Market Updates

2013 Real Estate Sales Up Double Over Last Year

By | January 22, 2014

business graph in blueSarasota County median sale prices for single family homes and condos in December 2013 were up double figures over last December as the real estate market ended the year on another high note. Single family home prices were at $189,950 in December, compared to $165,000 last year at this time for a 15.1 percent increase. Condos also saw a big rise, hitting $182,000 in December 2013 compared to $165,100 last year for a 10.2 percent increase.

The 12-month rolling median, which moderates monthly swings, for single family homes was $184,900 in December 2013, up nearly 20 percent from last year at this time ($155,000). For condos the rolling median was $164,900, up 10.1 percent over last year’s figure at this time ($150,000).

Total property sales in Sarasota County in December 2013 stood at 920, with 621 single family homes and 299 condominiums changing hands. This compares to 906 for last December.

December 2013 sales bested November’s 787 sales by 16.9 percent. For the full year 2013, Sarasota County had the second highest number of sales ever tracked in the MLS system at 11,184.

To view the full press release from the Sarasota Association of Realtors visit

http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/Dec2013Stats14012030603.pdf

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Sarasota Home Prices Continue to Rise

By | December 20, 2013

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The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales numbers for the month of November. They report that median sale prices for single family homes sold in Sarasota County in November 2013 were up 20.6 percent over last November, a clear sign that recent price appreciation in the single family home market is continuing unabated. Single family home prices were at $187,000 this November compared to only $155,000 last November. The median sale price for single family for the 12 month period ending Nov. 30, 2013 was $181,700, up 23 percent over last year at this time ($147,000). Comparing November to October, prices were up slightly for single family from $185,776 last month.

Condo prices were slightly down this November compared to last year at this time – $157,750 compared to $160,000 in November 2012. But the 12-month rolling median, which moderates monthly swings, for condos was $163,000, up 10.1 percent over last year at this time. Condo prices were down 10.9 percent from October’s figure of $175,000.

For the full press release and statistical charts click here.

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D R Horton Selling at Legends Bay

By | November 4, 2013

Legends Bay Sign

Legends Bay SignBuilder D.R. Horton’s Tampa/Sarasota Division resumed new home sales at Legends Bay in Bradenton with a new model opening in late December. D.R. Horton’s Premier and Estate series homes will range in size from 2,045 to 4,363 square feet. D.R. Horton is currently building its Bedford floorplan to be featured as the model in the community. The Bedford is a two-story, master-down home with 2,592 square feet, four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a loft.

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*Serious* Flood Insurance Changes!

By | October 30, 2013

If you’ve got a property in a flood zone – or you’re thinking about buying one – you need to know about BIG, BIG changes that are coming.  Barring the housing meltdown of 2006, this is perhaps the single most impactful change to our market I’ve seen since I started working in real estate.  And it’s not a good one.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act was signed into law on July 6, 2012 in response to recent major drains on the federally run National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Virtually all flood insurance policies in the U.S. are underwritten through this program.  It’s been a major drain on the federal government and natural disasters like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina have caused the program to run at massive deficits.  In response, the Biggert-Waters Act has aimed to fundamentally alter the way policies are charges to reflect the actual cost of insurance instead of a subsidized cost.

Who’s Affected

If you’re in flood zone ‘X’ or ‘X-500’, you don’t have much to worry about.  You’re probably not required to carry flood insurance for your mortgage and these changes won’t apply to you.  If, however, you’re in flood zones ‘A’,  ‘D’, or ‘V’ (or any variation thereof), these changes ARE going to affect you and are very likely to increase the amount you have to pay for flood insurance.

It’s important to know that these zones aren’t just along waterways and the coast.  In fact, most of the properties that will be affected AREN’T in these areas and the hardest hit won’t be the coastal properties.  The link below will take you to the FEMA website and will allow you to check the flood zone for your property:

https://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/FemaWelcomeView?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1

What That Means For You

Owners of non-primary residences in Special Flood Hazard Areas will see 25% increases annually until rates reflect the true risk (which can be massive).  Owners of primary residences in SFHAs will be able to keep their subsidized rates until they sell their property, allow their policy to lapse, suffer severe, repeated losses, or purchase a new policy.  Owners who buy into one of these areas will have to pay the full amount right away without the graduated increases.  Also, the law is retroactive to July 6, 2012, so if you’ve bought since then – whether or not it’s a primary residence – you’re affected.

We’re Also Getting New Flood Maps

The other leg of this law is that FEMA was ordered to redraw their existing flood maps using new tools that weren’t available when they initially mapped the nation.  Sarasota County’s map is scheduled to be presented in February of 2014 and is slated to go into effect sometime in 2015.  Properties with zoning changes will see premiums increase at a rate of 20% per year until they reach full-risk rates.

More Information

This is just a brief overview of the Biggert-Waters Act; there’s a ton more information available through FEMA.  I’m including a link to a FEMA-issued .PDF that further outlines the changes:

http://www.floods.org/ace-files/documentlibrary/2013_nfip_reform/FEMA_PPT_BW12_32613.pdf

… And Now The Reason You’re REALLY Reading!

One of my favorite artists of all time is Michael Jackson.  I was really bummed when he passed – but there may be hope: CNN filmed a segment at his Neverland home and you can clearly see something in the background as they film his suite.  Is it his ghost?  A trick of the tape?  Maybe we’ll never know, but it’s definitely worth checking out:

Interested In Buying or Selling?


When you hire Alex Krumm at Re/Max Alliance Group, you’ll get an award-winning expert agent ready to work for YOU!  I’m in the top 2% of active local agents for homes sold and I’m used to selling more homes for more money in less time.  Put the benefit of our area’s #1 brokerage to work and call today!

Alex Krumm, GRI, CDPE
Broker Associate, Re/Max Alliance Group
SAR Professional Development Committee
4-Year Winner, Five-Star Best In Customer Satisfaction – Sarasota Magazine
941-234-3597 Direct
srqbroker@gmail.com

 

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Sarasota Real Estate Sales in September

By | October 26, 2013

a-housing-graph

a-housing-graphThe Sarasota Association of Realtors recently reported that property sales in September 2013 in Sarasota County hit 817 (545 single family homes, 272 condos), 22.5% higher than in September 2012. However, the total sales figure was down 14.6% from August 2013, when 957 sales were closed, mirroring a similar late summer drop last September.

To view the full report and statistics click here.

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Reality vs Reality TV for Homebuyers

By | August 31, 2013

Couple in living room watching televisionAh, reality TV. That land where everything seems so easy and even the most difficult life events are resolved in fewer than 30 minutes. Of course, producers, editing and professional lighting don’t hurt (if only that were part of everyone’s reality, right?). So when it comes to home buying, just how real is reality TV? And what can people without production crews expect?

Let’s start with the basics: Buying or selling a home doesn’t (usually) happen overnight. What becomes a two-minute segment on television actually requires days, weeks and even months, in some cases, of time and effort in everyday life. It entails budgeting, searching, inspecting and negotiating.

To sum it up: The camera misses a lot of the action. You – in real life – will interview and hire a Realtor, apply for home loans and agonize over picking the right house. You’ll pay your earnest money, order inspections, work through contingencies, prepare to bring cash to closing, sign your name dozens of times to transfer ownership – all before you get the keys. And guess what, you won’t see most, or any, of that on TV.

But you probably already know all that. You also probably know that every home shown on TV is in tip-top condition from top to bottom – and pretty stylishly staged. In reality, that’s not always the case. Be prepared to imagine that the salmon pink paint in the dining room is temporary, that the lawn doesn’t need a garden gnome at the base of every tree or bush. In other words, don’t just focus on the life someone else made there, focus on what you see in your future there: you, your furniture, your life.

One aspect that most TV shows do seem to get right, though, is the advantage buyers have when using a real estate agent. Knowing the best homes within your budget, detailing the pros and cons of each property, making the offers/counteroffers – that’s their job. Which in turn makes yours – finding your dream home – much easier.

Speaking of dream homes, yours might end up looking slightly, or significantly, different than you thought. It might not exist, or it might not exist in your price range. In this instance, take a cue from the reality show buyers and learn to compromise. The lap pool might be out of reach, but at least you get that large soaking tub in the master bath.

For a more detailed explanation of the Sarasota real estate market trends and the  homebuying process, contact Carole Samuels.  I am ready to answer all your questions.

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The Best US Cities for House Flipping

By | August 31, 2013

Ringling Bridge“The Sarasota area is blessed with incredible natural beauty, great cultural assets and tremendous amenities that families enjoy year round,” said Roger Piro, President, Sarasota Association of Realtors. “We have a tremendous real estate market, and more and more people are finding out about this area, across the nation and around the world.”

With mortgage rates still low, house flipping continues in the U.S. and Housing Wire has the five best cities for flipping. If you love a good before-and-after project, contact Carole Samuels, Sarasota Real Estate Specialist.

Note:  Two of the five best cities identified for investors are located in FL (Orlando and Tampa). Although not in the TOP 5, Sarasota, FL is getting a lot of attention from investors.

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Supply and Demand in the Sarasota Real Estate Market

By | August 24, 2013

Sold SignPerceptions matter.  Across the country, consumer confidence has  improved dramatically of late. It’s now at 81.4, up 18.7 points in the past  year.  When people feel that things are going in a positive direction,  they are more willing to spend and invest.  Reflecting the public’s  perception that the economy is on the mend, the National Association of  Realtors® reported that closed sales and pending sales indices are at  their highest level since 2006. United   States and foreign investors have both decided to stop  “sitting on the fence” and are investing in one of the Sarasota, Osprey or Venice homes or condos they looked at for  the past few years, but never had quite enough confidence to make the  decision to buy.

     Sarasota, Osprey and Venice Florida  home and condo sales in the first half of 2013 are higher than at this time  last year by 13.8%.  If homes continue to sell at the current rate, 2013  will be recorded as the second highest sales year in the 90-year history of  the Sarasota  Association of Realtors (SAR) surpassed only in 2004.   “The  strong Spring surge before the snowbirds leave is still in place, but for the  past two years, we’ve also seen a second buying season in the Summer that  includes not only those who typically relocate in the Summer before school  starts, but also snowbirds who didn’t buy while they were here last Winter.   They’re buying now before prices rise even more,” he added.

     As more people have been deciding to buy homes and condos in the Sarasota Florida  area, the inventory of properties available on the market has fallen.   The inventory of available homes in the Sarasota,  Osprey and Venice  area has now fallen to the lowest level in nearly a decade. There is only a  3.2 month supply of single family and 4.3 month supply of condos available.

     Distressed property sales now represent roughly 12% of total sales,  much lower than the 51% figure experienced in the 4th quarter of 2010 so  those properties are also now becoming a scarce commodity.

     Responding to this supply/demand imbalance, Sarasota area home prices have begun to rise  and that trend of increasing home prices shows no sign of stopping any time  soon.

     “Sarasota  is blessed with incredible natural beauty, great cultural assets and  tremendous amenities that families enjoy year round,” said Roger Piro,  SAR President.  Mr. Henley added his own observation that “more  and more people are learning about the SarasotaFlorida metropolitan area,  loving it, and deciding to invest in homes and condos here.”  With  the improved consumer confidence level, there is little chance we’ll see  anything other than a continuation of the positive trend in Sarasota real estate sales and prices we’ve  seen so far in 2013.

 

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Sarasota Real Estate Sales in July 2013

By | August 22, 2013

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a-housing-graphThe Sarasota Board of Realtors just released the sales statistics for July.

The Sarasota real estate market continued an amazing streak in July, with members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® closing 911 sales during the month – a 30.3 percent increase over July 2012, and 3.2 percent higher than the June 2013 total. The first seven months of 2013 are still tracking to make the overall year one of the biggest in SAR’s history.

The other major news of the month was the major rebound in the median sale price for single family homes. The price went from $200,000 in June 2013 to $227,500 in July 2013, a 7.2 percent increase. For the 12-month rolling median price, the single family home figure was at $195,000, a 16 percent increase over last year at this time when the rolling median price was at $168,500. If current trend levels continue, this will be the biggest year-to-year increase for single family home prices in four years.

To view the full press release click here

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Property Tax Notices Have Been Sent

By | August 20, 2013

TRIM Statement

August is a wonderful time – football kicks off, the kids get back to school … and TRIM notices get sent out.  Homeowners in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties should receive their proposed tax notice today or tomorrow (give it a couple of extra days if you’re out of state) and owners invariably have questions about their statement.  Sarasota County estimates that they receive phone calls from 10% of all owners this week.

In today’s issue I’ll break down your statement so you know what’s going where.

TRIM Notices Are Not Bills!

 

TRIM Statement
See that big red box in the upper right hand corner?  That should be your first clue.  TRIM notices represent your worst-case scenario for the upcoming tax bill.  The actual tax rate (millage) is subject to change over the course of the next month or so but it can’t get any higher by statute.  That said, most locales ARE raising their taxes this year – only North Port is talking about ‘rolling back’ the tax rate.

A Note About Homestead


Most owners locally take advantage of the Save Our Homes Act, commonly referred to as ‘homestead’.  This act caps the maximum amount of tax increase at 3% of the previous year’s bill AND provides an automatic $50,000 deduction but it only applies to primary residences for which the owner has applied with the county.

The homestead resets every time title is transferred so new owners are likely to pay a little more in their second year (taxes are assessed per ownership of the property on January 1of the taxable year but aren’t payable until the end of the year, meaning most owners who bought this year are able to take advantage of the previous owner’s homestead in their first tax cycle).

Definitions

  1. Market Value – what the county thinks your home is actually worth
  2. Assessed Value – the value the county uses to actually tax you before exemptions
  3. Millage Rate – a fancy term for ‘tax rate’; calculate your taxes by multiplying (millage rate * .001 ) * (current year taxable value).
  4. Ad Valorem Taxes – taxes based on the assessed value of your property.  These are your school, city, and county taxes.
  5. Non Ad Valorem Taxes – taxes based on the size or number of units in your property, as determined by the levying authority.  These are the taxes for your fire service, garbage collection, and stormwater utility.

How To Save  A Couple Of Bucks

While the TRIM notices are just proposed taxes, the actual rates will be determined over the next month or so and your actual bill won’t be delinquent until April 1 of next year.  The local counties give discounts to taxpayers who pay early in the amount of 1% a month, startingNovember 1; if you think your taxes are too high, simply pay your taxes in November and give yourself an automatic 4% discount (or 3% in December, 2% in January, or 1% in February).

Most mortgage servicers who escrow taxes already pay early but it’s definitely worthwhile to check for yourself!

Interested In Buying or Selling?


When you hire Alex Krumm at Re/Max Alliance Group, you’ll get an award-winning expert agent ready to work for YOU!  I’m in the top 2% of active local agents for homes sold and I’m used to selling more homes for more money in less time.  Put the benefit of our area’s #1 brokerage to work and call today!

Alex Krumm, GRI, CDPE
Broker Associate, Re/Max Alliance Group
SAR Professional Development Committee
4-Year Winner, Five-Star Best In Customer Satisfaction – Sarasota Magazine
941-234-3597 Direct
srqbroker@gmail.com

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