Hello sub 3% Mortgages – again

This week’s drop below 3% – again – reminded me that the only one thing more fraught than commenting on mortgage rates is trying to predict where rates are headed. (see below for some of my posts about mortgage rates.)
After rising steadily from 2.65% at the beginning of the year to 3.18% by the end of March, the 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) has backed off again and this week the rate dropped back under 3%.

Mortgage rates
Freddie Mac weekly survey

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The US is 3.8 Million Homes Short

The U.S. housing market needs nearly 4 million single-family homes to meet the nation’s demand, according to a new analysis from Freddie Mac. The 3.8 million shortfall marks a 52% increase in the housing shortage since 2018.

“This is what you get when you underbuild for 10 years,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “We should have almost four million more housing units if we had kept up with demand the last few years.”

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, has been among real estate economists leading the calls over the last few years for greater inventory and more homebuilding to meet demand. “We need to build more homes,” Yun told NPR, adding that since the housing crisis more than a decade ago, homebuilders have been building too few homes.

The housing shortage mixed with strong buyer demand since the pandemic is prompting home prices to rise rapidly. The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $313,000, up 15.8% compared to a year earlier, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Click here to read the article. (more…)

How to Win a Naples Smart Home plus Mercedes plus $100k Cash

Note: you can enter twice a day until June 11.

HGTV Naples

Click 2021 Smart Home tour for more photos. (more…)

By the Numbers: COVID-19 Vaccinations in Florida

As of April 19, more than 8.14 million people in Florida had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines. Of those, more than half (4.82M) are ages 55 to 84.
Here is a breakdown by age groups:

*Ages 16 to 24: 395,449 people
*Ages 25 to 34: 612, 238 people
*Ages 35 to 44: 811,815 people
*Ages 45 to 54: 1,098,485 people
*Ages 55 to 64: 1,622,525 people
*Ages 65 to 74: 2,031,098 people
*Ages 75 to 84: 1,169,703 people
*Age 85 or older: 402,286 people

Source: Florida Department of Health (more…)

‘When is the housing market going to crash?’

The housing market has been white hot for the past year, thanks to the stay at home and work from anywhere culture of the coronavirus pandemic.

But there is increasing concern among consumers that housing is experiencing a price bubble – and that the bubble may be ready to burst.

Google reported last week that the search question “When is the housing market going to crash?” had spiked 2,450% in the past month. “Why is the market so hot?” searches had doubled in just a week. (more…)

Boom times ahead for Lee and Collier Counties

THOUGH THE PANDEMIC IS FAR from over in Florida, economic development directors and other economic experts in four counties forecast a boom: Each county will see at least $1 billion in development over the next two years and the creation of 2,000 jobs, according to this Florida Weekly article.

At Southwest Florida International Airport, things are looking up. Construction continues on a new $80 million Airport Traffic Control Tower. Meanwhile, the $280 million, 200,000-square-foot expansion of the airport terminal, a project that had been deferred for a year due to the impact of the pandemic, will be bid this month, said Ben Siegel, executive director for the Lee County Port Authority.

Passenger traffic may be down, but the airport is No. 1 among the top 50 airports in the country in recovery, he said. The airport has recovered about 60% of its pre-COVID traffic, more than any other airport in the nation. From the airport standpoint, “we are optimistic,” Mr. Siegel said.

In Lee County, $2 billion in economic development and 6,500 jobs are expected in the next two years, all in one booming development area, said John Talmage, Lee County Economic Development director. (more…)

Common House Selling Concerns, and How to Address Them

If you want to list your home, it generally is a good idea to address any house selling concerns right away. That way, you can alleviate these concerns before they slow down the home selling process or prevent you from accomplishing your desired home selling results.

Now, let’s take a look at three common home selling concerns, as well as tips to help you resolve these issues. (more…)

Bonita Springs, FL Real Estate Market Update April 2021

Home Staging Helps Buyers Visualize, Homes Sell Faster

Eighty-two percent of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home, according to the National Assocation of Realtors ® 2021 Profile of Home Staging.

“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”

Staging increased the sum buyers were willing to spend for a property, according to the report. Twenty-three percent of buyers’ agents said that home staging raised the dollar value offered between 1% and 5%, compared to similar homes on the market that hadn’t been staged.

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Want to Sell Your Home as Quickly as Possible? Here’s How to Be Proactive About Making That Happen

Image by mynemesis2011 from Pixabay

If you’re anticipating putting your home on the market soon and want to sell it as quickly as possible, you’re probably thinking that the best way to accomplish this is to accept a major drop in price. Although it’s true that price points can affect how quickly a property sells, you don’t have to dip much, if anything, below market value to facilitate a fast sale as long as you live in an area with a moderately healthy real estate market. Following are five proactive ways you can help your upcoming home sale go quickly. (more…)

Pink bathroom – really?

Pink bathrooms became fashionable in the 1950s because pink was Mamie Eisenhower’s favorite color. At one time it was estimated that there were 5 million pink bathrooms in this country, but they faded almost as fast as they arrived. Pink was swapped for woods and neutrals in the ’60s and the retro oranges and greens of the ’70s. The world simply fell out of love with pink.

Today, there is a resurging interest in the pink bathroom—thanks to the revival of mid-century design and millennials’ love affair with all things retro. An intact pink bathroom is now more of an intriguing design challenge than a renovation project, plus it’s a fun selling point for homeowners and renters alike.

Maybe, but a pink bathroom is not something I would choose.

It was a surprise therefore when, earlier this week, I went into my bathroom and to be confronted with this: (more…)

No slowdown in buyer demand for Bonita and Estero market

According to the Bonita Springs-Estero REALTORS® (BER), buyer interest in February 2021 was robust, leading to multiple offer situations and a very active start to the spring selling season in Bonita Springs and Estero.  Along with robust sales, inventory shortages are also a continuation into springtime as well.  Most notable was the 76.7 percent drop in available inventory as compared to the same time in 2020.  While there are inventory challenges, this should not deter buyers and sellers from entering the market.

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Demand for Pools, Hot Tubs Surging Due to COVID-19

New in-ground residential pools saw a 21% uptick in 2020 compared to 2019. States like Arizona, Texas, and Florida saw permits rise by up to 30%, Janay Rickwalder, a spokesperson for the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, an industry research group, told The Escape Home.

“This is historic growth for the industry—the next closest period was in 1983 with 16% growth over a much smaller base,” Rickwalder says. (more…)

Naples market on fire in February

The February 2021 Market Report, released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), marks the last month of comparative activity before the pandemic shuttered the global economy in March 2020. That said, overall closed sales of existing homes in Naples for February increased 62 percent to 1,307 closed sales from 807 closed sales in February 2020.

Buyers are scooping up the available inventory of homes in all geographic locations within Naples almost as fast as they come onto the market. Inventory fell 68.8 percent in February to 2,224 homes from 7,127 homes in February 2020. (more…)