Dear Friends,

We continue to see excellent indicators that we’re making significant headway with our inventory of bank owned properties and short sales. In December 2012, Orlando-area Realtors sold 2,410 homes at a median price of almost $132,000. This represents approximately an 11% increase in the median sales price from December of 2011.  More importantly, we’ve had eighteen consecutive months of year-over-year increases in our median sales price.  This more than any other factor tells us that our market is in full recovery and continues to gain momentum!

The increase in both the average and median sales price is a result of several factors.  Buyers continue to believe that now is the time to buy – 96% of consumers agree or somewhat agree that this is a good time to buy.  Also, we are currently enjoying historic affordability levels, very low mortgage rates and a shrinking supply of moderately priced homes. Finally, high rents reflect a very tight supply of rental housing, while home prices and interest rates for mortgages are low.

Do you owe more on your home than it is worth?  HARP 2 is a government program for homeowners who wish to refinance their existing home loan. We are seeing an unprecedented opportunity for homeowners to refinance at today’s incredible rates – even if the mortgage balance exceeds the appraised value of the property. This is great news because it allows the average home owner with a negative loan balance to reduce their monthly expenditure and / or migrate from an adjustable rate mortgage by capturing today’s historically low interest rates. If you don’t think the HARP program will help and either you or someone you know needs to do a Short Sale, please call me to discuss your options.

In today’s opportunistic market, we have helped our clients purchase their homes at prices well below the replacement cost of the dwelling.  This phenomenon has not been seen since the Great Depression!  With average prices significantly below replacement cost and both state and national averages, homes in the Orlando area continue to be a real bargain!

For a quick synopsis, please review the bullet points below along with the Market-at-a-Glance video. You will also find several graphs which will help you visualize the dynamic changes in the Orlando market. It is our goal to provide you with valuable information as you, your family and friends seek accurate and reliable data with which to make informed choices.

The Inside Scoop on the Orlando Real Estate Market!

2012 in Review

Steady sales of existing properties bring inventory to a low level!

  • There were 7,384 homes of all shapes and sizes available for purchase through the Orlando MLS in December.  This represents a decrease of 24% in the inventory since December of 2011.  And, it puts it at the lowest level since the final quarter of 2005!
  • The average 30 year interest rate in December was approximately 3.5%!
  • 51 percent of December’s sales were normal; short sales made up 29 percent and foreclosure sales made up the remaining 20 percent.  December was the second month that normal sales made up a majority of our real estate transactions.  This reflects great improvement in our market and was seen both in November and December for the first time in 3 years.
  • In addition to across-the-board increases in the median sales price, we are also experiencing an increase in the number of properties selling at or above the asking price as Buyers clamor for quality homes.

With the Orlando economy continuing to show signs of improvement, low housing prices and the average 30 year interest rate in mid 3% range, experience shows that strong homebuyer demand will continue.

This quarter I’m hoping that you will refer at least one more person to me – but especially if they are interested in selling their home! Our inventory is currently so low that in all of Orange and Seminole counties, we have fewer than 3,300 houses on the market.  I would love to have a conversation with them and we’ll take good care of them!  Every time you introduce us to a friend or family member, we promise to carefully help them identify their needs and desires. Only after understanding their goals do we use our experience and knowledge of current market conditions to develop a plan that fits their individual objectives. The long-term commitment of real estate investment deserves our opinion and 29 years of experience.

Your friends and family members are not just another transaction to us: they are real people with dreams and desires. We are honored to serve you and deeply appreciate the trust you place in us. We value each relationship and over the past 29 years we’ve gratefully served 1,041 clients and their family members with integrity.

For a more detailed picture, please review the graphs and commentary we’ve prepared below on the Orlando area real estate market. Please email or call to discuss any of the data we’ve outlined here or if you need additional information for your particular situation!

Thanks,

Century 21 realty is second to RE/MAX realty in Orlando real estate. taylormorrison.com is one website, buyerbroker.com is another. tollbrothers.com can help find ryland homes for you as well as trulia.com and coldwell banker. There are many others, such as floridamoves.com and orlandorealestate.coml Not to overlook forsalebyowner.com and owners.com or salebyowner.com, which are many of the sale by owner options. But none of them can top RE/MAX

Median Sales Price of Resale Homes


The median sales price is the price at which half of the homes are selling above and half are selling below and includes all residential properties throughout Orange and Seminole counties.

2012 began with the median sales price of homes sold in the Orlando area at $108,000. The median price for December’s sales was $131,800 as we continue to move toward a more stable housing market in the Orlando area.

Inventory of Resale Homes

The Inventory graph shows the total number of residential properties currently For Sale in the Multiple Listing Service.

The inventory graph demonstrates that the number of available homes has steadily declined since October of 2008. December’s inventory of 7,384 represents approximately one quarter of the properties that were available when the supersaturated market crested in October 2007 at 26,330 homes (18,946 fewer properties). In December of last year there were 9,732 homes of all shapes and sizes (from condos to mansions) on the market. As the following graph indicates, the inventory continues to be absorbed and the median sales price will continue to move toward equilibrium as the short sales and bank owned properties work their way through the system. While we’ve averaged a 3.5 months supply over the past year, five of those months were hovering around a 3 months supply. Six months or less is the supply level where the market has historically found price support and that is what we’re seeing in the current market.

Number of Resale Homes Sold


This shows the number of closed sales each month. It also demonstrates that the peak of the market happens each year during the summer selling season of May, June and July. It’s not that everyone has school age children but there are enough Buyers who have children in school to torque the market each year, thereby creating a peak around the summer months.

Yet another indicator of our stabilizing market is the strong rate of absorption. In December, Orlando area Realtors sold 2,410 homes.  In 2012 the total number of residential properties that changed hands was 28,670 – reflecting very strong demand.  This basically represents the second highest number of sales on record since the peak was set in 2005 at 31,230 transactions!  Large numbers of Buyers continue to take advantage of the current market conditions. So please don’t find yourself sitting on the sidelines wishing you had taken action! It is only an opportunity if you choose to take advantage of it.

Average Mortgage Interest Rate

This is the historical trend line of the average interest rate available for a thirty year home mortgage.

Home mortgage interest rates continue at historic lows with 30 year rates in December averaging 3.46% – down from an average interest rate of 3.99% in December of 2011. Combined with property values not seen since the 2nd quarter of 2002, these factors provide powerful incentives to take action in the Orlando market now!  I believe anyone purchasing or refinancing at today’s fixed interest rates will profit and be extremely grateful in the years to come.

Do you know of anyone who is thinking of selling their home? We currently have lots of buyers who are struggling to find the home they want. Can you help me out?  I’d love to have a conversation with them!

My friends, as always, I’ve provided this analysis for your financial benefit and the good of your family and friends. However, this research only reveals general market trends for the Greater Orlando area. If you currently own residential property, the market is specific to your neighborhood and will require that I conduct a more in-depth analysis for your particular property. Please feel free to share this report with anyone you think would benefit from our real estate expertise.

Percent Difference: Sales to Listings

This shows the percent difference between the asking price and the selling price and is a measure of the competitiveness in the market. As inventory declines, sellers are more likely to receive at or above their offered price.

Average Sales Price of Resale Homes

This shows the average selling price each month and is always a higher number than the Median Sales price.

Average Days on Market of Resale Homes


This illustrates the intensity of the resale market. It should be noted that The Hard Working Nice Guy’s average time on the market is much lower than the Multiple Listing Service average. Therefore, if you want to move your property quickly, please give us a call!

Number of Months of Inventory of Resale Homes


This illustrates the current inventory and the difference between a Buyer’s market and a Seller’s market. The current number of real estate transactions is divided into the available inventory in the MLS system and shown as the number of months it would take to sell off all the inventory if no additional listings were added. The green line indicates a six month supply and is considered to be charged neutral. A number below six months’ worth of inventory is considered to be a Seller’s market and a number above is considered to be a Buyer’s market.