Archive for the ‘Sarasota Herald Tribune Op-Ed’ Category
on May 22, 2013
It is often said that “all real estate is local,” meaning that property values are typically driven by variables that often differ neighborhood by neighborhood; and town by town. However, real estate markets have been anything but typical during the past few years. Consequently, their housing recoveries are contributing mightily to ours.
This is particularly true of the nation’s luxury housing markets, whose bourgeoning recoveries are having a highly positive impact on our region. Luxury markets everywhere slowed considerably in 2008 when much of the discretionary wealth needed to purchase such properties receded from many buyers’ balance sheets during the financial crisis. In truth, most high net worth individuals still had plenty of capital on hand to purchase these properties, but held off until they were certain that markets of interest had bottomed. (more…)
on May 10, 2013
Photo courtesy careerrealism.com
Southwest Florida enjoys such an enviable array of lifestyle amenities that many of us call it “paradise.” And with good reason.
Among many other honors bestowed on the region by the national media, ours is routinely named one of the best places in America to retire, is oft-cited for having the country’s best beach; and is regularly praised for a visual and performing arts scene that simply astounds those who don’t expect to find so many first-rate cultural options in a community this size. In truth, these accolades are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to garnering international recognition for our way of life. (more…)
on April 25, 2013
From Investor’s Business Daily (April 22, 2013)
“Median home prices (in March) swelled 11.8% to $184,300, the biggest year-over-year gain since November 2005. That reflects in large part the tight inventory of homes. But those higher values appear to be spurring more owners to put their homes and condos on the market.”
From Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Trulia (March 2013)
“Although buying a home is still cheaper than renting, the gap is closing. In 2013, home prices should rise faster than rents, and mortgage rates are likely to rise in the next year as the economy improves. People who didn’t buy a home last year may have missed the bottom of the market, but they haven’t completely missed the boat. Buying remains cheaper than renting in all 100 large metros.” (more…)
on April 10, 2013
Photo courtesy of americanfinancingrealty.com
U.S. home prices rose again in February, this time by 10.2% compared with last February. In experiencing the largest year-over-year jump in seven years, prices were up in 47 states; and in all but four of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. (Source: CoreLogic)
In the Sarasota-Manatee real estate market, the monthly median price has risen for 14 consecutive months, based on year-over-year comparisons. Nevertheless, our market’s median price is currently 43% below what it was seven years ago—at the peak of the housing bubble. (Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune) Though it has long since passed its bottom and seen its inventory of properties pared to below normal, the region continues to attract multitudes of buyers as intent as ever on taking advantage of today’s historic combination of low prices and rock-bottom interest rates.
As such, buyers—who more often than not begin their real estate searches online—can no longer take a leisurely approach to browsing for great buying opportunities. Instead, you must act with all deliberate speed once you’ve discovered the right property; or risk surrendering it to another buyer. (more…)
on April 3, 2013
Adding to the renewed vitality of the new homes market in Southwest Florida, Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to announce Grand Oaks, a gated enclave of 55 newly-constructed single-family homes—with maintenance-free landscaping and lawn care.
Situated on Venice Avenue, just three miles from the tree-lined boulevards, shops, restaurants and beaches of historic downtown Venice, Grand Oaks offers one of the few remaining opportunities to purchase newly-constructed homes west of Jacaranda Blvd. Michael Saunders & Company has been chosen as the exclusive brokerage for the new community, where homes purchased now will be ready for occupancy in December. (more…)
on March 27, 2013
Photo courtesy of realtor.com
Building a home—versus buying a pre-existing one—has never been a more viable option for buyers still hoping to take advantage of reduced housing prices and historically low interest rates.
On the one hand, today’s threadbare inventory of existing homes means that buyers must act swiftly when they find a home that fulfills the majority of their purchasing preferences. Even then, they could easily find themselves competing against other buyers with similar designs on the property.
Buying new, on the other hand, offers its own set of challenges. Gone are the days—at least for now—when builders offered a variety of move-in-ready models. Instead, buyers must forego instant gratification in exchange for a home that will largely be built to their own specific tastes and preferences—but subject to the builder’s timetable. Builders are also taking advantage of reduced land costs to keep the finished price as competitive as possible with existing homes. (more…)
on March 14, 2013
The buzz in the media was palpable last week when it was announced that Infinity, the first new luxury condominium slated for development on Longboat Key in seven years, is now accepting reservations. That’s because intensified buyer demand for new luxury condominiums on the key has been frustrated by a lack of new construction to fulfill it. Until now.
Infinity, which will occupy a magnificent site on mid-Longboat Key, is offering just 11 beachfront residences designed in a sleek, coastal contemporary style. Each luxurious residence will face the Gulf of Mexico, enjoy easy access to the beach; and command outstanding views of the Gulf and bay from expansive, oversized terraces. (more…)
on March 6, 2013
After years of being the poster child for our broken economy, the real estate market is currently experiencing something it had grown quite unaccustomed to—unbridled optimism about its comeback.
We picked up the business section of the newspaper the other day and nearly every story involved vast improvements in our local real estate market; or the positive impact its recovery is having on other segments of the region’s economy.
To name just a few points of light, pending sales are at their highest levels in years, builders are scrambling to keep up with new orders, and the ratio of foreclosures and short sales—compared with other transactions—is declining throughout Southwest Florida. No matter where you turn for your daily news fix, real estate is being touted as the main engine driving the country’s economic revival.
The news has been so good, in fact, that we’re beginning to hear the “B” word tossed around again—“B” as in Bubble. (more…)
on February 22, 2013
Our license plates may read “The Sunshine State,” presumably to remind people from colder climates of Florida’s #1 year-round perk. But Florida could just as easily be nicknamed “The No-Tax-Me State” for the numerous tax advantages that accrue to residents who choose to make the state their primary residence.
With baby boomers now marching headlong into retirement—just as municipalities, states and the federal government are aggressively seeking new sources of tax revenue to close gaping budget deficits—Florida’s status as a tax-friendly destination is garnering serious new attention.
Here’s why: (more…)
on February 1, 2013
The housing market in Southwest Florida has successfully finished rebooting itself. In fully refreshing its fundamentals, it has given back as much as 40% of the exaggerated price appreciation that occurred at the peak of the housing bubble.
The number of homes for sale throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties is currently at its lowest level in seven years, which has sparked competition among buyers that has led to 12 straight months of year-over-year median price increases. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve did its part by lowering interest rates to historic, fire-sale levels—and has kept them there for quite some time. So while the pundits split hairs trying to decide whether real estate markets everywhere have truly hit bottom—which clearly happened in Southwest Florida at least a year ago—the cost of borrowing to buy a home has never been cheaper. (more…)