The latest news cycle has yielded several articles that help explain the strong surge in Sarasota real estate sales that has defined our market over the past several months. Here is just a sampling of the most recent:
From Inman News, an influential news source for the U.S. real estate industry:
–The Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port metro area has earned the fourth spot on the list of the Top Ten Hot Spots for Global Home Buyers, according to data collected from DataQuick—a San Diego-based real estate data analysis firm.
–In placing fourth, our market bested such traditional bastions of foreign buying as New York City and Miami.
–Nearly 7% of all properties sold last year in the Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port market area were to foreign buyers—who are just as keen on taking advantage of our market’s deeply reduced prices as domestic buyers. At Michael Saunders & Company, approximately 13% of our 2011 transactions involved international buyers.
–Many of these buyers have a dual motivation for purchasing a home in the U.S.—as a vacation property to be used for as long as six months out of every year; and as a sound long-term investment to be leased out in their absence.
There was this headline from Bloomberg Business News: “Pending Sales of US Existing Homes at Near Two-Year High”
–Pending home purchases fell slightly in February—by 0.5 percent—but remained near the two-year high set in January
–Still, compared with a year earlier, February pending home sales climbed 14 percent. Even with the decline last month, January and February sales of existing homes marked the strongest start to a year since 2007.
–The reason? A pickup in hiring, growing incomes and record low mortgage rates have made housing more affordable, driving up demand just as home prices appear to be stabilizing.
–Here in Southwest Florida, combined pendings for Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties achieved an all-time high in February.
And this item, pertaining to a new era in U.S. home affordability, also from Bloomberg Business News:
–The Housing Affordability Index exceeded 200 in January for the first time since The National Association of REALTORS® began keeping records more than four decades ago.
–Now at a record high index of 206.1, the typical American household has more than twice the income necessary to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. A value of 100 means that a family at the national median income level has exactly the financial resources necessary to qualify for a median-priced property—based on putting 20% down and devoting 25% of their gross income to mortgage principal and interest payments.
Finally, the main cover feature from this week’s issue of Barron’s Magazine broadcasts the simple headline that every homeowner has been longing to hear: “Home Prices Ready to Rebound,” a reference to some markets that have already experienced a bottoming of home prices with the rest expected to follow suit by the spring of 2013.
To read each of these articles in their entirety, click on the appropriate link below: