February 9, 2014

Now They’re Ready To Cash In

I suggested a topic on the increase in housing inventory. “Let the carnage begin!”

A reply, “We are going to be selling homes this year. But to do so, we need to kick out the residents (who will need another place to live). The most important things in these markets is the type of homes that are coming onto the market. Are they vacant homes that have been held off the market? Or are they homes that were full that are coming onto the market?”

“Vacancy rates matter. I suspect those looking for housing carnage will be disappointed…except POTENTIALLY in markets where there are large numbers of vacant homes.”

One said, “Don’t you worry at least a little bit that investors everywhere might get the same idea at the same time, in order to sell ‘before interest rates go back up’?”

The Herald Tribune. “The anemic inventory level that has plagued Southwest Florida’s housing market is regaining health. More sellers have listed homes for sale this winter than a year ago, the result of rebounding equity that has empowered underwater borrowers and boosted confidence for sellers on the fence, data show. There are now an estimated 8,145 active home listings in the Sarasota-Bradenton area on the website Realtor.com, an increase of 12 percent from the same time last year, when the residential real estate supply in the region flirted with decade lows. The trend was similar in Charlotte County, where the 2,967 active listings rose 19 percent from the same time last year.”

“‘Because of the market’s improvements, more people who would have had to go through a short sale or foreclosure can now sell their homes without bringing any money to the table,’ said Jack McCabe, a Florida real estate consultant. ‘There are thousands and thousands of people who have been prisoners of their own homes,’ McCabe said. ‘We’re seeing pent-up demand from them to sell.’”

“‘We had the best listing month in January that we have had in seven years,’ said Gloria Weed, managing broker of the Michael Saunders & Co. office in Lakewood Ranch. ‘People have waited a long time, and they’re anxious to get on with their lives. They have been waiting to move up, move down or move away — and they’re ready.’”

“The increased listings come as hedge fund buyers like Blackstone Group and Colony Capital have slowed their pace of home acquisitions in Florida, which has beefed up inventory and eased competition. Foreclosures that had been stuck in the courts for several years also are beginning to flow into the housing market, helping to supplement that existing supply further, said David Guarino, a senior research analyst with John Burns Real Estate Consulting.”

“‘A lot of people are getting more equity in their homes, so as home prices rise, it looks more attractive to sell,’ Guarino said. ‘We are seeing a lot of that resale inventory pop up that we haven’t seen in a while.’”

From Bloomberg. “Suzanne Baker and her siblings bought a foreclosed home in Atlanta two years ago, added a fourth bathroom, then waited for values to rebound before considering a sale. Now, she says, they’re ready to cash in. The family last month listed the four-bedroom house in the affluent Buckhead neighborhood for $710,000. It was purchased as an investment for about $375,000 in late 2011, before bulk buyers snapped up many of the area’s distressed homes, helping to drive up prices in Atlanta by more than 25 percent.”

“‘The market is back up,’ Baker said. ‘We think we can make a good amount of profit so we’re going to try.’”

“In Southern California’s Inland Empire, east of Los Angeles, homeowners got a jump on the spring selling season and began listing properties earlier than usual, said Paul Reid, an agent with brokerage Redfin. Sellers are ‘nervous about what the spring is going to bring,’ said Reid, who is based in Temecula, California. ‘They don’t know if everybody will list this spring then you’ll have a big counterbalance toward too much inventory, or if there’ll be a crunch again. They figure they’ll get out ahead of the market, list, sell and be done with it.’”

Bits Bucket for February 9, 2014

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