Category Archives: Palm Beach County

Boca Raton and Delray Beach Luxury Real Estate Listings and Home Sales

If you are interested in previewing any of the prominent Boca Raton or Delray Beach luxury real estate listing comprising our unprecedented Palm Beach County Luxury Resort Portfolio, receive additional information for any listed property in South Florida or gain maximum Global Marketing Exposure for your residence… Luxury Resort Portfolio would welcome the opportunity to be of service to you.

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Just Sold | Old Palm Golf Club

The Smiths of Luxury Resort Portfolio have successfully completed yet another South Florida luxury real estate sale in the elite country club community of Old Palm Golf Club located in picturesque Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Specializing in properties of distinction on South Florida’s Gold Coast, Luxury Resort Portfolio provides the highest level of customized service, matched and exceeded only by the highest level of performance exemplary of the exceptional real estate our firm represents.

Luxury Resort Portfolio has the skills and advantages to facilitate transactions and bring about the results our clients expect.

Old Palm Golf Club

 
11313 Caladium Lane | Palm Beach Gardens, FL  33418
List Price $1,195,000

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida is praised for outstanding year round activities by cultivating an environment of excellence along South Florida’s Gold Coast. With over 30% of land mass dedicated to green space, recreation programs tailored for residents of all ages and an award-winning Art in Public Places program, residents experience an extraordinary quality-of-life and first-class style of living.
Well known as a sophisticated community with abundant fine dining choices, cultural attractions, beautiful beaches and world-class shopping, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida is within a short drive to the legendary island of Palm Beach and it’s world renowned high-end boutiques and cafes along Worth Avenue, the glorious beaches of Singer Island, the eclectic entertainment district of West Palm Beach’s historic downtown, City Place and Clematis Street and is home to  the acclaimed equestrian communities of Wellington and the International Polo Club of Palm Beach .

In the heart of all of this blissful living is Old Palm Golf Club, cloistered within a beautiful portrait of lush foliage, pristine natural preserves, breathtaking cascading water features, back-dropped by majestic old palms and spectacular luxury residences.
Old Palm Golf Club is a private golf club artfully designed by Raymond Floyd, where fairways are accentuated with water and framed with hammocks of oaks and pine. The unique turf at Old Palm Golf Club is cutting-edge Paspalum, an environmentally friendly grass that helps the ball roll smoother on the greens and fairways. Golfers are guided by some of the best trained caddies in the country and a no tee time policy assures members that they’ll always have a game when they’re ready to play. A legendary Scottish “bye hole” or 19th hole allows golfers to settle friendly wagers.


Old Palm Golf Club has a one-of-a-kind Golf Studio, a 33-acre practice facility that opened in February 2004. The Golf Studio, which features its own practice range, putting green and target green with bunkers, also sports the latest in digital swing analysis technology. Three dedicated practice holes are modeled after actual holes on the course, a par 3, par 4 and par 5.
Recently, Old Palm Golf Club celebrated the unveiling of its 43,000 square-foot clubhouse, where Raymond Floyd, the Honorary Club Chairman, maintains an office. Modeled after the great golf clubs of the turn-of-the-century, the character and setting is designed to cultivate camaraderie and first-class service designed to gratify the most discerning residents, staffed with a full-time concierge program offering members every possible convenience.
Please accept this invitation to explore Luxury Resort Portfolio and discover the myriad of Florida luxury real estate opportunities available on this sunny, scenic and incomparable slice of South Florida’s Gold Coast. From vastly sought after luxury real estate on the green, an elite Boca Raton country club home, or a magnificent South Florida oceanfront estate along the Palm Beach coastline, there’s something for every taste and lifestyle in South Florida.

Please contact Luxury Resort Portfolio for more information and let their Boca Raton luxury real estate professionals know how they can be of further assistance to you.

The Smiths are enthusiastic and profoundly knowledgeable of the exclusive South Florida communities they serve, trusted for the advice and guidance they offer, and respected for their exceptional ability to maximize the profit potential of properties they represent.

Luxury Resort Portfolio has earned a roster of achievements that include an extraordinary quantity of record-breaking transactions for their clients in the elite Delray Beach and Boca Raton country club homes of Mizner Country Club, St. Andrews Country Club, Woodfield Country Club, Addison Reserve Country Club and the Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club as well as in the Boca Raton exclusive gated estate enclaves of The Oaks at Boca Raton, Long Lake Estates, Stone Creek Ranch, Le Lac and the Sanctuary.
Main: 800-644-5616
Fax: 800-644-0059

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.
The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Palm Beach County Home Ownership Within Reach

Most families in Palm Beach County, Treasure Coast now find home ownership within reach

Source: PalmBeachPost.com
By: JEFF OSTROWSKI
Posted: May 18, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH — Plunging home prices and stable incomes have made homes in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast enticingly affordable to most families, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday.

In Palm Beach County, nearly two-thirds of homes sold in the first quarter were in reach of a typical family, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. And in the Treasure Coast, more than four-fifths of homes were affordable for a median-income family.

In Palm Beach County, 65.7 percent of new and existing homes sold in the county were affordable to a family making the county’s median income of $67,600, the study says. That’s up from 53.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Affordability hit a low of 28.8 percent in 2006.

In the Treasure Coast, the housing affordability index soared to its highest level in 15 years, the index says. Some 81.4 percent of homes sold in the first quarter were in reach of a family making the area’s median family income of $59,600.

Surprisingly, incomes changed little from 2008 to 2009, according to the index. Despite rising unemployment rates and a weakening economy, the region’s estimated median family income held steady. Income rose 2.4 percent in Palm Beach County from 2008 and fell 0.3 percent in the Treasure Coast.

The national housing market saw a similar trend, as affordability rose to its highest point in the 18-year history of the index. A family earning the U.S. median income of about $64,000 could afford around 73 percent of all the homes sold in the first quarter, said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist.

Crowe has forecast that the housing market will begin picking up toward the end of this year and turn around by 2011.

Builders, however, still face challenges getting loans from banks to finance new construction projects, while many borrowers must comply with more stringent standards that often require them to come up with more money for a down payment.

______________________________________

Preview All of Our Listed Estates
(Click Below)

The Smiths- Luxury Resort Portfolio
A Transaction Brokerage Team
Representing Both Buyers And Sellers
561.445.2282
561.445.2299

TheSmiths@luxuryresortportfolio.com

_________________________________________

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Listing and Selling The Exlusive Communities of Palm Beach County

The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio
“The Definitive Source for Luxury Real Estate in South Florida”

We are pleased to announce
The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio

Listing and Selling The Exclusive Communities of Palm Beach County

Just Listed
Mizner Country Club – Andalucia

Offered at $1,595,000
VIEW VIDEO TOUR
(Click On Image to View Details)


New To Market
Long Lake Estates
Offered at $5,295,000
(Click On Image to View Details)



Newly Priced

The Oaks at Boca Raton
Offered at $2,599,000
(Click On Image to View Details)



Newly Priced
Mizner Country Club – Capri

Offered at $2,449,000
(Click On Image to View Details)

Newly Priced
The Oaks at Boca Raton
Offered at $1,199,000
(Click On Image to View Details)

The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio
Recent Sales


“Just Sold” by The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio
Mizner Country Club – Andalucia
List Price of $1,695,000
(Click On Image to View Details)

“Just Sold” by The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio
The Oaks at Boca Raton
List Price of $2,450,000
(Click On Image to View Details)

_____________________________________

Preview All of Our Listed Estates
(Click Below)

The Smiths- Luxury Resort Portfolio
A Transaction Brokerage Team
Representing Both Buyers And Sellers
561.445.2282
561.445.2299

TheSmiths@luxuryresortportfolio.com

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.
The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Palm Beach County Home Sales Increase 33%

Can It Be Possible… The Palm Beach County Real Estate Market Is Finally Rebounding?

Well it seems like the good news just keeps on coming! Tempting low mortgage rates and affordable home prices have stirred new Buyers into a frenzy in a once stagnant market. The Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) released data on March 23rd, 2009 that Palm Beach County sales rose 33 percent for the month of February. Palm Beach County had 531 home sales compared to 401 from the previous year. The increased sales activity for homes and condominiums are positively making a dent in South Florida’s bloated inventory.

What has caused such a stir in our local market? The median home price fell 34 percent in Palm Beach County from a year ago. Palm Beach County had increase home sales in seven of the past eight months as buyers have taken full advantage of unprecedented bargain prices on distressed properties. The area’s housing slump continues into our fourth year, as an increasing number of short sales and foreclosures are expected to flood the market further. This “toxic inventory” is expected decline home prices even further through 2009 and most likely into 2010.

Existing condominium sales also saw a positive upswing of 10 percent from a year ago. However, the medium condo price fell 36 percent. Currently Palm Beach County has 27,907 active homes, town homes and condos for sale, down 6 percent since the end of November.

Although sellers are not happy to hear the news that their properties continue to lose value. Buyers sitting on the sidelines say “this is the time to buy”. We have a noticed significant amount of local and out-of-town buyers express genuine interest in getting back into the market and actively search for property. Most of our clients are cash buyers and have commented they are concerned with the volatility of the stock market and feel more comfortable investing their money into tangible assets they can enjoy!

-Carla Ferreira-Smith

The Smiths- Luxury Resort Portfolio
A Transaction Brokerage Team
Representing Both Buyers And Sellers

561.445.2282
561.445.2299

TheSmiths@luxuryresortportfolio.com
_____________________________

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Palm Beach County Housing Sales Update

Sales of existing homes posted an unexpected increase last month, closing out the worst year for the U.S. real estate market in more than a decade. Buyers nationwide were taking advantage of dramatically lower prices, especially in distressed markets like California, Florida and Nevada, where foreclosures have swamped the market.

Palm Beach County in December saw home sales increase by 37 percent, as buyers were out scooping up deals as the price of homes continue to decline. Sellers have offered considerable concessions, and mortgage rates have plummeted to near 5 percent, but many potential buyers still are holding off. The problem: Some buyers can’t qualify for mortgages, and most buyers fear for their jobs during the recession. Consumer confidence is at an all time low and major purchases are sidelined. Buyer mentality is that prices will keep dropping. Guess what? They are right! Home prices have fallen to February 2004 levels as per the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, with steady declines through 2009. Home prices have declined every month since August 2006, we are looking at 28 months consecutively of price depreciation.

As we enter in the 4th year of our housing slump, active buyers in the market are predominantly looking for “distressed” sales or bank-owned properties. While regular sellers see their homes languish for months on the market with no offers or interest in their home in sight. Today’s buyer considers the Short-Sale & Foreclosure listings as the best values out there. Like I said earlier this week, there will be further “tough times ahead” until this toxic inventory disappears.

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Palm Beach County housing sales perk up, but don’t get too excited

S. Florida homes in 2008 record sharpest price drop since 1994
Housing slump enters 4th year

By Paul Owers
Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

January 27, 2009

Sales of existing homes in Palm Beach County skyrocketed last month, but it wasn’t enough to offset the worst year for housing in South Florida in more than a decade.

“I think a lot of people are glad that 2008 is in the books,” said Mike Larson, a housing analyst for Weiss Research in Jupiter.

Palm Beach County sales jumped 37 percent in December, as buyers rushed to take advantage of falling prices, the Florida Association of Realtors said Monday.

The county’s median price of an existing home last month was $246,000, down 27 percent from a year ago. For the year, Palm Beach County’s median was $302,800, off 18 percent from 2007.

It was by far the sharpest annual percentage decline since the Realtors’ group started keeping statistics in 1994.

Existing sales countywide fell slightly last year, to 6,953 from 6,971. Sales may finally have hit bottom as South Florida’s housing slump enters its fourth year, but prices could keep falling through 2009 and into 2010 until the excess inventory of homes for sale dissipates, experts say.

“The excesses of the housing boom coupled with the economic downturn have produced the most severe recession for housing in this area in recent memory,” said Chris Lafakis, an economist covering Florida for Moody’s Economy.com.

Mortgage rates have plummeted to near 5 percent and sellers are offering major concessions, but many potential buyers still are holding off. Some can’t qualify for mortgages, and others fear for their jobs during the recession.

There’s also the belief that prices will keep dropping.

Ed and Bobbi Miller want to move to the Ocala area, so they put their two-bedroom house west of Boynton Beach on the market in November.

Their real estate agent, Bob Melzer, says the property is competitively priced at $289,000, and it gets plenty of showings, but they’re still waiting for a buyer.

“Everybody walks in and says, ‘Your house is immaculate and wonderful, yada, yada‘ and then I never hear back from anybody,” Bobbi Miller said last week.

Real estate observers say people secure in their jobs who find houses they can afford at good interest rates should feel comfortable buying now.

“Risk-takers will probably come out smelling like a rose five years from now,” said Randy Bianchi, broker-owner of Paradise Properties of Florida in West Palm Beach.

Adjustable-rate loans taken out during the housing boom of 2000 to 2005 have caused thousands of people to lose their homes to foreclosure. But by the end of 2008, mounting job losses were being blamed for the rash of mortgage defaults that will likely worsen in 2009.

Overall consumer prices started falling toward the end of last year as a result of a decline in oil prices, but the housing market isn’t benefiting because of the sharp rise in unemployment.

Although the federal government has pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into the banking system to loosen credit, the National Association of Realtors says lenders still are slow to approve mortgages for home buyers.

President Barack Obama has pledged to fight the foreclosure debacle, but there’s no guarantee that federal programs will be instrumental in keeping people in their homes. With a strong push from the federal government, major banks such as Bank of America have responded by promising to modify many mortgages rather than repossessing homes.

Another factor that could hammer housing this year: Two weeks ago, lender Fannie Mae has imposed new requirements on mortgages for Florida condominiums. Fannie says, for example, that it won’t approve loans for buyers in condo buildings where more than 15 percent of the owners are delinquent on association dues.

That’s likely many buildings in South Florida where the housing bust has ravaged the condo market because of the investor-led buying frenzy during the boom years.

Palm Beach County’s existing condo sales in 2008 were up 7 percent from the year before. The median condo price last year was $143,800, off 27 percent. The median means half sold for more and half for less.

Nationally in 2008, 4.9 million homes changed hands, down 13.1 percent from 2007. It was the lowest number of sales since 1997. The median home price last year was $198,600, down 9.3 percent from 2007.

With buyers scooping up bank-owned properties at low prices, regular sellers should buckle up for another rough ride in 2009, Weiss’ Larson said.

“People are buying all the cheap stuff, and the rest is languishing,” he said.

________________________________________

For further information or if you wish to see your property featured here.
Please Contact: The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio
at (561) 445-2282 or
email at TheSmiths@LuxuryResortPortfolio.com

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Fourteen Percent of Florida Facing Mortgage Crisis


By Alan Zibel
The Associated Press
September 6, 2008

WASHINGTON – More than 4 million American homeowners with a mortgage, a record 9 percent, were either behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of June, as damage from the housing crisis worsened, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Friday.

Meanwhile, Florida leads the nation with 13.68 percent of homeowners late on their house payments or facing foreclosure, according to a survey from the Washington D.C.-based trade group. Mississippi was second at 12.42 percent, and Nevada was third at 12.17 percent.

Palm Beach and Broward counties, in particular, became foreclosure hot spots after the housing boom of 2000 to 2005, when escalating home values caused many buyers to overextend themselves. Many took out short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages that now are resetting with much higher interest rates.

But the source of trouble in the mortgage market has shifted from subprime loans made to borrowers with poor credit to homeowners who had solid credit but took out exotic loans with ballooning monthly payments.

“The problem that policymakers and Wall Street once assured us was ‘contained’ to subprime mortgages has proven to be anything but,” Mike Larson, a real estate analyst with Weiss Research in Jupiter, said in a research note.

The trouble is concentrated in a handful of states, the worst being Florida and California, which had some of the riskiest lending practices and rampant speculation.

“We are unlikely to see a national turnaround until we see a turnaround in the two largest states,” with the most outstanding home loans, said Jay Brinkmann, the mortgage association’s chief economist.

The latest quarterly figures broke records for late payments, homes entering the foreclosure process and for the inventory of loans in foreclosure. The trade group’s records go back to 1979.

The percentage of loans at least one month past due or in foreclosure was up from 8.1 percent in the January-March quarter, and up from 6.5 percent a year ago, using figures that were not adjusted for seasonal factors.

New foreclosures rose dramatically in eight states: Florida, Nevada, California, Arizona, Michigan, Rhode Island, Indiana and Ohio, but actually declined in Texas, Massachusetts and Maryland.

Almost 500,000 homeowners, or about 1 percent, entered the foreclosure process in the second quarter. But for the first time since the mortgage crisis started, delinquencies on subprime adjustable-rate loans declined. While more than one out of every five homeowners with a subprime ARM is still in default, that portion dipped 1 percentage point from the first quarter to 21 percent.

What’s driving the delinquency rate up now is the number of homeowners with risky, adjustable-rate prime loans made with little or no proof of the borrowers’ income or assets.

More than one out of 10 borrowers with a prime adjustable-rate loan is now delinquent or in foreclosure. That portion, 11.3 percent, was up from 9.7 percent in the first quarter and is expected to continue to rise as more homeowners see their monthly payments spike.

Many of these loans allowed the borrower to pay only the interest on the loan for a fixed period. Others gave the borrower the option to “pick-a-payment,” adding any unpaid interest to the principal balance.

Defaults on these mortgages, which earned the nickname “liar loans,” are costing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac billions of dollars. The Treasury Department has even pledged to bail out the mortgage finance companies if necessary.

With home prices plummeting, particularly in Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona, many borrowers with these exotic loans now owe more on their home than it is worth. Worse still, these loans reset to higher monthly payments when borrowers reach maximum debt limits — typically around 10 percent to 25 percent more than the original loan balance.

Those resets can increase the borrower’s monthly payment by more than $1,000 a month on average, Fitch Ratings said in a report this week.

_________________________________________________________________

For further information or if you wish to see your property featured here.
Please Contact:
The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio at (561) 445-2282

Luxury Resort Portfolio
A Transaction Brokerage Representing Both Buyers And Sellers

NOTE:

Remember to visit our corporate blog at https://LuxuryResortPortfolio.blogspot.com


If you are subscribed to our corporate blog, you are NOT automatically subscribed to the Mizner Country Club – Real Estate News. They are two separate published newsletters. Please subscribe today and start receiving the latest updates in Real Estate News. Thank you again for all your support and best wishes!
Philip and Carla Smith
The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Delray Beach To Increase Tax Rate

Delray Beach to Increase Tax Rate, but Most Homeowners Will See Smaller Bill

By DON JORDAN
Palm Beach Post
Wednesday, September 03, 2008

DELRAY BEACH — The city commission approved a tentative $147 million budget tonight that will cut taxes for most residents, but offer less money for police enforcement, park maintenance and other city services. The tax rate would jump next year from $6.14 for every $1,000 of assessed value to $6.45, the highest amount allowed under state law without requiring a super-majority vote.

The higher rate still would mean a smaller tax bill for residents with properties with a taxable value of less than $336,000. It would also leave city coffers about $150,000 emptier than last year, according to a staff estimate.

City manager David Harden asked commissioners to approve the tentative rate after promising to recommend a lower rate before the commission votes on a final budget later this month. “We have discussed reducing the millage further and we do expect we will do that,” Harden said.

City officials have struggled for months to craft a budget that adjusts for decreased property values and Amendment 1, the voter-approved measure that restricts local governments’ tax rates. The general fund, which makes up about two-thirds of the tentative budget for next year, includes $2.5 million less than this year for law enforcement, parks and cultural programs and other city services.

Commissioner Fred Fetzer has been a vocal proponent of leaving the tax rate at the current level in the spirit of Amendment 1, which was overwhelmingly approved by Florida voters. Keeping the current year’s tax rate would cost the city an estimated $2 million in revenue next year. His sentiments were echoed today by a trio of Realtors who asked the commission to honor voters’ wishes and lower the property tax rate. “The message was clear,” local Realtor Nancy Hogan said. “The residents need tax relief and the escalation in government spending must stop.”

In addition to the property tax rate, commissioners tentatively approved raising a special tax paid on properties in the downtown development authority taxing district, from 95 cents to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value. The commission will hold a second public hearing on the budget and tax rate on Sept. 16. The city tax figures do not include taxes levied by other governing bodies, including Palm Beach County and the school district.

Who Will Pay What???

The Delray Beach City Commission tentatively approved raising the property tax rate from $6.14 to $6.45 for every $1,000 of assessed value, which would mean a tax cut for homesteaded properties worth less than $336,000. Taxpayers will also pay an additional 46 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to pay off voter-approved debts. The commission will take a final vote on the tax rate on Sept. 16.

Under the tentative rate:
– The owner of a $250,000 homesteaded property would pay about $46 less in taxes.
– The owner of a $500,000 homesteaded property would pay about $88 more in taxes.
– The owner of a $200,000 property without a homestead would pay about $12 less in taxes.

For further information or if you wish to see your property featured here.
Please Contact:
The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio at (561) 445-2282

Luxury Resort Portfolio
A Transaction Brokerage Representing Both Buyers And Sellers

NOTE:

Remember to visit our corporate blog at https://LuxuryResortPortfolio.blogspot.com


If you are subscribed to our corporate blog, you are NOT automatically subscribed to the Mizner Country Club – Real Estate News. They are two separate published newsletters. Please subscribe today and start receiving the latest updates in Real Estate News. Thank you again for all your support and best wishes!
Philip and Carla Smith
The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Is There Good News on the Horizon?

Sales of existing homes increased in South Florida last month as buyers responded to deep price cuts.

According to the Florida Association of Realtors press release on Monday, Palm Beach County had 652 sales in July, that number is up 8 percent from 605 sales a year ago. The median price of home in Palm Beach County is currently $291,300 falling 22 percent from $372,200 a year ago.

Real estate agents say more prospective buyers are showing interest as sellers become realistic with asking prices. However, analysts expect more price declines through the end of 2008 and into 2009.

Housing experts caution that the South Florida housing market won’t begin to rebound until the double-digit price declines begin to fade away and ultimately home prices start increasing incrementally as sales are.

In an article posted today on MarketWatch.com, Florida’s existing home sales in 2008 have remained level compared to 2007. A total of 11,498 existing homes sold statewide last month while 11,492 homes sold in July 2007, maintaining the same level of sales activity in the year-to-year comparison, according to FAR (Florida Association of Realtors).

More than half of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased sales of existing homes in July; seven MSAs also showed gains in condo sales. Realtors around the state reported increased business activity, including more telephone calls, more home showings and a rise in pending sales.

Below please find a chart indicating statistics for Florida and its 20 MSAs (Metropolitian Statistical Areas). The chart compares the volume of existing, single-family home sales and median sales prices in July 2008 to July 2007 based on Realtor transactions

 Florida Sales Report - July 2008
Single-Family, Existing Homes

Realtor Sales Median Sales Price
Statewide &
Metropolitan Statistical July July % July July %
Areas (MSAs) 2008 2007 Chge 2008 2007 Chge

STATEWIDE* (1) 11,498 11,492 - $193,600 $238,900 -19
STATEWIDE-YEAR-TO-DATE 72,347 83,598 -13 $201,000 $240,100 -16
Daytona Beach 595 575 3 $171,100 $204,600 -16
Fort Lauderdale 581 559 4 $303,600 $373,700 -19
Fort Myers-Cape Coral 768 426 80 $154,900 $246,100 -37
Fort Pierce-
Port St. Lucie 415 371 12 $159,300 $231,300 -31
Fort Walton Beach 217 257 -16 $218,200 $228,800 -5
Gainesville 205 319 -36 $187,800 $199,200 -6
Jacksonville (2) 831 1,073 -23 $180,800 $193,100 -6
Lakeland-Winter Haven 267 253 6 $138,300 $172,600 -20
Melbourne-Titusville-
Palm Bay 478 458 4 $152,600 $195,800 -22
Miami 392 505 -22 $322,700 $377,400 -14
Marco Island (3) 31 26 19 $462,500 $540,900 -14
Ocala 167 236 -29 $140,600 $166,500 -16
Orlando 1,656 1,484 12 $209,100 $258,000 -19
Panama City 111 147 -24 $204,400 $215,000 -5
Pensacola 321 427 -25 $157,300 $173,600 -9
Punta Gorda 200 185 8 $141,800 $179,600 -21
Sarasota-Bradenton 657 711 -8 $230,100 $277,700 -17
Tallahassee 218 250 -13 $205,900 $210,200 -2
Tampa-St. Petersburg-
Clearwater 2,174 2,068 5 $176,500 $215,600 -18
West Palm Beach-
Boca Raton 652 605 8 $291,300 $372,200 -22

(1) * Statewide figure includes data from the Naples Area Board of
Realtors.
(2) Data from the St. Augustine & St. Johns County Board of Realtors was
not available.
(3) Data is only from the Marco Island Association of Realtors.



For further information or if you wish to see your property featured here.
Please Contact:
The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio at (561) 445-2282

Luxury Resort Portfolio
A Transaction Brokerage Representing Both Buyers And Sellers

NOTE:

Remember to visit our corporate blog at https://LuxuryResortPortfolio.blogspot.com


If you are subscribed to our corporate blog, you are NOT automatically subscribed to the Mizner Country Club – Real Estate News. They are two separate published newsletters. Please subscribe today and start receiving the latest updates in Real Estate News. Thank you again for all your support and best wishes!
Philip and Carla Smith
The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.


The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Toll Brothers Warn Investors

When it comes to investors, bad news must be shared and Toll Brothers had to prepare them for what it hopes will be the worst.

The company said in a preliminary report Wednesday that its home building sales fell 34.0% in the fiscal third quarter, amid a prolonged housing slump. It also expects $100.0 million to $200.0 million in write-downs during the quarter, related to operating communities, land options and joint ventures.

“Our third-quarter results for revenues, contracts and backlog reflect the continued weakness in most of our markets,” Chief Executive Robert Toll said in a statement to the press. The company plans to announce its final results on Sept. 4.

The housing market has been spinning out of control for the last two years, causing many homeowners to default on loans and abandon their homes. The state of the market has pushed many home builders into bankruptcy. Last week, WCI Communities was the latest to go under.

The company’s home building sales for the three months ending July 31, its third quarter, fell to $796.5 million from $1.21 billion last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected, on average, third-quarter sales of $717.6 million.

Yet-to-be-fulfilled orders fell 52.0% to $1.8 billion from $3.7 billion a year ago. Net contracts, or gross contracts minus cancellations, fell 35.0% to $469.7 million from $727.0 million a year ago. Toll Brothers (nyse: TOL news people ) said it was not comfortable providing guidance, “given the state of the market.”

Frederick Cooper, a spokesman for the builder, told Forbes.com that the firm didn’t release numbers related to its outstanding inventory, but will later in the year. Unsold homes create a serious drag on builders as they are forced to pay maintenance and insurance on their glut and the excess drives down home prices. (See “Falling Prices Haunt New Houses.”)

Luckily for them, home builders caught a break this summer from Uncle Sam. Chief Executive Robert Toll said that the passage of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 “offered a lifeline to many homeowners facing foreclosure, which should help keep more people in their homes and fewer distressed properties from coming on the market.” (See “The Home Builder Relief Act of 2008.”)

Toll said the bill provided an “incentive to new customers to move off the fence and become first-time buyers,” which “may help to restore confidence in the market.”

Shares of Toll Brothers were up slightly, rising 0.9% or 20 cents, to close at $20.84 in New York.

Source: Forbes.com
Posted: 08/13/08
By: Maurna Desmond

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The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Need A Mortgage Now? Bring Loads of Cash!


Between higher fees and larger down payment requirements,
buyers have to pony up more money than ever these days
just to land a loan.


Top of Form


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Are you ready to buy a house in this crazy market? Better bring a boatload of money to the closing.


In a brutal real estate market where all the players want to hedge against the tremendous risks, down payment requirements and up-front fees have soared, shutting many potential home buyers out of the market.


“I have as many people calling me for financing as ever,” said George Hanzimanolis, a Pennsylvania mortgage broker, “but I’m putting less than half of them into loans.”


That’s happening all over the country, and may slow the housing market’s recovery. Indeed, in a Realtor.com survey released today, potential home buyers said high down payments were the second biggest obstacle, after high home prices, to buying a home.


These days, home buyers almost always have to make a substantial down payment, at least 5%, according to Rich Wordman, president of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers. The days of no-down loans are over.


In deeply declining markets, lenders are reluctant to issue loans unless borrowers put at least 10% down, he said.


JP Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), for instance, now asks for a minimum of 10% down in most markets, according to a spokesman, and for 20% in hard-hit areas. In Reno, Nevada, which has been devastated by the housing crisis, the bank requires 25%.


Even bigger jumbos


For expensive homes, the down payments are disproportionately more. Lenders issuing jumbo loans, which are too pricey to be sold to Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) or Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) in the secondary market, are asking for at least 20% down, according to Ed Craine, a San Francisco mortgage broker. In the most expensive markets, where jumbo loans are over $729,000, that means a minimum down payment of $148,500.


Higher interest rates on jumbo loans are also making them more expensive than they normally would be – with interest rates a full point to a point and a half higher than non-jumbo loans, said Mike Tacconi, a mortgage advisor with lender CMG Mortgage Services based in San Ramone, Calif.


And buyers purchasing homes for investment purposes are getting clobbered. Lenders are telling them to come up with at least 25% of the purchase price, according to Tacconi – and sometimes as much as 35%, depending on the kind of loan.


“Rents are high where I am,” said Pennsylvania mortgage broker Hanzimanolis, “so people are having trouble saving enough for down payments.”


Those high down payments are being driven in part by the private mortgage insurance companies, according to Jay Brinkman, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, which have themselves hiked their down payment requirements. These firms insure loans when borrowers put less than 20% down, making lenders whole when homeowners default.


In the past, these companies, such as MGIC Investment Corp (MTG). and PMI Group (PMI), often guaranteed mortgages when borrowers put no money down. Today they require 5%, 10% in steeply declining markets, according to Jeff Lubar, spokesman for the trade association Mortgage Insurance Companies of America.


In addition, private mortgage insurers are also charging higher insurance rates. Historically, PMI cost about 0.5% of a home’s purchase price. Now, a borrower putting 5% down can pay about 0.75% for the first year.


Higher rates


And although interest rates are relatively low, industry experts say that they’re higher than they should be, thanks to concerns about the solvency of Freddie and Fannie, which buy about half of all outstanding mortgages in the U.S.


The average 30-year, fixed-rate loan carried a 6.37% interest rate last week, according to Freddie Mac, up nearly a point from the year’s low of 5.48% set last January and up from under 6% in late May. At the same time, yields on 10-year treasuries, which mortgage rates usually track, have trended down.


From June 12 to July 10, 10-year treasuries fell from 4.20% to 3.81%, while mortgage rates actually increased, inching up from 6.32% to 6.37%. Borrowers are probably paying at least a half point more than they ordinarily would, according to Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a publisher of loan information.


That’s because the questions surrounding the future of Fannie and Freddie have made the investors who buy their loans – hedge funds, pension funds, and banks wary. They’re demanding higher interest rates to take on the added risk they perceive.


Freddie and Fannie have also imposing higher up-front fees for riskier borrowers, based on credit scores.


As of June 1, buyers with scores of less than 620 with less than a 30% down payment must pay a fee of 2.75% of mortgage principal, up from 2%. Between a 620 and 640 credit score, borrowers pay 2.5% (up from 1.75%); 640 to 660, 1.75% (1.25%); 660 to 680, 1.25% (0.75%); and 680 to 720, 0.5% (0).


“The fees are costing consumers a considerable amount of money,” said Marc Savitt, a mortgage broker there and current president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.


All these added expenses are slowing an already moribund real estate market. That means it’s going to take even longer to get rid of the tremendous inventory of unsold homes, according to the MBA’s Brinkman, especially in areas that were overbuilt during the boom.


Cities hard hit by the housing bust, like North Las Vegas, Stockton, Calif. and Tucson, Ariz, may have to suffer through many more months of stagnant prices and increased foreclosures before they return to better times.


And these higher costs are going to stick around long after housing recovers, according to Brinkman. From now on, they’ll just be the price of doing business.


By: Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Source: CNNMoney.com
Last Updated: July 18, 2008

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Philip and Carla Smith
The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

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