ARE FORECLOSURES ON INCREASE OR DECREASE?

Read below to get all the details, but bottom line looks like foreclosures are on decrease, but so are institutional investors. So what does it all mean? We don’t know exactly yet, but as we go into the 2014 major selling season, we will have some hard statistical data to look at. If you are on the fence about buying, you need to go ahead and buy as interest rates are slowly going up and so are home prices. Just to give you an example, we put in a full price offer on a property in Tampa and asked for $3000 towards buyer closing costs and prepaids and didn’t get the property….someone offered more than our great offer. What does this mean? If you are out there looking for a home and you see something you like, put a good offer in immediately before your dream home is picked up by another buyer. As always, if you need any help purchasing a home in the Tampa area, please feel free to give me a call at 813-777-5332 or email me at getrichquick2@aol.com. You can see me on the web at http://www.richardkemper.com 

Feb. foreclosures up for year, down for month

 

IRVINE, Calif. – March 27, 2014 – RealtyTrac released its February 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report. It finds that U.S. residential properties, including single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes, sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,083,241 in February – a 0.2 percent decrease from January, but up 7 percent year-to-year.

February marked the fourth consecutive month where foreclosure sales activity decreased month-to-month.
 
“Supply and demand have reached a bit of a standoff in this uneven real estate recovery,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “The supply of distressed properties – which buyers and investors have come to rely on over the past few years – is evaporating quickly in most markets – but that dwindling supply is not being adequately replenished by non-distressed homeowners listing their homes, or by new homes being built.”

Meanwhile, a key source of demand over the past two years – institutional investors purchasing single family homes as rentals – is starting to decline, Blomquist says, and “it’s not yet clear if that diminishing demand will be filled by first-time homebuyers and move-up buyers.”

The national median sales price of U.S. residential properties – including both distressed and non-distressed sales – was $164,667 in February, down 1 percent from the previous month but up 4 percent for the year. It was the 20th consecutive month where the median price increased or stayed flat year-to-year, but it was the second month-to-month decrease.
 
Short sales and distressed sales – in foreclosure or bank-owned – made up 16.9 percent of all U.S. sales in February, up from 16.1 percent of sales in January but down from 19.1 percent of sales in February 2013. The median price of distressed properties – in foreclosure or bank-owned – was 44 percent below the median price of non-distressed properties.
 
Short sales nationwide accounted for 5.7 percent of all sales, up from 5.5 percent in January but down from 6.9 percent year-to-year. Metro areas with the highest percentage of short sales included Las Vegas (17.0 percent), Orlando (16.8 percent), Tampa (14.9 percent), Memphis (14.5 percent), and Miami (12.3 percent). The percentage of short sales decreased from a year ago in all of these metros.
 
Sales of bank-owned properties nationwide accounted for 9.7 percent of sales, up from 9.3 percent in January but down from 11.1 percent a year ago. Metro areas with the highest percentage of bank-owned sales in February included Cleveland (29.8 percent), Stockton, Calif. (25.5 percent), Las Vegas (25.4 percent), Detroit (23.0 percent), and Jacksonville, Fla. (21.1 percent).
 
Sales at the public foreclosure auction accounted for 1.5 percent of all sales nationwide in February, up from 1.3 percent in January and up from 1.1 percent in February 2013.
• 97 percent of all sales at the foreclosure auction were all-cash
• 35 percent of foreclosure auction sales were to institutional investors
• 81 percent sold for $200,000 or less
 
Metro areas with the highest percentage of foreclosure auction sales in February included Lakeland, Fla., (6.9 percent), Columbus, Ohio (5.4 percent), Charlotte, N.C. (4.7 percent), Miami (4.7 percent), and Las Vegas (4.6 percent).
 
Institutional investors – entities that purchase at least 10 properties in a calendar year – accounted for 5.9 percent of all U.S. residential property sales in February, up from a revised 5.0 percent of sales in January but down from 7.2 percent of sales in February 2013.

February was the third consecutive month where the institutional investor share of sales declined on a year-over-year basis after 19 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
• 91 percent of all institutional investor purchases in February were all-cash
• 17 percent were properties in foreclosure or bank-owned
• 81 percent were priced $200,000 or lower
• 63 percent were between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet
• 55 percent were built in 1990 or later
 
Among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 500,000 or more, cities with the highest share of institutional investor purchases in February were Atlanta (25.2 percent), Columbus, Ohio, (21.4 percent), Knoxville, Tenn., (18.2 percent), Phoenix (15.2 percent), and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (14.8 percent).
 
All-cash sales accounted for 43.3 percent of all U.S. residential sales in February, up from a revised 42.1 percent in January and up from 20.2 percent in February 2013. February was the eighth consecutive month were cash sales accounted for 35 percent or more of all sales nationwide.
• 12 percent of cash sales were to institutional investors
• 15 percent were in foreclosure or bank-owned
• 67 percent were priced $200,000 or lower
 
Metro areas with share of all-cash sales above 50 percent included Miami (71.3 percent), Tampa (65.9 percent), Orlando (62.3 percent), Las Vegas (59.5 percent), New York (57.1 percent), Atlanta (56.7 percent) and Detroit (56.0 percent).

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

FLORIDA FLOOD INSURANCE BILL PASSES – WHAT A RELIEF!

I have put two homes on the market recently that had issues due to Flood Insurance. One, was a case where the previous owner owned the home outright and because he didn’t have a mortgage he wasnt required to carry flood insurance. In order to make home competitive in the market place I had to get the sellers to pay for an elevation certificate for $275 and then give that to an insurance agent who could then give me a quote. In the end no worries, as the buyer turned out to be a cash buyer as well! 

The other is a home that when purchased wasn’t in a flood zone, but the U.S. Government changed the lines and now it is in a flood zone. We have the same issue with this home as well. We need to get an elevation certificate at the seller’s expense in order to find out what the cost of flood insurance will be, and the terrible thing for the seller’s is that some buyers may bypass the property and choose to buy a home that does not require flood insurance. By the way I live in the area, and I’ve never seen any standing water in that area….ever.

Bet you won’t read about yet another way, the government gets involved in our lives and makes everything more complicated and more expensive for everyday people just tring to get by. As always, feel free to email me, text me, or call me if you have any questions regarding the sale or purchase of a property in the Tampa, FL area. Richard Kemper, REMAX   

 

U.S. House repeals some flood insurance hikes

 

Fla.’s Realtors applaud House passage of flood insurance bill

“This action in Congress will bring the much-needed certainty our real estate market has been missing since Biggert-Waters went into effect, and provide immediate relief to Florida homeowners who were facing financial ruin due to sudden, unanticipated and drastic flood insurance premium increases,” said 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and the Villages.

Read more.

TAMPA, Fla. – March 5, 2014 – A bill to repeal many of the rate hikes in the government’s flood insurance program passed in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday with strong bipartisan support.

After weeks of revisions by both House Republicans and Democrats, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act passed 306-91 following a brief debate on the floor.

Before the vote, members of both parties made passionate appeals in favor of the legislation, saying it would relieve homeowners burdened by excessive premiums while ensuring the deeply indebted National Flood Insurance Program remains solvent.

“It will provide relief for homeowners struggling to keep their homes. It will ensure all participants in the flood program are treated fairly and eliminate an untenable financial burden in these tough economic times,” said Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor.

Tampa Democrat Rep. Kathy Castor praised the bipartisan agreement on the bill, echoing members from New York, New Jersey, Louisiana and even landlocked states like West Virginia.

“I’m heartened here today because even though this Congress has a reputation for not addressing the challenges that face families all across this country, we’re going to come together here today to address a very important financial issue for families.”

The bill was passed under the “suspension of the rules” procedure, a method to speed up voting on legislation that has broad, bipartisan support.

Passage required a two-thirds majority, more than the 230 bipartisan co-sponsors who had already signaled their support.

Fiscal conservatives led by House financial services committee chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, opposed to the bill, complaining that it forces taxpayers to continue subsidizing a small portion of at-risk properties that will continue getting low rates.

The rolling back of several financial reforms meant to fix the flood program’s $24 billion debt has stirred controversy with conservative and environmental groups.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page Monday called for Congress to vote down the bill.

Among other measures, the bill would keep “grandfathered” rates in place for homes in flood zones after new flood maps are drawn up.

It allows homebuyers to keep a home’s lower, subsidized rate instead of immediately paying higher premiums based on the property’s full risk of flood.

If the bill becomes law, people who bought homes after the passage of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act and saw huge premium spikes could be eligible for a refund.

On average, premiums would go by up 15 percent each year with a hard cap of 18 percent.

A policy surcharge of $25 for primary residences and $250 for other properties would go into a reserve fund to ensure the program has the financial wherewithal to pay claims in the event of a Hurricane Katrina-like catastrophe.

Gov. Rick Scott released a statement Tuesday night calling the bill’s passage “an important win in our fight to undo the unfair flood insurance rate hikes that are hurting Florida families.”

It may be a while before the changes reach policyholders.

The bill must be reconciled with a version passed in the Senate, which had called for a delay of rate increases, before going to the president to sign into law.

“Although it doesn’t go as far as the bill we passed in the Senate, it’s good the House has approved some curbs on flood insurance,” U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, said in a statement after Tuesday’s vote.

“For the sake of policyholders facing massive rate hikes, I hope we can get a final version sent to the president quickly.”

If it becomes law, it could take many months for FEMA to work out the bill’s implementation and communicate changes to insurance agencies that write policies for the government flood program, said Patty Templeton-Jones, executive vice president and chief operating officer of St. Petersburg-based Wright Flood.

“Once it passes, it’s going to be waiting for FEMA to give us guidance,” she said.

In Florida, 13 percent of the state’s 2 million flood policies are subject to rate changes under the Biggert-Waters Act, as FEMA removes subsidies on older homes that had been paying premiums that don’t reflect their true flood risk, according to a report by Florida Tax Watch.

Pinellas County has more than 33,000 single-family homes affected by the law, with the largest number of properties in the country.

Copyright © 2014 Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Fla.), Josh Boatwright.

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®

CURRENT MORTGAGE RATES AT 4.22% AND ARE PREDICTED TO GO A BIT LOWER!

To All My Readers: Interest rates continue to be at an all time low due to our sluggish economy and feds reluctance to in any way put in danger the recovering housing market. While interest rates have ticked up a bit from last year, they are still at historically low levels. Just to give younger readers some perspective, when I graduated from college in the 1980’s the interest rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage was over 9%. Needless to say i had to buy a smaller house than I wanted to because of what the interest rate did to my monthly mortgage payment. If you are a young person my advice is to buy now before the rates tick up again, and buy bigger than what you think you need for additional room as your family grows. I had no one to advise me, and after I bought my first home my wife became pregnant and the house I just bought was already to small. Thus we had to go through the process all again, this time finding a bigger home until number 4 came along and then that home was too small as well! Set your sights on a 4 bedroom, 2 or 3 bath home and you should be okay. As always, feel free to call me Richard Kemper at 813-777-5332 with any of your real estate questions.        

Average rate on 30-year mortgage at 4.22%

 

Mortgage Rate Trend Index

Half the experts (50%) polled this week by Bankrate.com expect little rate change over the short term. However, only 8% foresee an increase; the remaining 42% predict additional decreases.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Nov. 22, 2013 – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week after two weeks of increases, keeping home buying affordable.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.22 percent from to 4.35 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage dipped to 3.27 percent from 3.35 percent.

Rates had spiked over the summer and reached a two-year high in July on speculation that the Federal Reserve would slow its bond purchases later this year. But the Fed held off in September and now appears poised to wait at least a few more months to see how the economy performs. The bond purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low.

Mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. They have stabilized since September and remain low by historical standards.

Still, mortgage rates are nearly a full percentage point higher than in the spring. The uptick has contributed to a slowdown in home sales. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes fell 3.2 percent in October, the second straight monthly decline.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged at 0.7 point. The fee for a 15-year loan also was steady at 0.7 point.

The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage held at 2.61 percent. The fee was unchanged at 0.4 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable mortgage fell to 2.95 percent from 3.01 percent. The fee rose to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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IS THE MARKET COOLING? 11/18/13

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)

IF YOU ARE IN THE MILITARY YOU SHOULD READ THIS

I live in a community, Fishhawk Ranch located in Lithia, Fl, with a large military presence and I know they depend on their BAH allowance to help them out. Let’s hope something is done before 2015 as these people put their lives on the line to protect us and our country.

Military families fear housing allowance is at risk
WASHINGTON – Nov. 8, 2013 – Sequestration could mean a $20 billion loss of defense funding for fiscal 2014 and possibly include a reduction in the allowance military families receive to help them pay for shelter.

Many military households apply their housing allowance to home buying or renting. The amount of an allowance varies according to geographic location, rank and other factors; and it’s adjusted annually to reflect local housing costs.

The idea of lower military allowances has already been floated. This summer, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel planted the idea of “changing how the basic allowance for housing is calculated, so that individuals are asked to pay a little more of their own housing costs.”

However, no major housing allowance changes are expected for fiscal year 2014, though the numbers have not yet been announced. Still, industry representatives are bracing themselves and asking enlisted families to do the same.

Elysia Stobbe of Jacksonville, Fla.-based VanDyk Mortgage, for example, says she is encouraging military customers to think about how any changes could “affect their income and ability to pay their mortgage in the future.”

Paula Cino of the National Multi Housing Council, meanwhile, is hoping that the government will keep everyone abreast of its plans so that there are no unexpected surprises. “The sooner that we really understand what the potential changes can be, the better we can respond and mitigate any damage to the program moving forward,” she said.

Source: Wall Street Journal (11/07/13) Wotapka, Dawn

© Copyright 2013 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

MORE BANKS NOW OFFERING 5% DOWN CONVENTIONAL LOANS!

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)