Fla. metros added to federal homebuyer program

WASHINGTON – Nov. 11, 2015 – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced an expansion of the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI) to 18 additional metropolitan areas around the country, including four in Florida: South Florida, the Orlando area, the Tampa area and Jacksonville.
Effective Dec. 1, local community organizations in the metro areas will be able to buy foreclosed properties owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before the general public has a chance.
FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac jointly developed NSI through a partnership with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST). The pilot program launched initially in Detroit and was later extended to the Chicago metro area.
“The number of REO properties that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hold continues to decline nationwide, but there are still some communities in which the number of REO properties remains elevated,” says FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt. “Our goal is to take what we learned in Detroit and Chicago and apply it to these additional communities as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Watt says “giving local community buyers an exclusive opportunity to purchase these properties at a discount, taking into account expenses saved through a quicker sale, is an effective way to give control back to local communities and residents who have a vested interest in stabilizing their neighborhoods.”
The 18 metropolitan areas designated for NSI expansion include:
Akron, Ohio

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Maryland

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan

Jacksonville, Florida

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida

New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-Pennsylvania-New Jersey

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

St. Louis, Missouri

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida

Toledo, Ohio

Community organizations in South Florida estimate that about 2,000 foreclosed homes could eventually end up in the program, which focuses on homes valued at $175,000 or less.
“It’s very difficult to compete with investors who get distressed properties,” Terri Murray with the nonprofit Neighborhood Renaissance told the Miami Herald. “The investors are profit-driven while we are mission driven. This program evens the playing field for us.”
© 2015 Florida Realtors®  

Rent-to-Own Homes Make a Comeback

Investment firms bank on giving renters an option to buy

Wall Street firms have found a new way to profit from consumers with blemished credit who can’t qualify for a mortgage: let them rent a home first with the option to buy it later.

Rent-to-own programs, once run mainly by small operators, were popular with cash-strapped consumers during the 1990s. They faded a decade later when easy lending made it possible for almost anyone to buy a home with no money down, but with lenders setting a higher bar, they are making a comeback.

For investors, it is a chance to profit off the recovering housing market. Consumers get a chance to lock in a home before they have the money together for a down payment. But the price may be higher rent in the interim and a higher purchase price the longer they wait to move from renting to owning.

One of the fastest-growing rent-to-own companies is Home Partners of America, which was co-founded three years ago by formerGoldman Sachs executive William Young. Mortgage securities veteran Lewis Ranieri was an early investor in the company, and real-estate mogul Sam Zell has acted as an adviser to Mr. Young. Late last year, Home Partners received a $500 million equity investment from a group led by money manager BlackRock Inc.’s alternative investments arm.

Mr. Young, who formerly co-headed Goldman Sachs’s European mortgage department, said he saw an untapped market helping people who are being shut out of the housing market.

“What really frustrates me personally is that a lot of people I grew up with, extended family members, would have trouble getting access to mortgage credit today,” said Mr. Young. He says his company spent $100 million to buy about 320 homes in June, up from $15 million, or 66 homes, in June of last year.

Brian Stern, a managing director at BlackRock, said he sees Home Partners as a long-term, sustainable business. Mr. Ranieri said the program is both viable and needed given tightness of mortgage credit and the lack of readily available solutions. Mr. Zell declined to comment.

Here’s how Home Partners’ program works. A consumer teams up with a real-estate agent to select a home in one of Home Partners’ approved communities, which tend to be suburban locations with strong school systems and with homes priced between $100,000 and about $725,000. Home Partners buys the home and leases it to the consumer, who has the right to purchase the home from Home Partners within five years in most places. During the renting years, the consumer is expected to repair his or her credit and save for a down payment, but the longer they rent the more they will pay to acquire the house.

For example, a house shown on Home Partners website has a list price of $449,975 in Chula Vista, Calif. The family that agrees to rent that house from Home Partners has the right to purchase the home for $472,035 after one year and would have to pay $573,762 if it waited five years before purchasing, a markup of 28% from the initial list price.

The monthly rent on the property would start at $2,810 a month and escalate to $3,256 in the fifth year.

For consumers, that likely means that they are paying a premium over renting or buying a typical home. Monthly payments on a 30-year conventional mortgage on the same house would be around $1,800. The average rent for a single-family home in San Diego is $2,270 a month, according to Moody’s Analytics—although typical single-family rentals are likely smaller and in less desirable areas.

Home Partners officials say that the increases are in line with the rapid rise in home prices in markets such as California and rents are typically within 5% to 10% of comparable properties in the market. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, covering the entire nation, rose 4.4% in the 12 months ended in May, slightly greater than a 4.3% increase in April. Home prices in San Diego climbed 4.8% year-over-year in May 2015, according to the index.

Home Partners also notes that the consumer can decide not to purchase if the home is more expensive than comparable properties in the area. If price growth slows and the consumer thinks buying a home is a bad deal, they can walk away with no penalty and Home Partners would re-rent the home. The company says that they expect about half of their renters to ultimately purchase.

Tiffany Morgan, who works in marketing in Sugarland, Texas, turned to Home Partners 2013 after a divorce destroyed her credit. When she first heard about the program, she thought it was a scam. “I thought no way…it’s some scheme that I’m going to fall into,” said Ms. Morgan, who is in her mid-30s with a 7-year-old son.

Home Partners purchased the home for around $205,000 and she rented it for about a year for $1,730 a month. That same year she improved her credit and bought the house for $215,000. She thought, “What’s the worst case? I’ll lease it for a while and then if I fall in love with it I’ll do what I need to do to make it happen.”

For consumers, the advantage is that the homes tend to be in nicer neighborhoods with better school districts than most single-family rental properties. It also guarantees that if house prices escalate faster than that, the price is guaranteed when they go to purchase the home.

Sarah Edelman, a senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based nonpartisan policy institute, said that it is early to tell if Home Partners’ rent and home price bumps will prove to be in line with the market.

“All things equal this could be a really great opportunity for consumers,” she said, referring to the cost of Home Partners program versus the rest of the market. “But all things need to be equal.”

So far, Home Partners operates only in 30 metropolitan areas in 15 states, including California, Florida and Texas. It currently doesn’t operate in the Northeast. But Home Partners is teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and Realogy Holdings Corp., which operates several real-estate brokerage franchises including Century 21 and Coldwell Banker, which will give it national reach.

A motivating factor for home buyers to use a rent-to-own program is the combination of government policies and banks’ increased cautiousness have made mortgages much more difficult to get, even for middle-class Americans. Buyers typically must have higher credit scores than were needed even in the early 2000s, before the subprime boom. The homeownership rate for middle-income Americans has fallen to 63% from 69% in 2000, according to Zillow.

Home Partners isn’t alone in seeing a profitable niche in the rent-to-own space. New York City-based HomeLPC, started by a former Lehman Brothers banker, launched about a year ago and has expanded to three states, where it has bought two dozen homes. It plans to expand into five more states by the first quarter of 2016. Premium Point Investments, a New York-based asset manager, is in the midst of testing a rent-to-own business focused on the South and Southeast.

Whether rent-to-own will prove to be profitable remains to be seen. A number of companies that rent out single-family homes have found that few renters have become buyers, either because they haven’t been able to restore their credit or haven’t been able to save enough for a down payment. But Home Partners said its credit screening targets middle-class and affluent clients who have steady jobs and an overall financial history that makes it likely they will be able to repair their credit and save money for a down payment within a few years.


Residential income property market surges in South Florida

As South Florida apartment rental prices rise to record highs, the residential income property market — a niche that consists of duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes — is surging in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Investors who want to own small rental buildings with two, three or four units are snapping up properties at an increased pace to take advantage of strong lease rates and low vacancies in South Florida.

Many of these residential income properties cater to tenants who aspire to be homeowners but are struggling to purchase their own places for a variety of reasons, including a still challenging mortgage environment and rising real estate prices in South Florida.

It is against this backdrop that sales of South Florida residential income properties are up 7 percent on a year-over-year basis to about 1,380 transactions in the first 10 months of 2015 compared to fewer than 1,290 deals during the same January through October period in 2014, according to data from the Southeast Florida MLXchange.

A year earlier in 2013, buyers acquired fewer than 1,275 residential income properties in the tricounty region.

Even as the number of transactions has steadily increased, the prices of residential income properties have surged at a double-digit pace annually during the last three years in South Florida.

In 2015, residential income properties are selling at an average price of $124 per square foot. By comparison, residential income properties sold for an average price per square foot of $112 in 2014 and $90 in 2013.

The South Florida market for residential income properties has spiked since 2010 — near the end of the last real estate cycle — when 1,069 deals transacted at an average price of $61 per square foot.

In fact, today’s prices for residential income properties have more than doubled in the last five years.

Even with the recent jump in prices, South Florida’s residential income property market has not yet recovered to the levels experienced during the peak of the last real estate cycle.

Back in 2006, more than 1,080 residential income properties sold at an average price of about $181 per square foot. This means that today’s prices for this category of residential property are still down more than 30 percent from a decade ago.

Based on the current resale market, investors are optimistic that residential income properties have an upward trajectory at a time when other housing sectors are slowing down from the rapid transaction pace of a few years ago in South Florida.

For instance, year-over-year resales in South Florida are down 1 percent in the condo and townhouse sector while the single-family house category is up about 5 percent in the first 10 months of 2015, according to the Multiple Listing Service data.

At this time, more than 800 residential income properties are on the South Florida market at an average asking price of $191 per square foot, according to the data.

The current average asking price reflects nearly a 6 percent premium over the levels achieved in 2006.

Before dismissing the current asking price levels as overly optimistic, it is important to consider that South Florida has about 5.8 months of supply of residential income properties on the market.

In residential real estate, a six-month supply of properties is typically considered to be a balanced market. Fewer months of supply generally suggest a seller’s market, and more months of supply indicate a buyer’s market.

The bullishness about South Florida’s residential income property sector is rooted in rising rental prices.

Consider that the median rental transaction price for a residential property is $1.47 per square foot monthly in South Florida during the first 10 months of this year, according to the data.

By comparison, the median rental price per square foot in recent years was $1.35 in 2014 and $1.25 in 2013.

Currently, South Florida has about 2.5 months of supply of rental properties actively available for lease at a median asking price of about $1.98 per square foot, according to the data.

The unanswered question going forward is whether rental prices will continue to increase at record levels in the months and years ahead as tens of thousands of new apartment and condo units are currently in the development pipeline in South Florida.

Peter Zalewski is a principal with the Miami real estate consultancy Condo Vultures. Zalewski, a licensed Florida real estate professional since 1995 and founder of CVR Realty and Condo Vultures Realty LLC, advises developers, lenders and institutional investors. Zalewski also runs the preconstruction condo project website CraneSpotters.com in conjunction with the Miami Association Of Realtors.

More homebuyers bypass banks for loans

NEW YORK – Nov. 9, 2015 – Homebuyers increasingly turn to independent mortgage companies for their loans, rather than traditional banks.

According to data from the Federal Reserve, nondepository independent mortgage companies originated 47 percent of completed home-purchase loans in 2014 and 42 percent of refinance loans – up from 43 percent and 31 percent, respectively, from 2013. That also represents the largest share of the mortgage market held by non-banks since 1995.

Nonbank lenders include companies like Quicken Loans (which is now the second largest retail mortgage lender nationwide, behind Wells Fargo) and Loan Depot, and Finance of America Holdings. Blackstone Group’s Finance of America Holdings is expected to soon become one of the nation’s largest nonbank lenders after recently acquiring Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services, Pinnacle Capital Mortgage, and some assets and operations of PMAC Lending Services Inc.

The largest majority of nonbank mortgage volume still comes from conforming mortgages, backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. However, nonbank lenders are also trying to increase their market share of jumbo loans (mortgages above conforming loan limits of $417,000 in most areas and $625,500 in high-priced markets), Guy Cecala, CEO and publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, told The Wall Street Journal.

Quicken Loans, for example, is allowing some jumbo mortgage borrowers with consistent income documentation to complete their transaction fully online. “In many cases, you don’t have to talk to a loan officer,” says Bob Walters, chief economist for Quicken Loans.

Some nonbank lenders are touting their speed as an advantage over traditional banks. For instance, company officials with Movement Mortgage, which operates in 42 sates and originated $4.24 billion in mortgages in 2014, tell conforming loan borrowers that they are able to close mortgages in seven business days and jumbo borrowers in only a few days more – even with new mortgage disclosure rules that took effect last month.

While nonbank lending is catching on, bank officials say they hold one big advantage: They tend to be able to offer lower rates and closing costs to customers based on length of account history and amount of holdings.

Source: “Home-Loan Borrowers Bypass the Banks,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 4, 2015)

Fla.’s Realtors predict price increases will top 5%….Now Is The Time To Buy!

WASHINGTON – Nov. 5, 2015 – Most Realtors® remain “strongly” confident that the single-family home market will perform better over the next six months than it did a year ago, according to the latest Realtors Confidence Index, a survey of more than 50,000 practitioners.

And in a state-by-state comparison, Realtors in Florida have the highest expectation for home price increases. Job growth and low interest rates – the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is holding below 4 percent – are helping to buoy demand, the survey indicates.

Nationwide, Realtors expect home prices to rise an average 3.2 percent over the next 12 months. However, “Realtors expect the recent strong price growth to moderate as rising prices have made homes unaffordable for many, with home prices almost on par with their levels prior to the housing downturn,” according to the report.

The median price of all existing homes in August was $230,200, which nearly matches the peak price of $230,900 in July 2006.

Realtors in Florida predict that state home prices will rise 5-6 percent over the next 12 months – the only state where members expect an increase greater than 5 percent. In addition, only three other states’ Realtors expect a price increase in the 4-5 percent range: Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Realtors predict a 3-4 percent increase in 19 states, and 2-3 percent increase in 27 states. No state predicted an increase less than 2 percent.

Survey respondents report that their biggest market challenges continue to be tight inventory, decreasing affordability, tight mortgage availability, and slow, excessively conservative appraisals.

Many respondents also express concerns over the difficulty to obtain financing for condo purchases, since many condos aren’t eligible for FHA loans or ones backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Source: “REALTORS® Confidence Index: Report on the September 2015 Survey,” National Association of REALTORS® (Oct. 22, 2015)

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

Too many potential buyers think they won’t qualify 

WASHINGTON – Nov. 4, 2015 – Most people don’t know that they can buy a home with only 3 percent down, Freddie Mac says. To boost homeownership, Freddie is partnering with faith-based organizations as a way to attract more potential borrowers to its 3 percent downpayment mortgage product.
In recent years, many faith-based groups switched their attention from homebuyer outreach programs to foreclosure prevention because the financial crisis took a toll on many existing homeowners. Freddie hopes that some of these groups will again start to focus their efforts on homeownership.
The initiative includes financial education seminars and counseling sessions hosted by faith-based bodies that will use materials provided by Freddie Mac.
The mortgage finance giant has also partnered with Quicken Loans, other lenders and non-profits to promote its 3 percent downpayment program.
Many consumers are qualified to own a home but may not realize that, says Chris Boyle, a senior vice president at Freddie Mac. “We do think there’s a market out there that is not coming to the fore, and millennials is one group,” according to Boyle.
Source: American Banker (11/03/15) Berry, Kate
© Copyright 2015 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Aventura, FL – Condos For Sale….Peninsula Towers 1 and

Aventura, FL – Miami Condos For Sale….Peninsula Towers 1 and 2



Peninsula views night Peninsula Aventura

Coral Springs….Home For Sale 4635 NW 59 WAY

Professionally remodeled pool home, ready for new owners! See attachment for full list. Total renovation includes brand new roof, open custom kitchen with island, marble countertops and SS appliances. Vaulted ceilings, refinished pool, new electrical and plumbing.  All done with permits! Great house to entertain, sliders open to pool area and covered patio. Lots of green space as well. Sought after neighborhood full of amenities and close to everything including A+ rated schools and highways

Year Built: 1987

Rooms: 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms

Square Footage:2062

Pool: Yes

4635 NW 59 WAY 4635 NW 59 WAY2 4635 NW 59 WAY3