Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We have a lot to be Thankful for this year!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This year has been a true gift to the Real Estate world. All of us here at SI Real Estate are thankful for: Property values are rising back up, families are finally able to sell their homes for a fair price, interest rates are staying low and many other wonderful things!

We hope all of our family and friends have a very happy Thanksgiving! May you all enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving. Wishing you a year filled with warm and cherished moments!

-SI Real Estate Team

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tampa: Ranked Top 6 in Nation for Real Estate Investors

Tampa Bay investors are finding out how hot the area is lately, ranking #6 among the top 50 cities for Real Estate investing. Everyone likes generating wealth, especially if the return (ROI) is on a real estate investment. It is extremely satisfying when you put your money to work for you. Real Estate investors look all over the place searching for the best property to invest their money in. Their money has been working extra hard here in Tampa. Over the past 12 months, Tampa’s investors have averaged 16.7 percent gross return on their investment. That is incredibly high, a very attractive rate of return and savvy financial or real estate professionals know it!  Good numbers equal good returns.  

The housing market has been on a steady and stable uptick all year. This has led to the increased activity in the real estate market that we are now seeing.  As more people learn and hear about the stabilization here in Florida, they want in on the action. Not so fast, supply is limited and we have been shifting to a sellers’ market since 2013.   The rock bottom super good deals are either gone as soon as they pop up or scarce.  An investor or owner occupant buyer needs to be prepared to act quickly if they want to land a great deal.

With property values increasing, and instances of competing offers becoming commonplace, offer strategies have to be altered. Higher offers, closer to asking price in 2015 is a pleasant surprise for sellers. This level of activity is consistent with the valuation of real estate and equity being on the upswing. South Tampa is exceptionally hot right now. Always has been, but especially so recently!  SI Real Estate sold a South Tampa property in 6 days last month.  Not only did it sell extremely quickly, there were 3 competing offers that led to full asking price. Chris Smith, owner of Bay to Gulf Holdings, went as far as to say “South Tampa (is) Impossible…. everybody wants to live there” in regards to finding deals.  Nibal Elsaadi, Broker at SI Real Estate, agrees! If this isn’t proof the market is booming, nothing is!

Not only is Tampa thriving with Real Estate activity, so are two other real estate hot spots here in Florida. No surprise, Miami ranks 3rd in the nation with 18.6% gross returns, and Orlando ranks 10th with just under 15%. For large volume property buyers, this type of market is not so great. When you have a market like Tampa, with attractive investment potential, more people look here to purchase. More people looking equals more competition, which means higher selling prices. On the other side of that fence, if you are listing a Tampa home with a local brokerage such as SI Real Estate, this scenario plays heavily in your favor. You will wind up getting more money for your home, back up offers, and a faster transaction from start to finish. It is refreshing to see all of the positive industry news coming out this year. As always, we love to talk about it and share it with you! Stay tuned to SI Real Estate’s blog for more updates soon! J

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Florida’s economy has only gone up, since 2012!

It’s no secret by now that Florida is pushing past the recession this year in 2015. Economists and experts have been optimistic all year, and the data is continuing to back them up. Sean Snaith, a highly respected economist at UCF says Florida’s GDP will continue to climb at least through 2018. Could we really see economic growth lasting that long? Snaith fully believes so, citing average housing prices up, payroll being up and real gross state product steadily rising for a while now. The SI Real Estate team fully agrees, as we are seeing rising home prices as well as increasing rents here in Tampa, Florida. After all, our state boasts sunshine, beaches, palm trees, sand, and year-round weather which are all basically recession proof.

The desire for people to own homes in Florida or relocate here has never dwindled. The appeal of Florida has always been strong considering all that this state offers. The issue people were facing was selling their current homes, which was a bad move financially until 2013 on. That freedom to relocate has led to a surge in home buying in our great state. Earlier this year, SI Real Estate’s blog was discussing the 2014 to 2015 changes in home sales. From July 2014 to July 2015, median sales prices were up 8.1%. Highlighting this large positive statistical change, you can clearly see a large resurrection in the housing market. That is a large leap when sales are usually lackluster in summer time!

“Snaith is a national expert in economics, forecasting, market sizing and economic analyses who authors quarterly reports about the Florida state economy.” He is also published in the Wall Street Journal, CNN money and much more. So it is safe to assume he is an expert in the field and knows what forecasting. Snaith is also predicting job wages to continue an upward trend through 2018, rising 9% by then. How’s a 9% raise sound?

With a lower jobless rate on the way, as well as higher income and more money flowing through our state…. the housing market should continue its gains all the way into 2018! The transactions SI Real Estate has been a part of lately were mostly “move-up” buyers and sellers. These families have had the income and ability to upgrade their homes for a while now. However, they were unable to sell their current residences until the market picked up steam and prices raised back up- equaling the amount of their mortgages. The Tampa Bay area, including Pasco County, Pinellas County and the beaches has tremendous appeal to everyone! Second home buyers, owner occupied home buyers and renters can all find what they are looking for. With the economic upswing and forecast for even more improvement, there is no reason to be anywhere but Florida!

Snaith's full report:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hot Home Sales in Tampa Bay. Nearly as hot as the summer weather!

2015 has been a pleasant year for the Tampa Bay real estate market, marking a full resurgence. Normally sales fall off during the summer vacations, but not this year! 
Homes listed for sale are continuing to seek out higher prices, while buyers are actively finding properties to put contracts on. A local North Tampa homeowner listed their house at $450,000 3 weeks ago and had a pending contract 8 days later, including backup offers. SI Real Estate has also participated in this high level of activity, selling three different properties in less than 10 days recently. While we normally see soft interest during summer months, especially July that has is not the case in 2015!

”Statewide in July, the inventory of available homes tightened to a 4 1/2-month supply. Most analysts consider a six-month supply to be evidence of a balanced market between buyers and sellers,” said John Tuccillo, chief economist of Florida Realtors. He is demonstrating here that inventory is dwindling and shifting the scales towards a seller’s market. Obviously that is resonating with homeowners.  To include all buyers and sellers, some of our 2010 investor clients have reached out to us lately to sell their properties.   The conversation starts as a gauge of where their real estate values are, leading to a review of comps for their properties. Most are pleasantly surprised to find out their home’s current value, prompting some to start the process of listing their homes. Could mean a great September and 4th quarter!

One of the main reasons there has been a surge this summer is fear of interest rates going up. The FED has not raised the rates yet, in fact rates are still at historic lows. This is welcoming news for everyone in the market to purchase or sell a home.  The reduction in PMI insurance has also helped spur this real estate turnaround. Buyers can afford more home this year than they could last year, while keeping the same income so both the seller and buyer have a win/win.

Tampa Bay real estate is in full bloom this summer; do not miss out. It’s natural for people to want to feel the same positive emotions that their friends or neighbors are experiencing. If you know someone that has had a great real estate transaction lately, maybe you should think about your own goals or desires. Don’t sit on the sidelines anymore or miss out on your dream. People are finding their dream home, or are finally able to sell their current home and relocate. So if you have been thinking of relocating or upgrading, check out all of the options available to you. This is what we have seen and been experiencing lately at SI Real Estate and we would be glad to help you too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Real Estate Pulse: July New Home Sales up 25%!

July New Home Sales up 25%!

If you have been following SI Real Estate’s blog this year… we have been tracking the housing market from January all the way through now.  As predicted, the market has been rebounding all year! The most recent news is fantastic, with New Home Sales up 25% in July 2015 versus July 2014.  That is a LARGE rebound in a short amount of time. Another pertinent statistic for tracking the real estate market: we saw an increase of new home sales from June to July, up 5.4% or 26,000 more home sales in July.

The numbers that were just released reflect what we are seeing here in Tampa Bay. SI Real Estate’s most recent for sale listings have been extremely active, one of which went under contract in just 6 days - pretty much for the exact listing price too. Homes priced at $750,000 + have been seeing increased activity as well.  Around 6% of all new home sales in July 2015 were at the $750K+ price range.  That is 3% more than June, doubling the sales in that price range.

Consumer confidence has been the highest since 2005, which is bringing more and more investors to the market. They are no longer sitting on the sidelines; they are out there buying and selling real estate!  Another reason sales are up: people are finally willing to list, sell, and relocate.

2015 has been steadily rebuilding the Real Estate market, both here in Tampa and Nationally. Homes are being sold at higher prices, and in a timely manner compared to last year. My neighbor listed her house at $450,000 and had a pending contract in 8 days, including backup offers. SI Real Estate has sold two different properties in less than 10 days so far this July. We hope to see more of the same to close out this year! Continue to follow our blog updates to stay informed about the most current Real Estate trends.

Wall Street Journal reporting on July Home sales:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Real Estate Update: Pending Home Sales reach highest level in 9 years!

It’s no secret the housing market is making a strong comeback. Inventory is incredibly scarce.  Buyers are confident enough in the economy to be actively searching for real estate to purchase. This is leading to a shortage of ready-to-move-in homes. When there is a housing shortage, buyers need to act quickly and sellers are now stepping in. This has been the driving force behind skyrocketing pending home sale statistics. Probably the most positive statistic (there are many this month) is “45% of homes sold within 30 days of being listed”. That is a staggering number compared to what we were seeing since the recession began.

Another major factor leading to the housing market surge is because of the historically low mortgage rates. If you could afford a $300,000 home last year, you can get approved for a $330,000 mortgage today. This is due to rates hovering right at 4% and buyers have more purchasing power after sitting out last year.

We have not seen this much buyer activity in a long time here in Tampa Bay. There has also been a spike in the rental market as well. Rental prices have been rising in the last 12 months nationally, as well as here locally in Tampa. This has been a direct cause of buyer activity since renters are looking hard at all of their options. What they are finding out now is that it’s an excellent time to own versus rent, especially with the 30 year rates staying so low! The shortage of rentals is leading to shortage in for sale properties… and the whole housing market has been activated.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Real Estate Pulse: Tampa’s Rental market is on fire! Act on it or the property will be gone in a flash!

Real Estate Pulse:  Tampa’s Rental market is on fire!  
Act on it or the property will be gone in a flash!

SI Real Estate is a full service real estate boutique in Tampa Bay, including property management.  We have seen a significant increase in rental activity since February, 2015. As the year has progressed, so has the interest in Tampa’s rental market!  Right now, our agents are finding that rental listings are gone in a New York minute.  We are receiving calls and emails from an abnormal amount of new residents relocating to our area, causing the demand to drastically outweigh the supply.

This trend has not gone unnoticed by property developers in the area especially our urban core. They are purchasing land and building multifamily high end rentals, rather than luxury apartments or condos for sale.  Jeff Vinik has been at the forefront of this new demand. Starting with revitalizing the Channelside District.  The city of Tampa and developers are adding exciting urban attractions such as the popular Tampa Riverwalk. "I think people are buying into the story now that downtown Tampa will become a real downtown," Mike Davis, an executive director with Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc.  We are noticing the same effect, with interest in areas/price points that have not been popular in the past for our local rentals.

Here in Tampa, rentals have always been available as long as you have a fair budget. In SI Real Estate’s experience lately, this has not been the case! The vacancy rate of the rental market here has been pretty average the past 15 years, until now. Our vacancy rate has hit a 9 year low this year, 4.9% of all apartments here are vacant. That figure is lower than all 19 other southeastern metro areas that the company tracks. Now we know why we are having a tough time scheduling showings for rentals! They are gone as soon as they come up online or on the MLS.  Our landlords are using this high demand as a great reason to bump the rent pricing back up to pre-recession rates. Another market correction underway… Possibly the final stretch!

Apparently developers want in on all the action the rental market has been seeing. “Data from Vertica Partners LLC in Tampa shows more than 10,000 potential units — projects in various stages of development, between downtown Tampa, South Tampa and the Westshore area.” These areas are the crème-de-le-crème and seek the highest rent in Tampa Bay. They must be listening to market experts who are echoing that the vacancy rate will stay this way for the next year and a half. Rent prices will also keep rising according to industry leaders. By Real Data's figures, “the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom bay area apartment this year is $1,046 — $40 a month higher than a year ago and $176 higher than in 2010. Rents are expected to rise another 2 to 3 percent annually, the most in the Southeast, the report says”. SI Real Estate will keep an eye on the market while we remain incredibly busy putting families into homes, rentals and buyers!  Are you in?   

Read more:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Big gains in March Home Sales, Florida and National Market heating up!

Big gains in March Home Sales
Florida and National market is heating up in 2015
SI Real Estate has been monitoring and reporting the increased activity in the housing market this year. Last month we reported about skyrocketing first quarter new home sales. This month all of the home-sales reports, including both new homes and resale homes echo those same sentiments.

Some of the markets reporting sharp rises in March 2015 home sales include the following: Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Antonio, Jacksonville, Houston, and Seattle. The Real Estate market in Florida has been scorching hot, especially in Miami, Boca Raton and Tampa Bay. Our neighbors to the North (Georgia) are also seeing the same trends. Nancy See, of Atlanta Fine Homes says “I’m seeing a lot of multiple-offer scenarios when a house is well-priced… Buyers are having to act very quickly to get the house they want. It’s almost like a buying frenzy”. This type of great news has not been reported since before the recession!
Florida’s housing market in particular has been strengthening all year long. March was the best month yet. Housing data released by the Florida Realtors Association shows more closed sales, higher median sales prices, increased pending sales, and shorter selling times for houses on the market and increased seller / listing activity. Closed sales of existing single family homes statewide totaled 24,811 last month which is a 24.6% increase over March of 2014.

Our personal experience here at SI Real Estate reaffirms what we have been reading. We are doing MLS searches for clients and finding fewer home available to show simply because of how fast homes are being sold or active listings going pending. Even the rental market is on fire! Yesterday one of our agents had a list put together for a client of houses available for rent in the area. By the time they had left the office to go to view properties, 4 of them were no longer available!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

First-Quarter Homes Sales surge in Tampa Bay. Prices rise..

SI Real Estate has been watching the market in Tampa Bay closely this year. We have reported several times since the beginning of 2015 that the market is on the upswing, with statistics to back it up. Hillsborough County just released more first quarter data, and the real estate market is continuing to surge! Housing data released Monday by Florida Realtors showed 3,213 single-family homes sold, 28.6 percent more than February 2014.

Buyers are finding that inventory is still thin, causing prices to rise. The Tampa Tribune interviewed Thomas O’Bryant, executive director of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors. “Home prices are going up,” he said. In Hillsborough County, the median price for a house in February was $177,000, up 7.3 percent over February 2014. “Sales of townhomes and condos also were on the upswing in Tampa Bay (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties) The median price was $106,400, a 12.1 percent bump” from February 2014. We are seeing more activity lately on our own listings here at SI Real Estate.
The time to buy a home in Tampa is now. Now is a great time to list your property for sale too!   Interest rates are still at historic lows until the Fed meets in June. The rates will almost surely be raised when they do meet!  PMI insurance reduction, steady job growth, and rising home values have activated the market and we are seeing results.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Florida is on the rise again. Maybe you should move here too!

Almost everyone over the age of 20 has said the phrase “that’s it, I’m moving to Florida” at some point during their life. Usually it is said out of frustration with the weather, or another popular reason being high taxes elsewhere. In the 90’s and early 2000’s, Florida was an incredibly popular destination to move to. The younger crowds flocked to Miami or Tampa, the wealthy to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and then the retirees to Naples or Fort Myers.   Since 2007 though we have been lagging behind…. Until recently.

Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida, says Florida's economy is now solidly passing the Nation’s. Not only are we recovering fully, but we are about to start leading the pack again. Tourism is back to full throttle. Booking hotel rooms or going out to dinner is becoming a serious issue again with all of the traffic. People are spending money again and are confident the economy has stabilized.

The real estate market is one step away from being at the level it was before the market crashed. New home sales have been extremely high in 2015. "Florida ranked No. 2 in new home permits to Texas.” Why are all of these new homes being built in Texas and Florida? The answer is jobs; people gravitate to places they can afford to live and put food on the table. Florida and Texas have been adding jobs since 2013, more and more by the month. Florida's annual job growth rate has exceeded the nation's pace since 2012. Florida also just surpassed New York as the third most populous state in the US!

Tampa Bay is thriving now too. We have the 2nd ranked airport in the world, all major sports teams in the city, close proximity to Disney World, top ranked beaches everywhere you go, Busch Gardens and other theme parks and last but not least- gorgeous weather year round. The SI Real Estate team here in Tampa is seeing a lot of activity on the MLS and inventory is dwindling. Tampa Bay is the 3rd most active market in the state and has a lot to offer, just like Miami and Orlando. Anyone who is thinking of relocating, should consider Tampa.  Ask us why we choose Tampa to live, work, and play.  SI Real Estate will assist if you have any questions!