Local Market Statistics for Osceola County

May 28, 2020

Osceola County Stats - April 2020.pptx

Call Imagination Realty (Kathleen Carlson, Owner/Broker) for more details!

321-939-1300


As Skittish Investors Back Off, First-Time Buyers Step In

May 28, 2020
RE investors base a purchase price on future expectations, but the pandemic created market confusion. As a result, first-timers face less competition for starter homes.

CHICAGO – The mix of homebuyers has been shifting since the pandemic began: Investor numbers are shrinking, as the number of first-time homebuyers is on the rise. First-timers don’t have to sell one home before purchasing another, and many have a newly boosted appreciation for homeownership after weeks of isolation.

In April 2020, the share of first-time buyers rose to 36%, a year-to-year increase from 32%, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ April 2020 Realtors Confidence Index Survey.

“Homebuyers are facing less competition from investors, and they are also benefiting from low mortgage rates,” says Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, a, NAR researcher on the Economists’ Outlook blog. With fewer investors, cash sales dropped to 15% of existing-home sales in April, down from 20% a year earlier.

Record low mortgage rates also entice some first-time buyers. The estimated monthly mortgage payment on a home purchased at the median price of $286,800 with a 10% down payment on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was $1,131 – $90 less than the median rent of $1,041 in the first quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, as first-time buyers increase in the marketplace, investors retreat. Those who plan to rent out a home to fix up and rent may perceive greater financial risk associated with renters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cororaton thinks investors are unlikely to purchase single-family properties at the rate they did during the Great Recession, which had sparked a wave of discounted foreclosures.

“In the current health and economic crisis, properties are not being foreclosed,” Cororaton notes. Also, so far, home prices are standing firm.

Source: “5 Housing Market Trends as Of April 2020,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog (May 22, 2020)

© Copyright 2020 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD


New-home sales rise as Americans freed from lockdowns go house-hunting

May 27, 2020

Demand is being boosted by mortgage rates near record lows, says NAHB’s chief economist

New-home sales rose in April as Americans went on a buying spree as soon as state lockdowns were lifted.

Builders sold 623,000 houses at an annualized and seasonally adjusted pace, a gain of 0.6% from the revised March rate of 619,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday in a report that records signed contracts as sales. Economists had expected sales would drop for a third consecutive month in April because of the economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was among the group expecting to see a decline in sales, but instead we’re seeing the stabilization of the housing market in April,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. “March may have been the low point.”

New-home sales are being boosted by mortgage rates near the lowest levels ever recorded, said Dietz. It’s helping to overcome “headwinds” such as a spike in the jobless rate and a tightening in requirements to get a mortgage, he said.

“Housing demand is responding to the low interest rates,” Dietz said. “There’s a pent-up demand as states begin to reopen, and it’s showing us that housing really is going to be a sector that helps to lead the economy into recovery mode.”

Three of four U.S. regions posted gains in April, compared to March, led by an 8.7% increase in the Northeast and gains of 2.4% in the South and Midwest. The West region that includes California, the nation’s most populous state, dropped 6.3%, the report said.

The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.24% last week, within one basis point of an all-time low set two weeks earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

The Federal Reserve began buying mortgage-backed securities in mid-March to keep credit flowing amid the economic jolt caused by the pandemic, which boosted competition for the bonds and put downward pressure on rates.

The average 30-year fixed rate probably will continue dropping through the rest of 2020, Fannie Mae said in a forecast earlier this month. It likely will average 3.2% in the current quarter, 3.1% in the third quarter, and 3% in the final three months of the year, Fannie Mae said.

 

Call Imagination Realty (Kathleen Carlson, Owner/Broker)  to start your search!            321-939-1300


Studies Suggest Buyers Prepared to Hit the Ground Running

May 22, 2020
Google and realtor.com report a big uptick in buyer activity – time spent searching for homes, viewing specific listings and sharing homes with friends – and two Fla. cities rank near the top for increased buyer interest: No. 3 Jacksonville (up 96.08%) and No. 4 Miami (up 81.82%).

ORLANDO, Fla. – While listing inventory remains a wild card, realtor.com and Google Searches released data that suggests a lot of buyers see the pandemic as a pitstop on the way to homeownership rather than an end-point.

According to realtor.com, “listing visits, saves and shares are all up significantly since the first wave of shelter-in-place orders took effect on March 16 – especially for those listings with virtual tours.”

Google Searches compared a metro area’s lowest day of home searches during 2020 to home searches at the end of April to measure improvement. Out of 50 cities listed, two Florida cities ranked in the top 10. At No. 3, the Jacksonville metro area had 96.08% more home searches at the end of April than it had on its slowest day of 2020 so far. And at No. 4, Miami had 81.82% more searches at the end of last month.

Tampa ranked as No. 35 with a 44.26% increase in buyer interest, and Orlando ranked No. 39 with a 34.92% increase. Tucson, Arizona was number one for home search increases with 164.71%; Indianapolis bottomed out at No. 50 on Google’s list, but home search activity still was up 8.62%.

Realtor.com listed the increased use by home-search function on its website:

  • Up 30%: Listing views for single family homes and condos
  • Up 76%: Saved homes
  • Up 95%: Sharing home listings with other users
  • Up 14%: Time spent per unique user

“Data suggests that home shoppers who had paused their search are now picking it back up, and the spring homebuying season won’t be lost, but merely pushed into the summer months,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com. “Tools such as virtual tours and Livestream Open Houses are enabling consumers to safely continue their home search while maintaining social distancing guidelines.”

“There are probably people who think there are going to be bargains in the marketplace,” says Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree’s chief economist. “They might be anticipating … fewer buyers competing because many people have had a disruption to their incomes or are uncertain about the outlook for their jobs. The low interest rates also make it an attractive time.”

Since shelter-in-place orders began, the growth rate for listing visits to homes that offer virtual tours has been twice as high as those without virtual tours. User visits were also 29% higher for listings featuring virtual tours, with increased engagement and a greater likelihood of a consumer connecting with an agent. According to realtor.com:

  • Two thirds (64%) of its users took a virtual tour, and of those, 45% prefer listings that offer virtual tours
  • 65% of home buyers believe virtual tours will continue to be a great resource in their home shopping process even after the pandemic
  • An additional 8% think virtual tours can be a replacement for in-person tours
  • When asked what they like about virtual tours, top responses include: They help me eliminate homes that aren’t for me (52%); they help me see the details of a home without having to step inside (43%); they help me create a shortlist of homes I want to see in person (38%); and they allow me to see more homes quickly without having to drive around to open houses (30%)

By Kerry Smith

© 2020 Florida Realtors®


Remodels that Pay

July 6, 2018

Steel Doors
You don’t want to go cheap on a standard front door. At roughly $1,000, steel doors are comparatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and burglar resistant. As an added bonus, the National Association of Realtors® reports that steel door upgrades show the highest return on investment of any home remodel, at over 100 percent of the cost.

Solar Panels
As the price of solar panels continues to drop, the energy payback on installing them is becoming greater and greater. The average rooftop solar system is now paid off in seven and a half years. After that, panels are a big money-saving asset. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory notes that homebuyers “consistently have been willing to pay more for a property” with solar panels—a premium of around $4 per installed watt, on average.

Related: Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Solar Panels?

New Siding
The exterior of your house is the first thing potential homebuyers see when they come to your home, and you want to make the best first impression. This is part of the reason redoing your siding is so profitable. New siding recoups around 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of Realtors®, thanks largely to the increased curb appeal and improved energy efficiency it provides.

Broadband Access
Access to broadband speeds is considered an essential utility for today’s connected homebuyer. Research shows that faster internet speeds increase your home value by as much as 3 percent. Homeowners can prepare their homes for higher broadband connectivity by working with area providers to install requisite equipment and wiring. Building out wall ports and cable-hiding baseboards is a good move to attract buyers, too.

Even if you’re not considering selling your home just yet, keep potential selling benefits in mind. Intrepid homeowners know that the best remodels will increase both quality of life and listing price, so take care to invest in projects that will net the biggest returns.


Home Improvement: Cost vs. Value

January 19, 2018

Nationally, when it comes to renovation ROI, curb appeal still wins out. Here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “midrange” cost category:

Manufactured Stone Veneer (97.1% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $8,221
  • Average Resale Value: $7,986

Entry Door Replacement (Steel) (91.3% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $1,471
  • Average Resale Value: $1,344

Deck Addition (Wood) (82.8% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $10,950
  • Average Resale Value: $9,065

Minor Kitchen Remodel (81.1% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $21,198
  • Average Resale Value: $17,193

Siding Replacement (76.7% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $15,072
  • Average Resale Value: $11,554

The top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “upscale” cost category are:

Garage Door Replacement (98.3% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $3,470
  • Average Resale Value: $3,411

Window Replacement (Vinyl) (74.3% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $15,955
  • Average Resale Value: $11,855

Window Replacement (Wood) (69.5% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $19,391
  • Average Resale Value: $13,468

Grand Entrance (Fiberglass) (67.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $8,591
  • Average Resale Value: $5,809

Bathroom Remodel (56.2% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $61,662
  • Average Resale Value: $34,633

Nationally—and on the complete other end of the spectrum—here are the five projects with the lowest ROI in the “midrange” cost category:

Backyard Patio (47.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $54,130
  • Average Resale Value: $25,769

Master Suite Addition (56.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $123,420
  • Average Resale Value: $69,807

Major Kitchen Remodel (59% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $63,829
  • Average Resale Value: $37,637

Bathroom Addition (59.9% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $44,717
  • Average Resale Value: $26,769

Deck Addition (Composite) (63.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $17,668
  • Average Resale Value: $11,239

The five projects with the lowest ROI in the “upscale” cost category are:

Master Suite Addition (48.3% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $256,229
  • Average Resale Value: $123,797

Major Kitchen Remodel (53.5% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $125,721
  • Average Resale Value: $67,212

Bathroom Addition (54.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $83,869
  • Average Resale Value: $45,752

Bathroom Remodel (56.2% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $61,662
  • Average Resale Value: $34,633

Grand Entrance (Fiberglass) (67.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $8,591
  • Average Resale Value: $5,809

The 2018 Cost vs. Value Report compares, across 149 markets, the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects with their average value at resale one year later. Average resale value is calculated based on estimates provided by real estate professionals. View the full report, including project descriptions and city-level data, by clicking the link below.

http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/


Celebration is a Walkable Town

January 4, 2018

Millennials are not the only generation preferring proximity to restaurants and retail.

Americans born between the mid-1920s up until 1945—the “Silent Generation”—are also on the lookout for walkability. Fifty-five percent of members of the Silent Generation recently surveyed by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) favor neighborhoods close for commuting and/or walkability—not far off from the 62 percent of millennials surveyed who prefer the same. Both generations would live in an apartment or townhouse if it meant a closer commute and/or walkability, according to findings from the survey. Fifty-one percent of all of the adults surveyed, regardless of generation, believe quality of life is impacted by walkability.

The generations between millennials and the Silent Generation, however—baby boomers and Generation X—are partial to the suburbs. Fifty-five percent of both boomers and Gen Xers are okay with the trade-off: driving to establishments, recreation and work for a single-family home.

There are age- and gender-based interests, as well. When buying a home, younger women look for public transit and walkability more so than younger men, but both younger men and younger women seek short commute times, according to the survey.

All told, 60 percent of all of the adults surveyed would rather reside in a single-family home. Another 60 percent, though, would spend more to live in an area with greater walkability. The majority of adults with children (another 60 percent, still) are interested in the acreage and square footage of the suburbs.

Infrastructure plays a role, according to the survey. Eighty-six percent of all of the adults surveyed perceive sidewalks positively, and 73 percent believe road maintenance and repair is important.

“REALTORS® understand that when people buy a home, they are not just looking at the house; they are looking at the neighborhood and the community,” says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “While the idea of the ‘perfect neighborhood’ is different for every homeowner, more Americans are expressing a desire to live in communities with access to public transit, shorter commutes and greater walkability.”

Helping the movement are real estate professionals, Mendenhall says.

“REALTORS® work tirelessly at improving their communities through smart growth initiatives that help transform public spaces into these walkable community centers.”