Altos: Critics Are Wrong About Where Housing Is Headed

In Pinellas County, specifically the beaches along the barrier islands from Clearwater Beach, St Pete Beach, the housing market is strong and prices continue to rise.

Altos: Critics Are Wrong About Where Housing Is Headed.


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According to CoreLogic, rising home values helped 1.3 Million home owners get out from “underwater” in the first half of 2012.  An additional 2 Million will have equity in their homes if national home prices simply increase by another 5 percent.

The law of supply and demand is what’s driving values up –  There’s no better fix for the market!!


What is going on in this crazy market?


If you are thinking of buying and are still waiting for a “great bargain”, it might be….too late? There has been talk for a couple of years of a “shadow inventory” of foreclosures that the banks are not releasing, and that will soon flood the market. When is that going to happen, if at all?

July numbers are out and they continue to show a recovery in Pinellas County, where the cities of Clearwater, St Petersburg, Palm Harbor, Largo, Tarpon Springs and the cities of the beaches on the barrier islands are located, among others. Sustained recovery will not occur without low unemployment,  wage growth and consumer confidence, however, the basic laws of SUPPLY and DEMAND are driving property values up.

Inventory is down. Time on the market is down. Closed sales are up.   MEDIAN SALES PRICE IS UP.

Sellers are taking advantage of this trend and are listing their properties at a higher price, and are not willing to negotiate prices down.  Buyers on the other hand, have a hard time accepting that a property is listed for a much higher asking price than similar homes that sold just a few months ago.

The difference is availability.  Our inventory is down to a very healthy level of 5,150, a 6 month supply, down  22.7% from just a year ago. (All types of properties combined)

 Monthly Snapshot

Residential real estate activity by members of the Pinellas  Realtor Organization comprised of single-family properties. Percent changes are calculated using rounded figures.

       +16.7%                               +10.7%                                      -18.0%

One-Year Change in  CLOSED SALES       One=Year change in  MEDIAN SALES PRICE                  One-Year Change in HOMES FOR SALE

Single Family Properties                                     Single Family Properties                                                      Single Family Properties

If you have been waiting for higher prices in order to sell, this might be a good time.  If you have been waiting for prices to fall even further, wait no longer.  I have the tools and resources to help you achieve your real estate goals, and I’ll be glad to help.

Statistics on condos and single family homes are available upon request.


Where Are the First-time Home Buyers?

Fewer first-time home buyers are jumping into the housing market nowadays, accounting for 34 percent of all buyers in July. While that percentage has inched up slightly as of late, it still remains far from the 40 percent levels first-time home buyers generally account for in the housing market, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

With ultra low mortgage rates and high housing affordability, first-time home buyers may never have a better time to jump into the housing market. But several factors are keeping them on the sidelines.

One of the biggest obstacles? Saving for the down payment, according to recent home buyer surveys. The second-biggest hurdle cited was poor credit history, which was making it difficult for first-timers to qualify for a mortgage. A high unemployment rate among younger adults — who often make up the biggest group of first-timers — is also holding many back. Also, first-time home buyers, who need financing for their home purchase, are increasingly losing out to investors who are willing to pay entirely in cash.

Housing experts say that first-time home buyers are a critical component for a sustainable housing recovery.

“First-time buyers are vital to boosting sales, especially during downturns, since when they buy a home, they aren’t also selling a previous home to finance the purchase,” according to MarketWatch.

Source: “Fewer Home Buyers Are First-Timers,” MarketWatch (Aug. 22, 2012)