June 23, 2018

4th of July Festivities along the Space Coast!

No matter where you are in Brevard County, you can enjoy 3 days of 4th of July Festivities along the Space Coast!

Tuesday, July 3rd:

Post Canaveral - Smoke on the Water - Fireworks over the Harbor!  Enjoy the festivities at the Cove at Port Canaveral.  Fireworks around 9:30-10pm

 

Wednesday, July 4th:

Cocoa Riverfront Park - The entire family will have a blast and enjoy the fireworks over the Indian River Lagoon.  Don't forget to catch the Brevard Symphony Orchestra too!  Fireworks around 8:45-9pm.

Melbourne - Front Street Park - Fireworks over the Indian River Lagoon.  Free shuttle service fromthe Melbourne Auditorium, Fireworks around 8pm.

Palm Bay - Independence Celebration at Eastern State Community College,  Live music and Fireworks around 9pm.

Viera - Great American Celebration - Celebrate Independence Day with your family at the USSSA Space Coast Stadium in Viera.  Gates open at 5:30pm, gamies begin at 6:30pm and Fireworks are around 9pm.

Titusville - Red, White & Boom - Sand Point Park, live music and lots of activities for the entire family.  Fireworks arounf 9:15pm from Marina Park.

 

Thursday, July 5th:

Cocoa Beach - Fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean around 8:45-9pm. 

 

Posted in Around Brevard
June 23, 2018

Brevard County Housing Statistics - May 2018

May 2018 MLS Statistics

Courtesy of Florida Realtors® Industry Data and Analysis Team

 

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for May 2018:
  • Closed Sales are down -4.5% for May 2018 in which the number of units closed was 943 compared to 987 in May 2017, with a decrease in cash sales of -13.2% compared to May 2017.
  • New Pending Sales are up 0.4% and New Listings are up 11.1%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up 6.6% to $225,000 compared to a year ago, which was $211,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 19.2% to 3.1 months, an increase from 2.6 months in 2017.
  • Traditional Sales are down -1.3%, with a median sales price of $225,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -65%, with a median sales price of $154,400.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -54.5%, with a median sales price of $186,000. 
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for May 2018:
  • Closed Sales are up 11.9% for May 2018 in which the number of units closed was 302 compared to 270 in May 2017, with an increase in cash sales of 7.9% compared to May 2017.
  • New Pending Sales are down -3.9 % and New Listings are up 13.8%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 10.7% to $179,950 compared to a year ago, which was $162,500.
  • Months Supply of Inventory has decreased to 3.5 months in May 2018 from 3.6 months in May 2017.
  • Traditional Sales are up 16.7%, with a median sales price of $180,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -91.7% with a median sales price of $55,000. 
  • Short Sale Closing statistics did not change, as there were no short sales in May 2017 or May 2018.

To see these and previous reports on Brevard MLS Statistics, please click here »

 

Posted in Market Reports
June 21, 2018

Homes are More Affordable in 44 out of 50 States

With both home prices and mortgage rates increasing this year, many are concerned about a family’s ability to purchase a major part of the American Dream – its own home. However, if we compare housing affordability today to the average affordability prior to the housing boom and bust, we are in much better shape than most believe.

In Black Knight’s latest monthly Mortgage Monitor, they revealed that in the vast majority of the country, it is actually more affordable to purchase a home today than it was between 1995 to 2003 when looking at mortgage payments (determined by price and interest rate) as compared to incomes. Home prices are up compared to 1995-2003, but mortgage rates are still much lower now than at that time. Today, they stand at about 4.5%. Here are the average mortgage rates for each of the years mentioned:

  • 1995 – 7.93%
  • 1996 – 7.81%
  • 1997 – 7.6%
  • 1998 – 6.94%
  • 1999 – 7.44%
  • 2000 – 8.05%
  • 2001 – 6.97%
  • 2002 – 6.54%
  • 2003 – 5.83%

On the other hand, wages have risen over the last twenty years.

Black Knight’s research revealed that, when comparing “the share of median income required to buy the median-priced home” today, to the average between 1995 to 2003, it is currently more affordable to purchase a home in 44 of 50 states.

Here is a state map of the percentage change in the price-to-payment ratio. Positive numbers indicate that it is less affordable to buy while negative numbers indicate that it is more affordable.

Homes are More Affordable in 44 out of 50 States | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Whether you are moving up to the home of your dreams or purchasing your first house, it is a great time to buy when looking at historic affordability data.

Posted in Buyers
June 11, 2018

Days on The Market Drops to New Low in April

According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median number of days that a home spent on the market hit a new low of 26 days in April, as 57% of homes were on the market for under a month.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, had this to say,

“What is available for sale is going under contract at a rapid pace. Since NAR began tracking this data in May 2011, the median days a listing was on the market was at an all-time low in April, and the share of homes sold in less than a month was at an all-time high.”

Strong buyer demand, a good economy, and a low inventory of new and existing homes for sale created the perfect storm to accelerate the time between listing and signing a contract.

The chart below shows the median days on the market from April 2017 to April 2018:

Days on The Market Drops to New Low in April | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

If you are a homeowner who is debating whether or not to list your home for sale, know that national market conditions are primed for a quick turnaround! Let’s get together to discuss exactly what’s going on in our area, today!

Posted in Buyers
June 11, 2018

9 Tips for Backyard Fire Pit Safety

Fire pits are one of the "hottest" requested design features according to a recent Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Whatever your pit design or size, follow these tips to stay safe while enjoying the heat.

1. Never build a fire pit with smooth river rocks. While aesthetically pleasing, they can heat rapidly and explode. Lining your pit with rough stones is a much safer choice.

2. Make sure to place your pit at least 10 feet away from any structures, fencing or other flammable materials.

3. Before you install your fire pit, check that your HOA or local authority allows open fires in your yard.

4. Find a level surface – and make sure you don't place your pit under telephone or electrical wires.

5. Never burn pressurized wood. It may contain toxins that release noxious fumes when burned.

6. Don't go overboard. Keep your pit constrained to an appropriate size for your yard. There's (hopefully) no need for a blaze big enough to deter warring villagers.

7. Be sure to check the weather. Gusty winds predicted? Then it's probably not a good night to enjoy your fire pit. Remember, it only takes one flying ember to ignite an unintentional fire.

8. Don't use kerosene or gasoline to light your fire. Go old school and stick with kindling. It's much safer.

9. Plan ahead: Keep a bucket of water, sand or a fire extinguisher (that you know how to work) nearby.

 

Burning to move somewhere with a backyard? Start by talking to an experienced RE/MAX Elite agent. Contact us today and I would be happy to help get you started with a member of our team.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
May 23, 2018

Brevard County Market Report for April 2018

April 2018 MLS Statistics

 

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for April 2018:
  • Closed Sales are up 12.7% for April 2018 in which the number of units closed was 907 compared to 805 in April 2017, with a decrease in cash sales of -6.7% compared to April2017.
  • New Pending Sales are down -0.7% and New Listings are up 7.7%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up 11.2% to $227,500 compared to a year ago, which was $204,655.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 16% to 2.9 months, an increase from 2.5 months in 2017.
  • Traditional Sales are up 17.4%, with a median sales price of $228,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -64.1%, with a median sales price of $138,750.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -71.4%, with a median sales price of $133,250. 
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for April 2018:
  • Closed Sales are up 7.2% for April 2018 in which the number of units closed was 253 compared to 236 in April 2017, with an increase in cash sales of 0.8% compared to April 2017.
  • New Pending Sales are up 15.5 % and New Listings are up 6.8%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 18.8% to $190,000 compared to a year ago, which was $160,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory has decreased to 3.5 months in April 2018 from 3.7 months in April 2017.
  • Traditional Sales are up 6.9%, with a median sales price of $192,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are up 100% with a median sales price of $98,000. 
  • Short Sale Closing statistics are down -100%, as there were no short sales in April 2018 and one in April 2017.

To see these and previous reports on Brevard MLS Statistics, please click here »

 

 

Posted in Market Reports
May 17, 2018

April Showers Bring Inventory Struggles

April showers bring inventory struggles. As the inventory story continues, so does the decline of home sales and rising prices according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Home sales have declined for the fourth month in a row. For the 24th consecutive month, home prices have gone up! Why? Because of the number of homes on the market is at a record low. You can read all of the details in the full housing report here.

What’s all this mean for you? If you’re selling, it continues to be your market. Homes that are on the market are selling fast and generally at a higher price. If you’re buying, there’s still good news despite the low inventory. March recorded the second-highest month in sales in the history of the RE/MAX National Housing Report. I’d be happy to help you navigate the market to find your home. Give me a call or reply to this email.

As always, thank you for trusting me for all of your real estate needs.

 

Monthly Market Statistics
National Market Map
Posted in Market Reports
May 17, 2018

Make The Most of Your Summer [Infographic]

Summer is fast approaching! 

We can’t wait.  Longer days and more flexible work schedules make life a little more relaxed during the summer, but do you make the most of it?  I know that we have to check ourselves and take time to connect with family and friends.   We’ve put together a few reminders and ways that you can take time and make your summer count. 

Take this advice and have a fun summer. If your plans include a move this summer, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.

Posted in For Fun
May 15, 2018

4 Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again

With home prices rising again this year, some are concerned that we may be repeating the 2006 housing bubble that caused families so much pain when it collapsed. Today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago. There are four key metrics that explain why:

  1. Home Prices
  2. Mortgage Standards
  3. Mortgage Debt
  4. Housing Affordability

1. HOME PRICES

There is no doubt that home prices have reached 2006 levels in many markets across the country. However, after more than a decade, home prices should be much higher based on inflation alone.

Frank Nothaft is the Chief Economist for CoreLogic (which compiles some of the best data on past, current, and future home prices). Nothaft recently explained:

“Even though CoreLogic’s national home price index got to the same level it was at the prior peak in April of 2006, once you account for inflation over the ensuing 11.5 years, values are still about 18% below where they were.” (emphasis added)

2. MORTGAGE STANDARDS

Some are concerned that banks are once again easing lending standards to a level similar to the one that helped create the last housing bubble. However, there is proof that today’s standards are nowhere near as lenient as they were leading up to the crash.

The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI). According to the Urban Institute:

“The HCAI measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan.”

The graph below reveals that standards today are much tighter on a borrower’s credit situation and have all but eliminated the riskiest loan products.

4 Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again | Simplifying The Market

3. MORTGAGE DEBT

Back in 2006, many homeowners mistakenly used their homes as ATMs by withdrawing their equity and spending it with no concern for the ramifications. They overloaded themselves with mortgage debt that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) repay when prices crashed. That is not occurring today.

The best indicator of mortgage debt is the Federal Reserve Board’s household Debt Service Ratio for mortgages, which calculates mortgage debt as a percentage of disposable personal income.

At the height of the bubble market a decade ago, the ratio stood at 7.21%. That meant over 7% of disposable personal income was being spent on mortgage payments. Today, the ratio stands at 4.48% – the lowest level in 38 years!

4. HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

With both house prices and mortgage rates on the rise, there is concern that many buyers may no longer be able to afford a home. However, when we look at the Housing Affordability Index released by the National Association of Realtors, homes are more affordable now than at any other time since 1985 (except for when prices crashed after the bubble popped in 2008).

4 Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

After using four key housing metrics to compare today to 2006, we can see that the current market is not anything like the bubble market.

Posted in Buyers
May 10, 2018

Access: An Important Factor in Getting Your House SOLD!

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

With May proving to be the best month to sell your home, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

Posted in Buyers, Sellers