The title looks good, and is for some Florida cities, but Tampa is not in top ten. I think our prices rose dramatically last spring and then have been stable since then. I will give you an example of how they have risen. I bought a home at the beginning of 2012 for 252k and just sold it for 289k. If you are in the Tampa area and reading my blog, no worries that the Tampa area isn’t in the top 10….this time. To read article….see below

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 26, 2014 – A report from Black Knight Financial Services (formerly Lender Processing Services) finds that December home values in the U.S. are within 13.9 percent of the peak reached in 2006.

Black Knight’s Home Price Index (HPI) found nationally that home values rose 0.1 percent month-to-month (compared to November 2012 numbers) and 8.4 percent year-to-year. The high point for U.S. home prices was $270,000 in June 2006. In December, the HPI found a median of $232,000.

From Black Knight’s analysis, it appears most U.S. cities saw their biggest price spike last year, and their dramatic price increases have begun to slow to a more balanced level.

Florida, however, seems to buck that trend a bit, with home prices still climbing faster in comparison to other U.S. states and cities.

According to Black Knight, Florida prices rose 0.6 percent month-to-month in December, coming in second to top-ranking New York with a 0.7 percent rise.

However, Florida cities logged eight of the top 10 spots for “Biggest Movers” when comparing metro areas. Only two other U.S. cities even made the list.

Biggest metro area movers month-to-month

1. Miami: 1.2% month-to-month December price increase
2. Sarasota: 0.9%
3. Key West: 0.7%
4. Fort Walton Beach: 0.6%
5. Poughkeepsie, NY: 0.6%
6. Lakeland: 0.6%
7. Port St. Lucie: 0.6%
8. Tulsa, OK: 0.5%
9. Naples: 0.5%
10. Palm Bay: 0.5%

To calculate its HPI, Black Knight says it looks at repeat sales prices and its loan-level databases. It claims the numbers take REO and short-sale price discounts into consideration.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®




I just wanted to get this out there for all of you who read my blog. Feel free to share it with your friends and family as this topic comes up on a regular basis with people I run into. It also lets us know the banking industry as well as the housing markets are improving. Lenders tightened up lending requirements following the 2007 housing crash because prices continued to slide and they didn’t want to have people walking away from new home purchases if the market continued it’s downward spiral. As home prices have increased and leveled off, lenders feel more confident that prices are stable and rising so they have relaxed requirements a bit. Underwriting, however hasn’t relaxed it’s rules, they are in fact more stringent than they use to be and ask for verification on EVERYTHING!           


More home loans require smaller downpayments


WASHINGTON – Oct. 24, 2013 – More people are getting home loans with lower credit scores and smaller downpayments.

Last month, the average FICO score for a closed home loan was 732, down from 750 a year ago, shows data from mortgage tracker Ellie Mae.

The average downpayment was 19 percent, vs. 22 percent a year ago. What’s more, almost one-third of closed loans had FICO scores under 700, vs. 17 percent a year ago. The top FICO score is 850.

“We continue to see things open up ever so slightly month by month,” says Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae president.

The standards to get a home loan remain tight, mortgage experts say. But lenders are reducing some restrictions as housing prices recover and as higher interest rates curtail their refinance business.

“We’re starting to see some of the banks … get more creative … to drive more volume to the door,” says Jeff Taylor, managing partner at mortgage analytics firm Digital Risk.

Earlier this month, Bank of America dropped its minimum downpayment requirement for non-conforming loans under $1 million to 15 percent from 20 percent. Non-conforming loans, which can’t be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, are over $417,000 in most parts of the country.

Wells Fargo also reduced non-conforming loan minimum downpayments to 15 percent from 20 percent in July.

JPMorgan Chase, meanwhile, reduced downpayment requirements in Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Michigan – states that were especially hard hit by foreclosures. The bank’s minimum downpayment is now 5 percent, down from 10 percent, for primary homes and 10 percent, instead of 20 percent for second homes in those states. The change brings downpayment requirements in those states in line with others, says JPMorgan spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus.

“These markets have shown strong signs of improvement,” Bonitatibus says. Improving home values lessen risk for lenders.

JPMorgan and Wells made their changes in July after a sharp interest rate spike in May cut into the refinance business.

While banks are easing some loan requirements, home lending standards remain tight and will likely stay there, says Cameron Findlay, economist at Discover Home Loans.

New lending rules expected to take hold in January require lenders to make home loans that meet federal standards or face greater liability from borrower lawsuits should the loans go sour. Findlay doesn’t expect lenders to do many loans that fall outside of those standards.

“We’re seeing tweaking of the underwriting standards, but it’s not a wholesale loosening,” says Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. “The pendulum is still too far toward restrictive.”

Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY, Julie Schmit


If you were in the middle of purchasing a home when the government shut down took place EXPECT delays with your financing. This just doesn’t apply to FHA, but to USDA financing as well. I have a listing where the buyer is USDA and we have already been told expect delays. I love our government. It shut’s down for two weeks and it will take longer than that to get things moving again. And these people are going to be in charge of our health care now? WOW

FHA to real estate: Expect a few delays

WASHINGTON – Oct. 21, 2013 – While most mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) continued to function during the recent government shutdown, a letter sent by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Housing Charles Coulter has asked for patience as the agency gets back up to speed.

“We are very pleased to be fully operational and wanted you to know that we will be working hard to bring business back to normal,” Coulter said.

During the shutdown, FHA continued to endorse loans and handle most REO and servicing/loss mitigation activities. Coulter said FHA had “minimal interruptions” with FHA-insured mortgage loan originations and REO and servicing loss mitigation activities.

“However, since we had a very limited number of staff working during the shutdown, we have a considerable backlog of work,” Coulter adds. He notes delays specifically with:

  • Processing HECM endorsements and other cases that must be manually endorsed
  • Condominium project approvals
  • Incoming questions from lenders or borrowers
  • Some other FHA service functions

“We are prioritizing the backlog and will be working to address more critical items within 30 days, and then to clear our backlog within 60 days,” Coulter said. “Please allow us time to respond to inquiries already submitted through the FHA Resource Center and the National Servicing Center.”

Coulter said it will “only slow the process” if documents or questions are resubmitted because it seems to be taking FHA too long to respond.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®