Below are some great statistics that include the Tampa area real estate market. There is a whole bunch of other great statistics as well so read on! If you are wondering why Tampa was in the top 3 for cash sales, but not even on the map for investor purchased properties is pretty simple. Lots of people come here to retire, so they sold their home up north and brought the cash to Florida and bought their homes with cash! The other thing this helps to confirm is that the investor traffic has slowed in the Tampa area as prices have risen in our area and the investors have moved on to other areas where real estate is a better deal. As always, feel free to give me a call regarding any of your Tampa area real estate needs. Call Richard Kemper at 813-777-5332.


45% of U.S. sales in August were cash purchases

IRVINE, Calif. – Sept. 26, 2013 – U.S. residential properties, including single family homes and condominiums and townhomes, sold at an estimated annualized pace of 5.6 million in August, up 2 percent month-to-month and 12 percent year-to-year, according to RealtyTrac’s August 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report.

The national median sales price in August was $175,000, up 3 percent from the previous month and up 6 percent from a year ago – the 17th consecutive month in which median home prices increased year-to-year.

The median price of a distressed residential property in August – one in foreclosure or bank owned – was $116,000, up 1 percent from the previous month, but down 3 percent from a year ago. Median distressed prices have now declined on an annual basis for six consecutive months.

“Seven years after the housing bubble burst, U.S. home prices are clearly on the rise again, up 23 percent from the bottom in March 2012, although still 26 below the peak of the housing price bubble in August 2006,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “This recovery in home prices and sale volume continues to be driven in large part by cash buyers and institutional investors, as evidenced by the increasing share of sales represented by those two categories in August.”

High-level report findings

• 45% of all residential sales in August were cash purchases, up from 39% in July and 30% year-to-year.

• Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, the highest percentage of all-cash sales were inMiami (69%), Detroit (68%), Las Vegas (66%), Jacksonville, Fla., (65%) and Tampa, Fla., (64%).

Institutional investors (purchasing 10 or more properties in the last 12 months) accounted for 10 percent of all sales in August, up from 9 percent in July and 9 percent in August 2012.

• Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases were Memphis, Tenn. (31%), Jacksonville, Fla. (29%), Atlanta (22%), St. Louis (17%) and Detroit (17%).

Short sales accounted for 15 percent of all U.S. residential sales in August, up from 14 percent in July and 8 percent in August 2012. States with the biggest percentage of short sales were Nevada (34%), Florida (29%), Ohio (23%), Maryland (21%), Tennessee (20%) and Michigan (20%).

• Bank-owned homes made up 10 percent of all U.S. residential sales in August, up from 9 percent in July and 9 percent year-to-year. States with the biggest percentage of REO were Nevada (22%), Ohio (17%), Arizona (17%), Michigan (16%), Illinois (14%) and California (14%).

• Sales volume increased from the previous month in 39 of the 42 states tracked. It was up from a year ago in 37 states, including Texas, (up 31%), Illinois (29%), Pennsylvania (28%), Virginia (26%) and Florida (22%).

• Notable exceptions where sales volume decreased from a year ago included California (down 17%), Arizona (12%) and Nevada (6%).

• States with biggest annual increases in median prices include California (up 32%), Nevada (26%), Georgia (21%), Arizona (20%) and New York (19%).

• Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the biggest annual increases in median prices included San Francisco (up 35%), Sacramento (35%), Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California (28%), Atlanta (28%), Los Angeles (26%), Las Vegas (26%) and Phoenix (25%).

© 2013 Florida Realtors®



The Tampa real estate market is about to take another hit. Man oh man. Flood insurance rates are going to skyrocket if someone doesn’t do anything. It almost seems like everything our government is involved in is hurting our Tampa are real estate recovery. This doesn’t just affect those living near the coast……no. I have a listing in Wimauma, FL that is in a flood zone and this property is inland from the coast at least 10 miles or so. If you live in a flood zone you need to get actively involved in the political process to get something done or your flood insurance rates are going to go up exponentially. And while your insurance is going up your property value is going to go down because less people will want to purchase a home in a flood zone with expensive flood insurance rates. Read the article below. As always…I am here for any questions you may have. Richard Kemper RE/MAX 813-777-5332 for all you Tampa real estate needs.      


Florida Realtors to Fla. Cabinet: Flood insurance reform could hurt economy


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sept. 24, 2013 – At the invitation of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Realtors President Dean Asher spoke to members of the Florida Cabinet this morning about concerns that Realtors and Floridians have with “unintended consequences” of the federal Biggert-Waters Flood Reform Act of 2012, which was signed into law on July 6, 2012.

Asher urged the Florida Cabinet to call on Congress and ask lawmakers to act now to delay “implementation of the Act’s rate increase provisions for grandfathered and newly purchased properties, pending FEMA’s (Federal Emergency Management Agency) report to Congress on the results of the affordability study that was required by Biggert-Waters.” The affordability study was supposed to be submitted to Congress this past April, he pointed out.

Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando, said that the state’s growing real estate market contributes to Florida’s strengthening economic recovery. August marked the 20th month in a row that the statewide existing single-family home median sales price rose year-over-year, according to the most recent housing data from Florida Realtors.

“Unfortunately, the federal Biggert-Waters Flood Reform Act passed by Congress could bring that positive momentum to a screeching halt,” Asher said. “I want to be sure that the general public knows that Realtors understand the need for solvency in the federal flood program (National Flood Insurance Program). However, the Biggert-Waters Act contains severe unintended consequences that are harmful to Floridians, as well as other states. We believe the reforms will have a detrimental impact on the entire economy of Florida, including existing homeowners and those who want to buy Florida properties.”

While most sections of the Act relating to rate changes offer a “glidepath” or “phase in” to actuarial soundness, it does not have such a provision for the new homebuyer, Asher said, adding, “This reform measure will, in effect, lock many current homeowners into their property. Homeowners won’t be able to sell because no one will be able to afford to buy after they learn what the flood insurance premium will be.”

Brandi Gabbard, a Pinellas County Realtor and chair-elect of the Pinellas Suncoast Association of Realtors, also addressed the Cabinet on flood insurance reform issues, along with Bill Foster, mayor of the city of St. Petersburg.

To read Florida Realtors President Dean Asher’s full statement to the Florida Cabinet, visit Florida Realtors media website.


If you are concerned about mortgage interest rates read on! I would add something to this post, but it’s pretty clear what it is from the first sentence below and is a GREAT thing for you people out there in the market place that are house hunting. Make sure to ask your lender if they have the Lock And Shop Program. Richard Kemper – for all your Tampa real estate needs. Call me at 813-777-5332


Lenders revive ‘lock and shop’ programs

NEW YORK – Sept. 20, 2013 – Some lenders are bringing back “lock and shop” programs to help homebuyers lock in mortgage rates during their house hunt so they won’t need to fear rising rates.

Premier Nationwide Lending is the latest lender to announce it will now offer a “lock and shop” program. After approving a homebuyer for a loan, the company will agree to lock in their interest rate until they find a property to purchase. The homebuyer will then be protected against any mortgage rate increases while they look for a home. If rates move lower in that time, the homebuyer will have the option to float down to the lower rate.

“The threat of increasing interest rates stripping away a borrower’s loan approval is removed from the equation,” says John Hudson, Premier Nationwide Lending vice president of regulatory affairs.

The “lock and shop” program mostly vanished from lenders’ offerings when the market began to get more volatile, Andrew Weiss-Malik, 360 Mortgage COO, told HousingWire. Lenders are reviving the program to gain a competitive edge, he says.

“As the lending market becomes more competitive, some lenders are exploring riskier products to replenish declining loan volumes,” Weiss-Malik says.

One risk from such programs, experts note, are that “lock and shop” programs may prompt homebuyers to prolong their home search and place more risk upon the lender. There is no time limit given within the program, so home shoppers can lock in the rate as long as it takes to find a home.

Source: “Lender revives housing boom-era mortgage concept,” HousingWire (Sept. 17, 2013)


If you follow my blog you would have seen in some of my recent posts that I had concerns about the higher home prices and interest rates cooling off our recovering housing market. Fortunately someone else noticed as well. I can’t say I am in favor of all the printing of money, but I am in favor of making sure the housing market recovers from years of foreclosures and people being stuck in their upside down homes.


Mortgage rates drop fast after Fed stimulus decision

WASHINGTON – Sept. 19, 2013 – Area homebuyers caught off guard by interest rates that spiked in the past few months could catch a break from the Federal Reserve’s decision Wednesday to continue its massive bond-buying effort.

Within hours after the announcement, rates for 30-year-fixed mortgages dropped by about a quarter of a percentage point, local mortgage experts said. It was one of the biggest one-day drops in memory.

“We’ve seen crazier days than today, but that kind of improvement is a good day,” said Dan Starelli, senior vice president and regional manager for home lending at Umpqua Bank in Roseville.

The plummet came after a steady rise in mortgage rates that Starelli said was among the fastest increases in years.

Rates for 30-year-fixed mortgages went from near-historic lows below 3.5 percent in May to more than 4.5 percent last week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Those rates were with buyers paying nearly 1 percent of the loan amount in points and fees; zero-point loans had higher interest rates.

The jump was driven by fears that the Fed would taper its $85 billion-a-month program to buy government and mortgage bonds, which had driven home-loan rates to record lows and given a big boost to the housing market.

Sacramento-area home prices rose by double digits this spring, partly because homebuyers were scrambling to take advantage of ultra-low interest rates. But as rates rose and inventory increased, the region’s overheated market experienced a slight cooling.

In a news conference Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cited the rising rates and potential slowdown of the housing market as factors in the Fed’s decision.

When it became clear that the Fed intended to continue its stimulus efforts unabated, mortgage rates fell quickly.

At Umpqua, Starelli said, the rate for a conventional loan with no points went from 4.875 in the morning to 4.625 in the afternoon. The rate for a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration fell from 4.5 percent to 4.25 percent, he said.

Rates could continue to improve based on the Fed’s actions or rise again because of other economic factors, he said.

Brent Wilson, a mortgage strategist at Comstock Mortgage in Sacramento, said that he and other lenders were advising clients earlier Wednesday to wait before locking into a mortgage rate.

“We were telling them hang on. Don’t lock. We’ll get back to you this afternoon,” Wilson said.

It turned out to be good advice.

“Rates are safely in the low-to-mid 4 percent range after today,” Wilson said. But, he cau


For the past year investment companies flooded into the Tampa real estate market and were buying up everything. Well, not everything, but they were buying homes by the thousands in good neighborhoods and their sweet spot was 4 bedroom, 2 bath homes in the 200k range. They fix them up and then turn them into rentals with the goal to sell them in 5 years to pull out the profits for their investors. We had bidding wars and full price offers and cash was king. The issue was that if you were a normal person trying to buy one of these homes, if you weren’t quick it was gone. We still have low inventory in our Tampa market so as the investor purchases slow this will allow regular home buyers a better chance at purchasing a home without the competition of the real estate investor. Your thoughts? For stats see below.  Richard Kemper RE/MAX Realty Unlimited 813-777-5332 [contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]


Investor demand starts to wane

NEW YORK – Sept. 11, 2013 – The proportion of investors involved in the housing market has fallen in the last few months. As their numbers dwindle, it may allow other buyers to step in, according to housing experts.

Investors have gone from accounting for 23 percent of home purchases in February to about 20 percent in June – the lowest level since September 2012, according to data from Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance survey.

Their numbers will likely decrease even more in the coming year. About 48 percent of investors recently surveyed say they plan to lessen their home purchases over the next year, according to a recent survey by ORC International. Only 20 percent of the investors surveyed say they plan to buy more homes in the next year, a drop from 39 percent 10 months earlier.

“Investors helped stabilize a housing market that was in free-fall and they did so by taking advantage of fire-sale home prices,” says Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “Now you see few fewer bargain prices in the market and that’s a reason investor demand is coming off its peak.”

In recent years, many buyers – particularly first-time homebuyers – may have lost out to investors’ all-cash offers on homes. Both banks and sellers may have been lured by the quick deal that cash offers typically provide over offers from buyers who require financing.

But with less competition from investors, some housing experts say this may allow an opportunity for other potential buyers to get into the market.

Source: “Analysis: Waning investor demand opens door for first-time U.S. home buyers,” Reuters (Sept. 6, 2013)


How is the economy in your area doing? Economists say the economy is improving. Here is what’s going on in the Tampa area.

By the Numbers….
Our local Greater Tampa market continues to grow stronger and regain itself in a steady state which is good for local buyers and sellers.We are currently still in a low inventory market with more buyers than sellers.National Hedge Fund buying has slowed and that’s good news for our local area. Owner occupied buyers bring stability and the best property preservation. As we go in to the fourth quarter of 2013, I wanted to share some key numbers and how we compare to same period last year:

  • Average Sales price on Single family homes up 16.7%
  • Biggest increase in number of actual homes sold are those homes priced between $200K and $300K– 9.5% increase
  • Number of new residential listings down 10%
  • 30 year fixed rates on September 6th 2012 — 3.79% Today— 4.57%
  • Waiting one year to buy a $200K home cost today’s buyer an additional $302 month (price plus rate increase net effect) for the identical house!!

Give me a call today to discuss getting Pre-qualified, finding the right home or getting your current home sold—quickly and for top market value. Let me show you how the #1 name in real estate can go to work for you.


Lots of people don’t understand what a Jumbo loan is unless they have had to borrow more than $417,000 to purchase a home. When the housing market went south a few years ago, trying to get a jumbo loan was next to impossible as lenders didn’t want to get caught holding the bag on an expensive hard to sell property, but now that the market is recovering jumbo loans are easier to get and for the FIRST time in our history, cheaper. Lenders typically charged an additional 1/8 to 3/8 of a point to the going interest rate to get a jumbo loan. For all of you who want to know more, read on……  

Jumbo loans cheaper than conventional for first time


NEW YORK – Sept. 6, 2013 – For the first time ever, interest rates for jumbo mortgages have dropped below the average rates for conforming mortgages, lenders say.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgage last week was 4.73 percent while the average for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.71 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“In my 30-year career, I’ve never seen nonconforming loans priced below conforming loans,” says Brad Blackwell, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Typically, rates for jumbo mortgages run at least 0.25 percentage points above rates for conforming loans. In 2008, jumbo mortgage rates peaked at 1.8 percentage points above conforming rates, according to data.

“I’ve had situations where I’ve told clients, ‘You don’t need to borrow within the [conforming] limit. I can get you a lower rate if you borrow a little more,’” said Rolan Shnayder, director of new-development lending at H.O.M.E. Mortgage Bankers in New York.

Jumbo mortgages are those that exceed the $417,000 limit to qualify for backing by mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The limit may be lifted to $625,000 in some high-cost markets, such as New York and Washington.

Source: “‘Jumbo’ Mortgage Rates Fall Below Traditional Ones,” The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 4, 2013)

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