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Florida Real Estate, International Buyers and Mortgage Rates Drop!

Florida Real Estate Market UpdateFlorida Real Estate, International Buyers and Mortgage Rates Drop!

In case you missed it, last month Money Magazine named Tampa as one of the best places to live in the US. 

No matter how many homes you might have bought or sold, looking at price data never gets old. Fortunately for those who lost value during the Great Recession, the news when it comes to housing prices is looking up!

Across the United States, the median sales price of an existing home is $234,000, which represents a 6 percent increase over the previous year. Since 2010, home prices have jumped faster than household income, which has risen just 2 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

So do Realtors expect this trend to continue? The August 2015 Realtors® Confidence Index Survey, based on responses of a monthly survey of more than 50,000 real estate professionals, predicts yes. Over the next year, Realtors in the U.S. expect home prices to rise 3.5 percent, and Florida Realtors predict an even bigger leap: 5 percent to 6 percent.


Florida Claims Amazing Percentage of International Sales

Quick – what percentage of international home sales in the United State take place in Florida? Ten percent? Twenty?

Even more! One in four of the country’s international sales takes place in Florida and Tampa is still one of the most affordable cities to invent in.  The oceans, climate, airports, attractions and other amenities draw an influx of home-buyers not just from the other 49 states but also from abroad.

I count international clients among the people I’ve been privileged to help find homes for. That puts me in the company of more than two-thirds of Florida Realtors.

International buyers spend almost $24 billion snapping up homes in the United States, according to new research from the National Association of Realtors. The data came from more than 1,200 Realtors reporting on their sales during the year ending June 2015.

Many of the new buyers are coming from Latin America and paying cash.  International buyers love the Gulf shores’ sunny vistas, not to mention the business opportunities that relocating to Tampa can afford.

Mortgage Rates: Predicting the Unpredictable

The Associated Press reported this past week that average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell sharply, with that drop tied to concern over the labor market showing signs of weakness. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.76 percent (from 3.85 percent over the week before) with the rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declining to 2.99 percent (from 3.07 percent).

The drop brought rates to levels far below last year’s, once again providing a boon to potential homebuyers.

All of this is occurring against the backdrop of the Federal Reserve deciding whether to raise short-term interest rates later this year. Speculation has been rampant that this is probable – and, as you may recall, it would be the first Fed rate hike in nine years.

What does this mean for those of you thinking about putting your home on the market? As I’ve mentioned before, the timing is great!

As USA Today reported last month, “higher interest rates could actually be good for home sales at the beginning of any period of rate increases.” That’s because homebuyers may create “a flurry of activity as buyers look to get in a new home before future rate hikes hit.”

If you’re ready to see what rising home prices and possibly rising interest rates could do to your pocketbook, contact me to guide to through the Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater real estate market!

Have something to say? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below…..

Written by Rae Catanese, Realtor

Licensed Realtor since 2002, Tampa Bay’s own Rae Catanese regularly gives expert advice and insider tips about the Tampa Bay real estate market via her blog, The Tampa Real Estate Insider. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater areas-then this blog is for you. I typically post articles once a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe here! Have a real estate question? Email me here!

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