Miami’s existing homes and condos sales are up again in February

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on March 21st, 2011

Miami real estate

You can read more about it here: or down below:

Florida home sales and condo sales rose in February

according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Existing home sales increased 13% last month with a total of 13,701 homes sold statewide compared to 12,164 homes sold in February 2010, according to Florida Realtors. February’s statewide sales of existing condos rose 29 percent compared to the previous year’s sales figure.

Seventeen of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased existing home sales in February; 18 MSAs had higher condo sales. It’s the third month in a row that Florida Realtors has reported higher year-over-year existing home and existing condo sales statewide.

“Current market conditions and very low mortgage rates continue to offer great opportunities to anyone looking to buy a home in Florida,” said 2011 Florida Realtors® President Patricia Fitzgerald, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart. “Every day, Realtors® help people realize their dreams of homeownership – they see the positive impact that homeownership has on families and communities.”

She added, “To showcase homeownership opportunities across the state, Florida Realtors is sponsoring its second annual Florida Open House Weekend, March 26-27. Realtors will host open houses on behalf of home sellers in neighborhoods from the Panhandle to the Keys, giving buyers a chance to tour dozens of homes in a single weekend. Talk to a local Realtor about Florida Open House Weekend and look for participating open houses throughout your community.”

Florida’s median sales price for existing homes last month was $121,900; a year ago, it was $124,500 for a 2 percent decrease. Analysts with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in January 2011 was $159,400, down 2.7 percent from a year ago, according to NAR. In Massachusetts, the statewide median resales price was $284,500 in January; in California, it was $278,900; in New York, it was $227,000; and in Maryland, it was $222,535.

NAR’s latest outlook notes that continuing improvements in the economy is a positive sign for the housing sector. “The housing market is healing with sales fluctuating at times, depending on the flow of distressed properties coming on the market,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The broad fundamentals for a housing recovery are developing. Job growth, high housing affordability and rising apartment rent are conducive to bringing more buyers into the market.”

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 6,984 units sold statewide last month compared to 5,424 units in February 2010 for an increase of 29 percent. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $77,300; in February 2010 it was $90,400 for a 14 percent decrease. The national median existing condo price was $154,900 in January 2011, according to NAR.

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.95 percent in February, down slightly from the 4.99 percent average during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac. Florida Realtors’ sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Florida Real Estate Market Is Stabilizing

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on January 11th, 2011

real estate deals in Florida

Florida Real Estate Market Conditions

A very happy new year to you, hope it started out well. It certainly did for me and my beloved Sunny Isles real estate and Miami Beach real estate. This is my first newsletter in 2011 and I thought I’d start it on a positive note.

Sales of condos and homes in Sunny Isles Beach

and Miami Beach have been growing since late 2010. We are pleased to see strong demand for luxury oceanfront properties from wealthy buyers, a trend likely to continue in 2011 according to Florida Realtor analysts as well as brokers.

The latest Miami MLS data

indicates that the high-end market had increased dramatically in both activity and closed units. Thus sales of homes for the first nine month of 2010 in the $1 million to $2 million range were up 42% and sales over $2 million were up 78% compared with 2009. That’s a sign everyone believes the market is turning.

Recently a retired Michigan tire company owner purchase a $22,5 million oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach. That was the town’s ninth 2010 transaction over $10 million, compared with just one such sale in 2009.

“We don’t expect to see a dramatic turn-around”, says economist Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. “At least, the worst is behind us now.”

From a statistical standpoint, 2011 is expected to be a growth year for Florida’s economy. Florida is expected to add about 63,000 new jobs this year. The strongest industries will be healthcare, education, business services and real estate.

Interesting facts about Florida:

· 1,000 People move to Florida each day

· The state population will rise by 140,000 in 2011, compared with 100,000 in 2010

· Florida offers 1,800 miles of costilne

· 1,200 miles of sand beaches

· 12 International airports

· 19 major commercial airports

· 14 deepwater ports

· More than 1,250 golf courses

· Over 370,000 hotel rooms

A more optimistic forecast from Moody’s, a national consulting firm, projects that Florida will achieve 3% job growth in 2011- more than any other state. The report says Orlando and Tampa are expected to grow the most at 3.4%. Others project to grow are Jacksonville – 2,6%, Miami at 1.7%, Pensacola at 3.1% and Tallahassee at 2.7%.

Once again, the new construction has picked up on the Gulf Coast, particularly single-family homes in master-planned communities. None of it is speculative building as each home has an owner who will move in at closing. We are also seeing high-end luxury homes taking shape on infill parcels throughout the city – a sign of confidence.

Another sign of health for Florida’s real estate market – today’s buyers are focusing more on using their new house or condo themselves, rather than buying it as an investment or even worst, to flip. The demand for luxury condominiums in Miami are predominantly by foreign buyers who view hosing as shelter rather than a financial investment. Tighter lender requirements will combine to make the market healthier as well.

Florida home prices are now comparable to the preboom years. In August 2010, the median price of a single-family home statewide was $134,000, according to Florida Realtors statistics. In August 2001, the median price was $130,000.

Whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, we understand the current Miami real estate market conditions and are able to deliver the best deals to our customers.

Did we reach the bottom for Miami real esetate?

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on December 21st, 2010

Miami Beach Florida properties for sale

The joint luncheon which took place at the W Hotel in Miami Beach last month, was sponsored by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Miami Board of Realtors. It included a panel of leading experts from Banking, Real Estate Developement, Real Estate Sales & a statistical analysts who spoke on the current state of the Real Estate market in Miami and the Beaches.

A very informative, interesting and encouraging conference which discussed the following topics:

*The bottom of the real estate market was last summer 2009.

*Since the bottom , inventory of “for sale properties” went from 11,750 in 2009 to 7,800 in august 2010.

*70% of all sales are purchased all cash.

*More than 50% of buyers are from foreign countries.

*Mortgage rates are at the all-time low and should stay like that for 2011 and maybe even 2012.

*Financing is available, but not easy.

*We have more international buyers in South Florida than anywhere else in the country ,including NYC , Las Vegas & California.

*The panel of speakers all agreed than real estate prices in Miami and the Beaches are at the lowest and we will not be seeing this pricing again in the next 20 years or more…A lot of Opportunities…

*They all agreed on the bright future of the development of Miami.

*They see 2011 being a better year and coming back to a moderately booming market again in 2012.

Click here to see all currently available Miami Beach properties for sale

Sunny Realty Releases New Version of Website

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 23rd, 2010

Penthouses in Miami For Sale

We have released a new version of our Sunny Isles Miami Real Estate website

that is both user-friendly and includes more detailed user features. The website will still be available in English, Russian and Spanish as well as 26 other languages thanks to Google translate tool.

Whether you’re looking for Miami condos or single family waterfront homes

rentals, land and farms, commercial real estate in Miami, or properties that are still in construction, information is just a click away through Sunny Realty‘s property search. A convenient feature in finding these properties is the interactive map of Miami, which pinpoints condos for sale making it easier to search by favorite location.

On the other side of things, if you’re interested in selling a property, our website provides thorough information about Sunny Realty’s marketing program along with market analysis reports.

Look around the website to find such educational tools as Sunny Realty’s blog, up-to-date news and articles on real estate, and listings of schools in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area. Also helpful are Sunny Realty’s guides to the fundamentals of Miami foreclosure condos, short-sale fundamentals, and a guide for foreign investors, all found on our new website. Of course, we all know how important access to good food is, and Sunny Realty’s website has a complete list of Miami Beach and South Beach restaurants for you to peruse.

View the website’s charts and complete history for sold condos and homes in order to learn about local market trends. If you have any questions, Sunny Realty has excellent user support and we’re available around the clock, seven days a week via email or phone. We will be available to answer your questions in English, Russian, Spanish, or Dutch.

The sleek, new design of the website, along with its wealth of information, will provide users with an enjoyable experience that is both easy to navigate and educational information for those looking to buy or sell Miami real estate.

Miami Foreclosure 5 Myths Busted!

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 16th, 2010

Foreclosure properties in Miami

Four years into the housing crisis, myths about Miami foreclosure properties still litter the minds of even the smartest of Miami real estate consumers. When it comes to matters as high stakes as your home, confusion can cost you thousands – or even your home. Whether you’re a buyer looking at foreclosure condos, a homeowner struggling to keep your home or a seller concerned making sure your home can compete with the foreclosed homes in Miami on your block, these foreclosure myths are prime for the busting, with no further ado.

Myth #1: Foreclosure happens fast. With unemployment and underemployment still affecting nearly 1 in every 4 Americans, no one is immune from fears that a pink slip might quickly turn into a foreclosure notice. According to NeighborWorks America, nearly 60 percent of families seeking foreclosure counseling cited a lost job or cut wages as the reason they were facing foreclosure.

While the Obama Administration’s Home Affordable Programs haven’t been nearly as effective as predicted in actually preventing foreclosures, they have had the effect of extending the foreclosure process for many families. Even though the legal process of foreclosure can happen in as few as 6 months in most states, it is currently taking much longer for the average foreclosure to get to completion. Recently, JP Morgan Chase revealed that their average borrower who loses a home to foreclosure has not made any payments in 14 months nationwide; 22 months in FLorida and 26 months in New York.

To be sure, some see this as a good, others view it as unnecessarily dragging out the overall market’s recovery. Many insiders will point out that these delays in foreclosure may be calculated to save the banks the costs of owning and maintaining foreclosed homes in Miami, not to help homeowners. In any event, the fact that foreclosure does not happen nearly as fast, in many cases, as expected does give families who are temporarily down on their luck some extra time to try to get back on their feet and save their homes.

Myth #2: Buyers can’t get clear title or title insurance on foreclosed homes. When the foreclosure robo-signing scandal first hit, there was widespread concern that buyers would not be able to get clear title on foreclosed homes, because the former foreclosed owners might be able to come get their homes back when the improprieties in the bank’s foreclosure documentation processes came fully to light. At the same time, several of the country’s largest title insurance companies publicly balked at issuing policies on bank-owned homes until the issue was resolved. At this point, the banks claim they have revamped their processes, and all banks have stated that they have found not a single borrower whose home was repossessed without them having missed the requisite number of mortgage payments. Nevertheless, a number of governmental investigations are still in progress.

The fact is, buyers of bank-owned properties in nearly every jurisdiction are protected from later title attacks by foreclosed homeowners by the bona fide purchaser rule, under which courts would prefer to simply award cash damages to be paid by the culpable bank to a wrongfully foreclosed-on homeowner, rather than reversing the sale or ownership to the new, innocent buyer. Additionally, the title insurers have now changed their tune and restarted issuing insurance policies on bank-owned homes which protect buyers’ interests, after working with the banks for them to take responsibility in the event a former homeowner prevails in a wrongful foreclosure suit.

While there are still many intricacies of title to be resolved for foreclosure buyers who purchase homes at trustee sales and auctions, or for cash buyers who often went without title insurance in the past, on the average, Trulia-listed, bank-owned property purchased with an average mortgage and title insurance, the chances a buyer’s title will later be successfully challenged by the foreclosed homeowner on the basis of robo-signing? Exceedingly slim.

Myth #3: Buyers should wait for the shadow inventory to be released. Many buyers, discouraged with the homes they see on the the form in their price range, have decided to sit still and wait for the banks to release for sale what is called their “shadow inventory” – rumored to be anywhere from 4 to nearly 6 million homes that have already been foreclosed, but not listed for sale, or will be foreclosed in the near future. The fact is, to the extent that the banks have acknowledged the existence of a pool of homes they own but are not selling, they have expressed that their reasoning for holding the homes off the market is to avoid flooding the market and driving home values down any further. For that reason, buyers should not expect to see a massive influx of these shadow homes onto the market anytime soon – if ever.

The banks’ current modus operandi is that as they sell a home, the replace it with another home in that market – if they sell 50 homes in a town that month, they’ll put another 50 on the next. So, don’t hold your breath waiting for a fabulous new flood of homes. Instead, set up Sunny Realty email alert to notify you when homes that fit your search criteria come on the market, and be ready to call your agent and go visit any and every one that looks like it might be a good fit.

Myth #4: If you’re looking for a deal, you’re looking for a foreclosure property. Despite what they may say, no buyer’s heart’s fondest desire is to buy a foreclosure. But almost every buyer dreams of buying a great home – and getting a great deal on it. Many people think that to get a great value on their home on today’s market, it means they must buy a foreclosure. As a result, the value and other advantages of buying an individually-owned home on today’s market are frequently overlooked. Individual sellers with homes on the market right now are generally quite motivated, and understand that their homes are competing with discounted short sales and foreclosed homes. Many of these sellers are slashing prices in an effort to get them sold – the most recent Trulia Price Reduction Report revealed that 27 percent of homes on the market across the country have had at least one price reduction. Now that’s what I call a sale!

Further, individual owners are often much more negotiable on a wide range of contract terms than a bank which owns a foreclosed home. You can work with non-bank owners on things like repairs, closing dates, choice of escrow provider, closing costs and even included personal property much more flexibly than you can when the bank is on the other side of the bargaining table. On top of that, many individually-owned homes are in pristine, move-in condition; that is much rarer with foreclosures. So, don’t underestimate the value of the deal you might be able to get on a non-foreclosed home. Just get clear on what you can afford and look at all the homes that are available in that price range, without discriminating against non-foreclosures.

Myth #5: Having a foreclosure on your credit history means it’ll take years and years before you can buy again. One of the most Frequently Asked Questions in the Trulia Voices Community by homeowners who are facing or have just lost a home through foreclosure is how long it will take before they’ll be able to buy again. Until recently, the standard wisdom was that 5 years, minimum, would have to have elapsed between the foreclosure and the new home purchase. Now, though, borrowers can obtain an FHA loan with the low, 3.5 minimum down payment requirement as soon as 3 years following a foreclosure. To do so, though, all your other ducks must be in a row.

Post-foreclosure buyers need a credit score of 620-640 to qualify for an FHA loan; higher for a non-FHA loan – given that the foreclosure itself usually dings anywhere from 100-150 points off the credit score (not necessarily counting a full year or more of pre-foreclosure missed payments), former homeowners who want to buy again need to ensure they have no other late payments or credit dings after they lose their home. You must have clean credit with no derogatory marks like late credit card payments following the foreclosure, and you may also be required to document 12 to 24 months straight of on-time rent payments after the foreclosure.

Further, the bank may impose a lower debt-to-income ratio on post-foreclosure borrowers than on borrowers who have not had a foreclosure, in an effort to keep your mortgage payments low, keep you from overextending yourself and boost the chances you’ll be a successful homeowner over the long-term this time around. The bank will also need to see 2 years of continuous employment history in the same field, and documentation that you meet other loan qualification requirements.

Click here to see a complete list of Miami foreclosure condos

Click here to see a complete list of Miami foreclosure homes

We are Miami Foreclosure Experts

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on July 4th, 2010

short sale condos for sale in Miami

foreclosure house for sale in Miami

Looking to buy a property in Miami in the near future?

Want to save money in the process? We are Miami foreclosure experts and we can help you with our selection of foreclosures and REOs for sale.

What is a foreclosure and how can buying one benefit you?

A foreclosure occurs when a homeowner forfeits ownership in the property because they were no longer able to pay the mortgage and as a result the bank or lender has become the owner of the property. In this case, the previous homeowner’s rights to the property are completely terminated.

How might this help you? In many cases when a bank takes over ownership of a property due to foreclosure they will be willing to sell the property at a price that is far less than the market value of the property. Why is this, you might ask? First, it is because most lenders just are not set up to sell and manage real estate. They would rather sell the property for less money and not have to worry about it in the future.

We also excel at Miami short sales.

Short sales occur when a bank or lender agrees to sell a property at a discounted price in order to avoid a possible bankruptcy or foreclosure. This typically occurs when the homeowner is behind on the payments. There can be tremendous costs associated with a foreclosure and many banks would rather avoid the time and cost involved by going ahead and agreeing to a short sale. Everyone benefits in this process; including you, the buyer, because you are able to purchase the property at a discounted price.

Ready to purchase in the near future? Give us a call and let us help you to find our next home in Miami.

More Miami Foreclosure Properties Predicted to Hit the Market

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on June 27th, 2010

Miami short sale condos for sale

Miami foreclosure condos for sale

In the last couple of years, the number of foreclosure properties going on the market has steadily increased. It is now predicted that more Miami foreclosure condos will hit the market before long as more homeowners find they are not able to maintain the payments. While this may be unfortunate for them, what does this mean for you if you are in the market to purchase property in Miami in the near future?

For buyers, this increase in foreclosures represents a tremendous opportunity to own real estate in Miami at greatly reduced prices. If you have always dreamed of owning property in the Miami area, there has never been a better time to take advantage of the market.

Foreclosure homes in Miami

are often sold at a lower price because when the bank takes over ownership of the property they find it to be more cost-effective and time-effective to simply sell the property at a price lower than what it is actually worth. Most banks simply do not have the time or the staff or even the resources to handle such properties and with the number of foreclosures increasing, it is expected that even more discounted properties will become available as a result.

The process of buying a foreclosure property can be surprisingly simple. If you are in the market to purchase property here but are curious about what is involved in the actual process, we would be happy to discuss it with you in more detail and explain how you can take advantage of this tremendous opportunity.

We can also help you to take advantage of the number of short sale condos and short sale houses that are coming on the market as homeowners in trouble try to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and instead opt to allow the bank to sell the property at a reduced price.

Do you Owe More than your Property is Worth?

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on June 20th, 2010

If you owe more than your property is worth, you should think about a Short Sale for your Property. When you find yourself in a situation where you simply are not able to meet your mortgage notes or you are upside down on your mortgage, you know you need a solution fast. We are Miami short sales experts and can help you with the process if you owe more than your property is worth.

What is a short sale and how can it help you?

A short sale is simply a situation in which the bank agrees to allow you to sell your property for an amount that is less than what you actually owe on it. This allows you to avoid the possibility of a bankruptcy or foreclosure and makes it possible for the bank to avoid the hassles of having to deal with either; benefitting both you and your lender.

When you think about a short sale for your property, there are a few things to keep in mind. The best time to handle a short sale is before you actually go into foreclosure, while you are still in pre-foreclosure. Now, this does not mean that you cannot still do a short sale if you are already in foreclosure but the best situation is pre-foreclosure. You should understand there are two stages to the foreclosure process. During the first stage is when you are behind on your payment and the second stage is when you have already received a notice of default.

A short sale can provide the solution you need when you owe more than your property is worth and you want to avoid bankruptcy or foreclosure. Think about a short sale for your property if this situation sounds familiar and let us walk you through the process.