2013 Strongest Sales Since 2006

clipart arrow 6The National Association of Realtors (NAR) published their report of sales nationwide for December 2013 and recapped the year as a whole.  For all of 2013 there were 5.09 million sales which is 9.1% higher than 2012.  This is the strongest performance since 2006 when sales reach a crazy height of 6.48 million at the height of the housing boom.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Existing homes sales have risen nearly 20% since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates and a large pent-up demand driving the market.  We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory, but we ended with a year that was close to normal given the size of our population.”

Distressed Home Sales Decreasing In The Naples Florida Area

The distressed home sales are also decreasing which is great news for sellers in Naples Florida.  We have experienced many years of distressed home sales holding down the prices of our resale properties but we have seen a sharp reduction in short sales being listed in our area in the last few months.  There are still bank owned opportunities for the buyers who like to buy discounted homes and fix them up, but our market is trending toward “regular” sales of resale properties where the seller is willing to repair the items found on inspections before closing.  Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 14% of the December sales nationwide, but in December 2012 they were 24%!  What a fabulous decrease in only two years.

Housing Inventory Decreasing. Buyers Beware!

Inventory is dropping. Total housing inventory at the end of December 2013 fell 9.3% to 1.86 million existing homes available for sale nationwide which represents a 4.6 month supply at the current sales pace.  A healthy inventory is 10 months to one year to allow for the ebb and flow of the market.  This statistic definitely applies in the Naples Florida real estate market.  If you see a home you like and has the features you are looking for, don’t hesitate!  Buy that home now before someone else does or the price is increased!

Increased Mortgage Rates

Another concern for our market is in the increase in mortgage rates.  According to Freddie Mac, the national average rate for a 30 year conventional, fixed rate mortgage rose to 4.46% in December from 4.26% in November.  The rate in December 2012 was 3.35%.  This increase may not seem much but if you are trying to qualify to buy your first home, the increase will affect the price of the home you can afford to buy.  With prices and mortgage rates increasing, it is very important to get into a home now while you can still afford the monthly payment on the home of your dreams.

NAR president Steve Brown said, “The only factors holding us back from a stronger recovery are the ongoing issues of 2014-01-22 11.21.23restrictive mortgage credit and constrained inventory.  With strict new mortgage rules in place, we will be monitoring the lending environment to ensure that financially qualified buyers can access the credit they need to purchase a home.”

Mortgage rules have changed since January 1st this year.  Watch for an upcoming blog post on the changes in the rules and how that will affect your purchase.

Naples Florida Some Of The Warmest Weather This Winter!

If you are considering listing your home for sale or purchasing a new home, there couldn’t be a better time to start the process.  Naples Florida is enjoying some of the warmest weather in the country this winter and you should be enjoying our warm sunny days!  The market has turned around and we are now on our way back.  Will we see the craziness of the 2006-2007?  No I am sure that won’t happen again, especially with the new mortgage rules but prices will still continue to rise steadily as the years progress.  If you want to upgrade to a larger home now is the time and, if you want to enjoy the benefits of new home ownership, now is the time!

Call me at 239-601-3174 with your opinions on our current market or for a free market analysis of what your home is worth.  If you are a buyer, we can start our search together or you can start your search here and email or call me when you see a property you would like more information about.

Remember it is always toasty in Naples and you deserve your piece of Naples sunshine before the prices and mortgage rates go up!



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