Archive for the ‘Property Source Radio’ Category

Vacation-Home Buyers are Back

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

As Alex reported 6/23/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues June 19, 2012
News Sponsored by

Real estate practitioners in vacation spots across the country say the market for second homes is picking up steam as buyers grow more confident given signs of growth in small businesses.

The National Association of REALTORS® reports a 7 percent jump in vacation sales to 502,000 last year, accounting for 11 percent of all volume.  The median vacation home price was $121,000 last year, down from a peak of $204,100 in 2005, but agents in some locales say prices are beginning to creep up as the distressed inventory is moved out.

Vacation-home buyers are snapping up higher-priced properties, although Jennifer Calenda of Michael Saunders & Co. in Southwest Florida says prices are not necessarily on the rise.  With inventory hitting a seven-year low of 4.7 months in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties, she says buyers “are saying ‘we better hurry up.’”

Inventory is so scarce in some markets that some real estate professionals report multiple offers; and with prices probably at the bottom, Trulia economist Jed Kolko says people ready to make a cash purchase or who can qualify for low mortgage rates should strongly consider buying now.

Source: “Vacation Home Buyers Return, Pick Pricier Properties,” Investor’s Business Daily (06/15/12)

Check our local Waterfront Listings on Property Source!

Come To My Garden Party

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

By Lana Torre

Last Sunday I finished planting my garden. Red geraniums, white geraniums and lots of blue lobelia add so much charisma to the garden. Some of the spring blooming perennials have opened their pretty little faces of color. The Spring garden is so fresh. The grass, creeping so close to the flower beds, is a bright, light green. The excitement of the garden makes me excited to plan a party for my friends- a garden party!

A few tips to plan your own party: First, set the stage. Pick the perfect spot in your garden and create the right setting. A shady spot is best, near a blooming bed. If your garden is in the afternoon sun, grab your table umbrella. Decorate the umbrella by hanging paper lanterns from the spokes, or if your theme is beachy, hang seashells with twine. An evening party is fun too, hang strings of fun lights. I have seen lobster lights, red chili lights and even champagne bottles. Fasten them to the umbrella using large clips or clothes pin.

Choose your dishes carefully. Clear glass plates always look fresh and inviting and work with any theme. Antique plates in lively floral patterns will give you a shabby chic  look. Create the canvas for your table using white table linens. If you don’t own any, make a trip to goodwill or a thrift shop. You will certainly find the perfect linens there. If you own silver flatware, use it. Most of us only use it for the holidays, if at all. Wine goblets can be used for homemade lemonade. Always add a slice of fresh citrus.

Third, make individual flower arrangements for each place setting. Use old canning or jelly jars as vases. I once used cleaned fruit cocktail cans – they were totally cute. Fill your vases with cut flowers, leaves and herbs. And if you hate to cut flowers from your early garden, take a drive and collect some from the roadside. Even wild weeds are acceptable. Remember “ a weed is a plant that grows where you don’t want it too”.

Lastly, consider your menu. Make small sandwiches and cut off the crusts. Use your cake stand to hold them. Serve lots of fresh fruits sliced very, very thinly. Dessert should be light too. Make macaroons or meringues, or serve frozen yogurt in pretty pastel colors. Always remember, presentation is more important than flavor.

The stage is set. The canvas of your party table is painted with colorful flowers and seasonal food. The only untouched detail is the music. Download Ricky Nelson’s “Garden Party” and enjoy an afternoon with your BFF’s.

Landlords Cash in on Higher Demand

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

As Alex reported 6/16/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues June 12, 2012
News Sponsored by

Taking advantage of an increase in home owners-turned-tenants, apartment landlords are raising their rents and expect to continue to do so.

During the first quarter, monthly apartment asking rents increased 2.2 percent year-over-year, reaching an average of $1,070, according to Reis, a property research firm.

Vacancies are at lows and developers are trying to rush projects of multifamily housing to meet the increased demand from renters, but continued constraints on lending has put the brakes on many projects, particularly in smaller markets.

“I’m optimistic about the multifamily sector, certainly for the next two years,” Kevin Thorpe, chief economist at Cassidy Turley, a commercial property brokerage, told Investor’s Business Daily. “We’ve entered a period of sustained rent growth.

The reason behind analysts’ optimism: Young professionals are increasingly turning to renting and more than 3 million former home owners, who have been displaced by foreclosures or short sales, are turning into renters.

Demand for single-family home rentals is increasing too, according to CoreLogic. A four-month supply of single-family homes is now available for rent, which is down from five months a year ago, according to CoreLogic data.

Source: “Rents Rise as Apartments See Demand,” Investor’s Business Daily (June 7, 2012)

Is Housing Slowly Turning to a Seller’s Market?

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

As Alex reported 6/9/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues June 5, 2012
News Sponsored by

It’s been mostly a “buyer’s market” in the majority of housing markets for the past few years, but more Americans are seeing home buyers’ power in home sales and negotiations soon slipping away.

More Americans are reporting increased optimism when it comes to selling a home as prices take a gradual turn upward, according to a recent survey.

About 28 percent of Americans say it’s a good time to sell now, inching up from 13 percent last quarter, according to a survey by Redfin of more than 1,200 potential buyers in 18 metro areas.

Nearly 60 percent of the survey’s respondents say they think prices will rise this year, up from 34 percent last year.

Seventy-one percent of the respondents surveyed also said they are seeing more bidding wars and multiple bids on homes today, too.

Home buyers are increasingly being lured back to the housing market, according to several recent surveys. Many buyers say record-low interest rates and increased housing affordability has made buying more attractive. However, according to the Redfin survey, buyers also say the drop in inventory of homes for-sale is one reason to hold off on buying nowadays.

Source: “Redfin: Homebuyers Think the Market is Beginning to Favor Sellers,” HousingWire (June 4, 2012)

Consumer Confidence Reaches Highest Level in 4 Years

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

As Alex reported 6/2/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues May 29, 2012
News Sponsored by

Americans are more positive about the direction of the economy, as consumer confidence reached its highest level since October 2007, according to a Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index on consumer sentiment.

Americans are more positive about the job market and salary increases, and may be more willing to spend, the index showed. Half of the consumers in the index said the economy had improved in the last year. And more consumers reported plans to buy cars and household durables.

Higher-income Americans are more optimistic about salary increases than lower-income Americans, according to the index. Americans with incomes greater than $75,000 predicted more salary increases with an average 2 percent boost in income by next year. However, Americans who make less than $75,000 only anticipate a 0.3 percent increase in salaries.

“You’ve got a variety of forces working on consumer sentiment at this point. You’ve got obviously concerns about Europe, the economy in general, lower stock prices — all those are a negative,” Scott J. Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Fla., told Reuters News. “But lower gasoline prices are a plus, so I think that’s probably part of the factor that you’ll see an increase in purchasing power if gasoline prices continue to move down.”

Source: “May Consumer Sentiment Highest in More Than 4 Years,” Reuters (May 25, 2012)

What Does It Take to Get a Loan Today? A Lot!

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

As Alex reported 5/26/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues May 22, 2012
News Sponsored by

One of the biggest obstacles home buyers are facing is qualifying for financing, and a new report by the Federal Reserve shows exactly how big of struggle potential borrowers face.

According to a new Federal Reserve report surveying banks, the report found that most banks say they are a lot less likely to issue a mortgage to borrowers with a FICO credit of 620 and a 10 percent down payment than they were in 2006 during the housing boom.

“A moderate net fraction of banks were less likely to originate loans to borrowers with a FICO score of 680, regardless of down payment size,” the report also said. “A modest net fraction of banks were less likely to originate loans to borrowers with a FICO score of 720 and a 10 percent down payment, although survey respondents indicated that they were about as likely to originate loans now as they were in 2006 if such borrowers had a down payment of 20 percent.”

So while mortgage rates continue to sink to new record lows, many home buyers are finding they can’t always qualify for the low rates.

As a recent New York Times article about the Federal Reserve’s report illustrates: “A borrower with a credit score of 720 can expect a rate of 3.70 percent on a 30-year, $300,000 fixed-rate mortgage … while someone with a score of 620 to 639 can expect a 5.07 percent rate — or an extra $242 per monthly payment.”

Source: “How to Pump Up Your Credit Score,” The New York Times (May 17, 2012)

Gaps Persist in Americans’ Credit Knowledge

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

As Alex reported 5/19/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues May 15, 2012
News Sponsored by

The majority of Americans don’t fully understand how credit scores are formulated, according to a survey released by the Consumer Federation of America. That gap in knowledge can cost them when applying for a mortgage too.

While the survey showed a big improvement in the last year in the number of Americans knowledgeable about credit and how companies collect credit information on them, Americans overall still don’t fully understand how credit scores are calculated or used.

For example, the survey found that respondents were not fully aware of just how a low credit score could hamper them. “Only 29 percent are aware that, on a $20,000, 60-month auto loan, a borrower with a low credit score is likely to pay at least $5,000 more than a borrower with a high credit score,” according to the Consumer Federation of America survey.

The survey found that 56 percent of respondents mistakenly believe a person’s age and 54 percent say a person’s marital status are used to calculate a credit score. Twenty-one percent surveyed also mistakenly said that a person’s ethnic origin was a factor in calculating credit scores too.

The survey also found that less than half of respondents — 44 percent — understood that a credit score is for measuring the risk of repaying loans. Twenty-two percent mistakenly thought credit scores measured a person’s amount of debt and 21 percent said credit scores were “financial resources.”

Still, the survey found that more people are becoming aware of what can hurt or help your credit score in comparing this year’s results to last year’s. The survey found that more people in the most recent survey knew that a missed payment, bankruptcy, or carrying high credit card balances could lower their credit score. Most respondents also knew that making payments on time can raise their credit score, while missing a payment can lower it.

Source: Consumer Federation of America and “Consumer Knowledge of Credit Leaves a lot to be Desired,” HousingWire (May 14, 2012)

More Foreclosures Turned into Indoor Pot Farms

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

As Alex reported 5/12/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues May 8, 2012
News Sponsored by

Foreclosed homes are increasingly being purchased or rented by those who are turning the homes into sites of illegal activity: Indoor marijuana farms.

According to law enforcement officials, many of these illegal marijuana farm foreclosures are blending right into suburbia. New owners or renters move into foreclosed properties in middle to upper-class neighborhoods, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, and appearing like any other good neighbor, The New York Times reports.

“Houses that sold for $1 million before the crisis have been turned into grow houses, equipped with the high-intensity lights, water, and air-filtering systems necessary to produce potent, high-quality marijuana,” The New York Times reports. “Many grow houses go unnoticed, even by next-door neighbors, until there is a fire, typically caused by unsafe electrical wiring.”

Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, says areas in Northern California are seeing some of the highest incidences of foreclosures turned into indoor marijuana farms.

Indeed, according to DEA statistics from 2010 — the latest year available — California accounted for more than 70 percent of all marijuana plants confiscated nationwide.

Source: “Foreclosed Houses Become Homes for Indoor Marijuana Farms,” The New York Times (May 6, 2012)

Attacks Against Real Estate Professionals Surge

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

As Alex reported 5/5/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues May 1, 2012
News Sponsored by

The number of assaults against real estate professionals is on the rise, with the nature of attacks becoming more violent and sometimes deadly.

Fatal injuries among real estate professionals while working on the job reached in 2010 their highest level since 2003, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Figures from 2010 are the latest year available.

Sixty-three workplace fatalities occurred in the real estate industry category in 2010, which is a 19 percent rise over the previous year. Of the 63 fatalities, 23 were homicides, according to BLS. That overall total also includes 14 deaths from falls, nine from transportation incidents, and eight from being exposed to harmful substances or environments, Inman News reports on the BLS findings.

That marks the highest level of fatalities since at least 2003 when BLS began collecting such data. The real estate industry category, as defined by BLS, includes landlords, real estate agents and brokers, and those who perform work related to real estate, such as appraisers and property managers.

Landlords appear to be the most vulnerable to attacks. Of the 23 homicides in 2010, 52 percent of the victims were landlords.

In 2010, 940 real estate and rental leasing professionals were victims of nonfatal assaults. That number has steadily risen over the last few years, up from 620 in 2009 and 170 in 2008.

Inman News, in its analysis of the findings, discovered that workplace fatalities among real estate professionals were at their lowest point during 2005, the height of the housing boom. In 2005, 39 fatalities were recorded. The number has been on the rise ever since, particularly in the categories of “assaults and violent acts” caused by others, self-inflicted injury, and animal attacks.

Source: “Assaults, Murders of Real Estate Professionals on the Rise,” Inman News (April 30, 2012) [Log-in required.]

More Single Family Homes Turned Into Rentals

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

As Alex reported 4/28/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues April 24, 2012
News Sponsored by

As the number of for-sale homes listed on the multiple listing service (MLS) drops, the number of single-family homes up for rent has been gradually increasing, RISMedia reports.

Single-family home rentals are a growing business, as more investors buy up foreclosures at bargain prices and then transform them into rentals.

About 16 percent of all listings on the MLS are rentals, which is more than double the number of rentals listed in 2006, RISMedia reports. Single-family rentals are often listed on the MLS by real estate brokers, whereas multifamily units typically aren’t.

The single-family rental market now accounts for “21 million rental units or 52 percent of the entire residential rental market,” according to a new study by CoreLogic.

Single-family rentals are usually very differently from multi-family homes. For example, rents for single-family rentals typically are 1.5 to 1.6 times higher than multifamily homes. Also, families and prior home owners tend to be attracted to single-family rentals whereas multifamily tenants tend to be younger, more mobile people who have never owned a home before.

Many of the single-family rental tenants nowadays are former home owners who had faced foreclosure and can no longer afford to own. According to CoreLogic, more than 3 million home owners have been turned into renters over the past five years due to foreclosure.

Source: “Single Family Rentals Now Exceed Multifamily,” RISMedia (April 23, 2012)