The Florida Realtors’ latest data indicate that pending sales and median prices rose in February 2012. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in February was $134,000, up 7.2 percent from the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department. The statewide median for townhome-condo properties was $95,000, up 15.9 percent over Feb. 2011.
“The overall picture that these statistics show is of a stabilizing housing market,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “While closed sales are down, so are listings and so is inventory. These are signs of a market that’s moving from being a buyer’s market to a balanced market… For the past year, median sales prices have been slowly rising; and over a longer period of time, prices have really flattened out – again, signs of an improving housing market.”
The full statewide housing activity report is available here
Although lenders filed more foreclosure actions in Lee County in January
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than in December, the “foreclosure pipeline” is not producing enough homes for purchase. This low supply is creating a greater demand, which in turn is driving the price for Lee homes up, according to Jeff Tumbarello, director of the Southwest Florida Real Investment Association and an agent with Steelbridge Realty.
Foreclosures are not the only thing on the rise. More building permits were pulled by contractors for single-family homes in January than in December. When purchasing a home it is important to check that there are no open or expired permits on the house. They can arise when a permit has been pulled but not properly closed out pursuant to municipality guidelines, usually by way of a final inspection within a certain window of time after receiving the permit.
Open and expired permits run with the property even if the property is sold and ownership changes hands. So, a new home owner will be responsible for for remedying an open or expired permit, which can include fees, fines, completion of work, inspection of work, or even removal of improperly done work.
Unless a prospective property owner makes sure a search for open and expired permits is conducted pre-closing, she may be setting herself up for a costly and time-consuming situation as a new owner. And, no, title insurance doesn’t usually protect against unknown open and expired permits.
If you’re looking to purchase property, make sure you know whether there are any open or expired permits on the property; ask your title agent or attorney to contact Premier Lien Research to conduct a lien search, which always includes an inquiry into open and expired permits. You’ll be glad you did.
Clear Capital, a California-based real estate research company, said in recent statement that it expects several Florida real estate markets to experience continued growth:
Miami and Tampa are projected to be among the five highest performing metros with 8.8% and 7.4% growth, respectively, and Jacksonville is forecasted to gain 4.3%, placing it at a respectable eighth among the top metro markets. The exceptional growth in these markets can be a result of several factors, including being hit especially hard in the downturn. While fighting back, they remain significantly off their highs of 2006. Other factors in play in these markets include large increases in the values of their lower priced homes (near double-digits for all markets) when compared to higher priced segments of the market, and a high percentage of all cash transactions (51.8%) when compared to other metros. This indicates a high degree of investor activity as they look for bargains in the region, driving up demand.
Read the full report at