Valerie’s Values Monthly Newsletter

The Heat is ON! As the summer approaches, we face the rising temperatures and afternoon summer storms that Central Florida residents have come to know as the norm. Our local real estate trends are also rising showing modest improvements during the month of May, with the median sale price reaching $108,500. The highest level in more than four years, a 14.2% increase over May 2013. New listings are also on the rise, reaching 907 units in May, 11.3% higher than May 2013. Cash sales are down 14.3% compared to this time last year, which shows banks are lending again. All great indicators that the market is getting back on track.

Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful 4th of July weekend with your family and friends.

Reflections of Today’s Real Estate Market

Slow Progress to Normal


The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) /First American Leading Markets Index remained at .88 for the nation from May to June but was up 6 points from .82 in June 2013. The index measures progress back to and beyond normal economic and housing markets for 351 metropolitan areas. Three out of ten metros did see a monthly increase in their individual indexes and 83 percent have seen an increase in the past year.

Markets already past their last level of normal are concentrated in energy producing markets where jobs are plentiful, house prices have risen beyond the levels of the early 2000s and housing construction has surpassed early 2000 levels when markets were more stable. At the other end of the spectrum, markets still only two-thirds of the way back to normal are located in the industrial Midwest or in the sand states most devastated by the boom and bust.

The slow progress back to normal is primarily the result of the slow single-family housing market. Of the three components in the index, house prices are 26 percent above their early 2000s levels; the last time housing markets were in reasonable balance. Employment levels are within 5 percent of their normal levels last seen in 2007. The ingredient left behind is single-family housing permits, which are at 43 percent of their last normal market in early 2000s. Only 7 percent of the markets measured have experienced improvement in housing permits that is better than the other two measures, employment and house prices.

Local Ocala News

MLS data for May sales:

501 closed sales- a decrease of 1.4% from a year ago

5.3% increase in pending sales year over year

Average sale price – $133,935 an increase of 9.4%

An increase of 1.8% of Active Listings

7.0 months of inventory compared to 8.5 last year

The May report is available from the Ocala Marion County Association of Realtors (OMCAR) report. Please click on the link for the full report.

If you would like to have information regarding the sale of horse farms, or agricultural land in general please contact me.

News From Around the State

Retirement Moves Make a Comeback

Retirement moves, which dropped sharply during the worst of the recession, are making a comeback. Florida, the top draw for movers 55 and older, is gaining about 55,000 older movers each year, more than twice the growth it saw after the housing bubble burst in the middle of the last decade, according to a Stateline analysis of Census Bureau numbers. Florida’s annual growth for this age group is 138 percent.

Florida, remains by far the destination of choice. A recent study by the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) found the state’s economy is becoming more dependent on tourism and retirees as agricultural lands are increasingly plowed under for housing. Service jobs for retirees have created a lower-skill job structure, the study suggests.

Moves to the state by seniors reached a low point of about 13,000 in 2007, but in 2012 rebounded to about 64,000, even higher than in 2005 when it was about 59,000, according to Stefan Rayer, BEBR’s population director.

New & Noteworthy

Check out these new Home Search Apps! They take the pains out of House Hunting.

Doorsteps Swipe caters to shoppers who are just getting started. Users browse and swipe their favorites, and then the App summarizes the Top 5 by user preference to help you out for future house hunting. (FREE, iOS)

Homesnap allows a house hunter to snap a photo of any house and instantly call up information on availability, recent sale price, and other details on the house. (Free, Android or iOS)

Sitegeist provides buyers with demographic information about a neighborhood including average income and education level. (Free, Andriod, iOS)

iPMT helps you with mortgage calculations and details on property taxes, homeowner association fees, and potential income-tax savings. ($8, iOS)

Source: The Washington Post

Until Next Month

Referrals are the livelihood of our business. If you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who would benefit from the Showcase Team’s real estate services, please contact us. We promise to treat everyone with respect and the highest level of integrity and customer service. Your referrals are the greatest compliment that I, and the Showcase team can receive. I thank you for your business and recommendations!