Real Estate Information Archive


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Morning Coffee - Gradual Improvement

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Monday Morning Coffee


"Plan for gradual improvement, not spectacular leaps. A slow and steady stream of water will, in time, erode the hardest rock."

~ John Campbell, Ph.D.


It's exciting to attend a baseball game in any league and see the batter swing into a major home run. It really ramps up the fans, and pumps up the score. Hoorah for the home team! What batter wouldn't be excited running around the bases?

In most baseball seasons, however, there are many more base hits, more runs batted in, and more games won on singles and doubles. Oh sure, the crowd is more subdued, the accolades lower key, and the base-hit batters not as widely recognized. Nevertheless, at the end of the season it's the base hits that win the pennant.

Yet, as youngsters, we've all heard our parents and relatives talk about the day "their ship will come in." This is the mythical tale, beloved by grown-ups, that attributes wealth and financial independence to a single event - the sudden and unexpected arrival of a ship laden with gold and silver.

While awaiting the ship, many others are quietly hitting singles and doubles - getting an excellent education, saving and investing modest sums, quietly improving their service to employers and customers. They understand that each step forward, no matter the size of the step, will pay larger and larger dividends in the form of promotions, added income, and independence later on.

Solid growth in all areas of life is most often the result of carefully laid foundations on solid bedrock, rather than sudden, whimsical actions carried out without consistency, careful forethought, or vision. Before any ship can come in, it must first leave the harbor. It must have a destination, enough fuel, an excellent navigator, food and water, a map and compass, and a captain passionate about reaching the destination.

If you want to leave the harbor, repeat to yourself the words of William Earnest Henley from "Invictus" - "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." Land ahoy!

Pinellas County Real Estate - Did We Hit Bottom Yet??

by Doug Campbell at Sun Bay Associates with Keller Wi

What a conundrum (also the name of a good wine) the real estate market in Pinellas County is. This includes Clearwater, Dunedin, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs and the various beaches among other communities.  Sales are up. Even prices are up!! The number of listings is down. And distressed property was less than 20% of the active inventory in our area of Tampa Bay for the month of May. Better yet, bank owned (foreclosed) property was only 5% of active listings.

The median prices for non-distressed (short sale and bank-owned) properties in the Tampa Bay real estate market were 16% higher than the distressed property prices. The best news is that total sales for this year are up almost 12% compared to last year.

So why is the media still talking about the bad Tampa Bay real estate market? The short answer is, "I don't know." Today when a house in good condition comes on the market and the price is close to market value, it seems these properties are flying off the shelves. Of course, there are still those sellers who "need" to get XX dollars from the sale of their house, and their Realtor does not do a very good job of presenting the true market value, thus the house goes on the market too far above market value, sits there for months with no activity, and ends up sitting on the market after turning into a stale listing that no one even wants to see.

The best way to maximize your profits when selling a house is to price it at the market value.  In the current market for Pinellas County, when a house is priced right, buyers who  have been following the market and know the inventory is low, look at it immediately. The buyers then determine the market value by showing up to look at the house, and make offers.  The seller has the opportunity then to either sell the house at the offer price, negotiate a deal, or hold fast to a price that is too high, thus re-buying their own home. In this environment, it is not rare for the house to actually sell a little above the list price. When there is not a lot of selection, buyers get more eager when a good property comes available.

In our Tampa Bay market (St. Petersburg, Madeira Beach, Ozona, Clearwater Beach and others), houses that are currently in the $120,000 to $140,000 price range are selling fastest, making up just about 10% of the market. The number of active listings in Pinellas County in May 2012 was 3,217, a decrease of more than 34% from May of 2011. This appears to be the lowest level of active listings since before January of 2007. That is the lowest level of listings in over 5 years!! This is telling the buyers who are looking for further price drops that there probably won't be any, as the law of Supply and Demand is kicking in.

One last little statistic, in the Pinellas County real estate market, 60% of residential transactions year to date (thru May) have been cash, 24% are conventional, and 11% FHA.

The message is clear, if you are a buyer, don't wait or it will cost you more money for the same house. The other way to look at that is you will get less house for the same money. Look at the above info and you can determine if the Tampa Bay real estate market has hit bottom yet.

Do You Know The Real Estate Market Is Picking Up?

by Doug Campbell

Do you know that in our market area the number of listings is down by almost 31% when compared to the previous year?  And do you know the number of pending contracts is up by over 26% in the same area for the same time frame, year on year?  Do you also know that the number of homes sold in the same year on year period is up 11.27%.  And finally, do you know that expired listings, those that did not sell for whatever reason (usually because they were priced too high) is down by a whopping 40%?  These statistics were compiled by the Pinellas Realtor Organization.

Now here is the surprise for the above numbers, which seems to contradict the law of supply and demand.  Median prices in the last year compared to a year ago, despite the decreasing inventory and increased sales of units, have gone down almost 1%.  When one looks at the mean, or average, price, that has gone up by 0.8%.  This is pretty clearly stating that the prices are flat, even though there are fewer homes to sell.

In June 2011, the average time on market for a house was 158 days.  This year, the average time on market is 154 days.  So there is not a buyer's frenzy yet to pick up the "great deals".  In fact, for those buyers who are still waiting for the "great deal" due to still falling prices, here is a little bit of a surprise.  The percent of original list price vs. final sale price is going up.  For June 2011 sellers were getting 85% of the list price, and in June 2012 sellers were getting 89% of the list price.  All of the above numbers seem to indicate that the market is more or less stabilized and that prices are flat.  To buyers waiting to prices to continue to fall so there are even greater bargains available, this could be a flawed strategy.  For sellers waiting for prices to start to skyrocket, perhaps they should consider why they need to sell and not wait.  Moving on with their lives and getting the best possible price now is very likely a better option than holding out for a 1% increase six months down the road.

Bottom line, whether a buyer or a seller, don't procrastinate.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3




Contact Information

Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team
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