boom. Things are so hot that even the local grocery store is getting in on the action. South Florida's popular grocery chain, Publix, recently announced plans to build condo towers above two of its new stores.

According to Robert Walsh from TopTenRealEstateDeals.com, the glut of unsold, new condos in most of Florida is long gone. He says the Florida recovery began in 2010 and picked up a huge head of steam in 2011 and 2012. Walsh said there are still a few bargains left in Orlando, Daytona, Fort Myers and Panama City Beach but most of the condo boom inventory has been purchased by investors, baby boomers and internationals.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com has been at the forefront of Florida home sale news with features such as Top 10 Florida condo bust bargains, condo pre-construction, luxury condos and sales trends. In order to streamline the search and buying process for Florida real estate, the website has just launched a new feature of Florida real estate agents that will cover the entire state. With the new site, Florida home buyers can go to one place to find expert agents from Miami Beach to Naples to Orlando and Panama City Beach, what's left of the condo bust bargains, pre-construction condos plus local agents pick their area's best home deals.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com is a different kind of real estate website that focuses on home news and entertainment. Their home features are seen every week on hundreds of national, regional and local websites. The website's spotlight on celebrity, historic and spectacular homes has been published in many of the country's top media websites including Time, CNBC, Yahoo, Haute Residence, USA Today, AOL and Lonny.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bonita Springs-based WCI looks to build new communities in Fort Myers, Jacksonville

NAPLES, Fla. - Bonita Springs-based luxury homebuilder WCI Communities Inc. continues to build itself for growth.
In the second quarter, the company closed on about 1,300 home sites, worth $70 million, and signed contracts for another 1,400 lots, giving it the potential to start building in two new master planned communities in Fort Myers and Jacksonville, which would be a new market for WCI.
WCI now owns or controls about 10,300 residential lots, primarily in established master planned communities in Florida.
“Our strong land position will allow us to continue to significantly grow our business in the coming years,” said Keith Bass, the company’s president and CEO, in a second-quarter earnings conference call Tuesday.
The builder continues to hunt for more land throughout Florida. The company’s balance sheet includes more than $200 million in cash, positioning it well to continue buying land, Bass said.
The company
WCI builds luxury single- and multifamily homes in most of coastal Florida’s larger growth markets. With a more than 60-year history, the company is known for developing amenity-rich master planned communities, catering to move-up, active adult and second-home buyers.
The company has more than two dozen active communities, including several in Southwest Florida.
Locally, its communities include the Colony Golf & Bay Club in Bonita Springs, Tiburon in North Naples, Hampton Park at Gateway in Fort Myers, and Raffia Preserve in Naples, one of its newest.
The company also operates real estate brokerage and title businesses, and a resort amenity management business, overseeing its golf courses, country clubs and marinas.
New home orders surged in the second quarter, growing nearly 33 percent to 195, with a contract value of $93.6 million.
The company also saw the number of homes delivered to its buyers in the quarter grow by more than 17 percent to 143 over the year, generating $60.9 million in revenues.
Total revenues for all its segments grew to nearly $93 million in the quarter, an increase of $9.7 million, or 11.6 percent, from last year. The growth was primarily attributed to the increase in home deliveries, partly offset by a lower average selling price due to a shifting product mix.
Additionally, revenues from its real estate services segment grew 10.4 percent year-over-year.
While revenues rose, profits fell, due to several factors. This year’s results included $3 million in income tax expenses the company didn’t have last year, while last year’s earnings were boosted by favorable legal settlements and reductions in reserves for legal costs.
The company earned $4.3 million, or 17 cents a share, in the most recent quarter. That compared to $8.2 million, or 45 cents a share, a year ago.
Results missed Wall Street’s expectations. On average, analysts expected earnings of 21 cents a share, on revenues of more than $101 million.
“WCI is uniquely positioned among the public homebuilder community with our exclusive focus on the Florida market,” Bass said. “This is a market that continues to perform well against the recent backdrop of even performance across many regions in the U.S. and has helped us deliver strong results over the past several quarters. We believe that Florida has favorable underlying demographics and economic trends that should make this an attractive market to operate in for years to come.”
The Florida market
Total single-family permits issued in Florida have risen for four years in a row, but they’re still well below their 20-year average — and their peak in 2005 before the housing bubble burst. Year-to-date, Florida ranks second only to Texas for permits.
Additionally, home resales remain strong in Florida, with transactions up 8 percent in the second quarter, compared with a 4.6 percent drop nationally.
Looking ahead
The company will continue to look at markets it’s not in for expansion, as well as growing in the areas it’s already in. WCI is targeting Jacksonville because it sees a shortage there of higher-end communities for second home and move-up buyers, and it has eyes on other new markets on Florida’s east and west coasts.
Company executives didn’t disclose the locations under consideration in Fort Myers and Jacksonville.
“As far as outside the state, we look at opportunities that come to us,” Bass said. “I would say we’re not actively looking outside of the state at this point. We want to grow this thing successfully for the long-term.”
Shares closed at $17.40, down 15 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.