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Real Estate Trends in Pinellas County

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

If you are looking for a bargain in real estate, and think that chasing after foreclosures is the answer, take a look at these numbers and then consider if this is your best strategy.

In April 2014, there were 720 active foreclosure listings in Pinellas County.  The previous month there were 764.  In April, 299 foreclosures were sold, in March 323 sold.  The arithmetic says that if there are 720 available foreclosure, 299 sold, then the absorption rate is 41.5%.  The absorption rate means that there is only a 2.4 months inventory of foreclosed property.  The competition for foreclosed property is pretty aggressive.

According to statistics from the Pinellas Realtor Organization, foreclosures are selling at 97% of the list price and are going under contract in an average of 71 days.

So you might think that shifting to short sales is a better strategy.  In April, there were 438 short sales listed and in March there were 448.  In April 113 short sales sold, in March 83 sold.  The absorption rate for short sales is 438 active listings with 113 sales, thus a 25.8% absorption rate.  This works out to an inventory of 3.9 months for short sales in our market.  And, short sales are selling for 98% of the list price.

So far, I'm not sure I am seeing the proverbial "deal" in these distressed properties.

Let's take a quick look at non-distressed, or "traditional" sales.  In April, there were 5,798 properties for sale, March has 5,904.  In April, 1,367 sold vs. March when 1225 sold.  Now we have an absorption rate of 5798 active listings and 1367 sold for an absorption rate of 23.6%.  Meaning that there is a 4.2 months inventory of homes for sale in Pinellas County, and they are selling at an average of 95% of list price.

Of the three groups of property, short sales are going for 98% of list price, foreclosures for 97% of list price, and traditional (non-distressed)properties are selling for 95% of list price.

Part of your strategy should be to consider the cost of repairs, especially for a foreclosure property -   things like a new roof, plumbing repairs, possible mold remediation, etc.  The short sales have somewhat different issues, most notably the length of time from contract to closing, with the uncertainty of the final purchase price.  This uncertainty is caused by increasing real estate prices, which makes the bank often ask for thousands of dollars more after the house has been under contract for months at a lower than "market" value.  The buyer then has to determine if the short sale is worth the additional and unexpected cost, or should he simply move on.

Finally, with a traditional transaction, the price is agreed to, the loan is made and the deal can close in 30-45 days with often no significant repairs.  

So, in the current market for Pinellas County real estate, which transaction presents the best value for the time and money invested in a property?  You tell me.

It's April, Has the Real Estate Market Stabilized?

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The real estate market in Pinellas County, Florida is humming.  And the following appears to be a contradiction, yet it is not. Read on to see why.

Pinellas County, Florida is in the midst of one of the worst real estate markets in the country.  Does that mean that real estate is dead?  No, of course not.  People still need housing, people move, people are buying their first homes, and sadly, people still are dying so their homes need to be sold. 

Using some of the key indicators, such as absorption rate - the time it will take the current inventory to be sold, help to see the Pinellas County, Florida real estate market in a slightly different light.  It may indicate that the market is close to stabilized.  The absorption rate year on year for single family homes is up 18.4%, which means that houses are selling much quicker than they did at this time last year.  A possible sign the Pinellas County, Florida real estate market has stabilized.

The number of active listings year on year for single family homes is down 15%.  This means simply that more homes are being sold each month than are being listed for sale.

The number of single family home sales year to date is up 16.7%.  This simply means that we are selling a good number more homes this year than at the same time last year. 

In my opinion, the market is very slowly moving in the right direction towards stabilization and much more sane pricing/growth.  There are numerous buyers in the market now looking for a deal.  So far this year, in the Pinellas County, Florida real estate market, about 65% of residential real estate transactions have been cash.  Houses are selling and houses that are priced at or near market value are selling very quickly.  The inventory is dwindling to the point we no longer have a year of inventory, we are down to about a 6 1/2 month inventory of houses.  The real estate market is in fact very busy.  Investors, especially cash buyers, are finding excellent properties at 1999 prices and can rent houses for immediate cash flow. 

Through April 2011, there have been 2,862 single family houses sold in this area compared to 2010 when 2453 houses sold at the same point in time.  This is a 16.7% increase in single family home sales.  This is not to say that prices are going up as yet.  Our mean prices, in Pinellas County, Florida, April 2010 to April 2011 are down 1.7%, which of course is why the units sold is increasing.  Add to this interest rates are still below 5%.  It all adds up to a wonderful opportunity for qualified buyers.  I am not saying the real estate market is rosy for everyone, it is, however, very busy, or as I said, humming.

Monday Morning Coffee, 5/16/2011

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Happy Monday Morning!!  Did you know that in the Pinellas County, FL real estate market, the absorption rate for houses in the month of April was 15.4%.  This means the for every 100 houses on the market in Pinellas County, FL in April, 15 of them sold.  This is the fourth consecutive month that the number of houses sold, or absoprtion rate, in Pinellas County, FL has increased.  Of course, if a house is in the unsold 85%, this is still not a good market.  The good news is that the number of houses being sold is increasing.  The average price of a house sold in April of 2011 was 1.7% less than for a house sold in April 2010, and that is a sign the market has not quite yet stopped declining.  Now, let's see what we have for our Monday Morning Coffee.

If you enjoy our Monday Morning Coffee, please share it and pass it along to a friend.

Now for your Morning Coffee!

Patty Ann Acres, Palm Harbor - a 30 Day Real Estate Update

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Patty Ann Acres, in Palm Harbor is in north Pinellas County.  This established community is near to the beaches of Pinellas County and the Pinellas bike trail, not to mention Old Palm Harbor and lots of good shopping and restaurants.

The real estate sales activity in Patty Ann Acres has been calm for this reporting period.  There are three homes listed for sale in Patty Ann Acres, Palm Harbor.  The prices range from $169,900 to $259,900 with an average list price of $201,567.  The days on market range from 101 to 175 with the average days on market at 132.  And the good news is that none of these are distressed properties!

There is one home under contract in Patty Ann Acres.  It is listed for $139,900 and had 50 days on market.  It is a home with 1,686 square feet, a 2 car garage and 2 bedrooms.

If you would like to find out more about real estate sales in your neighborhood, or in any neighborhood in Palm Harbor or Pinellas County, click on the house image to visit Sun Bay Associates Market Snapshot site.

For more information on the greater Tampa Bay real estate sales activity, visit Sun Bay Associates FREE home search site and create your own personal real estate search anywhere in Pinellas County or the greater Tampa Bay area.

Happy House Hunting!!

Tampa Bay Real Estate - Not for the Faint of Heart

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Tampa Bay real estate is not for the faint of heart. According to the Pinellas Realtor Organization, September residential sales dropped by 18.5% in September when compared to September 2009.  As of September 30, in Pinellas County, there were 6822 single family homes listed for sale in the Suncoast Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Of those listings, for September 2010 there were 567 single family residences that sold.  This is an absorption rate of 8.3%, meaning that for every 100 homes for sale in the Suncoast MLS, fewer than 10 will sell in the next month.

Condos in Pinellas County have a very similar picture, with 5511 condos for sale and 387 sold, for an absorption rate of 7.0%.

In both scenarios, there is more than a one year inventory of housing units for sale, so for a seller, the best way to sell a home is to price it intelligently and be sure it is the nicest on in the price range.  Otherwise the marketplace will pass it by and it will become stale, and unsold.

There is a bright spot in all of this based on the Suncoast MLS, as pending contracts went up by 10.6% over September 2009.  As the prices are still dropping, the number of units being sold should continue to increase so that the unsold inventory is gradually shrinking. 

Even though the Tampa Bay real estate market is currently still soft, from the seller's perspective, there are signs of recovery, with the number of units sold increasing in the last three months.  So, don't be faint of heart.  This is definitely a buyer's market.  Prices are at the lowest point in a decade, and interest rates are at historic lows.

July Foreclosures in Florida

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Florida has the "distinction" of being the number 2 state in the nation for foreclosures.  California is first, with 92,318 and Florida is second, with 54,940, according to RealtyTrac.  Florida's foreclosure activity rate is 1 in 171 houses are in some stage of foreclosure.

Breaking this down a little further, to Pinellas County, where Palm Harbor, Clearwater and Dunedin are, there are 1610 houses in foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac.

If you want to go deeper yet, look at Palm Harbor.  For the three zip codes in Palm Harbor, 34683 has 64 houses in foreclosure, for a rate of 1 in 234:  34684 has 61 houses in foreclosure for a rate of 1 in 234:  and 34685 has 14 houses in foreclosure, for a rate of 1 in 550.

The relatively good news, for Pinellas County foreclosures is that the county is not nearly the worst in Florida.  For instance, Miami-Dade County has 7107 homes in foreclosure, for a rate of 1 in 137:  Broward County has 6471 homes in foreclosure for a rate of 1 in 124:  and Lee County has 3958 homes in foreclosure for a rate of 1 in 92.

To learn more about distressed property and how to possibly avoid foreclosure, click here for free reports on foreclosure and short sales.

 

Baywood Village - a Waterfront Community in Palm Harbor, FL

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Baywood Village in Palm Harbor, FL is a quiet, waterfront community that is one of the best kept secrets in  north Pinellas County.  The homes on the canal system have direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and most have docks with boat lifts right out the back door, although in Baywood Village, the dockside is considered the front door.  There is a mix of older homes and newly built homes - with all the upgrades one would expect in a waterfront community.

Of course the fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is excellent, only minutes from your dock.  Just a mile or two away from Baywood Village are Anclote Key and Three Rooker Bar, both boating destinations for the community, whether for a day trip at the beach, a weekend for fishing and partying, or for the outstanding fishing in the flats surrounding these islands.  Also, just a short ride by either car or boat is Howard Park in Tarpon Springs, just north of Palm Harbor.  Howard Park has wonderful beach and picnic facilities and is a very popular destination all year round.

Baywood Village is also a short drive from historic downtown Palm Harbor.  There are wonderful restaurants, such as the Thirsty Marlin, Peggy O'Neills Irish Eatery, and the Old Town Cafe which serves absolutely excellent coffee, coffee specialties and desserts.  Not to mention great lunches.

Palm Harbor also has excellent schools, with the jewel being Palm Harbor University High School.

One of the best features of living in Baywood Village is that it is still an affordable waterfront community.  And in the current real estate market, Baywood Village in Palm Harbor is a desirable and affordable place to live. 

Check it out.  The fish are waiting for you - right outside your "front" door.

A Stabilizing Real Estate Market?!

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The Florida real estate market is showing signs of stabilizing.  At least the downward trend is beginning to slow.  In Pinellas County, Florida the number of listings for single family homes decreased slightly and the absorption rate was above 10% for August.  In July, the abosrption rate was 11.8%.  This simply means that if the absorption rate is 10%, if there are 100 homes listed for sale, 10 sold.  The absorption rate is very slowly increasing so that the inventory of homes for sale is slowly decreasing, and in time, this will lead to prices bottoming out and beginning the long, slow climb out of the crevasse.

The median price for a single family home in August, 2009, in Pinellas County, Florida was $142,000, a drop of 19.3% from the previous August.  The sort of good news is that the August price drop was less than the 2009 July price drop, which was 22.2% from July of 2008.  Again, not good news, but this is showing signs of the market beginning to stabilize in the Pinellas County, Florida market.

Thus, with the absorption rate inching its way up, and the median price loss showing signs of slowing, things are beginning to look better.  More goodnews is that the inventory for single family homes for sale in August 2009 was 9.7 months.  This is another sign that the competition of homes for sale, while still extremely competitive, is beginning to start to swing back into the area that sellers can see light at the end of the tunnel.  Of course, that light may yet be 5 years away before prices climb back to what they were two or three years ago, but there is hope.   Is the real estate market stabilizing, well maybe not yet.  There is, though, light at the end of the tunnel.

Unemployment Rises - Real Estate Market Stabilized??

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Figures from the US Department of Labor are out on unemployment, and they could be worse. 

In a story on the BBC, Nigel Gault, chief US economist at IHS Global Insight, said that the rise in the jobless rate was not too discouraging.

"The decline last month was too good to be true, really. It's too early for the unemployment rate to be coming down, of course we're still losing jobs," he said.

"What I would take encouragement from is the fact is the trend in the rate of decline in jobs is still improving, that private sector jobs were down 198,000, that's 50,000 better than the previous month and it's almost 200,000 better than the month before that."

The construction industry took the biggest it, losing 65,000 jobs.  Construction and housing sales seem to be linked as new homes can't be built while workers still are getting laid off.

Here in the Tampa Bay area, in Pinellas County, Florida, home sales have not recovered.  The number of homes sold year to date is down about 23% and the average price per home is off almost 8% from last year.  The good news is that the number of homes sold in July 2009 vs July 2008 is up.  The counterbalance to the good news is the sales price for the same period is down by about $10,000.  The numbers below reflect year to date home sales in Pinellas County, FL.  And the silver lining in this dark cloud is that there are lots of bargains for home buyers in the Tampa Bay area.

2009 YTD 5,865 $155,000 
2008 7,622 $167,000 

Fun Restaurant in Tarpon Springs

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Despite all the gloom and doom of the sinking economy in the news, there are lots of great things to like about the Tampa Bay area.  One of the wonderful benefits of the Sun Coast of Florida is the selection of restaurants.  In northern Pinellas County, in the eclectic City of Tarpon Springs, there is a gem of an eating establishment called Snookers Floribbean Bar and Grill.  Fresh seafood, straight from the Gulf of Mexico, succulent shrimp, seared Mahi, ice cold adult beverages and friendly servers all combine to make Snookers a fun place to meet after a hard day at work or for a dinner with friends. 

 

We just ate there, had a really good dinner of fresh caught seafood, an absolutely wonderful coconut bread pudding for dessert, enjoyed the live music, and Basilia our server was really helpful and pleasant.

 

Snookers has an outdoor tiki bar and a pool of live gators that is just outside the tiki bar.  There are lots of flat screen TVs for viewing your favorite sports or even CNN.  Weekends there is live music on the outdoor patio.  Sit there and enjoy dinner, have a relaxing drink and listen to your favorite music.

 

And as you enter the inside dining area, be sure to check out the very large saltwater aquarium with live snook, a favorite Florida gamefish, and redfish swimming around.

 

To learn more about this fun and casual restaurant in the Tampa Bay area, visit their website at www.snookersgrill.com.

 

We’ll occasionally write about a fun thing for the Tampa Bay area lifestyle.  If you have a special interest, let us know and we’ll discover more together.

 

Be sure to check out our website for more information on real estate and the Tampa Bay area:  www.SunBayAssociates.com.

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107 S
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908