Category: Market Watch

Pending Home Sales Dip 0.8% in March

Posted on National Association of Realtors on April 27, 2017.


WASHINGTON (April 27, 2017) — Pending home sales in March maintained their recent high level, but momentum slackened slightly in most of the country as dearth supply weighed on activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only the South saw an uptick in contract signings last month.

The Pending Home Sales Index,*, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 0.8 percent to 111.4 in March from 112.3 in February. Despite last month’s decrease, the index is 0.8 percent above a year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sparse inventory levels caused a pullback in pending sales in March, but activity was still strong enough to be the third best in the past year. “Home shoppers are coming out in droves this spring and competing with each other for the meager amount of listings in the affordable price range,” he said. “In most areas, the lower the price of a home for sale, the more competition there is for it. That’s the reason why first-time buyers have yet to make up a larger share of the market this year, despite there being more sales overall.”

Pointing to revealing data from the March Realtors® Confidence Index, Yun worries that the painfully low supply levels this spring could heighten price growth — at 6.8 percent last month — even more in the months ahead. Homes in March came off the market at a near-record pace 1, and indicating an increase in the likelihood of listings receiving multiple offers, 42 percent of homes sold at or above list price (the second highest amount since NAR began tracking in December 2012).

“Sellers are in the driver’s seat this spring as the intense competition for the few homes for sale is forcing many buyers to be aggressive in their offers,” said Yun. “Buyers are showing resiliency given the challenging conditions. However, at some point — and the sooner the better — price growth must ease to a healthier rate. Otherwise sales could slow if affordability conditions worsen.”

Yun forecasts for existing-home sales to be around 5.64 million this year, an increase of 3.5 percent from 2016 (5.45 million). The national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase around 5 percent. In 2016, existing sales increased 3.8 percent and prices rose 5.1 percent.

The PHSI in the Northeast decreased 2.9 percent to 99.1 in March, but is still 1.8 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 1.2 percent to 109.6 in March, and is now 2.4 percent lower than March 2016.

Pending home sales in the South rose 1.2 percent to an index of 129.4 in March and are now 3.9 percent above last March. The index in the West fell 2.9 percent in March to 94.5, and is now 2.7 percent below a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

1 Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days in March, which is down from 47 days a year ago and is the second lowest since NAR began tracking in May 2011. The lowest was May 2016 at 32 days.

* The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

NOTE: NAR’s metropolitan area home price report for the first quarter will be released May 15, Existing-Home Sales for April will be reported May 24, and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be May 31; all release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Foreclosure Increase Leads to Rise in Vacant Bank REO

Recent article posted by Jacob Passy on September 9, 2016  on National Mortgage News website:

The percentage of vacant bank-owned properties is larger now versus a year ago as banks are completing more foreclosures, according to Attom Data Solutions.

Overall there are fewer abandoned properties, as roughly 1.4 million, or 1.6% of all residential properties, were vacant at the end of the third quarter, RealtyTrac’s parent company Attom reported in its U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report Thursday. That figure is down 3% from the previous quarter and down 9% year-over-year.

Similarly, the number of zombie foreclosures fell 9% from the third quarter of 2015 to 18,304. As a share of the total properties in the foreclosure process, 4.7% were vacant.

But as the number of real estate owned properties has grown, it has led to an increase in bank-owned vacant homes. Attom found that there were 46,604 vacant bank-owned residential properties at the end of the third quarter, which represents an increase of 7% from the previous quarter and up 67% from 2015.

This vacancy situation is the result of a seller’s market that has motivated lenders to complete foreclosures on vacant properties, according to Attom Data Solutions Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist.

“While that has reduced the number of vacant properties in the foreclosure process — so-called zombie foreclosures — it has also resulted in a corresponding rise in the number of vacant bank-owned homes,” Blomquist said in a news release.

“Assuming that the foreclosing lenders are maintaining these properties and paying the property taxes, they pose less of a threat to neighborhood quality than zombie foreclosures, but they still represent latent inventory in an inventory-starved housing market.”


Posted here by:

Mike Cathell,
Broker/Owner, Investment Property Consultant

Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC
Real Estate Services of Citrus County, LLC

Cell:  (239) 770-6250   Fax:  (239) 288-2505
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC
#Florida Real Estate     #Cape Coral Real Estate    #Fort Myers Real Estate
#Real Estate Investing   #Property Investments   #Wholesale Properties
#Wholesale Florida Properties  #Commercial Real Estate Funding






Lee County Market Watch (Previous 7 Days)

New Listing (297)
Sold (0)
Rented (203)
Leased (0)
Terminated (66)
Expired (25)
Back On Market (38)
Extended (38)
Pending (0)
Price Increase (50)
Price Decrease (154)
Withdrawn (44)
Application In Progress (143)

Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC

When Seller and Realtor Work Together

How many times in your Real Estate career has the perfect transaction happened to you?  How many Sellers  see their transaction go according to their plan?  It happened to me last month since I had the perfect seller.

The couple was a recommendation.  The husband moved to another state for a job opportunity and the wife stayed to get the house sold so she could join him.  Her priorities were to sell fast and to get the profit they needed to find another home.

Our first meeting at the house went great.  I asked what price she was hoping to get.  Her price in the mid-range of market prices.  We walked the house and discussed what would add value to make the house easier to sell.  We agreed on the following:

  • Remove the collectible collection to storage
  • Pack all personal items and move to storage
  • Paint the great room
  • Remove furniture from front porch
  • Pressure wash outside and driveway

A week later, she called to let me know everything was finished.  I drove over to take pictures, put sign in yasold signrd and a lockbox on the house.  The next morning, I put the listing on the MLS asking for 24 hour advance notice for showings.

About an hour later, an agent called ans said she was in neighborhood showing houses.  Realized there was 24 hour notice and wanted to make appointment.  I called the Seller and she said to send them over now.  House was ready and she was home.  She took a ride so she would not be home during showing.

Four hours later, we received an offer slightly higher than listing price.  She wanted to move ASAP, so naturally the offer was accepted.  Out Title company, Title-Junction in Fort Myers, took over.   The husband came down two weeks later to pack and move.  The Title company allowed Sellers to come over to sign forms to handle the long distance closing with ease.  The money was wired to their account and I received a “long distance hug” from the Sellers and now they are ready to move to the next phase of their life.

This was the transaction we all dream about.  It shows what can happen when Sellers and their Real Estate agent see the process as a team effort!

Did I mention, they owned 5 cats that had to be handled for showings.  Again, amazing performance by the Owner!

Mike Cathell,
Broker/Owner, Investment Property Consultant
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC

Cell:  (239) 770-6250   Fax:  (239) 288-2505
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC


A Real Estate Epiphany

At a recent open house, two of the attendees sat down on the sofa and we talked for about an hour.  We talked briefly about the house but talked a great deal about the community, the amenities, the recreational activities and the school district.  This confirmed my feelings that I have had since I started selling Florida Real Estate 14 years ago.  I do not sell Florida houses.

I sell Florida Lifestyle!

Prospects do ask how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, age of the hoStock Photo of a Happy Hispanic Family With Two Boys, Holding Hause, number of garages and square footage but then the real questions start:

  • How far to the Beach?
  • What size boat can I dock here?
  • Where is the closest golf course?
  • When is rainy season?
  • Does the community have an active recreational director?

This conversation is usually longer and much more detailed than asking about the actual features of the house.  The houses sell themselves, either it is right or not.  But the lifestyle needs exploring and is what today’s buyer feels is the most important aspect of their decision.

Like I tell my agents, be a part of your community.  Understand why people would want to live in your neighborhood.  Become a “Lifesyle Enthusiasist”  as well as a Real Estate Expert.  So, if thinking about buying in SW Florida, come join us for the lifestyle!


Mike Cathell,
Broker/Owner, Investment Property Consultant
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC

Cell:  (239) 770-6250   Fax:  (239) 288-2505
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC

Income Properties in Other States by Auction, Part 3 of 3


Specific Links for properties:

5807 Staysail Court, Cape Harbour, Cape Coral, Florida

1222 SW 51st Street, Cape Coral, Florida


Mike Cathell,
Broker/Owner, Investment Property Consultant
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC

Cell:  (239) 770-6250   Fax:  (239) 288-2505

Open Houses – Meet the Auctioneer, Part 2 of 3

Two Luxury Waterfront Properties in Cape Coral, Florida are being auctioned on June 8 and June 9.  The auction will be online and can be viewed through a virtual tour prior to the auction.  Bidders must be registered to bid on these fantastic properties.

The open houses will have the local Listing Agent as well as the Auctioneer in attendance.  Even if you cannot attend in person, call us and view the virtual tour.


Open House 2:

1222 Sw 51st Street
Cape Coral

Open House – Sunday, June 5, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Online Auction ends June 8 at 2:00 pm

download (4)

$375,000 Starting Bid

Key Features

• Completely remodeled
• 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms
• New kitchen with Stainless appliances and “soft close” drawers
• Waterfront with Gulf Access
• Swimming pool in Courtyard
• 800+ square feet added during remodel
• Quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood

Mike Cathell,
Broker/Owner, Investment Property Consultant
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC

Cell:  (239) 770-6250   Fax:  (239) 288-2505