Central Florida Real Estate News & Trends

We are VERY pleased to announce that we got our newest listing under contract already!


Posted by Sally and David Team on August 22nd, 2017 11:31 AM

Just Listed!!  $315,000.  Offering tranquil lakefront views from all living areas, this Heathrow residence boasts an absolutely pristine presentation, tasteful interior decor and lakefront vistas of Lake Sawyer, which can be enjoyed from every living area. It is priced for immediate sale and move-in ready. The newer roof was installed in 2014, and updated plumbing and new windows have also been added. This well-maintained and serenely situated three-bedroom, two-bath split-bedroom home includes 1,436 square feet of well-designed interior living area with beautiful wood and ceramic tile flooring throughout; a glass-walled great room, separate dining area and a private master retreat, all with expansive vistas of the spacious, fully-fenced backyard and private waterfront views. The cheery kitchen boasts an adjacent breakfast area and includes wood cabinetry, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. There's also an expanded screened rear entertainment lanai. The enviable curb appeal is augmented by soaring oak trees and meticulously manicured landscaping. This home is serenely situated and idyllically located in Heathrow, one of Central Florida's most respected and desirable residential addresses. Amenities include 24-hour manned security gates, an 18-hole verdant golf course, a country club with dining rooms and banquet rooms, tennis courts, community playgrounds, private parks and acres of nature preserves, lakes and ponds. Located close to local schools, shopping centers and restaurants. Do not delay, call today. http://istyle2.herokuapp.com/279584
Posted in:Just Listed and tagged: Just Listed
Posted by Sally and David Team on August 10th, 2017 8:28 AM
Just Sold! Very pleased to announce the closing for our new construction listing over on 120 W. Bay Avenue in Historic Downtown Longwood!

Posted in:Just Solds and tagged: Just Sold
Posted by Sally and David Team on July 29th, 2017 2:07 PM
We are very pleased to announce our newest listing, available now!  1741 Travertine Terrace, Sanford, FL 32771.  This is a short sale of a beautifully maintained and well-appointed three-bedroom, two-bath, single-story waterfront townhome situated in the gated community of Greystone. This residence features a brand-new air conditioning system recently installed and under full warranty. Boasting contemporary interior colors and décor, this unique single-story end residence "Austria" design by Taylor Morrison is both versatile and functional. The kitchen features 42-inch wood cabinetry with dual Lazy Susans, solid surface quartz-like countertops and upgraded tile backsplashes. There's lovely wood flooring in all bedrooms, panoramic waterfront views from the living area and master suite, two-car attached garage, newer window blinds and shades, designer lighting fixtures and paddle fans and more. The spacious master suite features picturesque water views, spacious walk-in closet, dual vanities in the adjacent master bath and shower with separate garden tub. This residence is situated in Greystone, a gated townhome community located conveniently near I-4, 417, Heathrow boutique shopping and fine dining, Seminole Towne Center Mall and dozens of other major retailers and restaurants. It is an easy commute to downtown, Disney World, Universal Studios or the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Greystone’s private amenities include 24/7 gated entrance, community pool, clubhouse, fitness center and playground. These single-story corner homes are very desirable yet rarely available. Please call today for a private viewing.  Click on the Virtual Link to preview this lovely opportunity:   http://istyle2.herokuapp.com/278242

Posted in:Just Listed and tagged: Just Listed
Posted by Sally and David Team on July 28th, 2017 10:47 AM
WASHINGTON – July 18, 2017 – Fueled by a substantial increase in sales dollar volume from Canadian buyers, foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate skyrocketed to a new high. In all five of the top feeder countries buying U.S. real estate, the number of transactions grew, according to an annual survey of residential purchases from international buyers released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

In addition, more than half of all the foreign purchases took place in only three U.S. states: Florida, California and Texas.

NAR's 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate found that between April 2016 and March 2017, foreign buyers and recent immigrants purchased $153 billion of residential property – a 49 percent jump from 2016 ($102.6 billion) and passing 2015 ($103.9 billion) as the new survey high.

Overall, foreign buyers purchased 284,455 U.S. properties (up 32 percent from 2016), and their purchases accounted for 10 percent of the dollar volume of existing-home sales (8 percent in 2016).

"The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did not deter foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "While the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies and steadfast home-price growth made buying a home more expensive in many areas, foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work and invest."

Although China maintained its top position in sales dollar volume for the fourth straight year, the significant rise in foreign investment in the survey came from a massive hike in activity from Canadian buyers. After dipping in the 2016 survey to $8.9 billion in sales ($11.2 billion in 2015), transactions from Canadians this year totaled $19.0 billion – a new high for Canada.

Yun attributes the notable rise in Canadian activity to U.S. markets that are expensive but still more affordable than properties in Canada. While much of the U.S. continues to see fast price growth, home price gains in many Canadian cities have been steeper, especially in Vancouver and Toronto.

"Inventory shortages continue to drive up U.S. home values, but prices in five countries, including Canada, experienced even quicker appreciation," says Yun. "Some of the acceleration in foreign purchases over the past year appears to come from the combination of more affordable property choices in the U.S. and foreigners deciding to buy now knowing that any further weakening of their local currency against the dollar will make buying more expensive in the future."

Foreign buyers typically paid $302,290 – a 9.0 percent increase from the median sales price in the 2016 survey ($277,380) and above the sales price of all existing homes sold during the same period ($235,792).

Approximately 10 percent of foreign buyers paid over $1 million, and 44 percent of transactions were all-cash purchases (50 percent in 2016).

Foreign sales rise in top five countries

Buyers from China exceeded all countries by dollar volume of sales at $31.7 billion, which was up from last year's survey ($27.3 billion) and topped 2015 ($28.6 billion) as the new survey high. Chinese buyers also purchased the most housing units for the third consecutive year (40,572; up from 29,195 in 2016).

Rounding out the top five, the sales dollar volume from buyers in Canada ($19.0 billion), the United Kingdom ($9.5 billion), Mexico ($9.3 billion) and India ($7.8 billion) all increased from their levels one year earlier.

Foreign sales in top three states

This year's survey again found that foreign buying activity is mostly confined to three states. Florida (22 percent), California (12 percent) and Texas (12 percent) maintained their position as the top destinations, followed by New Jersey and Arizona (each at 4 percent).

Florida was the most popular state for Canadian buyers. Chinese buyers mostly chose California, and Texas was the preferred state for Mexican buyers.

Resident foreigners and non-residents reach new peak

The upswing in foreign investment came from both recent immigrants and non-resident foreign buyers as each increased to new highs. Sales to foreigners residing in the U.S. reached $78.1 billion (up 32 percent from 2016) and non-resident foreign sales spiked to $74.9 billion (up 72 percent from 2016).

"Although non-resident foreign purchases climbed over the past year, it appears much of the activity occurred during the second half of 2016," says Yun. "Realtors in some markets are reporting that the effect of tighter regulations on capital outflows in China and weaker currencies in Canada and the U.K. have somewhat cooled non-resident foreign buyer interest in early 2017."

Looking ahead, Yun believes the gradually expanding U.S. and global economies should keep foreign buyer demand at a robust level. However, it remains to be seen if the shortage of homes for sale along with economic and political headwinds end up curbing sales activity to foreigners.

"Stricter foreign government regulations and the current uncertainty on policy surrounding U.S. immigration and international trade policy could very well lead to a slowdown in foreign investment," says Yun.

NAR's 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, conducted April 10 through May 1, surveyed a sample of Realtors to measure the share of U.S. residential real estate sales to international clients, and to provide a profile of the origin, destination and buying preferences of international clients, as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by Realtors in serving foreign clients.
Posted by Sally and David Team on July 20th, 2017 8:21 AM
Pending Under Contract!! 8590 Cypress Ridge Ct in Estates at Wekiva Park! Today has been a great day!  https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=jPTaXNuT39u

Posted by Sally and David Team on July 14th, 2017 6:22 PM
Just Sold!! 1176 Chantry Place, Heathrow. We are so happy for our buyer client as she purchased and closed on this beautiful home in Heathrow-Heron Ridge. We know she will love living there for many years to come.

Posted in:Just Solds and tagged: Our Recent Sales
Posted by Sally and David Team on July 14th, 2017 6:13 PM
We are very pleased to announce the sale and closing of another listing.  Situated in Heathrow, FL at 1295 Regency Place.  Sold at $435,000!  Congratulations to our seller clients and we wish the new owners all the best in their beautiful new home.  Welcome to Heathrow!!  http://istyle2.herokuapp.com/254756/1/

Posted in:Just Solds and tagged: Our Recent Sales
Posted by Sally and David Team on July 14th, 2017 6:01 PM

NEW YORK – July 12, 2017 – As home prices rise, fewer homeowners are underwater, or owing more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth. In the first quarter of 2017, 350,000 borrowers regained equity, which dropped the total number of underwater owners to 1.8 million, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight Financial Services, a real estate data firm.

The population of underwater homeowners has dropped by nearly 1 million borrowers since last year – the first time the underwater population has dropped below 2 million since 2006.

"The steady upward trajectory of home prices continues to improve the equity positions of many homeowners," says Ben Graboske, Black Knight Data & Analytics executive vice president. "This is plainly visible in the number of borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages. … Over the past year, we've seen a 35 percent decline in the total underwater population, with a 16 percent decline in that population over the first three months of 2017 alone."

Negative equity has become more concentrated among a particular class of homeowner, however, Graboske notes. Nearly half of the remaining underwater borrowers live in the lowest 20 percent of homes in their markets.

"While the nation as a whole now has a negative equity rate of just 3.6 percent, among owners in that lowest price tier, it's over 8 percent," Graboske says. "In fact, these lowest-price-tier properties are more than twice as likely to be underwater as those in the next price tier up, and 6.5 times more likely to be underwater than those living in the top 20 percent of the market. This is the highest differential we've seen between high- and low-price tiers since we began tracking in 2005."

Overall, the drop in U.S. underwater homeowners has translated into a big increase in the number of owners with equity, which zoomed to record highs. More than 40 million Americans now have "tappable equity" available in their home – the largest population on record. Tappable equity is considered to be borrowers with at least 20 percent equity in their homes.

"This is the largest this population has ever been," Graboske says. "If home prices continue to rise at or near their current rate of appreciation, tappable equity will likely hit record highs by this summer."

Graboske notes that more than half of the nation's tappable equity is centered in the 10 largest metro areas. California, for example, contains nearly 40 percent of available equity.

"While the growth in tappable equity is obviously good news for both homeowners and lenders alike, it does represent some risk as well," Graboske notes. "Investors in mortgages and mortgage servicing rights – as well as others with a stake in the broader mortgage market – need to be prepared to account for a higher share of equity-driven prepayment risk, as well as an increased chance of borrowers adding on second liens that primary loan servicers and investors may not be aware of."

Source: "Monthly Mortgage Monitor/May 2017," Black Knight Financial Services (July 2017)

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Posted by Sally and David Team on July 13th, 2017 8:12 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) – June 29, 2017 – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates were unchanged to lower this week, as the benchmark 30-year rate reached a new low for the year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88 percent, down from 3.90 percent last week. The rate stood at 3.48 percent a year ago and averaged a record low 3.65 percent in 2016.

The 15-year, fixed-rate home loan, popular with homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages, was unchanged last week at 3.17 percent.

Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve has been raising short-term interest rates. The Fed has increased its key rate by a quarter-point three times since December, most recently this month, to a range of 1 to 1.25 percent.

At the same time, would-be home buyers are facing higher prices and fewer options. Sales listings have plunged 8.4 percent over the past 12 months to 1.96 million. The median sales price in May rose 5.8 percent from a year ago to $252,800.

Data issued Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors showed that Americans signed fewer contracts to buy homes in May, the third straight monthly decline and evidence that a shortage of homes for sale has suppressed purchases.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage this week was unchanged at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also held steady at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year loans increased to 3.17 percent from 3.14 percent. The fee remained at 0.5 point.
Posted by Sally and David Team on June 30th, 2017 6:50 AM