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Optimism Rising for 2015 Real Estate Market – Success Continues for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty

June 15th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

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June is National Homeownership Month. Based on the latest market trends, this is an excellent time for Northeast Florida citizens to explore the dream of homeownership.

Consider this – home sales in Northeast Florida are growing at levels not seen in several years. Additionally, the housing market is showing continued signs of improvement as foreclosed home sales are dropping swiftly. The percentage of distressed homes on the market is rapidly declining while the percentage of seller owned/equity homes is on the rise. An equity sale occurs when the seller has equity in the property as opposed to a bank owned or “upside down” seller owned property.

According to the latest market report from the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR), total closed year-to-date sales increased 8.5 percent in April over the previous year. During the same period, traditional or equity closed sales increased by 20 percent while lender-mediated closed sales decreased 16 percent over the previous year.

The news was even better at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty. During the same time period, total closed year-to-date sales were up 19 percent. In addition, traditional equity sales rose 31 percent while lender-mediated sales declined by 32 percent.

“We continue to see sustainable recovery in the Northeast Florida real estate market,” said Broker/Executive Vice President Christy Budnick. “The decline in foreclosures is great news for the housing market, as it means homeowners do not have to compete with banks to sell homes. It also indicates fewer sellers are in a distressed situation which is better for the community.”

The increase and return to a standard or equity sale usually offers many positive advantages for buyers and sellers. Typically, there is not as long of a wait to purchase as compared to a distressed property. Buyers are likely to receive more cooperation from the seller along with a willingness to work with the buyer. Finally, standard sale properties are often in better condition than distressed properties.

NEFAR’s report provided promising news for home sellers. It showed the inventory of homes for sale decreased seven months in a row. In April, inventory decreased by 13 percent over the previous year. Additionally, the months’ supply of inventory decreased for the ninth month in a row to 4.5 months. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ real estate professionals have seen increased competition for homes with multiple offers, limited days on the market and properties selling for more than their original listing price.

“These statistics clearly speak to the strength of the Northeast Florida real estate market,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Founder, President and CEO Linda Sherrer. “We are seeing rising home prices and inventory is falling while long-term mortgage rates remain at near historic lows. This is good news for homebuyers but how long rates will remain low is a source of speculation.”

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Interest rates have come a long way in the last 30 years. The national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.80 percent in May, compared with an average of 4.21 percent a year earlier. It’s a far cry from the rates in May 2000, when the interest rate was 8.52 percent, or May 1985, when interest rates were 12.91 percent.

“Securing a mortgage while rates are low means a buyer can get more house for the money,” added Budnick. “Even a small increase in rate, particularly when combined with rising housing prices, can impact a buyer’s housing budget by several hundred dollars per month.”

Optimize the best opportunities available in the Northeast Florida real estate market by connecting with the market leader. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty ranks as one of the Top 25 companies in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network. Founded in 1988, the company has a team of more than 300 real estate professionals in eight branch offices. The company boasts the highest average sales price of any major Northeast Florida real estate company and is home to the area’s most successful associates, enhanced real estate resources and tools and valuable industry relationships. Connect with the best at www.FloridaNetworkRealty.com.

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