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What’s Up With Housing?

Happy Presidents’ Day

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Overall, closed sales were slightly down from 2017, but sale prices were up!
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357 on Fifth, a 13-unit condo project, had been planned for 357 Fifth St. S in downtown St. Petersburg has now been scrapped and the property is up for sale for $1.3 million.
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Should a solar lease be regulated as a utility if it “sells” power to homeowners? The state says no, so solar-using homeowners needn’t fear new regulations.
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It takes more than changing the size of a home to change the mentality of the people who live inside.
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Homes need to combine a tight building envelope with mechanical ventilation and air filtration to provide consistently fresh indoor air. Healthy homes also provide optimal natural light.
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Prices continued to rise in all four bay area counties but the rate of increase has been cut in half since 2016, according to figures released Tuesday by Florida Realtors. Sales also lagged.
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Millennial home buyers are taking a long-term view when buying, and also tend to value safe neighborhoods and good schools over walkability and short commutes.


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What’s Up With Housing?

Merry Christmas

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Spanning the color spectrum from cool grays to warm terra-cottas, to blush oranges, these five color trends are expected to dominate the design and manufacturing industries in the coming year.
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First-time homebuyers made up the largest share of the U.S. home purchase market since 2005. Florida in particular has seen its first-time buyer market grow substantially faster than average lately.
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Less is best. Grass, that is. Do your shrubs need constant pruning? Then you don’t have the right shrubs in the right place, according to UF’s Extension Office.
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Many homeowners find themselves asking the question, “If we’re currently in a strong real estate market, why won’t my house sell?” 
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In most Tampa Bay areas, the supply of available houses increased dramatically in November compared to a year earlier. That could lead to lower prices. 


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What’s Up With Housing?

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Latest Florida Realtors data shows Single-family home sales up 8.5% year-over-year; condo-townhouse sales up 14.1%, due in part to rising inventory of active listings.
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Florida timeshare companies and exit companies are blaming each other for rising default rates, with the timeshare industry now lobbying lawmakers and regulators for policy changes.
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National flood insurance, like the 2018 hurricane season, ended at midnight last evening. Many observers predict another short-term extension for NFIP, but newly elected 2019 lawmakers may be more open to a long-term extension that also keeps rates affordable.
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This move could speed closings and reduce costs, but appraisers warn that automated processes are not as reliable.
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The federal agency that creates conventional loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will raise max amounts 6.9% – to $484,350 for most single-family 2019 loans.
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What’s Up With Housing?

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Millennials still show a preference for conventional loans. In Sept., 68% of all loans were conventional; 27% FHA and 2% VA, reports Ellie Mae, which says the industry should “educate these buyers on the options… available to them.”
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As home prices rose in the years before the Great Recession, complaints about a shortage of “workforce housing” became common in many communities throughout Florida. Those complaints are back again, with a vengeance. In most fast-growing areas of Florida — particularly in South Florida and Orlando — housing affordability for low- and moderate-income workers is a bigger issue than ever.
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The federal government’s clampdown on dirty money in luxury real estate markets in South Florida and other metropolitan areas is ramping up.
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Stackable apartments. Robotic valets. Infrared spas. The future has arrived, haltingly, and this time will be different. Maybe.
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Want to retire comfortably? Millennials should buy a home now, finds a ULI study. Those who postpone a purchase now to save money end up losing out later, because buying young nets a “big bang for the housing buck.”
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The 2018 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study finds homeowners are opting for showers over bathtubs in their master suites. And over half (56%) of baby boomer homeowners are addressing aging-related needs during master bathroom renovations.
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For the second consecutive month, sales and prices showed healthy year-over-year gains in October, with Pinellas County recording its biggest price jump — 13.3 percent — since January.
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What’s Up With Housing?

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Plenty of people love a good Halloween scare — as long no one gets hurt. And that includes your house.
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Not all mortgages are created equal. A LendingTree study looked at lending competition and found Florida buyers can save serious money by comparison shopping.
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If buyer demand continues to outpace the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply & demand working as it should.
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Hurricane Irma impacted Florida’s Sept. 2017 housing market and economy. With that in mind, 2018 Florida Realtors data finds existing single-family sales up 17% year-to-year, median prices up 4.9%, condo sales up 14.6% and condo median prices up 5.5%.
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Florida led the nation in construction job growth over the past year, according to a new report. Contractors added 70,700 workers to their Florida payrolls, a 14.8 percent growth rate, in the 12 months ending in September.
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A trend in Central Florida’s two major multifamily growth markets may be indicative of a national shift from downtown to suburban markets.
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Due to Hurricane Irma last September, the Pinellas County housing market saw a few large swings in sales & listings year-over-year.