We are finally seeing a sustained and continued decline in residential inventories in Volusia County. In fact, when you look at the numbers, we are almost the same now as back in 1990-2000 when the market was healthy and normal. Therefore, its actually quite remarkable that we are still hitting these types of numbers despite the excess inventory which generally scares buyers into not buying. Also, consider that the lending environment is not favorable at the present time, gas and food prices are also high. If we could just get the banks back to where they need to be and support the buyers, we would easily be hitting numbers like 3267 (early 2005) since we are now at 1429 (which is only 50% off the peak market run we had). Last month we closed 264 homes, compared to 288 in 2007 for the same 30 day period. Therefore, recent sales are also strong compared to the beginning of 08.
Stats at a glance
264 residential solds in last 30 days in 2008
288 residential solds in last 30 days in 2007
1429 solds in the first 6 months of 2008 thus far
1606 solds in first 6 months of 2007
2051 solds in the first 6 months of 2006
3267 solds in the first 6 months of 2005 which is considered the peak of the market
1808 solds in the first 6 months of 2000
1552 solds in the first 6 months of 1998
Nationally, the supply of homes dipped 2.4 percent in a year-over-year change in 12 of 18 cities where ZipRealty Inc. does business, the brokerage says. However, Daytona area dipped over 8% (thats over 300% more decline than the rest of the country)
The data covers listings of single-family homes, condos, and town houses for sale on local multiple-listing services. This is the first decline since the firm began keeping tabs in mid-2006.
The data doesn't include New York City, but Miller Samuel Inc., an appraisal firm, says the city's inventory was up 31 percent compared to June of 2007 because Wall Street firms have cut jobs.
Cities and their percentage of inventory decline:
Las Vegas: -18.5%
Orange County, Calif.: -15%
Daytona Beach: - 8.3%
Los Angeles: -7.4%
Tampa, Fla.: -7%
San Diego: -6.7%
Ranking data source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty (07/10/2008)
Those who are waiting for a market bottom will not find the types of deals once we hit bottom. You need to buy into weakness. For instance 2BR oceanfront condos bounce 20-30% each time they hit 200k. I have seen it do this numerous times. Buyers need to negotiate the remainder of the dip we will see and buy into weakness. Once the market bottoms out, the quality of inventory will be inferior and at higher prices.
|Aswin Suri is seen here re-
ceiving the Chairman’s
Award in 2007. Suri is a longtime
real estate investor and
entrepreneur. He came to
this area on a business trip
and decided to stay.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Aswin Suri’s name looms large in signs for properties he has for sale.
In a recent list released by Moody's Economy.com, Jacksonville ranked No. 11 and Orlando ranked No. 7 out of 379 metropolitan areas in what the Web site calls its "Business Vitality Index." Austin, Texas tops the list - Austin is at the top of or near the top of several "best cities" lists these days - but Orlando and Jacksonville both still rank well ahead of major metropolitan areas; such as Atlanta 25), Portland (12) and Dallas (27).
Naa Aku Addo, an associate economist with Moody's Economy.com, researched and compiled the data that went into Orlando's ranking. She said each city's index is based on final available data from 2005 because some of the 2006 data isn't available yet. Addo also said three main indicators were used - current economic conditions, prospective economic conditions and economic risk.
Each of the three indicators contained several factors, all of which were assigned rankings. Those rankings were averaged to produce each city's Business Vitality Index. Under current economic conditions, the following factors were measured: recent employment growth, productivity, income by household and capital gains. Prospective economic conditions include the cost of doing business, the cost of living, high-tech employment and others. Economic risk includes employee volatility and the diversity of the economy.
"The metropolitan gross output will probably drop due to the slumping housing market," she said. "That will affect all of Florida."
Overall, there are 12 Florida cities in the top 50, by far the most of any state.
Moody's Economy.com recently ranked 379 metropolitan areas and developed what it calls a "Business Vitality Index." Here are the top 50 cities in the country, according to that index. The bottom 10 cities in the country are also listed.
1. Austin, Texas
2. Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
3. Corvallis, Ore
4. Raleigh, N.C.
5. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
6. Boise City, Idaho
7. Orlando, Fla.
8. Huntsville, Ala.
9. Sioux Falls, S.D.
10. Fargo, N.D.
11. Jacksonville, Fla
12. Portland, Ore.
13. Phoenix, Ariz.
14. Idaho Falls, Idaho
15. Tampa, Fla.
16. Fort Collins, Colo.
17. Bethesda, Md.
18. Billings, Mont.
19. Albuquerque, N.M.
20. Nashville, Tenn.
21. Las Vegas, Nev.
22. Santa Ana, Calif.
23. Washington, D.C.
24. Denver, Colo.
25. Atlanta, Ga.
26. Dover, Del.
27. Dallas, Texas
28. Naples, Fla.
29. Charlotte, N.C.
30. Fort Worth, Texas
31. Charlottesville, Va.
32. Houston, Texas
33. Bend, Ore.
34. Bismarck, N.D.
35. Tallahassee, Fla.
36. Panama City, Fla.
37. Fayetteville, Ariz.
38. Minneapolis, Minn.
39. Salt Lake City, Utah
40. Cape Coral, Fla.
41. Columbia, Mo.
42. Rapid City, S.D.
43. Missoula, Mont.
44. West Palm Beach, Fla.
45. Longview, Texas
46. Port St. Lucie, Fla.
47. Colorado Springs, Colo.
48. Logan, Utah
49. Manchester, N.H.
50. Ocala, Fla.
370. Jackson, Miss.
371. Farmington, N.M.
372. Weirton, Ohio
373. Danville, Va.
374. Anderson, S.C.
375. New Orleans, La.
376. Atlantic City, N.J.
377. Flint, Mich.
378. Houma, La.
379. Gulfport, Miss.
Source: Wayne Archer (352) 273-0314
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Hopeful home buyers in Florida should not wait. The price is right as the state's single-family residential housing market bottoms out, according to a University of Florida study released today.
"If you're thinking of buying a house, there's probably not much to be gained by holding out at this point," said Wayne Archer, director of UF's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. "It doesn't look like prices are going to fall anymore."
The quarterly survey of experts in the real estate industry completed in January shows that the share of respondents observing a drop in single family. housing prices has dipped, while a growing number find prices staying even with inflation, Archer said.
"We see that as a benchmark," he said.' "When prices maintain the same level as inflation, then we're probably in some kind of equilibrium. It indicates the market is stabilizing."
The exception is condominiums, which are overbuilt and prone to speculative and naive investors, he said.
This is the first time in the UF survey's five 'quarter history that the buyers' investment outlook for residential development has brightened, Archer said. It declined for the first three surveys and remained flat for the fourth survey at the end of October, starting to rise only in this latest survey, he said.
Because of the dominance of single-family housing, the findings have far-reaching and potentially optimistic implications for the state's real estate industry, Archer said.
"You can't get away from the fact that the single family housing market is the single largest driver of the real estate market," he said. "Most brokers and real estate agents are dealing with single family housing. Most lending for housing and home furnishings are driven by single family housing, so when it stabilizes, that's important."
One possible explanation for the housing market turning the corner is a restricted supply of land for residential development, Archer said. The shortage meant there was less overbuilding than there might otherwise have been, he said.
Writer: Cathy Keen firstname.lastname@example.org
Condos did not have this land restraint and that is one reason they are overbuilt, Archer said. At the same time, condos are prone to strong speculative swings because they are considered a relatively easy commodity to exchange; it's not difficult to acquire them in multiple units or to buy contracts on them, he said.
The stabilization of the single-family housing market came earlier than anticipated and is not expected to affect all parts of the state equally, Archer said. The quieter markets are probably going to take longer to rebound than those in central and south Florida, where growth has been explosive, he said.
Jacksonville typically has been a slower and steadier market than Orlando, Tampa-St.
Petersburg, Miami and other cities in South Florida, but that is changing, Archer said. Recently, the Jacksonville housing market has picked up momentum, he said.
Even with a turnaround, Archer said he does not believe Florida's real estate market is
likely to reach the same level that it did at its peak in 2005-2006. "I don't think any thoughtful person would expect sales to go back to where they were a year or so ago," he said. ''That was probably an overheated condition and it was extraordinary."
On a positive note, nearly all other markets, including apartments and commercial rental markets appear to be remaining steady or even experiencing robust growth, Archer said. "They did not experience a downturn in the same sense that the single family development market did and they're continuing to be strong," he said.
Optimism about Florida real estate seems to be particularly apparent among foreign investors, Archer said. Many respondents commented that foreign investors and lenders are aggressively trying to invest more capital in the state's rental markets, he said.
''They apparently have no fears about the future of these markets despite what we perceive as our problems with hurricanes, taxes and other concerns," he said.
For the survey, UF's Survey Research Center asked a series of questions of 318 industry executives, real estate lawyers, market analysts, title insurers, financial advisers, market research economists, real estate scholars and other experts in the field. This represents an increase over the 183 respondents in the last survey.
|Metro||State||Median Price||Historical Gain 2001-2005||Forecast
June 2006 / June 2007
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers||FL||$189,000||141.80%||9.30%|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach||FL||$200,000||122.70%||7.20%|
|Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach||FL||$328,000||145.70%||3.40%|
|Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin||FL||$218,000||125.70%||0.70%|
|Panama City-Lynn Haven||FL||$124,555||102.70%||21.20%|
|Port St. Lucie-Fort Pierce||FL||$250,000||153.50%||7.70%|
*** Forecasts by Fiserv Lending Solutions and Moody's Economy.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - March 9,2007 - Hopeful homebuyers in Florida should act now: The price is right as the state's single-family residential housing market bottoms out, according to a University of Florida study released today.
"If you're thinking of buying a house, there's probably not much to be gained by holding out at this point," says Wayne Archer, director of UF's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. "It doesn't look like prices are going to fall anymore."
The quarterly survey of experts in the real estate industry completed in January shows that the share of respondents observing a drop in single-family housing prices has dipped, while a growing number find prices staying even with inflation, Archer says.
"We see that as a benchmark," he says. 'When prices maintain the same level as inflation, then we're probably in some kind of equilibrium. It indicates the market is stabilizing."
The exception is condominiums, which are overbuilt and prone to speculative and naive investors, he says.
This is the first time in the UF survey's five-quarter history that the buyers' investment outlook for residential development has brightened. It declined for the first three surveys and remained flat for the fourth survey at the end of October, starting to rise only in this latest survey.
Because of the dominance of single-family housing, the findings have far-reaching and potentially optimistic implications for the state's real estate industry, Archer says.
"You can't get away from the fact that the single-family housing market is the single largest driver of the real estate market," he says. "Most brokers and real estate agents are dealing with single-family housing. Most lending is for singlefamily housing. And single-family housing drives home furnishings. So when it stabilizes, that's important."
One possible explanation for the housing market turning the corner is a restricted supply of land for residential development, Archer says. The shortage meant there was less overbuilding than there might otherwise have been, he says.
Condos did not have this land restraint, which is one reason they are overbuilt, Archer says. At the same time, condos are prone to strong speculative swings because they are considered a relatively easy commodity to exchange; it's not difficult to acquire them in multiple units or to buy contracts on them, he says.
The stabilization of the single-family housing market came earlier than anticipated and is not expected to affect all parts of the state equally, Archer says. The quieter markets likely will take longer to rebound than those in Central and South Florida, where growth has been explosive.
Jacksonville typically has been a slower and steadier market than Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Miami and other cities in South Florida, but that is changing, Archer says. Recently, the Jacksonville housing market has picked up momentum.
Even with a turnaround, Archer says he does not believe Florida's real estate market is likely to reach the same level that it did at its peak in 2005-06. "I don't think any thoughtful person would expect sales to go back to where they were a year or so ago," he says. "That was probably an overheated condition and it was extraordinary."
On a positive note, nearly all other markets, including apartments and commercial rental markets, appear to be remaining steady or even experiencing robust growth. "They did not experience a downturn in the same sense that the single-family development market did and they're continuing to be strong," Archer says.
Optimism about Florida real estate seems to be particularly apparent among foreign investors. Many respondents
commented that foreign investors and lenders are aggressively trying to invest more capital in the state's rental markets.
"They apparently have no fears about the future of these markets, despite what we perceive as our problems with
hurricanes, taxes and other concerns," Archer says.
For the survey,UF's Survey Research Center asked a series of questions of 318 industry executives, real estate lawyers, market analysts, title insurers, financial advisers, market research economists, real estate scholars and other experts in the field, an increase over the 183 respondents in the last survey.
More information is available on the center's Web site, http://www.cba.ufl.edu/fire/realestate/cres/findings.asp.
Complements of: Cathleen Acosta, Marketing Representative for Executive Title 941-350-5736 cell
The National Association of Realtors reported Friday that sales of existing homes rose by 3.9 percent last month, pushed higher by a sharp increase in sales activity in the Northeast. It was the biggest increase since a similar increase in March 2004. The increase pushed sales up to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million units, still 3.6 percent lower than a year ago.
Written by Aswin Suri
Many apartment investors, the majority of whom are baby boomers and older, are cashing out of their investment apartments despite seeing an average annual return of 20 percent or more.
Demographically, the majority of investors in apartments are generally over 50 and according to a survey done for The Wall Street Journal, 59 percent plan to move their money to other equity investments.
The core reason for this shift, is hassle associated with management; ie frequent apartment turnover, service complaints, and intensive maintenance.
The majority of those cashing in the apartments are focusing on triple net leasing opportunities for Commercial real estate; ie single-tenant, net-lease properties, which include office buildings, warehouses, or retail properties occupied by one tenant that is responsible for expenses, including taxes, insurance, maintenance and almost everything else. The appeal of these properties: little or no management responsibility and a stable, long-term cash flow.
Written by Aswin Suri
There has been a definite shift and uptrend in an increase in international trade activity in the United States, and the real estate activity it generates, creating a strong foundation upon which a state can develop international business. This information comes from sources which profile foreign visitors and immigration trends on a state-by-state basis.
The NAR reports show that there was a 400% increase in both U.S. exports of goods/services and imports from foreign countries. These increases are three to four times higher than the growth in the overall national economy.
There has also been a an increase in “the flow of people across borders” as well.
In Florida, last year approximately 1 in 7 of all real estate sales went to international buyers according to NAR. Also, of the almost 5 million foreign visitors to the Sunshine State in 2005, more than 600,000 came for business-related activity.
The conclusion of the reports how that when there is an increase in international trade, it leads to the relocation of foreigners in the United States as well as U.S. businesses opening offices abroad. This real estate activity is broadspread in that it encompesses BOTH residential and, commercial properties.
The top five states for foreign (non-immigrant) visitors last year accroding to the NAR were:
Florida -- 4,925,202 visitors
California -- 4,048,410 visitors
New York -- 3,732,586 visitors
Texas -- 1,994,085 visitors
Hawaii -- 1,755,788 visitors
(July 3, 2006) -- The largest global housing boom in 30 years may end slowly and in such a way that will keep global economies still growing, some economists say.
With home-price inflation slowing thanks to higher interest rates, markets for residential properties in the United States, France, Spain, parts of China, and New Zealand are cooling off. In the first three months of this year, Knight Frank LLP reports, the average global price of a home was 6.1 percent higher than a year ago--down from a year-over-year increase of 9.3 percent in the first quarter of last year.
However, analysts and other observers caution that the chance of a market bust could rise considerably if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, and other central bankers lift rates sharply as a collective inflation-fighting measure.
Source: Bloomberg (07/03/06)
© Copyright 2006 Information Inc.
by Aswin Suri
(July 7, 2006) -- On an national level, office vacancy rates have continued to fall for the ninth straight quarter giving landlords still more reason to raise rental rates.
The average vacancy rate in the second quarter was 13.8 percent, down from 14.2 percent in the first quarter, according to Reis Inc., a real estate research firm. The District of Columbia has an unprecedented 6.6% vacancy rate - expect large increases in the sale price for commercial office buildings and a drop in inventory of strip malls with office space.
Snap shot of vacancy rates
1. District of Columbia at 6.6 percent
2. Orange County, Calif less than 9 percent
3. New York City less than 9 percent
4. Suburban Maryland less than 9 percent
5. Miami less than 9 percent.
(July 3, 2006) -- The 40-year mortgage is gaining moment, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of financial industry research and publishing firm HSH Assoc.
"These loans have really come back in the last six, seven months," Gumbinger says. "And for certain borrowers, they can help improve affordability."
The payment difference between a 30-year mortgage and a 40-year mortgage isn’t huge. For instance, a $300,000 loan at 6.5 percent, amortized over 30 years, costs about $1,896 per month, while the payment for a 40-year loan is $1,756.
A plus for 40-year mortgage is that generally the lender locks in the rate. So while it is unlikely that they’ll actually have the loan for 40-years – most buyers stay in a house seven to nine years – while they have it, they can feel secure, points out Douglas Duncan, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.
The best customers are young buyers, says Dennis Yeskey, who leads the real estate capital markets industry group for Deloitte & Touche USA, "These borrowers go into it thinking that five years from now they'll be making a lot more money, and if they sell then, it's a whole new market."
Source: The New York Times, Bob Tedeschi, 07/02/2006)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- May 25, 2006 – Florida's housing sector continued to show signs of market adjustments in April as mortgage rates edged up and the inventory of homes available for sale remained at higher levels in many markets. Statewide, the existing-home median price rose 13 percent to $249,700 last month; a year ago, it was $221,100, according to the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR). A total of 16,392 existing single-family homes sold statewide last month, a decrease of 31 percent from the 23,844 homes that changed hands during the previous April, according to FAR.
In 2001, the statewide median sales price was $127,100, which is an increase of about 96.4 percent over the five-year-period, according to FAR records. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.
Nationally, the median sales price for existing single-family homes was $217,300 in March, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In California, the statewide median resales price was $561,350 in March; in Massachusetts, it was $344,000; in Maryland, it was $298,617; and in New York, it was $260,000.
Most of the U.S. is entering a period of equilibrium in the housing market, which is good for the long-term health of the sector, according to NAR housing industry analysts. NAR notes that sales overall remain historically strong and are providing a solid foundation for the overall economy.
Looking to Florida's existing condominium market, sales of existing condos also decreased in April, with a total of 5,556 condos sold statewide compared to 8,775 in April 2005 for a 37 percent decline, according to FAR. The statewide median sales price for condos rose 4 percent to $222,900 last month; a year ago, it was $213,400. The national median existing condo price was $225,500 in March 2006.
The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in April averaged 6.51 percent, up from the 5.86 percent averaged during the same month a year ago. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
Among the state’s larger markets, the Orlando metropolitan statistical area (MSA) reported 2,491 existing homes sold last month compared to 3,375 homes sold in April 2005 for a decrease of 26 percent. The market’s median existing home price rose 24 percent to $263,100; a year ago, it was $211,500. A total of 486 existing condos changed hands in Orlando last month for a 61 percent gain over the 302 condos sold in April 2005. The market's median existing condo price rose 10 percent to $166,100; a year ago, it was $150,800.
"The single-family existing-home market has eased its pace, but the market is returning to a more normal balance after a long run of record sales and low inventory," says Beverly Pindling, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association and broker-partner of Orlando Real Estate Professionals. "With economists predicting the national housing market to be the third-best ever (below 2005 and 2004), by comparison this confirms that Orlando remains a very strong local market. Our condo market offers many homeownership opportunities priced under $200,000, which helps to meet the challenge of getting more people into their first home."
Of the state’s smaller markets, the Tallahassee MSA reported a 5 percent gain in existing home sales in April, with a total of 436 homes changing hands compared to 415 homes sold last year. The area’s median existing home sales price rose 11 percent to $172,000; a year ago, it was $154,800. Thirty-six existing condos sold in Tallahassee last month for an increase of 112 percent over the 17 condos sold a year ago. The market's median existing condo price rose 11 percent to $152,900; a year ago, it was $137,500.
Tallahassee Board of Realtors President Kenny Ayers says the area offers a range of housing options at attractive prices, which helps to drive demand. "People are still coming to North Florida and employment is strong -- they like the Florida atmosphere and the convenience of only being about 30 minutes away from beaches," says Ayers, a new-home specialist with Heritage Homes Realty, representing Turner Heritage Homes of Tallahassee. "The Tallahassee area also offers a variety of housing opportunities, from downtown living to more rural development."
© 2006 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
WASHINGTON -- June 8, 2006 -- According to a survey by McGraw-Hill Construction and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), green home building -- which uses environmentally sensitive construction techniques to reduce energy and water consumption -- is rapidly becoming mainstream.
In 2005, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of home builders producing green, environmentally responsible homes; and the study -- Residential Green Building SmartMarket Report -- indicates that the number will grow by another 30 percent this year.
The value of the residential green building marketplace is expected to boost its market share from $7.4 billion (2 percent) of housing starts in 2005 to somewhere between $19 billion and $38 billion (5-10 percent) of residential construction activity by 2010.
“Green home building is not a fad, but a trend, and one that is increasing at rapid rates,” says Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Analytics and Alliances for McGraw-Hill Construction. “The data we recently collected indicates builders will reach the tipping point by early next year, where more builders will be producing green homes compared to those not.”
This finding is a powerful one, Bernstein adds. “With more builders creating green homes, and more consumers buying them, the rest of the industry will follow and increasingly begin to incorporate green features or practices into their homes and home building products.”
The cost of building a green home stops 82 percent of buyers from opting for it, according to the survey; while 79 percent say a "lack of interest" holds them back. Only 39 percent said that the perception of green building as a fad and not something here to stay was a significant roadblock.
© 2006 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
WASHINGTON (May 18, 2006) – Baby boomers have a higher rate of homeownership than the national average and one out of four own more than one property, according to a new study of the largest generation in U.S. history commissioned by the National Association of Realtors®. Initial results were released here today at NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.
The comprehensive study of nearly 2,000 Americans born between 1946 and 1964, conducted for NAR by Harris Interactive®, also shows boomers are optimistic about the future, but many are not adequately prepared for retirement.
David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said marketing to this generation has been and can be a challenge. “As a group, boomers are in their peak earning years and continue to wield great influence in the U.S. economy, but they are not homogeneous – there are significant variances in needs, behavior, attitudes and resources,” he said. “On one hand is an almost insatiable desire for real estate, with some owning multiple properties, and on the other, many have not adequately planned for retirement. What should not be overlooked are the discretionary spending interests of this generation, and their appreciation of housing as a great investment.”
Nearly eight in ten boomers own their own homes and almost nine out of ten have owned at some point in their lives; 96 percent believe owning a home is a good financial investment – evidenced by their actions. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the overall rate of home ownership is 69 percent.
For the portion of baby boomers who have never owned a home, 85 percent cited financial reasons but 38 percent simply didn’t want the responsibility of homeownership.
One-quarter of respondents own one or more other kinds of real estate in addition to a primary residence: 13 percent own land, 8 percent own rental property, 7 percent a vacation home or seasonally occupied property, 2 percent commercial real estate and 3 percent some other kind of real estate.
In addition to a higher rate of homeownership, analysis by NAR shows baby boomers are proportionately more active in the second home market, owning 57 percent of all vacation/seasonal homes and 58 percent of rental property.
For the segment of boomers who own rental investment property, 34 percent own multiple properties: 14 percent own two rentals, 5 percent own three and a small number own four properties; however, 14 percent own five or more rental units.
Of the portion who own vacation homes or seasonally occupied property, 13 percent said they own two or more vacation or seasonal homes.
Four out of ten respondents who own a vacation home or seasonal property intend to eventually make that property a primary residence. Historically, other NAR survey data shows only one in five vacation-home buyers had such intentions when they first purchased the property.
Lereah said this has emerged as an investment strategy. “Some boomers will take advantage of generous capital gains exclusions from their taxes when they sell their primary residence, and then place themselves in the position of being able to convert a vacation home into their new primary residence which would later become eligible for the same tax treatment,” he said.
“Then, if their needs change in the future, they’ll be able to take the capital gains tax break after they have lived in that home as their primary residence for two out the five previous years. It becomes a great way to build and protect a nest egg.”
For the portion of respondents who own land, the median holding was 5 acres. Half of those with commercial property had an ownership interest in only one property and 29 percent have two holdings.
NAR President Thomas M. Stevens from Vienna, Va., said the survey shows one-quarter of all boomers are not satisfied with their present homes. “That means a good portion of baby boomers may be considering a move, so it’s important for the industry to understand their preferences and needs,” said Stevens, senior vice president of NRT Inc.
Ten percent of all boomers said they are likely to buy additional real estate in the next 12 months; two-thirds of those respondents said they were considering a primary residence but 26 percent were interested in land, 19 percent rental property, 15 percent a vacation or seasonal home and 14 commercial property.
Eight out of ten boomers used a real estate agent the last time they sold a home. The things they value most in a real estate agent when they buy a home are representation of interests and coordinating with other parties in the process; explaining all contracts, forms and agreements; and management of the closing process from start to finish.
In selling a home, they also want agents to establish the right asking price, show the home and negotiate all offers received on their behalf.
“This tells us the Internet is great for information, but baby boomers want real estate agents to provide services, whether they’re buying or selling,” Stevens said.
Typical boomers have lived in their present home for a median of nine years, and plan to stay there for another five years. Two-thirds think it’s important to pay off a mortgage quickly, but at the same time 58 percent are comfortable in purchasing with a small downpayment.
In deciding whether to buy a primary residence in the future, nearly half of the respondents that were considering a purchase said having sufficient wealth or favorable mortgage financing were factors.
In terms of their current financial condition, 43 percent say they are financially comfortable but 37 percent say they have just enough to make ends meet. Only 4 percent said they were well-off, and 17 percent said they are having financial difficulty. “That clouds the retirement options for many baby boomers,” Stevens said.
Nearly two-thirds say it costs too much today to truly retire and never work again, and four out of ten expect they will pay for at least some college expenses for children or grandchildren; 38 percent said current financial needs mean they give little attention to financial planning for retirement.
“Many baby boomers are simply too busy to give much thought to planning for retirement, but they really need to develop strategies now,” Stevens said. “Many just see themselves ‘going’ for as long as they can.”
Only 14 percent expect to receive a sizeable inheritance that will be a critical help during retirement. Half of all boomers believe it is important to diversify savings for retirement into different types of investments.
In describing how they would like to retire, many boomers might be described as “dreamers.” One in ten said they already are retired but only 26 percent said they would never want to work for pay again. A third see themselves as going back and forth between periods of work and leisure, 17 percent would work part time, 11 percent would start a business and 7 percent would work full time. Even so, 59 percent said it was not likely that they’d work beyond the time they become eligible for full Social Security benefits. The average respondent expects to stop working at age 65.
Three out of five say their idea of the perfect location to retire is in a rural area or small town, with only 12 percent saying an urban or city setting, and nearly half would consider living in an age-restricted community; 38 percent want to be close to family.
If money were no object, access to quality health care is important to more bombers than being on a golf course (38 percent vs. 4 percent). Ideally, they would like to live in a rural area with access to quality health care. “One question is how many areas actually offer those kinds of amenities in that kind of environment,” Stevens said.
Half said they have a 401(k) or similar retirement plan, 39 percent a pension, 39 percent an IRA or Roth IRA, 11 percent a SEP (Simplified Employee Pension Plan), and 6 percent have investments in a REIT (real estate investment trust).
Most, 83 percent, do not plan to withdraw funds from an eligible retirement account starting at age 59½. For those who are very likely to withdraw, 75 percent said they’d use the funds for personal living expenses, and 51 percent said they’d travel; 39 percent would consider investment in some form of real estate.
The 2006 National Association of Realtors® study, BABY BOOMERS AND REAL ESTATE: Today and Tomorrow, was conducted online by Harris Interactive® between March 31 and April 6, 2006, among a nationwide cross section of 1,969 U.S. adults born between 1946 and 1964. Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ inclination to be online. With 95 percent certainty, overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points; the sampling error for various sub-sample results is higher and varies.
The study, expected to be ready for publication in late June, can be ordered in advance by calling 800/874-6500. The cost is $50 for NAR members and $125 for non-members.
Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), based in Rochester, N.Y., is the 13th largest and the fastest-growing market research firm in the world, most widely known for The Harris Poll® and for its pioneering leadership in the online market research industry.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
(May 19, 2006) -- WASHINGTON – The five-year boom in home sales may be over, but strong demographics and job growth promise only a short-term slowdown in most U.S. markets, NAR’s Chief Economist David Lereah told REALTORS® at Thursday’s Economic Issues & Residential Real Estate Business Trends Forum. His presentation took place during the 2006 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.
Speculators and rising interest rates have ended the largest acceleration ever in existing-home prices, but the process is “a needed cleansing” that will help restore balance, said Lereah. Nationally, homes appreciated a remarkable 12.5 percent on average in 2005. Appreciation for 2006 will cool to 5.7 percent. But even with the slowdown, 2006 will be the fourth best year ever for residential real estate sales with an estimated 6.62 million existing homes sold, Lereah noted.
In 2007, Lereah expects to see existing-home sales rise slightly to 6.7 million units but appreciation to slow to 4.2 percent. To help the industry track performance, NAR’s Research Department is working to develop a real-time pricing tool, “a real estate ticker,” that will update national average home prices every 15 minutes based on data from MLSs, Lereah told the crowd.
To some degree, the next year or two will be “a tale of two cities,” said Lereah. Cities such as San Diego, Miami, and Naples, Fla., that have seen high price appreciation will see sharp drops in sales. Already, between first quarter 2005 and first quarter 2006, existing-home sales declined by 15 percent to 20 percent in Florida, California, and Arizona, he said.
On the other hand, markets that didn’t see exuberant appreciation during the boom are actually experiencing shorter days on market. Lereah pointed to Charlotte, Dallas, and St. Louis as examples of this trend. Even declining markets should remain healthy as long as they have diversified economies and strong job growth, he said.
“As long as days on the market don’t extend beyond six months, there’s no need to be concerned,” he said. The possible exception might be California, where a high number of adjustable-rate and interest-only mortgage loans might combine with a price downturn to create problems.
Other possible clouds on the real estate horizon: inflation, high oil prices, and rising interest rates. Yet, Lereah said he doesn’t expect a recession. Strong business spending and a sound economy that should grow 3.5 percent in 2006 promise a positive outlook for real estate. And mortgage interest rates should stay low; Lereah said he expects two more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve in 2006, but rates won’t rise above 7 percent for the year.
“The real estate market got ahead of itself, but now we’re going back to fundamentals and a more balanced market,” he concluded.
— By Mariwyn Evans for REALTOR® Magazine Online
(May 19, 2006) -- WASHINGTON – Falling vacancies, rising rents, and continued capital flows from private and institutional investors all promise a great 2006 and 2007 for commercial real estate, NAR’s Chief Economist David Lereah told commercial REALTORS® at Thursday’s Economic Issues & Commercial Real Estate Business Trends Forum.
The highest corporate profits in 15 years and a generally strong economy – the driving force behind commercial – should ensure that all major property types, with the possible except of retail, perform well this year. Lereah expects a 3.5 percent GDP growth during 2006 as the economy adds about 2 million new jobs and wages pick up.
Office vacancies are at their lowest rates since 2001, sitting at 12.6 percent in first quarter 2006. Net absorption is almost twice the pace of construction, contributing to the 5 percent rent increase Lereah projects for the sector in 2006.
Industrial property is also strong, helped by significant import and export activity, extremely low retail inventory to sales ratios, and rising orders for durable goods. Industrial vacancies have fallen to 9.1 percent in first quarter 2006, and rising industrial production may indicate a need for more manufacturing space, said Lereah.
Resale Slowdown Will Boost Multifamily
Multifamily will benefit from the cooling housing market, job growth, and continued immigration to post rent increases of 5 percent in 2006. Slowing condo conversions and absorption that’s outpacing construction have already helped multifamily achieve a low 5 percent vacancy rate in first quarter 2006. And hotels, a new category being tracked by NAR’s Research Department, could reach an occupancy rate of 68.7 percent during 2006, the highest since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The one “iffy” sector for 2006 is retail. Although personal income continues to rise and retail sales remain healthy, the loss of the housing wealth effect and rising inflation are beginning to sap consumer confidence, said Lereah.
Longer term factors such as inflation, higher oil prices, and rising construction costs could have a slowing effect on commercial demand. But for now commercial real estate is “getting better all the time,” concluded Lereah.
A quarterly update on the industrial, office, multifamily, retail and hospitality sectors is available at REALTOR.org's Commercial Home Page.
Tax Overhaul Unlikely
NAR tax counsel Linda Goold briefed attendees on potential tax challenges. Goold pointed out that a full-fledged revamping of the federal tax code hasn’t taken place for 20 years and seems unlikely in the next few years, given the current political climate. But that doesn’t mean that real estate can relax, said Goold. One issue is that many high-profile economists don’t view real estate as a productive asset, like stocks and manufacturing. “We must fight this,” she said.
Another challenge could grow out of the increasing need for revenue to cover recent tax cuts and government programs. Goold pointed out that real estate accounts for between 25 percent and 30 percent of tax breaks in the current tax code — bested only by employer deductions for health care benefits and deductions for 401(k) and other pension plans. With the first baby boomers set to turn 65 years old in the next five years.