Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NAR: Pending home sales at 17-month high


WASHINGTON – April 29, 2015 – Pending home sales in March continued their recent momentum, rising for the third straight month and remaining at their highest level since June 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.1 percent to 108.6 in March from an upward revision of 107.4 in February. It's now 11.1 percent above March 2014 (97.7).
The index has increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months and is at its highest level since June 2013 (109.4).
"Demand appears to be stronger in several parts of the country, especially in metro areas that have seen solid job gains and firmer economic growth over the past year," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "While (it's) certainly good news, the increased number of traditional buyers who appear to be replacing investors paying in cash is even better news. It indicates this year's activity is being driven by more long-term homeowners."
Yun expects a gradual improvement in home sales in the coming months, but he says insufficient supply and accelerating prices could be a speed bump.
"Demand in many markets is far exceeding supply, and properties in March sold at a faster rate than any month since last summer," Yun says. "This in turn has pushed home prices to unhealthy levels – nearly four or more times above the pace of wage growth in some parts of the country.
"Simply put, housing inventory for new and existing homes needs to improve measurably to improve affordability," Yun adds.
The PHSI in the Northeast fell (1.5 percent) for the fourth straight month to 80.2 in March, but it's 0.6 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index declined 2.5 percent to 107.5 in March, but it's 11.3 percent above March 2014.
Pending home sales in the South increased 4.0 percent to an index of 126.5 in March and they're 12.4 percent above last March. The index in the West rose 1.7 percent in March to 103.7, and it's now 15.6 percent above a year ago.
© 2015 Florida Realtors®

Monday, March 9, 2015

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Florida Homebuyer's Median Age Grew to 55

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 29, 2014 – The age of first-time homebuyers in Florida and the nation changed little over the 2003-2013 decade. In the Sunshine State, the median age for a first-time buyer was 31 years in 2003 and 34 years in 2013.

However, the median age of all buyers – and specifically repeat homebuyers – grew over the same timeframe, according to an analysis of the most recent National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers by Nadia Evangelou, an NAR research economist.

In 2003, the median Florida homebuyer was 35 years old, according to Evangelou. But by 2013, that age increased to 55 years old.

For repeat buyers, the median age was 38 years old in 2003; by 2013, it grew to 60 years old.

"In 2011, the median age of homebuyers reached it highest value" nationally, Evangelou says in an NAR blog. The age of first-time buyers differs only a little each year, but there was "an obvious increase in the median age since 2003" for all buyers – "specifically for 2006 and beyond."

Evangelou's blog has three interactive maps that display each U.S. state's median age for the three buying categories – first time buyers, repeat buyers and all buyers. A sliding scale can be adjusted to show the yearly changes from 2003 to 2013. Click on any state for more information.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Homeowner Net Worth Grew 31 to 46 Times Faster than Renters

Net Worth of Homeowners vs. Renters
National Association of Realtors

  • In the past 15 years, the net worth of the typical homeowner has ranged between 31 and 46 times that of the net worth of the typical renter.
  • Homeowner equity is a substantial component of homeowner wealth. The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, conducted once every three years, provides a snapshot of family income and net worth along with basic demographic details and more detailed information on where families keep the wealth they have accumulated.
  • The most recent survey, conducted in 2013, offers a picture of the situation as home and equity prices normalized for most household balance sheets.
  • Data shows that median homeowners had nearly $200,000 in net worth or 36 times that of the median renter who had just over $5,000. The median value of owners’ homes was $170,000.
  • Many households own a primary residence (65.2 percent). It is the most commonly held non-financial assets after vehicles (86.3 percent).

The Future of the American Dream - Gen Z

MADISON, N.J. – Sept. 9, 2014 – Today's teens won't wait more than two minutes for transportation, buy online and have it delivered in 24 hours, and instantly consult 1,000 of their closest friends on every decision, large or small.

However, traditional dreams fit into their world.

In the first study of its kind, national findings released by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate find that the generation of teens ages 13-17, part of Generation Z, is very traditional in their views toward homeownership, and they're willing to give up modern luxuries for the mainstream definition of the American Dream.

Four out of five (82 percent) Gen Z teens surveyed indicated that homeownership is the most important factor in achieving the American Dream. For 89 percent, owning a home is part of their interpretation of the American Dream, followed by graduating from college (78 percent), getting married (71 percent) and having children (68 percent).

According to the survey, 97 percent of Gen Z believe they will own a home, and they are overwhelmingly willing to make sacrifices now if it means getting their ideal home in the future: 53 percent would be willing to give up social media for a year (tied with doing twice as much homework every night), 42 percent would go to school seven days a week and 39 percent would take their mom or dad to prom.

"Today's teens are fiscally literate and realistic when it comes to their future," says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate." It's quite profound that a generation that has never known a world without social media is willing to give up such a staple in their modern lives to achieve their dream home."

Most (95 percent) of Gen Z future homeowners believe they'll start the home buying process online, viewing home listings and taking virtual tours; however, 29 percent expect to video chat with real estate agents.

While this generation has been navigating the mobile and online space for years, a 59 percent majority believe they will undertake the search process for their future home with help from a real estate agent. When it comes to buying, a mere 19 percent believe they are likely to purchase a home online, while 81 percent expect to use more traditional methods, such as working with a real estate agent.

Time to buy: Gen Z teens plan to own their first home by age 28 – three years earlier than the median age of first-time homeowners, according to the National Association of Realtors®. But they also expect to complete some traditional milestones before then, like earning an advanced college degree (60 percent) getting married (59 percent) owning a pet (58 percent) and having children (21 percent). Seventy-six percent believe they are most likely to live with their significant other when purchasing a home versus living alone (15 percent) or living with a friend (8 percent).

Realistic values: Of the 97 percent who believe they will own their own home, respondents estimate paying on average $274,323. According to the latest U.S. Census data, the median cost of a home today is $273,500.

Fifty-one percent of Gen Z believes they know more about saving money than their parents did at their age. Of that group, 65 percent attribute this belief to discussions they've had with their parents about saving, and 41 percent give credit to learning about the economic recession in school. Fifty-seven percent believe their parents will probably help them buy their first home.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

25% of All International Buyers Purchase in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 8, 2014 – U.S. real estate appeals to foreign buyers, and a large number of them settled on property in Florida – about 25 percent of all international U.S. home purchases to foreign buyers, according to the 2014 report "Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida."

In the 12 months that ended in June 2014, the dollar value of purchases in Florida hit $7.97 billion – a 24 percent increase over the amount spent ($6.43 billion) the year before. About one in 10 property purchases (10 percent) in the state (26,500) involved a foreign buyer, an increase from 9 percent the year before.

Two major trends drove the increase in foreign buyers: A continuing recovery of the world's economy and the affordability of U.S. properties.

U.S. and Florida residential prices remain affordable to most international homebuyers, and they buy property that, overall, costs more than the mean price paid by domestic buyers. In Florida, 76 percent of all Realtors cited less expensive property as a top reason for purchase.

Canadian buyers accounted for the largest share of international clients (32 percent), followed by:
• Western Europe: 24 percent; primarily from the United Kingdom, France and Germany
• Latin America/Caribbean: 23 percent: primarily from Brazil and Venezuela
• Asia: 10 percent; primarily from China

Florida destinations
Sales to non-resident international clients as percent of international sales:
• Orlando-Kissimmee: 11 percent
• Tampa-St. Petersburg- Clearwater: 11 percent
• Miami-Miami Beach: 10 percent
• Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice: 8 percent
• Fort Lauderdale: 8 percent

Other key findings:
• 52 percent of Florida Realtors reported international clients (national average: 28 percent)
• 19 percent of Florida Realtors with international clients reported 6 or more clients (national average: 12 percent)
• 20 percent with international clients said they accounted for 26 percent or more of their transactions (national average: 15 percent)
• 29 percent reported that their percentage of international clients increased in the last five years (national average: 20 percent)

Market success
Realtors dealing with international clients say the key to success is understanding the culture, concerns and language of potential foreign clients; reaching out through personal contacts and online tools; and assisting potential foreign buyers through the regulatory and financial process, especially for agents on the buy-side of the transaction.

According to the survey, Realtors also said that relaxing current visa restrictions on a length of stay would attract additional international clients.

The complete Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida 2014 Report is available online.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®