Florida Real Estate Markets Remain Hot

Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, increased pending sales and more new listings in January, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 16,779 last month, up 5.2 percent from January 2016.

Florida’s housing market continues to show positive momentum. While existing inventory remains tight, Realtors across the state are reporting interest from both buyers and sellers — and with interest rates expected to rise over the next few months, now is certainly a good time to take action. On the buyer front, new pending sales for existing single family homes in January increased 3.8 percent year-over-year; pending sales for townhouse-condo units increased 6.5 percent. On the sellers’ side, new listings for single-family homes rose 7.6 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings ticked up 0.9 percent.

When market conditions are tight, consumers can get ahead by working with a Realtor who’s an expert in the local area. A Realtor will have the knowledge needed to help both buyers and sellers through the complex homebuying process.

Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table in January: Sellers of existing single-family homes received 95.6 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.6 percent (median percentage).

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $220,000, up 10.1 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/ associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in January was $161,000, up 6.6 percent over the year-ago figure. January marked the 62nd month in a row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

To learn more about the Florida Real Estate market contact 9 Core Realty today!



NABOR Reports Inventory up, prices steady in February

The inventory of properties for sale in Collier County increased in February and prices held steady, a sign that buyers have more options, according to the latest real estate report.

Compared to this time last year when realtors were challenged to find properties for customers, the February report showed inventory is up by nearly 1,000 new listings, giving realtors almost nine months of inventory to show eager buyers.

At the same time, overall pending sales in February jumped 10 percent and closings shot up 18 percent compared to last year, according to the NABOR report for February. The data does not include Marco Island.

Condominiums in the $300,000 to $500,000 price range were the bright spot in pending sales and condos in the $500,000 to $1 million category hit the sky with a 75 percent increase in closings.

Property listings last month climbed to 6,466 homes, a 16-percent boost compared to inventory of 5,577 the same month in 2016. Condominiums dominated with buyers having 3,207 on the market compared to 2,599 the year before, which was a 23-percent boost in inventory.

High end condo buyers had the largest stock of 284 condos in the price range of $1 million to $2 million to consider, almost double the number compared to 198 high-end options on 2016. The bulk of the luxury condos available are in North Naples.

There were 613 closings last month compared to 518 last year in February. Pending sales last month stood at 1,092 for a 10 percent boost compared to 993 a year ago.

Overall median prices among closings rose just 3 percent to $333,000 last month compared to $323,000 the year before.

The median prices of single family homes that closed slipped 5 percent to $402,000 from $45,000 a year ago.

The area hardest hit was North Naples, which experienced a 29percent decline in closed prices to $650,000, compared to $917,000 last year at the same time.

On the flip side, homes in Ave Maria/Immokalee enjoyed a 29percent price increase at closing to $287,000. A year ago, the median closing price in Ave Maria stood at $222,000.

To learn more about investing in the booming SWFL real estate market, contact 9 Core Realty today.


Great News for Investors: Renting a home better than buying

Renting a home in South Florida beats buying one — assuming you’re a disciplined investor. That’s the conclusion of the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index, a housing barometer developed by professors at Florida Atlantic and Florida International universities.

The quarterly index looks at wealth creation, determining whether it’s more advantageous to buy and build equity or rent the same property and invest the money that would have been spent on a down payment and other costs of ownership. Renting has topped buying for about two years in South Florida, largely because stock market gains have outperformed home-price appreciation.

Still, buying is a good financial decision for many people, including families who want to put down roots and gain access to good school districts. The market is not in any danger and real estate experts are not worried about prices.

Americans traditionally have built wealth through buying homes, but ownership began to lose its luster as prices plummeted in South Florida and across the nation during the housing bust from 2006 through 2011. More people appreciate the flexibility that renting offers and think it’s less of a risk than owning, but many renters wouldn’t invest their savings, so buying is the better option for them.

Aside from South Florida, other metropolitan areas that favor renting include Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore., San Francisco and Seattle. Buying beats renting in 15 of the 23 areas surveyed, including Chicago, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Home prices are increasing too fast in Dallas, Denver and Houston, the only three urban areas in which renting is much better than buying.

To learn more about the South Florida real estate market for rental home investors, contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty team today!



Babcock Ranch establishes state-of-the-art communications network


CenturyLink Inc. and Kitson & Partners recently announced they will provide one of the fastest residential internet speeds available in the U.S. to residents of the new, solar-powered town of Babcock Ranch, now under construction in Southwest Florida. CenturyLink will be the exclusive broadband provider in Babcock Ranch, delivering gigabit internet service over its fiber network to every home and business.

Through the partnership with the development will be able to leverage cutting edge technologies to deliver a whole new way of living that is both environmentally friendly and technologically advanced. With the technology fiber built into the town’s infrastructure and available to every home and business, Babcock Ranch will be able to provide high-quality broadband connectivity to residents and business owners at a low cost.

Once complete, Babcock Ranch is expected to have more than 19,000 residential units. The data network will provide all residents access to internet speeds up to one gigabit per second, with even higher speeds available for area businesses. In addition, voice services and interactive television service will be available in each residential unit.

Fiber provides residents and businesses with one of the most in-demand amenities for a 21st century community — fast internet speeds with the bandwidth to use technology in a way that enhances everyday life. Residents will be able to stream multiple HD movies at the same time, upload huge files in seconds, video chat without interruption, play games in real time and engage in all aspects of social networking. Small businesses can use fiber to increase productivity and efficiency while working in the cloud, sharing multimedia files, streaming video content and backing up data in real-time.

To learn more about all the wonderful amenities at Babcock Ranch and how to invest in a part of a historic SWFL home development contact the 9 Core Realty team today.