Shadow inventory less threatening

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 26, 2012 – Two reports – one that covers Florida and another focused on the U.S. – find that shadow inventory continues to decline.

Shadow inventory – homes not yet in the for-sale inventory but at some stage of foreclosure with a likely chance to enter the market – has been a threat to the real estate recovery for a number of years. Many experts feared that home prices would stagnate if buyers continued to avoid the market or had trouble qualifying for a mortgage as a rising number of distressed homes entered the market.

“That problem seems less of a threat as time passes,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist John Tuccillo. In an updated report issued by Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis (IDA), Tuccillo finds that the state’s shadow inventory continues to decline.


New homes: Monthly home price increase sets record

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sept. 26, 2012 – Sales of new homes in the United States dipped slightly in August from July but the median price of homes sold during the month rose by a record amount.

New-home sales edged down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 in August, a dip of 0.3 percent from July’s revised rate of 374,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That had been the fastest pace since April 2010 when government tax credits were boosting sales.

Sales in August were up 27.7 percent from the pace a year ago. But even with that gain, new-home sales remain well below the annual pace of 700,000 that economists consider healthy.

The median price of a new home jumped 11.2 percent in August to $256,900, the biggest one-month gain on record.

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U.S. housing starts rose 2.3% in August

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sept. 19, 2012 – U.S. builders started work on more homes in August, driven by the fastest pace of single-family home construction in more than two years. The increase points to steady progress in the housing recovery.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that construction of homes and apartments rose 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 last month. That’s up from 733,000 in July, which was revised lower from last month’s initial estimate.

Single-family housing starts rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 535,000 homes, the best pace since April 2010. Apartment construction, which can be volatile from month to month, fell 4.9 percent.

NAR: August existing-home sales and prices rise

WASHINGTON – Sept. 19, 2012 – Existing-home sales continued to improve in August and the national median price rose on a year-over-year basis for the sixth straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Total existing home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 7.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million in August from 4.47 million in July, and are 9.3 percent higher than the 4.41 million-unit level in August 2011.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence said favorable buying conditions get the credit.

Atwater to Citizens: Take your time

ALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sept. 19, 2012 – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on Tuesday cautioned Citizens Property Insurance Corp, the state-owned property insurer, to proceed with caution as it considers spending $350 million to reduce its number of customers.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting of the governor and Cabinet, Atwater said he generally supports efforts by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to reduce its policy count up to 350,000 by offering low-interest loans to companies willing to take on some of the business. Citizens currently handles more than 1.4 million policies.

Homemade Cleaners

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