February 21, 2006

For Sale Signs ‘Popping Up Everywhere’ In Florida

The Orlando Sentinel follows up on the latest inventory numbers. “The Orlando Regional Realtor Association reported Monday that the record 12,015 existing homes for sale in January in the core Orlando market was nearly four times the number available a year earlier. And most of those homes hit the market in January, when members entered 6,172 homes, compared with 2,970 in January 2005.”

“When Taffie Prince placed her Apopka home on the market last fall, she figured it would be snapped up within weeks. Four months later, she’s still waiting. And the asking price has been lowered by $5,000 in the past 90 days to $154,900. ‘I was told the quarter-acre of land would sell the house. But it’s still for sale. I don’t know what else to do,’ Prince said.”

“‘It’s getting a little scary,’ said Franco Ferrari, co-owner of the agency listing Prince’s three-bedroom home. He said his sales staff of fewer than 10 agents is ‘lean,” yet the slowdown has agents working harder and seeing fewer purchase offers per home.” “If the growth rate in home sales continues to slow for much longer, he said, large agencies that added significantly to their staffs in recent years will begin to shrink.”

“Jerry Smith, 58, a retiree in Lake County, has had his former home in north Apopka on the market for about five months and has cut the asking price from $400,000 to $320,000. The competition for sales is heating up, he said, with two other homes on his road sporting for-sale signs. ‘The signs are popping up everywhere,’ Smith said.”

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Comment by SidneyPrice
2006-02-21 06:06:20

$400K to $320k is 20%. Maybe his original asking price was inflated, but the downward step is big.

Comment by Mike_in_FL
2006-02-21 06:19:59

Another big jump in my local inventory — now at 459 listings on Realtor.com for at least 2 beds, 2 baths in the $100,000 to $500,000 price range in zip code 33458 (Jupiter, FL on the east coast of Palm Beach County). That’s a surge of 5% in a week … 34% since the end of December … and 206% since I started tracking in June 2005.

Comment by cereal
2006-02-21 08:12:07

mike, isn’t jupiter a super high-end community? am i confusing it with another place?

Comment by Mike_in_FL
2006-02-21 08:35:04

Cereal — Jupiter ISLAND … a barrier island you’ve probably read about … has the highest-priced homes in the country, if I remember correctly. Tiger Woods just bought a mansion/spread there for something like $30 million+. But Jupiter itself has a wide range of residents. There are dumpy parts of town, lots of starter-level homes (or what used to be starters, anyway) and gated communities with $1 million+ McMansions. So I think we’re pretty representative of the broader FL market. The price range I selected (100 to 500) encompasses the low end and a big chunk of the “middle” part of the market.

Comment by Robert Cote
2006-02-21 06:20:50

Four months later, she’s still waiting. And the asking price has been lowered by $5,000 in the past 90 days to $154,900. …I don’t know what else to do,’ Prince said.”

They sure do grow ‘em stoopid in Florida. Try $140,000 dummy.

Comment by bottomfisherman
2006-02-21 07:04:42

Sorry Taffie, That tiny 5K reduction is an insult to buyers. I’ll tell you what to do: Try listing at 99K and maybe you’ll get some bites.

Comment by TXchick57
2006-02-21 08:15:20

What would you expect from someone named Taffie? Bimbo!

Comment by Stephanie
2006-02-21 07:18:10

Try 55K.


Comment by cereal
2006-02-21 08:13:32


(but that is pretty funny!!)

Comment by NurseLiz
2006-02-21 07:44:22

You’re funny! Seems obvious to us tho~

Comment by flat
2006-02-21 06:26:17

I have 2 relatives selling
ft myers on a canal w boat lift and the cheapest one on venice Island- no offers ,no action
and keep in mind peole are moving to FL- think how bad NE is going to tank

Comment by The Lingus
2006-02-21 06:29:53

NE market seems odd. With the exception of Boston, I haven’t seen any downward momentum in pricing. And there is still alot of speculation in VT, upstate NY and NH mostly by locals attempting to put the final screws to NYC/NJ/CT slime.

Comment by grim
2006-02-21 07:47:33

Drop the animosity. When you need to resort to insulting someone to make your point, it detracts from any credibility your argument or statement might have.

Comment by The Lingus
2006-02-21 08:06:07

Where have I insulted anyone?

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Comment by Robert Cote
2006-02-21 08:06:19

As a former New Englander not from around Boston I can assure you that slime is the mildest description I’ve heard. It isn’t an insult when the label applies. You may not like it that so many NYC/NJ weekenders display excrable behavior in their bed’n'breakfast package trip but the solution is to sensitize them by calling them slime until they shape up. On topic they and the Massholes from around Boston have been distorting the housing market much like Kalifornicators jumping ship have been doing in nearby western states.

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Comment by The Lingus
2006-02-21 08:18:00

So eloquently put Mr. Cote. Take no offense Grim. It’s nothing personal. We’re merely fed up with the influx of maggots from your area. Their detestable behavior will be their Waterloo.

Comment by ogivemeahome
2006-02-21 07:11:28

I’m watching SFH’s in the $500-800k range in 6 or 7 communities just outside Boston but within Route 128, and I’ve seen a fair number of price drops of around 2.0-2.5% in the last month; but I haven’t seen any kind of inventory spike like what’s being reported in the FL/CA/NV/AZ markets. Maybe I should be tracking condo inventory as well. Anybody have any observations/data for this area?

Anyhow I’m curious as to what’s happening, am wondering if the lag due to colder temps is going to wear off soon enough; wonder if the market here will be less favorable to some real “race to the bottom” action, given the difficulty of finding good comps among homes out there. Sure would like to see a hard fall, though.

Comment by flat
2006-02-21 06:28:12

NEW TOPIC 1989 vs 2005
what’s different ?
1.In the 80’s I could buy 10-20% down and rent possitive cash from day one
others ?

Comment by NurseLiz
2006-02-21 08:01:51

Also, remember early 80’s? Interest was at 16%!! My very first job was working for a homebuilder in Ft. Hood Texas (yeh, don’t say it) and they were busy - but it was the military buying - coming and going, but the average joe wasn’t buying much - no VA loans for them….could interest rates go this high again?

Comment by NurseLiz
2006-02-21 08:05:32

Oh yeh, and the builder was buying down interest at the time to 11% or so - an “incentive” and the builder was Nash Phillips/Copus - anyone remember them? They moved out of Texas to Florida, OK, and a couple of other states in the late 80’s and went belly up - better the devil you know than the one you don’t!

Comment by Sunsetbeachguy
2006-02-21 06:41:11


LA Times article on Baja RE. 80% of buyers are using equity extracted from primary homes in SoCal.

This is a recurring theme and the locals will blood these rich gabachos dry eventually.

They don’t like them but will take their money.

Comment by waiting_in_la
2006-02-21 06:50:38

A condo I have been tracking in Santa Monica was lowered from $465k to $400k yesterday. It’s eerie here in LA - everything is just sitting, no one is biting.

Comment by cereal
2006-02-21 08:17:50

sweet! gotta link or address?

Comment by Notorious D.A.P.
2006-02-21 06:53:02

You ain’t kidding Mike_in_FL. I live in West Palm Beach and there are for sales signs everywhere. I wonder how many people are trying to cash out near the top so to speak and how many actually need to sell? If more and more need to sell, it could get ugly. The South FL condo market is going to be a bloodbath. Don’t be surprised if you see half-built cement shells along the Miami skyline.

Comment by The Lingus
2006-02-21 07:08:37

Thanks for the info. Us new englanders now have a place to export out bloodied and battered NYC/NJ/CT speculators…… shipped to you on ice. ;) After the recent coldsnap and widespread power outages, I’m sure many of them who thought they were hearty enough are thinking twice.

Comment by deb
2006-02-21 07:01:19

Just got back from a trip out to the desert to see family. My step mom is one of the very top realtors in the area (La Quinta, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, etc). We worked together in RE in the San Fernando Valley during the last bust. She says the market out there just STOPPED about a month ago. She says she has no idea how much to reduce things because it doesn’t matter, there are no buyers anyway. The builders out there are still building like mad. People who were buying new home “investments” (including her & my dad) are cancelling their deals. They cancelled with one month to closing and got their $5k deposit back. She sees an absolute meltdown in their market. She says 95% of the agents just got their licenses and have NO IDEA what is coming. They are busy scooping up all the overpriced listings that the experienced agents won’t take (and think they are geniuses for getting the listings). Meanwhile, my stepmom is having what she call “come to Jesus” meetings with her sellers, which is reduce it BIG, or get it off the market.

Big changes comin….

Comment by bottomfisherman
2006-02-21 07:06:44

Wow, I didn’t know things had gotten that bad in the desert. Come to Jesus! ;-)

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-02-21 07:53:41

Deb -

Did you see the article on SFV in the Daily News (Sat/Sunday?)? It was regarding the market looking like 1990? I wonder what your comments are.

Comment by deb
2006-02-21 08:38:54

Yeah, I saw the article, only online though. I’d love to know where it was placed in the paper.

I think this set up is very much like ‘90, only worse. The last bust started with comparably low affordability, but interest rates at 10%, lots of room to go down. You almost always had to put 10% of your own money into a deal back then, and show 3 months reserves. Obviously, that’s gone. There were ARMs and a small number of neg am loans, but nothing like today. The people with ARMs all benefited as rates fell, unlike today. They didn’t need to refi out of their loans like so many will try to in the next couple years (only to find out they can’t).

The realtor boards will make statements all the way down about how there will be a smaller increase in price, I mean, flat prices, I mean, small decline, I mean, moderate decline, I mean, it will be over next year, I mean, the year after….

Comment by cereal
2006-02-21 08:20:50

some clown on knx money hour was spouting off how the coachella is on fire. he’s either referring to last june, or the weather.

common sense says that those desert areas will be easy targets for price reductions.

Comment by deb
2006-02-21 08:41:44

Coachella WAS on fire. The changes I am talking about won’t even begin to show up in the stats for a couple months. There is a huge lag between changes in the market that a top agent will perceive and when it will be observable statistically.

The desert will be a bloodbath.

Comment by cereal
2006-02-21 08:21:57

hey deb, i’m always interested in any sfv reports that you have. bring ‘em on!

Comment by deb
2006-02-21 08:44:57

Nothing new to tell. Inventory up, sales down. Sellers doing some big reductions. But, stuff is still selling for crazy prices. The spring season will show which way this thing’s going to go. Either things really pick up, or it all falls apart. I am sure the sellers (and overleveraged borrowers) are getting a little nervous at all the recent press.

Comment by OUT OF LA
2006-02-21 09:45:10

the prices keep on going up in the east san fernando valley,i think this area is a great barometer for southem calif suburban real estate…i.e. if prices dont drop in the san fernando valley the most bubblish area in la,homes going from175k to 650k in five years these are starter homes,then we are all in for a world of hurt and may never be able to afford a home in los angeles.this area has to drop,but will it…..

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Comment by destinsm
2006-02-21 07:08:04

More FL inventory… NW FL Destin area…

Jun 05 - 5361
Aug 05 - 7372
Oct 05 - 7479
Dec 05 - 8174
Feb 06 - 9265

Last Winter it was in the 2500 range…

Comment by audet
2006-02-21 07:08:45

I just got back from the SoCal desert myself - visited a sister in Hemet and took a trip down to Carlsbad and back on Saturday. LOTS of building but I was expecting more ‘For Sale’ and ‘open House’ signs. Frankly I didn’t see any signs of a topping market other than the constant construction of new subdivisions. Sister and brother in law (who used to work in real estate) didn’t mention any signs of a stopped or softening market. Glad I got out because this blog sure did prepare me for a lot worse. I’m certainly of the opinion that this insanity can’t go on. But from what I saw, we aren’t near the end of this thing yet.

Comment by The Lingus
2006-02-21 08:11:40

Were you expecting a billboard stating the bubble is deflating? The reality can be seen in the escalating inventory and FRB actions. Excess liquidity caused this mess and it will be FRB that puts the knife in it.

Comment by cereal
2006-02-21 08:24:46

and don’t think this thing is going down without a fight. we’re talking about people’s money here. like everything they own in this world is tied to those house values. there will be a lot of kicking and screaming on the way down.

Comment by Kim
2006-02-21 08:02:05

“She says the market out there just STOPPED about a month ago. She says she has no idea how much to reduce things because it doesn’t matter, there are no buyers anyway.”

This makes me think of what Bob Prechter says in his book Conquer the Crash about how buyers go away in a deflationary crash. Here is a personal story that shows one reason why:

My sister-in-law and her husband bought a house in Sacramento when prices were falling from the last boom there, but they came from SoCal and didn’t have a clue about what was happening. After a year or two they decided to sell their house and move back to SoCal. They tried for a year or so, with her husband living 8 hours away during the week in order to work, and finally they had to bring 10K to the table in addition to losing their down payment in order to sell. Back then that was about 8-10% of the price they payed for the house. Then not only did they leave the home sales market, they (and their two small children) left the rental market too, and moved in with my in-laws for over a year until they got back on their feet enough to buy another house. This is another reason why rentals will not go up, even though people do need a place to live, when times get really tough, families have to move in together in order to survive. If there is overbuilding already, imagine what will happen when a certain percent of the population leaves the housing market; it will be as if they left the country as far as housing prices are concerned. And in the case of my sister-in-law her husband was able to get a good job in another area where the economy was stronger and so they were able to save up money pretty quickly, since they had no rent. What will happen when ALL areas are affected?

Comment by TXchick57
2006-02-21 08:14:26

Boy, they’re not missing any of the usual pigeons for real estate schemes are they? Ekaterina, probably fresh from her gig as an online Russian bride for sale and the usual retirees. Where’s Tom Barrack and Robert Kiosaki? LOL

Comment by Privatebanker
2006-02-21 08:28:42

For Sale signs are everywhere here in San Diego as well. But my favorite is a 1 bd. 1 bth 624 sq. ft. Lot size 1,307 sq. ft. going for $1,300,000.00. It’s not even on the beach and it’s a crappy old beach shack. MLS# 051080035. Number two is a 1bd 1 bth 766 sq. ft. lot size 1,307 sq. ft. only addition is you get a little dirt lot included with this one. This beauty is going for $1,400,000.00. MLS# 046062967. Where’s the value in these? Is this a joke?!!

Comment by Mike_in_FL
2006-02-21 09:13:04

I remember in the late 80s seeing a photo/story in the National Enquirer (don’t laugh!) at my grandma’s house. It was a picture of this tiny plot of land (maybe 15 ft. by 30 ft.?) in Tokyo that had a clothesline hanging over it, some garbage strewn about and it was surrounded on all sides by other buildings. The headline was something like “Guess how much this land is worth?” and the answer was something like $1 million. History may not repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes.

Comment by Unknown Attorney
2006-02-21 09:22:27

Location, location, location.

You’ll see how valuable this place becomes when it’s your night to treat and you need only walk out your front door to score some quality chiba or wicky.

Comment by Kim
2006-02-21 09:57:45

I looked up the first one on Zillow and Zillow only gave it 654K and it was last sold in 2002 so I bet the seller only paid 400K or less for it! Zillow gave our house a 700K when our agent says 545K and I think she is much closer.

Comment by Melody
2006-02-21 10:44:51

Wow, that’s outrageous!!!! Keep an eye on these if you can :)

Comment by Melody
2006-02-21 10:45:35

This comment was for private banker.

Comment by robert
2006-02-21 08:46:16

When will people stop thinking of their primary residence as an “investment”? The only “value” it ever has is when you sell it, and actually the value is the difference between what you sell it and what your next house costs, minus transaction fees, all the money you’ve every put into the house, and taxes. (And it’s probably fair to subtract association dues, etc, too!)

And for people who buy additional houses as an “investment”–since when is an investment a sure thing? If you weren’t assuming any risk, it wouldn’t be an investment. I’m just worried that ALL of us are going to be bailing out these speculators!

During the dot-com crash here in silicon valley, there were people who were stuck with $100,000 or more TAX bills for money they never saw because they tried to do a complicated transaction with stock options. What did the legislators in this area try to do? Get TAX RELIEF for them! It made my blood boil! These speculators took a gamble and lost. Boo-hoo-hoo.

Comment by Snowman
2006-02-21 09:05:07


Come on man…it’s in South Mission Beach, don’t you know EVERYONE wants to hangout where the gangbangers hangout…


Comment by Landgrab
2006-02-21 09:28:50

A 400k house in Apopka? That homeowner is kidding, right? And the house is 30 years old?
They are living in a dream world. I’m curious about the square footage, community, etc.

Comment by OTownCajun
2006-02-21 15:35:40

From the article in the Orlando Sentinel:
“Smith, who built the 1,570-square-foot house in the 1970s, and has added a new kitchen, concedes ‘it’s your average home.’”

Comment by Flic1
2006-02-21 17:06:31

‘For Sale’ signs everywhere in Sarasota/Bradenton as well. Sounds like the entire state of FL is rushing for the exits. The inventory I’ve been tracking since July in the $300k-$400k range has gone from 230 in July to 1400 as of yesterday. Inventory pace has really picked up in Jan/Feb. No real proof of declining prices (yet) although I am seeing more ‘Reduced’ & ‘New Price’(gotta love that one!). It might be hard for these greedy Floridians to move on their price but they’ll have to sooner or later. I may be there to pick it up after about 30-40% is knocked off! Of course yesterday’s paper had a local mortgage broker from one of the big banks here touting how this was a “seasonal slowdown” and the market will pick up soon and remain “robust” because of “the baby-boomers moving to FL in the next 5-10 years.” Someone please give these idiots some new cliches to use!!!

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