Forbes lists top investment cities – 7 are in Fla.

February 5, 2016

NEW YORK – Feb. 3, 2016 – Where should real estate investors put their money in 2016? Forbes teamed up with North Carolina-based data company Local Market Monitor to produce its list of 2016 Best Buy Cities – the top 20 housing markets to invest in this year – and Florida dominates the list.

According to Forbes, Florida offers good values “where investors get the best bang for their housing buck, and where aspiring homeowners have the best prospects of making an economically sound purchase.”

Orlando took second place and was followed by six other Sunshine State cities. Among them, average home prices are highest in West Palm Beach (No. 19) at $285,000 and lowest in Tampa (No. 14) at $193,000. The averages, though, have been accelerating at a rate of 9 percent to 14 percent in all the Florida cities.

Florida’s domination of the list makes a lot of sense in light of the national economic recovery, says Ingo Winzer, founder and president of Local Market Monitor. “Since the national economy has stabilized and is growing again, the factors that prompt people to go to Florida have recovered,” he reasons.

“Best-buy” markets for 2016 housing

1. Grand Rapids

2. Orlando, Florida

3. San Antonio, Texas

4. Charlotte, North Carolina

5. Salt Lake City

6. Dallas

7. Austin, Texas

8. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

9. Seattle

10. Cape Coral, Florida

11. Indianapolis

12. North Port, Florida

13. Nashville, Tennessee

14. Tampa, Florida

15. Charleston, South Carolina

16. Denver, Colorado

17. Madison, Wisconsin

18. Jacksonville, Florida

19. West Palm Beach, Florida

20. Boise, Idaho

Forbes’ full list is also posted online.

Source: Forbes (01/27/16) Carlyle, Erin

© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD


Aug. U.S. homebuilder optimism hits 2005 levels

August 18, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) – Aug. 17, 2015 – U.S. homebuilders grew slightly more optimistic about the housing market in August, putting their confidence at levels last seen a decade ago during the debt-fueled housing boom.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday rose this month to 61, the highest level since November 2005. The reading was 60 in both June and July. Any reading above 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

“The fact the builder confidence has been in the low 60s for three straight months shows that single-family housing is making slow but steady progress,” said Tom Woods, a Missouri-based builder and chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

Through the first half of 2015, the government reported that new-home purchases shot up 21.2 percent to 274,000.

This comes as employers have added 2.9 million workers over the past year and the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.3 percent from 6.2 percent. The hiring has infused the economy with new paychecks that have supported the spending on housing and autos, among other expenses.

And average mortgage rates remain under 4 percent, putting them about two percentage points below this historical average.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.94 percent last week.

AP Logo Copyright © 2015 The Associated Press, Josh Boak. All rights reserved. This material may not be


Why Isn’t the Condo Market Rebounding?

July 24, 2015

NEW YORK – July 23, 2015 – While construction of single-family homes and multifamily rentals is on the rebound, condo construction sunk to new lows. Any rebound in the condo construction market has been delayed by stringent rules on condo mortgages that took effect post-housing crisis, and stronger demand among young people for rentals.

Condo construction in the first quarter comprised only 5.5 percent of all construction of multifamily housing – the lowest ratio since the Commerce Department began tracking the data in 1974. Historically, condo construction falls at a 24 percent average.

Condos traditionally offer higher returns for investors than apartments.

“Many developers would rather be building condominiums,” says Peter Bazeli, senior vice president at New York-based real estate consulting firm Weitzman Group. “With condos, you’re paying down debt with every closing and then putting money in your pocket right away.”

But many factors hamper the condo market’s recovery. For one, economists say young adults have been flocking to rentals instead, and condos typically cater to entry-level buyers. Also, construction loans limit the supply of condos built. Developers say they can get a construction loan for about 75 percent of the cost of building an apartment complex, but only about 50 percent for a condo complex because lenders deem it a higher risk.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) tightened its lending standards from 2008 to 2012, which has made condo funding even tougher, too. In order for the FHA to insure mortgages in a condo complex, at least half the units must be owner-occupied, and no more than half can be FHA-insured. For condo projects under development, at least 30 percent of units must be under contract for sale before the FHA will start backing mortgages.

Economists say those factors have kept the condo market sluggish and still far from recovery. The median condo resale price in May was $216,400, about $15,400 less than its pre-crisis peak in June 2005. On the other hand, the median resale price for single-family homes in May was $230,300 – only $600 less than its pre-crisis peak in July 2006.

But some developers see glimmers of a condo rebound forming.

“Rising apartment rents provide renters more reason to buy instead of renting,” the Journal reports. “Job growth is improving for young would-be buyers. And real estate lobbyists say they are making inroads in Washington to build support for easing the FHA restrictions on condo mortgages.”

Source: “Condos Left Behind in Housing Rebound,” The Wall Street Journal (July 21, 2015)

© Copyright 2015 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688


Celebration Real Estate Sales Totals for June 2015

July 8, 2015
Imagination Realty is pleased to provide the Celebration Real Estate Sales Totals for June 2015.

Please click the two links below to review the SOLD/CLOSED Single Family and Multifamily (condos, townhouses, villas) properties in Celebration as reported on the MLS.

Click the link below to see details of the 19 Single Family homes reported as SOLD/CLOSED.

http://mfr.mlsmatrix.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?k=3658417X8M08&p=DE-46503724-23

Click the link below to see details of the 17 Multi Family homes reported as SOLD/CLOSED.

http://mfr.mlsmatrix.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?k=3658417X8M08&p=DE-46503498-484

Looking Back – MLS Closed Statistics……..

June 2014: 10 Single Family – 12 Multi Family
July 2014: 10 Single Family – 16 Multi Family
August 2014: 14 Single Family – 12 Multi Family
September 2014: 16 Single Family – 20 Multi Family
October 2014: 14 Single Family – 9 Multi Family
November 2014: 14 Single Family – 22 Multi Family
December 2014: 12 Single Family – 17 Multi Family
January 2015: 3 Single Family – 15 Multi Family
February 2015: 12 Single Family – 5 Multi Family
March 2015: 14 Single Family – 9 Multi Family
April 2015: 22 Single Family – 8 Multi Family
May 2015: 14 Single Family – 15 Multi Family
June 2015: 19 Single Family – 17 Multi Family

If you would like us to research other parameters (time periods, specific price ranges, other areas),
please call or email Kathy Carlson at:
Kathy@ImaginationRealty.net
Courtesy of Imagination Realty
617 Celebration Ave
Direct # 407-361-7653

Visit us on our website at http://www.imaginationrealty.net/


Celebration Real Estate Sales Total for August 2014

September 5, 2014

Imagination Realty is pleased to provide the Celebration Real Estate Sales Totals for August 2014. Please click the two links below to review the SOLD/CLOSED Single Family and Multifamily (condos, townhouses, villas) properties in Celebration as reported on the MLS.

Click the link below to see details of the 14 Single Family homes reported as SOLD/CLOSED.

http://mfr.mlsmatrix.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?k=3658417X8M08&p=DE-6852958-781

Click the link below to see details of the 12 Multi Family homes reported as SOLD/CLOSED.

http://mfr.mlsmatrix.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?k=3658417X8M08&p=DE-6853426-819

Looking Back – MLS Closed Statistics……..

August 2013: 17 Single Family – 12 Multi Family
September 2013: 17 Single Family – 10 Multi Family
October 2013: 18 Single Family – 13 Multi Family
November 2013: 12 Single Family – 16 Multi Family
December 2013: 12 Single Family – 14 Multi Family
January 2014: 6 Single Family – 10 Multi Family
February 2014: 12 Single Family – 15 Multi Family
March 2014: 20 Single Family – 11 Multi Family
April 2014: 15 Single Family – 14 Multi Family
May 2014: 19 Single Family – 11 Multi Family
June 2014: 10 Single Family – 12 Multi Family
July 2014: 10 Single Family – 16 Multi Family
August 2014: 14 Single Family – 12 Multi Family

If you would like us to research other parameters (time periods, specific price ranges, other areas),
please call or email Kathy Carlson at:
Kathy@ImaginationRealty.net
Courtesy of Imagination Realty
617 Celebration Ave
Direct # 407-361-7653
Across from Town Hall

Visit us on our website at http://www.imaginationrealty.net


Check out this GREAT App just RELEASED TODAY!

February 13, 2013

~ The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service has developed a free smartphone app – the Florida State Parks Pocket Ranger® app – available for download today. It includes information on the state’s 171 parks, trails and historic sites, with details about campgrounds, amenities, facility maps, directions and more.

In honor of the new app, Florida’s state parks will also offer free entry to state parks on Monday, Feb. 18, to any visitor who shows the app download on his or her smartphone. (Exception: Skyway Fishing Pier State Park in St. Petersburg.)

The app allows visitors to plan an outdoor trip by searching for a park by GPS location.

Once inside the state park, GPS and GIS mapping technology allow visitors to track and record trails, mark waypoints and locate friends within the park. An option to cache GPS maps in advance allows navigation in areas without mobile reception.

App features

• Educational information, amenities, maps and directions.
• Real-time calendar of events.
• News, advisories and weather alerts.
• Social networking and photo sharing.
• Potentially life-saving alert feature.
• Advanced GPS mapping features.
• Record trail distance and time elapsed.
• Recall, post or share saved data.
• Friend finder.
• Built-in compass.

The new app works in iPhones and Android devices. For more information, visit the Pocket Ranger website.

Florida State Parks