Ten Most Talked About Topics in South West Florida Real Estate
In no particular order here is my take on the most talked about topics locally.
1. Oasis Upcoming auction
2. Foreclosure freeze by the larger banks
3. Are we at Bottom Yet?
4. Commercial Properties Starting to Move
5. Lee County Inventory being depleted
6. Fannie Mae “First Look”
7. Find me an REO
8. Interest Rates at all time low.
9. Where will the NEXT Oasis deal be?
10. This upcoming Season will be slamming.
1. Oasis Upcoming Auction
And the most asked question is: “What price will condos sell for at the auction?” I wrote a column about this a few weeks ago. (see here). Hey guys, I can’t predict the future; Will prices drop or rise after the auction? Remember, the last auction (St Tropez) prices dropped after the Auction. But this was because there were foreclosures from upside down investors that hit the market AFTER the auction. At Oasis, there is no inventory of previously sold units to tamper with the normal supply and demand curve. The pundits predictions are all over the place. I still stand by my recommendation that if you want to buy at Oasis, buy BEFORE the auction. Buying prior to the auction lets you pick which unit you will own, you get to negotiate the price and avoid the ten percent auction premium, and if you wish, the developer will take your unit for TWO YEARS and pay all your electric, insurance, and condo fees – so you can own at no carry cost for two years. Market America Realty is running tours from our downtown office every day to Oasis. To get info on the auction or buying now: CLICK HERE. To see a review of most of the waterfront high rises with developer inventory, GO HERE.
2. Foreclosure Freeze by the Larger Banks
Market America Realty and Investments is one of the largest sellers of bank held assets locally with over 300 homes in our inventory. The week the freeze was announced we had about ten percent of our inventory pulled. Recently they released some of the assets back to us and have started foreclosure proceedings again. To read the Wall Street Journal Article about this click here. I am sure we have not heard the last of this as attorneys line up on either side of the debacle to make their fee grabbing stands. Bottom line is there are borrowers that are not paying and they will eventually lose their homes. Most loan modification programs are resulting in delayed defaults, not recovery. This freeze has caused delays and a temporary shrinking of inventory.
3. Are we at Bottom Yet?
No. We passed the bottom. We are on the way up.
4. Commercial Properties are starting to move.
The “mark to market” (evaluating assets in a bank’s portfolio consistent with current market value) seems to be happening in actuality instead of just talk. We have all seen an increase in urgency by the banks to clear up assets by actually accepting market value from investors instead of keeping the assets on their books at inflated values. It’s just my humble opinion, but I believe that it was easier for the commercial lenders to keep commercial deals on their books because the values were not so apparent to the regulators. But as more commercial properties are unloaded, true market value is more apparent. There is also a large appetite for stalled projects from the fund guys.
5. Lee County Inventory is Being Depleted.
The pipeline is selling faster than it is being filled, especially with the freeze mentioned above. I believe this is a very volatile situation, however, as would be sellers keep their homes off the market until they believe they can get their price, or the new job, etc., so as prices inch up you will see more “retail” inventory entering the market. Make no mistake, however, there are many would be buyers that will be kicking themselves for not entering into the market now. There are great deals on single family homes that will be gone, and the condos at $138/sf will be history.
6. Fannie Mae “First Look”
Many of the Reo sales we handle now are for Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae has a program that encourages owner occupants to buy these formally foreclosed homes instead of the flippers. Fannie Mae’s First Look period contributes to neighborhood stabilization by encouraging home ownership. During this period, owner occupants, public entities, and their partners can submit offers and purchase properties without competition from investor offers.
The First Look period is typically the first 15 days a property is listed on HomePath.com. Properties within the First Look period now include a countdown clock on the property details page, which displays the number of days remaining for owner occupants and public entities to submit offers.
If the property remains available for sale after the expiration of the First Look period, investor offers may be submitted and will be considered along with all other offers.
7. Find me an REO
An REO, or foreclosed home…many investors call us – almost daily, and ask us to find them a “good deal” on a foreclosed home. My definition of a good deal may not be yours and it most certainly will be different from the next guy. REO’s are hot right now and questions about them are asked of our team members every day. I wrote a while ago about an insider’s perspective on REOs (Click Here). To conduct your own search for foreclosed homes GO HERE.
8. Interest Rates are LOW..
Price are low, and Money is Cheap – it’s the perfect storm (article here).
9. Where will the next opportunity be?
I’m always thinking about this. I like the opportunity at Oasis and the auction and the price drop. But what’s next? Parkside in Cape Coral will announce shortly a drastic price reduction (call me – We just haven’t published the new prices yet as we wait for final approval).
There are other projects/developments that, IN MY OPINION need some sort of major adjustment – and I think they will be forthcoming, I am watching closely:
Tarpon Point, Gulf Harbour. RiverHall, Island Pines, Moody River.
10. This Upcoming Season.
Decent inventory, pent up demand for RETIREMENT homes (article here), low interest rates, and low prices are forming the perfect storm for a very busy real estate selling season here in Florida.
I want to take a few moments to thank all of you for your continued support, your comments, your business, and your friendship. I am so pleased with the growth at Market America Realty and Investments, Inc. We recently opened up branch offices in Clermont, Lehigh Acres, and Jacksonville and we will soon have a shop in Sarasota. I am always looking for entrepreneurial minded team members and right now I am actively looking for a sales manager in our corporate offices in downtown Fort Myers. Our CRM integrated with our website has been very successful in generating buyer inquiries and we need more hardworking sales people to serve our clients. If you have an interest in this, please call me directly for a meeting or email me at GFous@marketamericarealty.com