March 2014

There are 20 blog entries for March 2014.

REALTORS® generally expect prices to increase over the next 12 months at a modest pace with the median expected price increase at 3.9 percent, according to the latest Realtor's Confidence Index. Demand has slowed somewhat because of the increase in home values and the cost of borrowing from higher mortgage rates and mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans The modest pace of economic growth has also kept the lid on price growth.

The states with the most upbeat expected price change of 5 to 7 percent are California, Florida, and Hawaii, where tight inventory has boosted home values (red). In states with booming economies like Washington, North Dakota, Texas, Michigan, and the DC-Metro Area, the expected price increase is

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President Obama signed the flood insurance law on Friday, but FEMA has up to eight months to develop guidance for insurance companies, according to Lisa Jones, a consultant hired by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) to navigate the complicated law. And after FEMA solidifies the new rules, insurers have up to six months to retool their software.

Rep. Steven Palazzo, vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, asked Fugate at a hearing yesterday if there was a way to fast-track the process.

According to Fugate, the first step is to explain the grandfathering clause – where a homebuyer pays the same rate as a home seller in areas where FEMA subsidizes some flood insurance rates– to insurance

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – March 26, 2014 – Floridians’ consumer confidence rose three points this month to 81, tying a post-recession high last reached in May and June of last year, according to a new University of Florida survey.

“An index number of 81 is modest when looking at the entire history of the index, but it’s as high as we have achieved since before the recession began in December 2007,” says Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, which conducts the survey.

“This increase is consistent with our expectations that consumer sentiment among Floridians would remain near post-recession highs, given relatively good economic news,” including a federal budget extension passed by Congress.

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MADISON, N.J. – March 25, 2014 – According to a survey conducted on behalf of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, baby boomers (ages 49-67) are generally optimistic about living an independent, active lifestyle outside planned retirement communities.


The survey found that 57 percent of boomers plan to move out of their current home, and 70 percent believe the house they retire in will be the best home they’ve ever owned.

“With approximately 77 million boomers in the U.S., it’s quite significant for our industry to see that this population has so much positive anticipation for the home in which they will be retiring – and for the majority, their aspirations involve making a move,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens

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WASHINGTON – March 24, 2014 – According to the just-released National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) Realtors Confidence Index, members expect home prices to continue to rise over the next 12 months, but they expect them to do so at a moderate pace given tight credit conditions and lower home affordability.

The Realtors Confidence Index is a monthly survey distributed to more than 50,000 real estate practitioners. It gauges their expectations about home sales, prices and market conditions. Overall, Realtors expect a median price increase of 3.9 percent over the next 12 months.

Florida is one of four states where practitioners predict the biggest increases – 5 to 7 percent – along with California, Alaska and Hawaii. Tight inventories have helped to lift

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WASHINGTON – March 24, 2014 – President Obama signed H.R. 3370 on Friday, cementing at least short-term relief for homeowners hit by skyrocketing flood insurance rates and sellers afraid their homes will be worth less after buyers factor in the yearly cost of significantly higher flood insurance coverage.

“This law brings great relief to Realtors across Florida, especially people living in those communities that bore the brunt of the unexpected and sometimes overwhelming premium increases. We whole-heartedly thank all the members of Congress who made this possible,” says 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. “While we still have some concerns,

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TAMPA, Fla. – March 21, 2014 – Over the next five years, the median price of single-family homes will approach the peak reached before the housing market tanked in 2006, predicts the Demand Institute, a nonprofit think tank run by The Conference Board and Nielsen.

However, the Institute predicts that some local markets will rebound faster than others, creating an unbalanced recovery.

Among the 50 big metro areas projected to see housing appreciation between 2012 and 2018, the top five are predicted to have average gains of 32 percent – but the bottom five will average gains of just 11 percent.

Tampa, Jacksonville, Memphis, Milwaukee and St. Louis are expected to record the largest increase in the median price of an existing single-family home. At the

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ORLANDO, Fla. – March 20, 2014 – Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices, more new listings, fewer days on the market and a stable level of inventory in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 15,826 last month, up 1.5 percent over the February 2013 figure.

“With a diminishing number of distressed properties listed for sale, the return of more traditional housing market conditions continues to spark sellers’ interest,” said 2014 Florida Realtors President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. “Statewide, new listings for single-family homes in February rose 11.6 percent

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Property sales in Sarasota County for February 2014 maintained a very steady pace, and median sale prices for single family homes and condos also reflected market stability and integrity. Single family prices have been remarkably even for the past 12 months, while condo prices have seen somewhat more volatility.

February 2014 closed sales of 787 were down slightly (2.4 percent) from last February, when they were at 807, but up slightly from January 2014 (767).

The other notable market statistic was the recent marked decrease in short sales. Only 32 of the total 787 sales in February 2014 were short sales, compared to 98 in February 2013. Short sales have been trending lower since August 2013, and saw a significant drop off beginning in January 2014,

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NEW YORK – March 19, 2014 – According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, more Americans intend to find a new place to call home in 2014 – with 16 percent planning to move compared to 10 percent in 2012.

Among those looking to pull up stakes, buying has become more popular than renting, with more than 17 million people planning to purchase a house, condominium or co-op, versus 16 million who expect to rent their new residence.

Homebuyers might have to pay more to get what they want, however. Seller optimism is on pace to reach a four-year high, according to the researchers. The Tracker finds that 65 percent of potential home sellers are confident they will get their asking price, a 25 percent increase since 2010.

“All of the costs

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