Sunday, July 16, 2006

Is the Market Insane?

Wanted to Blog, but wasn't sure what to write & then I spoke with a friend & she was under the impression that the "Market is Insane!" I won't deny that I was taken aback by this. But from what we talked about, it seems that quite a few people think this.

Now, I know from talking with quite a few realtors that the impression is that buyers are waiting for prices to come down. I won't deny that I still see homes that are priced for the type of market that we saw last year. But, in general, it seems that people realize that they have to price their homes well to sell. With an inventory of over 15K available homes for sale in just Orange & Seminole county, sellers better price their homes well & possibly offer incentives if they wish their homes to sell.

But, now let's look at the other side of the coin. We are still selling near the same level of homes as was being sold last year. Many do not realize this, but that was a phenomenal year. We sold more homes than in previous recorded history. In fact, in March of this year, ORRA (Orlando Regional Realtor Association) noted that 2878 homes were sold & this compares to 2529 homes in March 2005.

This reverts back to what I've been saying in that we have a very healthy market in the Greater Orlando area. In fact, we've sold more homes in the first five months of 2006 than we did in 2005.

So, homes are selling. Even with the increase in interest rates. Homes that show well & are priced well - will sell, as long as they are marketed properly. I've said this before & even have read it recently, but we are in what most of us consider a 'normal' housing market. Granted, the median price has risen to its highest level at $252,990 (May 2006) with an average sales price of $311,119.

Homes are presently taking 74 days on the market & this will lengthen with time. Historically, we've seen worse & not all that long ago.

It just proves to me that people need to be educated to the facts. As with anything else, this does put things into their proper perspective.

I, myself, have always believed in education. That is why I've gone on and received my GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) & still continue to read & try to improve myself. I also believe at the same time, that it is my job to educate you, the consumer. I believe that if I did not do so, I would be doing you a disservice. I am the Real Estate Professional. This is why you ask me for advice & hire me for my services. And, I wish to thank everyone for that!

Until next time - Marc It Sold!

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Orlando Rankings

What a coincidence! After writing the previous post, I came across an article in the Orlando Sentinel by Lynn Thomasson, entitled, "Where Orlando Ranks."

Orlando is ranked #2 behind Las Vegas as a summer destination according to Expedia. But, it seems that we are 1st, according to the American Society of Travel Agents, as a domestic travel destination.

According the Milken Institute, Orlando is 6th in job creation & sustainability.

This all bodes well for the Greater Orlando area and proves out some of the things that I have written in regard to Orlando & real estate.

So, until next time, let's just Marc It Sold!

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Rates, FSBO's, Pre-foreclosure

It's been a while. There are several things that I wish to mention today. Firstly, I wish to apologize because we are still working on the links on our website. That problem will be remedied in the near future.

The Fed made another increase, as was expected. Of course, there are the concerns for inflation. Mortgage interests have been climbing. Presently, they are hovering around 7%. Yes, this is higher than we've been experiencing in the past several years. But, when you reflect upon it, you realize that this is not so bad. Eight years ago we were at this level and even 1% higher the previous year. And, who can forget the 80's. My Goodness!! So, when you put it into perspective, it's really a different story.

Now, granted, housing costs have risen substantially in that same period of time. Have wages increased as much? We know the answer there. Now, I'm not going to get on my soapbox. But, we continually each day lock more and more people out of the housing market. Condos are costing in the 100K's; a nice relatively reasonable 3/2 single-family home will run approximately the mid 200's.

Enough of that, but it is something that we do have to keep in mind. We should never forget, because that only leads to possibly losing the lesson.

Real Estate has returned to what it was normally. The market is very healthy. We are very lucky in the Greater Orlando area, because we are a destination city. We are also the #2 city in the nation for Conventions, even knocking Chicago out of that position.

But, there is a lot of competition out there. There are over 19,000 MLS listings available. This is going to be a difficult time for For Sale By Owners, unless they are willing to wait, what I would think would be, quite a while.

I’ve even noticed what seems to be more homes going into pre-foreclosure. The summer of ’05 is no longer. I’m not saying this for doom & gloom. But this is reality. In regard to pre-foreclosures, people should speak to their lenders before it is way too late. And by too late, I mean, when they are already starting the papers. It takes several months before a homeowner is served with a pre-foreclosure notice. If you are late with your payments, there are some lenders that will allow you to tack those onto the end of your loan period. Granted, this will definitely cost you, but what will losing your home cost you?

There are also other ways, but you must speak with your lender. You have to understand that the lender does not really wish to own your property. They are not making money on it. They make money from the payments that you send in each month. Anyway, enough for now.

Call me & I’ll be more than happy to discuss this and any other topics with you.

Until next time….Marc It Sold!