Mortgage Applications Soar / December 2011

12.8 % Increase in Mortgage Applications

There is large jump for 2 reasons. The first is consumers are taking advantage of historically low interest rates hovering in the 4% range. Second is the affordability of residential homes in Ocala, Belleview, Dunnellon, Salt Spring, Fort McCoy, Sparr, Anthony, Citra and several other areas.  Mortgage application can be a future gauge of home buying reported by Mortgage Bankers Association report for the week ending Dec. 2. Applications jumped 8. % from a week earlier while refinance soared to 15.3 %.

The reports  states 85.5 % were for fixed-rate 30 year loans.

“Coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, applications increased significantly as mortgage rates dropped to their lowest levels in about two months,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA vice president of research and economics, said in a statement. “In particular, refinance applications increased sharply, with some lenders seeing refinance volume double. Despite this surge, aggregate refinance activity is still below levels reported two weeks ago. Some lenders indicated they are beginning to see an increase in HARP loans, but that increase is still a small portion of the move this week.”

Source: “Mortgage Applications Jump 12.8% as Refinancing Volume Soars,” HousingWire (Dec. 7, 2011)

“Until Next Time”

Ocala, Florida Area Local Market Report 2011 – 3rd Quarter

TODAYS MARKET…. Median Price and Existing home Sales

All real estate is local and every market is unique. Remember that when you hear reports from the major new networks. We are seeing some positive signs in the Ocala / Marion County Market with the Median Home Price now at $80,900 with 1-year Appreciation at -1.6% and a 3 year Appreciation of a whooping -40.1%. This relatively recent correction in local home prices wiped out most of the equity gained over the last 7 years. State Existing Home Sales(2011 Q3 vs 2010 Q3) is at +10.6% for Florida and Nationally 17%.

FORECLOSURE info by type…

The market share of Foreclosures by type is 88.3% are Prime Loans, 5.1% are Sub-Prime Loans and 6.6% are Alt-A Loans. There has been a decline of both 60 and 90 day delinquency rates over the most recent 6-month period suggests a decline in local foreclosure rates in the near future.


Based on Ratio of Local Mortgage Servicing Cost to Income, Ocala has typically been more affordable than most markets. For example the Monthly Mortgage Payment to Income for Ocala is 6.6% compared to 15.5% in the United States for 2010 and 5.7% locally for 2011 and 13.9% nationally with the historical average at 11.3% locally and 22% nationally. The price to income ratio has fallen as well and is below the historical average.

So what does this all mean?

Well it could mean we are close to reaching the bottom of the housing value slide. But it will take a strong economy and more local jobs for the housing market to continue gaining traction. There is less inventory on the market with an increase in buyer activity, compared to the same time last year. We are a long way from seeing appreciation in our homes but hopefully close to reaching the bottom and no more depreciation of value.

“Until Next Time”

Homeowners Monthly Payments Down Almost 40%

Monthly median-priced single family home today is $700

Inexpensive homes for sale in Florida and United States, plus historically low interest rates mean homeowners are paying less per month and that is great. Thats a 40% less than the $1,140 monthly average payed in 2006 according to Fiserv.

Here in Ocala, Florida homes sales prices have dropped a whooping 50% since the peaks in 2006. In rural areas such as Fort McCoy, Sparr, Anthony, Citra, Orange Spings, Williston, Belleview, Summerfield and many more the values have dropped even farther. In many other areas of the state and country values have only dropped around 35%. That means there is some great value in Marion County and we are poised to see a future rebound of the housing market. We are slowly starting to see home prices level off in the area but we are still not there yet.

Just as an example, let’s say you are borrowing $85,000.00 for 30 years with an interest rate of 5.000%. If the value of your home is $300,000.00, your property taxes $1,500.00 per year and your insurance is $1,200.00 per year, you can expect to be making a total payment of $681.30. This is because you need to pay $456.30 toward the actual loan, plus $125.00 for real estate taxes and $100.00 toward insurance.

Source: “Monthly Mortgage Payment Almost 40% Cheaper Than 2006,” HousingWire (Nov. 9, 2011) and Fiserv

© Copyright 2011 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

“Until Next Time”


Thinking About Buying A Foreclosure, Short Sale or Auction Property?

Before Buying a Foreclosure, Short Sale, or Auction Property: 3 Things to Think About

There can be great bargains in buying a foreclosure, short sale, or auction property but buyers need to proceed with caution. Many of these types of homes can be purchased at 20-40% less than traditional reseller prices, however consider these tips before proceeding;

#1 First consider buying an REO(Real Estate Owned) bank owned property before considering a short sale or auction property. WHY? Because short sale can be lengthy to negotiate and auction properties often require an all cash purchase. REO/ bank owned properties do not have an emotional connection but simply want to recoup as much money as possible.

#2 HAVE AN INSPECTION DONE! Did you notice this is in caps w/ exclamation point. In my opinion you should have an inspection done on any home purchase. Over 12 years of experience and thousands of homes viewed has proven to me even new construction can have issues and buyers need to protect their largest investment and make sure the home is operational & most importantly safe.

#3 Don’t expect appreciation right away. I caution buyers who buy properties at big discounts from thinking they will see appreciation right away. We are still in a depressed market and probably not going to see appreciation in the near future. Finding a good REALTOR to educate you about the local market and trends .

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post and I hope you will sign up for future post.

“Until Next Time”



5 Homebuying Myths / Survey Results

Survey: 5 homebuying myths

SEATTLE – Oct. 31, 2011 – Overall, today’s homebuyers tend to be fairly knowledgeable about the real estate market, but there are still a few points of confusion in the process, especially for buyers just entering the market. Here are the five main areas of confusion found in a survey by Zillow:

• Appreciation: About 42 percent of homebuyers believe home values will appreciate by 7 percent a year. Reality: Historically, home values in a normal market appreciate by 2 to 5 percent in a year.

• Appraisals: 56 percent of the buyers said the purpose of the appraisal was to determine if a home was in good condition. Reality: That’s the purpose of a home inspection; an appraisal estimates fair market value.

• Homeowner’s insurance: 37 percent of homebuyers think that buying homeowner’s insurance is optional. Reality: Lenders require homebuyers to purchase homeowner’s insurance if they carry a mortgage.

• Ownership: 47 percent of homebuyers said a prospective buyer owns a home after the purchase contract is signed by the seller – when the two parties reach agreement. Reality: The purchase and sales agreement is the beginning of the closing phase, but it can be a long process until they finally take ownership.

• Mortgage insurance: 41 percent of buyers think they must purchase private mortgage insurance, regardless of the amount of their downpayment. Reality: Buyers only need to purchase PMI if their downpayment is less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price.

Source: Zillow Inc.

© Copyright 2011 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

HELP for Struggling Home Owners?

The HARP(Home Affordable Refinance Program) simply has not worked in helping many homeowners and President Obama is expected on Monday to announce “new policies” to help struggling homeowners, including a move that would allow borrowers to refinance their mortgage at current lower rates no matter how much their home values have dropped.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also expected to end a cap that excluded home owners from HARP who had mortgages that were higher than 125% of the homes value. This cap left many homeowners with little option because they simply do not have enough equity in their properties. The plan is expected to eliminate ” appraisals and extensive underwriting for most borrowers” whpo are up to date on their mortgages and want to refinance at lower rates.

Obama is also expected to announce a reduction in Fannie and Freddie loan fees. Lenders could start refinancing as soon as December 1st, however some may have to wait until early next year due to their loan-to-value limit.

Housing experts believe that allowing underwater home owners to refinance at current lower rates could be a savings of hundreds of dollars from their monthly mortgage bills and possibly help avoid foreclosure and free up household cash, helping spur economic growth.

Source: article October 25,2011

Ocala/Marion County Events October 17-23, 2011

Who Says This is SLOW-CALA? Look at all the fun stuff to do this week alone!

Holiday Assistance Sign Up

Today, Tuesday, Oct 18 10:00a to 3:00p
at The Salvation Army, Ocala, FL

The Salvation Army will be accepting applications for Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance Monday-Friday, October 3-21, 2011, from 10am – 3pm. For additional information and locations, call our office or visit our website.

Pumpkin Patch

Today, Tuesday, Oct 18 10:00a to 7:00p

Ocklawaha United Methodist Church’s annual Pumpkin Patch, selling Pumpkins and baked goods. Proceeds this year will go to help feed the less fortunate in the community.

Terrific Three’s Storytime

Today, Tuesday, Oct 18 10:15a

A variety of picture book stories, flannel boards, action songs, and finger plays followed by an activity. Program is limited to 25 children and their caregivers.

Every Child Ready to Read: Baby and Toddler Storytime

Today, Tuesday, Oct 18 10:30a
at Freedom Public Library, Ocala, FL

Stories, music, art, and creative play for children ages 0-2 years and their grownups.

Baby Songs and Nursery Rhymes

Today, Tuesday, Oct 18 11:00a
at Dunnellon Public Library, Dunnellon, FL

Songs, rhymes, books, and more for babies and their caregivers

Family Storytime

Today, Tuesday, Oct 18 11:00a
at Forest Public Library, Ocklawaha, FL

A variety of stories, action rhymes, music and art for all ages.

Fabulous 4’s and 5’s Storytime

Today, Tuesday, Oct 18 1:15p

A variety of stories, finger plays, flannel boards, music, and rhythm activities followed by an activity. Child and caregiver attend.

Networking with Nonprofits in Ocala

Today, Tuesday, Oct 18 5:30p
at Harry’s of Ocala, Ocala, FL

We will head to the great city of Ocala to provide a networking
opportunity for nonprofit professionals to mix, meet, and mingle!

See you there!!

Sun Digital Electronics Recycling & Charity Food Drive For Brothers Keeper of Ocala, FL

Wednesday, Oct 19 7:30a to 1:30p

Sun Digital is hosting an electronics recycling charity food drive in Downtown Ocala. To benefit Brothers Keeper, a social outreach ministry of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, providing the needy & homeless with emergency assistance & daily soup kitchen. Sun Digital has helped to keep over 2. read more

Faux Glazing Class

Wednesday, Oct 19 9:00a to 5:00p
at Decorative Designs, Ocala, FL

As a student of this class, you will create sample boards using the Modern Masters Professional Line of Glazing Creams and Colors. The boards that you create are yours to keep. All products and tools are provided for your use during the class.

Science Exploration

Wednesday, Oct 19 4:00p
at Dunnellon Public Library, Dunnellon, FL

Discover science through experiments at your library. Registration rquired. For children and teens.

Sean’s Sensory Corner by Autism 4 Parents

Wednesday, Oct 19 6:30p to 8:00p
at Autism 4 Parents, Inc, Ocala, FL

Autism & Sensory intergration Meeting for September.
Parents, Families & Community Welcomed!Directed by Laurel Baxla OT. Sept. 21st (Wed.) at 6:30 pm. Location at 425 SW 14th St. Off of 301/441 – 3 blocks north of 17th Street

SHINE Medicare Counseling

Thursday, Oct 20 10:00a to 12:00p
at Elder Options, Gainesville, FL

SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a free program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. SHINE counselors provide information and guidance on topics that include Medicare/Medicaid, long-term care insurance, supplemental insurance, prescription drug assistance and Medicare fraud. read more

Free Cholesterol and Diabetes Screening

Thursday, Oct 20 12:00p to 5:00p
at Winn Dixie Pharmacy, Ocala, FL

Free Cholesterol and Diabetes Screenings offered from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm October 20 at Winn-Dixie Pharmacy, 4417 NW Blitchton Rd., Ocala, FL., For more information call Cholestcheck: 800-713-3301 (No-Appointments)

Art at The Manor

Thursday, Oct 20 1:00p to 4:00p
at The Cherished Bride Manor, Ocala, FL

Jolene Ford teaches Oil & Acrylic Painting on Thursdays from 1-4pm. Great for Art Class for Beginners or advanced painting in Ocala! $15 class fee, start anytime, and bring your supplies. Call Alexa at 352-390-6801 for more details.


Thursday, Oct 20 5:00p to 11:00p

Blessed Trinity Carnival will be held Oct. 20 through Oct. 23, at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 5 SE 17th Ave., Ocala. Armbands available for purchase at $20 in advance or $30 at the carnival. (622-5808 or

Wayne’s World Nightmare on Pine Street

Thursday, Oct 20 8:00p to 11:00p

Wayne’s World of Paintball’s annual Haunted trail to raise funds for Toys for Tots. 2 1/2 acres of Haunted Attractions. $7 per victim. Across from Ocala Drive-In.

Grace School Annual Golf Tournment

Friday, Oct 21 8:00a to 2:00p
at Country Club of Ocala, Ocala, FL

Grace School Annual Golf Tournament at the Country Club of Ocala.
$100.00 per player
Registration 7:45 a.m. 8:30 a.m. shotgun start
Includes lunch and drawing for gifts.pAwards for longest drive, straighest drive, longest putt, closest to pin, overll low score, handicap low score and $10,000 hole-in-one. read more


Coupon Exchange with The Clippin Chix

Friday, Oct 21 10:00a to 11:00a
at The Cherished Bride Manor, Ocala, FL

Join us on FREEBIE FRIDAYS for a fun and informative Coupon Club in Ocala.. Bring coupons to exchange & 4 month or newer for our Donation program to the Troops.. Free Coffee & light refreshments, & make new friends. New to couponing? Then pick up tips for success or how to organize!

Corn Maze

Friday, Oct 21 4:00p

Timberline Farm corn Maze Festival will be held from 4 p.m. to dusk Friday, Sept. 30 and 10 a.m. to dusk Saturday and Sundays, Sept. 30 through Oct. 31 at 3200 SE 115th St., Belleview. $6-$8. Music, train rides, pony rides, games and more. (454-4113 or

Coon Hollo Corn Maze

Friday, Oct 21 4:00p to 9:00p
at Coon Hollo Farms, Micanopy, FL

Coon Hollo is the perfect fall family activity! Come enjoy our 5 acre interactive crop maze, hayride to feed cows, farm train rides, tire swings, corn cribs and much more! New this year is our one of a kind “Pasture Putt-Putt” golf course and watch the goats climb up the “Goat Treehouse”, all this is included in admission price! read

Keys toTransferring Wealth and Abundance Through Understanding the Principles and Psychology of the Energy of Money


Friday, Oct 21 6:00p


at Grace Fellowship Church, Ocala, FL


1st Workshop Series of Wealth Transfer
* Prospering through Divine order.
* Success what is it any way?
* Finding the Keys to the kingdom Principles.
* Understanding your money belief systems.
* Taking a closer look at your money roots.
* Understanding your personal blockages to receiving and keeping money. read more



Ocala Ghost Walks & Historical Tours

Friday, Oct 21 8:00p

Scheduled Walks Friday and Saturday at 8 PM other days and times by reservation tours available 7 nights a week just call to reserve, no extra charge for private tours. Address listed is our ticket office and also meeting place at Doc of Rock Downtown SquareCatherine Wendell Ocala Ghost Walks & Historical Tours Owner has lived and worked in Ocala Historic District for over thirteen years Eleven of those years were at the Seven Sisters Bed and Breakfast which has been famously acclaimed haunted by Sci-Fi channel’s TAPS Ghost Hunters show

Macabaret 9

Friday, Oct 21 7:00p
at Ocala Civic Theatre, Ocala, FL

Fall Fun Nights

Friday, Oct 21 7:30p to 9:30p
at Uncle Donald’s Farm, Lady Lake, FL

Fall Fun Nights from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 14 through Oct. 29 at Uncle Donald’s Farm, 2713 Griffin Ave., Lady Lake. $9. (753-2882 or visit

18 & Up Haunted House – Scaring Ocala Back to Life

Friday, Oct 21 8:00p to Saturday, Oct 22 2:00a

We are bringing your childhood fears to life.
The Fear Fest Haunt is 18 & Up for intensity and graphic scenes. It is not recommended for people with heart conditions, who are pregnant, or suffer from intense claustrophobia or anxiety.
There will be toned down days for persons under 18 that will be scheduled throughout the month. read

Fright Nights


Friday, Oct 21 8:00p to 11:00p



Creature Features, Haunted Mansion, Psycho Panther Prowl, Terror Island and “Gator Man” River Cruise at Ft King Waterway are just a few of the frightly features. More details are added.

McIntosh 1890’s Festival

Saturday, Oct 22 8:00a to 5:00p
at Van Ness Park, McIntosh, FL

Annual arts, crafts and antiques festival features 280 vendors from all over the country, all day free family friendly entertainment and a pleasant Victorian setting.


Saturday, Oct 22 8:00a to 4:00p
at Market of Marion Belleview, Belleview, FL

Jeeptoberfest, the 14th Annual Fall Jeep Show and Swap meet held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Market of Marion, 12888 SE Highway 441, Belleview.
Registration is $15 prior to Oct. 15 and $20 at the gate. Spectator admission is $5, 12 and under are free. read


Saturday, Oct 22 9:00a
at Don Gartlis Musuem, Ocala, FL

Rats and Rods with Big Daddy at 9 a.m. Oct. 22, at Don Garlits Museum, 13700 SW 16th Ave., Ocala. (362-4124 or

Car Wash & Center Supply Drive

Saturday, Oct 22 9:00a to 1:00p
at Southern Self Storage, Ocala, FL

The PACE Center for Girls and Southern Self Storage are holding a car wash and center supply drive on saturday Oct. 22, 2011 from 9 am to 1 pm. It will be held at Southern Self Storage-3407 NE 36th Ave. There will be hot dogs, chips, soda and water for sale. Some of the supplies needed for the PACE center are: toilet paper, paper towels, plastic cutlery, paper plates, paper/plastic cups, liquid hand soap and hand sanitizer. read

Ocala Arts Festival


Saturday, Oct 22 10:00a



A fun weekend of fine art in an artist friendly environment.
23,000 attendees expected.
** Estimated start time — Please confirm **

Hearse rides on the square

Saturday, Oct 22 6:00p to 9:00p

come to Doc of Rock’s Halloween party and bob for apple’s and more Halloween fun while Ocala Ghost Walks & Historical Tours offer $5 hearse ride’s around the square and up historic and haunted Fort King. offered from 6-9 PM. We know you are dying to ride in the hearse come join us!

Dogtober Fest

Sunday, Oct 23 12:00p to 3:00p
at Millennium Dog Park, Ocala, FL

Halloween Howls & Pals Costume Contests.Vendors, raffles, 50/50 drawing. Bring your chair. Kids welcome and dogs must be leashed. Call 732-8655 for information

Phantoms In The Forest

Sunday, Oct 23 7:00p
at Silver River State Park, Ocala, FL

Enjoy a Halloween celebration with spooky storytelling in the Cracker Village. This annual event is presented by Friends of Silver River State Park. Professional storytellers offer a family friendly evening of spooky tales (starting out with not so spooky stories for our younger guests.) Even the spookiest tales also offer some knee slapping hilarity for a great evening belly-laugh. read more

Ocala Events for October 10-16 2011


Corn Maze

Today, Monday, Oct 10 3:00p to 10:00p
at Brown Farm, Oxford, FL

10 acre corn maze from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays Oct. 7 through Nov. 20, Brown Farm, 13992 Highway 301, Oxford. Kids games, monster truck rides, hay rides and more. $12 for adults, $10 for kids and seniors, under 3 are free.

Free Diabetes Screening

Tuesday, Oct 11 11:00a to 4:00p
at Publix, The Villages, FL

Free Diabetes Screenings offered from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm October 11 To October 12 at Publix, 1120 Bichara Blvd., The Villages, FL., For more information call Cholestcheck: 800-713-3301 (No appointment necessary)

Earn Your GED on the GED Bus

Tuesday, Oct 11 2:00p
at Forest Public Library, Ocklawaha, FL

It’s never too late to get your high school diploma. Schedule follows the Marion County School Board calendar.

Ballroom Dance Party

Wednesday, Oct 12 7:00p to 9:00p
at Dancin’ Around Studio, Ocala, FL

Practice social dancing in a safe environment. We provide social dance parties at Dancin’ Around Studio on a regular basis so you can practice what you’re learning in your dance classes in a comfortable social atmosphere. You don’t need to be a Dancin’ Around Studio student to attend our social dance parties!

The Guys

Wednesday, Oct 12 8:00p
at Ocala Civic Theatre, Ocala, FL



Coupon Exchange with The Clippin Chix

Friday, Oct 14 10:00a to 11:00a
at The Cherished Bride Manor, Ocala, FL

Join us on FREEBIE FRIDAYS for a fun and informative Coupon Club in Ocala.. Bring coupons to exchange & 4 month or newer for our Donation program to the Troops.. Free Coffee & light refreshments, & make new friends. New to couponing? Then pick up tips for success or how to organize!

The Pickin’ Patch – U Pick Pumpkin Patch

Friday, Oct 14 3:00p
at The Pickin’ Patch, Dunnellon, FL

Come pick the perfect pumpkin right off the vine!! Join us Friday, Saturday and Sundays at The Pickin’ Patch in Dunnellon FL. Come enjoy family fun down on the farm with hayrides, hayforts, kiddie corn maze and of course picking your own pumpkins, sunflowers and corn right out of the field! Admission is $2, children 3 and under are free.

Fall Fun Nights

Friday, Oct 14 7:30p to 9:30p
at Uncle Donald’s Farm, Lady Lake, FL

Fall Fun Nights from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 14 through Oct. 29 at Uncle Donald’s Farm, 2713 Griffin Ave., Lady Lake. $9. (753-2882 or visit

Halloween Howler

Friday, Oct 14 8:00p to Saturday, Oct 15 1:45a

Fear Fest, Ocala’s newest and finest Haunted House at the Ocala Entertainment Complex. We are bringing your childhood fears to life. Haunt opens at 8pm every Friday and Saturday night in October to 18 and over patrons, open to all ages on Thursday Oct. 13th, Thursday October 20th and Halloween night. read more

Fright Nights

Friday, Oct 14 8:00p to 11:00p

Creature Features, Haunted Mansion, Psycho Panther Prowl, Terror Island and “Gator Man” River Cruise at Ft King Waterway are just a few of the frightly features. More details are added.

Viernes Caliente

Friday, Oct 14 9:00p to Saturday, Oct 15 2:00a

Cloud 9 & Good Fellaz ent. invite you EVERY Friday for the HOTTEST Latin Night in Ocala.
We’re featuring top DJ’s spinning Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, reggeton & current Latin hits to keep you dancing all night long
-Doors open @ 9
-Ladies in free till 11pm
-Check out Drink specials on tequilla, bacardi, margaritas, Corona & Dos XX.



United Hay Sales Animal Swap

Saturday, Oct 15 8:00a to 1:00p
at United Hay Sales Inc., Ocala, FL

Bring your sheep,puppies,chickens,goats or any other critter that you want to trade, swap or sell. Pet vaccines from 10:00am to 11:00am.

Come hungry Yum Yum Kitchen will be open.

United Hay Sales is located on the corner of 326 and Hwy 27

Jazz Up Dunnellon!

Saturday, Oct 15 10:00a
at E & W Pennsylvania Avenue, Dunnellon, FL

All types of Jazz styles spaced along out tree-lined main street, and Cajun/creole street. Food vendors add to excitement.
5,000 attendees expected.

Lady Lake Art in the Park & Music Festival

Saturday, Oct 15 10:00a
at Log Cabin Park, Lady Lake, FL
This event is held on the streets and park of the.This event draws large crowds with good buyers.10,000 attendees expected. Log Cabin Park along Hwy. 27/441 2miles south of The Villages in central Florida

Log Cabin Park

106 S. U.S. 441Lady LakeFL32159 

Coffee with the Birds

Sunday, Oct 16 8:00a
at Silver River State Park, Ocala, FL

Join an experienced birder on a gentle hike through beautiful Central Florida woodlands identifying birds by sight and sound. Bring a coffee cup and your field guide; insect repellant also suggested. Event is weather permitting. No pets, please.

Please confirm all dates and times prior to attending. This event calendar in part or full was provided by, click entertainment, click events.
“Until Next Time”

August- Existing Home Sales Surge

Existing home sales increased in August despite tightened credit and issues with low appraisals problems.Total existing-home sales rose 7.7% to seasonally adjusted average of 5.03 million, which is up from July’s 4.67 million and 18.6% higher than August of 2010.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the uptick can be attributed to favorable affordability conditions, rising rents and “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties.

Investors accounted for 22% of purchase activity and FIrst-time homebuyers purchased 32% of home in August. All cash sales accounted for 29% which was unchanged from July.

Why is the market taking so long to get back on track?

The biggest factors keeping home sales from a healthy recover are mortgages being denied to creditworthy buyers, and lower appraised valuations. This leads to “contract failures, or cancellations because of declined mortgage applications. 18% of NAR members reported contract cancellations which is up from 16% in July and 9% in August 2010.

Median existing single-family homes price was 168,400 in August, which is 5.4% below a year ago. In the South, existing-home sales increased 5.4%, which is 16.9% higher than a year ago and the median sales price ONLY went down .8% below August 2010.

It is a great sign to see the year to year median price slowly narrowing the gap from the years past sales. In my opinion, depending on shadow inventories and the economy, we should start seeing a smaller gap in existing median homes sales prices over the next year or two. This would be great news for existing home owners too see their largest investment stop losing value month after month and yearly drop in values since 2007.

“Until Next Time”


What is REO? What Effect Will REO Have on Housing Recovery?

Real estate owned or REO…is a class of property owned by a lender typically a bank, government agency, or government loan insurer, after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction[1]. When a lender/ beneficiary finishes the foreclosure process the property can then be listed as an REO property.That is the technical definition, however most people know them as foreclosures. Most of the larger banks and government institutions have REO/Asset Management companies who handle departments that field bids and offers, oversee upkeep, and handle sales. Most REO properties are listed with local MLS(Multiple Listing Services by REALTORS for marketing properties.) Bank properties are typically in need of repair and/or maintenance and the cost of these items is the responsibility of the mortgage servicer(bank or government agency.)

What Effect Will REO Have on Housing Recovery?…The nation’s largest banks and mortgage holders currently own over 872,000 homes which were repossessed through foreclosure or other means. That is nearly 2x the amount foreclosed on in 2007, when the financial crisis began. Unfortunately, that may not be the worst news because the same lenders are ready to repossess over 1,000,000 more homes according to RealtyTrac reports. The huge number of currently banked owned foreclosures and the large pending amount are causing economist to fear a double dip in the real estate market. According to Treep, a leading real estate research firm, will force the lender-owned homes to sell for deep discounts over the next 2 years and at a cost of almost $40 billion in losses. The opinion of REALTORS is that lenders are overwhelmed with the huge inventory which many times the homes are outdated, often overpriced by 10% or more and lenders take to long to accept or reject the offer. The largest problem is it takes over 400 days to foreclose and on average 176 days to sell.

My personal opinion is we are a long way from a housing recovery being done and it will continue to be a buyers market for some time to come. Marion County has some of the best prices in the state. Many can buy a home for less than the cost to rent in the area. Want to learn more or have questions, please call, text, chat or email me.

“Until Next Time”

[1] William Roark (2006), Concise Encyclopedia of Real Estate Business Terms ISBN 0-7890-2341-5

Source; “As Lenders Hold Homes in Foreclosure, Sales Are Hurt, New York Times May 23,2011