I don’t believe there is any reason for alarm, but yes I have noticed the cooling off here in the Brandon, FL area. It is very interesting to look back and see what has happened. The market was soft going into spring, but then investor traffic drove prices up as inventory levels were low. The investor traffic has died down, but due to low inventory levels prices have not dropped. We will have to see what happens over the next few months.Read below for various reasons for slowing market.

Buying frenzy starting to cool?
NEW YORK – Nov. 18, 2013 – Bidding wars in recent months have fueled large gains in home values in some parts of the country. But bidding wars and the buying frenzy seen just a few months ago seem to be cooling at a time when housing affordability has been reduced due to higher mortgage rates and home prices.

“The bidding wars were creating a false market,” homebuyer Mike Imgarten told Bloomberg about his two-month house hunt in Sacramento, Calif., area. “Now is a good time to jump back in and see where we’re at.”

Inventories have risen in many markets, leaving homebuyers with more options. The National Association of Realtors® reported that inventory levels of unsold homes rose in September from a year earlier – the first time since 2011.

More homeowners are seeing the return of equity (more than 2.5 million homes saw positive equity return in the second quarter alone), which has prompted more people to list their properties.

“We are shifting from a frenzy to where buyers are taking a step back and being more analytical and unwilling to just make rash decisions,” says Ellen Haberle, an economist for the real estate brokerage, Redfin.

Home sales typically slow during this time of year, but some analysts say the seasonal drop-off has been higher than expected. They blame the increase in mortgage rates for a lot of that drop-off. Since May, mortgage rates have risen a full percentage point, which has led to an increase in borrowing costs that is holding some buyers back, housing experts say.

The government shutdown also has weakened consumer confidence, says Michael Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at Arizona State University.

“The frenzy has died down,” says Selma Hepp, a senior economist for the California Association of Realtors. “The question in the summer of this year was, ‘is this sustainable, or is this a bubble again?’ Now the data is showing that we’re returning to more of a traditional market.”

Source: “Bid Wars Wane in U.S. Housing Markets on Supply Rise: Mortgages,” Bloomberg Businessweek (Nov. 14, 2013)



I still get comments from time to time from people who believe it is still really had to get a loan. If you are one of those people read on and you will be pleasantly surprised. If you need help finding a good lender in the Tampa area give me a call at 813-777-5332 and I will put you in touch with my broker. Richard Kemper RE/MAX Realty Unlimited


More banks offering loans for 5% down?

NEW YORK – Nov. 7, 2013 – For the last few years, buyers have been hard-pressed to land a mortgage if they didn’t have a 20 percent down payment, unless they turned to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) low down-payment loans.

But a growing number of banks now offer loans with just 5 percent down, CNNMoney reports. For example, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and TD Bank are among the lenders reportedly offering mortgages with down payments as low as 5 percent.

TD Bank is offering a “Right Step” loan product that allows borrowers to get a loan with a 5 percent down payment while also allowing borrowers to get up to 2 percent of the sales price as a gift from a relative or third party. In actuality, then, borrowers would only need to come up with a 3 percent downpayment themselves.

Banks offering 5 percent down payment loans, however, also require borrowers to buy private mortgage insurance (PMI). Borrowers must keep PMI until they build up 20 percent equity in the home.

Source: “Banks Offering Mortgages with Only 5% Down Payments,” CNNMoney (Nov. 5, 2013)


This is really good news for those of you who are in the market to buy a home, BUT please know that home prices are going up in the Tampa area so you will need to think about purchasing soon….especially as the spring season (most busiest time of year and when prices go up due to competition in the market place) is upon us soon. If you know anyone who is interested in purchasing a home please have them give me a call…Richard Kemper 813-777-5332

More Americans within reach of homeownership
WASHINGTON – Feb. 25, 2013 – In all, 74.9 percent of U.S. homes sold between the beginning of October and end of December were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,000, up nearly a percentage point from the 74.1 percent of homes sold the previous quarter, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).

“The most recent housing affordability data should be encouraging to many prospective home buyers, because it shows that homeownership remains within reach of median-income consumers even as most local markets appear to be on a recovery path,” says NAHB Chairman Rick Judson. In the latest HOI, 259 out of 361 metros qualify as “improving.”

“The median price of all new and existing homes sold in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $188,000, essentially unchanged from the previous quarter’s $189,000 that marked a nearly three-year high,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Affordability remains historically high thanks to favorable mortgage rates, even as national home price indexes show some rise in values.”

Ogden-Clearfield, Utah held its position as the nation’s most affordable major housing market for a second consecutive quarter at the end of 2012. There, 93.7 percent of families earning the area’s median income of $71,500 could afford a home.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. switched places with San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif. as the nation’s least affordable market. Just 28.4 percent of homes sold in San Francisco during the fourth quarter were affordable to families earning that area’s median income of $103,000.


In The Sunshine State, affordability ranged from a high of 93 percent in Lakeland-Winter Haven, where more than nine out of 10 residents could afford a home, to the state’s lowest-ranking metro, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, where less than 7 in 10 (66 percent) of resident could afford homeownership. Of the 22 Florida markets, only three had an affordability index below the national average.

HOI ranked the following Florida cities for affordability:

1. Lakeland-Winter Haven – 93%
2. Ocala – 90.6%
3. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach – 88.3%
4. Gainesville – 86.8%
5. Punta Gorda – 86.8%
6. Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach – 85.6%
7. Tallahassee – 85.6%
8. Jacksonville – 85.2%
9. Port St. Lucie – 84.9%
10. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Bren – 84.1%
11. Palm Coast – 82.9%
12. Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin – 80.8%
13. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford – 80.7%
14. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – 80.6%
15. Sebastian-Vero Beach – 79.7%
16. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville – 79.1%
17. Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach – 78.0%
18. Cape Coral-Fort Myers – 79.6%
19. North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota – 75.4%
20. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach – 74.7%
21. Naples-Marco Island – 69.7%
22. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall – 66.0%

The HOI measures the percentage of homes sold in a given area affordable to families earning the area’s median income. Core Logic, a data and analytics company, collects prices of new and existing homes from court records. Mortgage financing conditions incorporate interest rates on fixed- and adjustable-rate loans reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®>


There is a buzz in the air … 2010 GTAR Statistics are in and there is some good news to share with your customers!

 Our “Overall” Sales total is up 3.91% (We sold 1738 homes in 2009 and 1806 homes in 2010)

  1. We ended 2010 with an inventory of 14,570 representing an 8.1 month inventory!  This is a lot closer to a shift to a sellers market than we were in January of 2009 – 19 months or even in January of 201 – 13.5 months.
  2. Over 75% of our home sales were priced under $200,000 . . . Can you say “Investor” and “First Time Home buyer?”  These two buyers will continue to have an impact  in 2011. Anyone who can should  take advantage of the tremendous market of opportunity we are in.
  3. Our average sale price in January 2010 was $154,725 and we ended the year at $154,016!  That seems pretty “Stable” to me… Even if you go back to January 2009 $160,662 prices are only down 5% over the past two years. And
  4. Interest rates are still very good with only slight increases, but that could help to provide a sense of urgency in the market.

Rich Kemper