Monthly Archives: September 2010

Florida Consumer Confidence Inches Up

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sept. 29, 2010 – The sealing of the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico put a stop to the hemorrhaging of Florida’s consumer confidence, which rose two points to 68 in September, its highest level since May according to a new University of Florida survey.

“With the Gulf oil spill largely behind us, consumer confidence has begun to recover to pre-spill levels,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “This is by no means a return to a state of optimism. Overall confidence is four… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Avoids Double-Digit Citizens Insurance Increases

Tampa Bay has dodged the latest homeowners insurance bullet.

Many counties will see double-digit rate hikes in their Citizens policies. But bay area policyholders with the most common type of Citizens homeowners coverage will see premiums fall 3.4 percent on average, as will dozens of other pockets around the state.

In sharp contrast, rates in Hendry and Dade counties will soar 18 percent on average for similar policies. Rates will jump nearly 15 percent in Sumter County and 13 percent in Okeechobee.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty approved late Thursday the 10.3 percent average rate hike for Citizens’ homeowners statewide,… Continue reading

MIT Professor: Housing Demand About to Take Off

William C. Wheaton, professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argues that the housing market is due for improvement, calling home construction, “a sleeping giant that is about to wake up.”

Wheaton believes because there has been so little construction that demand exceeds the level of building and it will soon absorb excess inventory.

“Housing construction will not only rise, but it will stay high for a while, which didn’t happen in previous recoveries,” Wheaton predicts.

Source: Fortune, Nin-Hai Tseng (09/17/2010)

NAR Hails Bill to Help Short Sales

Homeowners who are underwater with their mortgage may find that relief is on the way from a bill strongly supported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that would impose a deadline on lenders to respond to short-sale requests.  The legislation, H.R. 6133, “Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2010,” was offered yesterday in Congress by U.S. Reps. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.). The bill would require lenders to respond to consumer short sale requests within 45 days.  “The short sale, which requires lender approval, is an important instrument for homeowners who owe more than… Continue reading

Bank of America Horror Stories

Three months ago, if a buyer made an offer on our listing and was getting their loan from BOA 3 months ago, I would have thought nothing of it. Today, I would think that buyer is worthless. In my experience BOA can’t close buyer loans. They made lots of promises and then didn’t follow thru. However, let me give you some other agents stories before I tell you mine.

BOA Horror Story #1: “I wrote a new home purchase contract with B of A as the lender. The buyer was putting down $140,000 on a $185,000 purchase price. Yes –… Continue reading

To Rent or Buy? How to Weigh it Out

It may go against every instinct for a Realtor to tout the benefits of renting over buying, but from about 2005 until just recently, it’s made more financial sense in many markets to rent as housing prices skyrocketed.

Now, following the epic housing crash and with interest rates at record lows, economists and financial planners say it might be time to rip up that annual rental lease for a more long-term, at least eight-year, commitment to buy.

But the decision often has as much to do with personal circumstance as real estate’s financial ups and downs, and individuals have many… Continue reading