Spring is Here….Keukenhof Holland..

Keukenhof, Tulip gardens in The Netherlands, The place to see the spring blossom…..


Rosie O’Donnell puts Star Island manse on block for $19 million

On the last day of her show on the OWN network, Rosie O’Donnell has listed her 11,000-square-foot Star Island home for $19 million, according to Kevin Tomlinson’s South Beach Real Estate Blog. The home, which was purchased by O’Donnell in 1999 for $6.75 million, has two private guesthouses and has undergone renovations since her purchase. The home, which is located at 43 Star Island, has an appraised value of $8.04 million, according to Miami-Dade County records.


Florida has nation’s top foreclosure rate

March 29, 2012 01:30PM

Florida’s foreclosure rate of 12 percent is the highest in the nation, according to data released today by CoreLogic. A total of 86,735 foreclosures were completed in the state from February 2011 to February 2012, also the highest number in the country. That was despite the foreclosure freeze brought upon by the document scandal at the end of 2010. There were a total of 65,000 foreclosures completed last month. Approximately 1.4 million homes nationwide with a mortgage were in the foreclosure inventory, or 3.4 percent. “The pace of completed foreclosures is down slightly compared to January, running at an annualized pace of 670,000, but compares favorably to the pace of completed foreclosures in February a year ago,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Even though the pace of completed foreclosures has slowed, the overall foreclosure inventory is decreasing because REO sales were up in February.” — Alexander Britell

New Midtown affordable housing project offers luxe living for $375 a month Mayor Tomas Regalado says 3606 NW 5th Street will be an anchor for the neighborhood

One of Brickell’s remaining new construction condominiums might cost a buyer less than $400 per square foot.
But a new affordable housing project near Midtown is offering nearly identical amenities — for less than $400 per month.
Pinnacle Housing Group’s new Vista Mar affordable housing complex at 3606 NW 5th Avenue is replete with modern amenities from granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to wraparound terraces — with some even boasting bay views. The building already 100 percent occupied, with 110 families living in one-, two and three-bedroom units with rents ranging $375 to $995 per month.
Mitchell Friedman, a partner at Pinnacle, said the project’s construction, which is LEED Silver-certified came through combining a group of funding sources.
“In this particular case, we had funds from the state of Florida, U.S. government, the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and from a private bank, City National Bank,” he said. “When you cobble all of these together, you can make something like this happen.”
“When I first came up on a Saturday, the next Saturday I was moving in,” said resident Linda Griges. “The apartments are amazing; they have cherry wood cabinets, stainless steel apartments, I have a balcony [from which] I can overlook Miami.”
It is the 11th high-rise community built by Pinnacle in Miami, and the company’s 44th development nationwide.
“We have a shortage of affordable housing here in Miami-Dade County,” said County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson. “This will enable people to have housing, have a roof over the heads — a decent roof — where they can come home and be proud to say ‘this is where I live.”
Mayor Tomas Regalado told The Real Deal that the building’s location, a few avenues over from the center of Midtown, would provide an anchor for the neighborhood — and potentially spur further development in the area.
“It’s within walking distance of Midtown, and what you’re going to see is people are going to take interest in [surrounding] empty lots and houses, so it’s an anchor,” he said. “For Midtown, it’s a blessing, because I don’t think they will be able to go every day, but at least once a week, they will be going around, buying something and when there are people, crime is displaced.”
Vista Mar is the latest project in an affordable housing boom in Miami that managed to weather the downturn.
Indeed, when many area residential projects were dormant at the beginning of the downturn, developers like Pinnacle, Carlisle and Carrfour, among others, were building new affordable housing? ones, some, like Vista Mar, with a new standard of construction — from modern amenities to LEED certification — the latter particular popular at new Miami projects.
Affordable housing “has changed enormously,” Friedman said. “When you take a look at affordable housing projects that were done in Miami in the late 1970s and 1980s, even the early 1990s, and you compare them to this, there is no comparison.”

Broward County pending sales up 53 percent

March 30, 2012 11:15AM

The total number of listings that pended in Broward County during February jumped 53 percent, according to data from the Miami Association of Realtors. There were a total of 3,902 single-family homes and condominiums that pended last month, up from 2,555 such properties in February 2011. “February pending home sales in Broward County point to strong future sales activity,” said Rick Burch, president of the Broward Council of the Miami Association of Realtors. “Pending sales continue to rise, reflecting strong demand for both single-family homes and condominiums countywide.” Pending home sales activity continues to mirror closed home sales activity, according to Ernesto Vega, president-elect of the Broward Council. — Alexander Britell

Seniors and Young Adults Will Influence U.S. Housing Markets

Washington, March 13, 2012

Aging baby boomers and their echo boomer children will significantly impact trends in the nation’s housing market over the next 20 years. In a new report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, “Demographic Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Housing Markets,” researchers at the National Association of Realtors®, The Urban Institute, and the University of Southern California analyze key demographic trends and their likely influence on housing and homeownership in the U.S.

Over the next two decades, the aging baby boomer generation will swell the nation’s senior population by 30 million. That demographic shift will likely help increase the supply of housing, since people over age 65 typically release much more housing than they absorb.

“The Northeast and Midwest are most likely to see a large number of older homeowners selling their homes to younger homeowners as the baby boomers age,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “This increased supply could mean additional buying opportunities for echo boomers. That generation will absorb 75-80 percent of the available inventory of owner-occupied housing by 2020.”

The echo boom generation includes nearly 65 million people born between 1981 and 1995. NAR’s analysis illustrates the potential impact of economic and housing policy on this generation’s demand for housing as they come of age.

“Housing, jobs and the economy are inextricably connected,” said Yun. “A strong recovery with favorable housing market conditions would encourage substantial growth in echo boomer households, which would help absorb the current vacant inventory and stabilize conditions for residential construction. Under a reasonable ‘middle’ recovery scenario, approximately 12 million new households will be formed over the next decade, requiring construction of up to 15 million new housing units.”

NAR President Moe Veissi noted that current market trends favor would-be homeowners of all ages. “As the supply of rental housing continues to fall, rents are increasing,” said Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “At the same time, affordability for homeowners is at a record high. For buyers who qualify and are ready to assume the responsibilities of owning a home, opportunity is knocking.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Fort Lauderdale: 1st ‘green’ designated high-rise project

Green building reached a new high last week when Progresso Point, Fort Lauderdale’s newest community in Flagler Village, became the first high-rise in the state of Florida to achieve the Florida Green Building Coalition’s (FGBC) “Green Hi-Rise Residential Designation.”

The FGBC confirmed that the 76-unit multi-family apartment building meets the criteria for healthy, environmentally efficient, affordable housing.

A collaborative project completed by co-developers Reliance Housing Foundation and the Broward County Housing Authority, contractor Facchina Construction and sustainability expert Trifecta Construction Solutions of Fort Myers, Progresso Point is a sustainable apartment community for residents who work in the hundreds of nearby restaurants, service industries, and other professions critical to Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.

Progresso Point Apartment Homes was built at an energy efficiency level 40 percent higher than the established Florida energy code. The apartment complex is also designed with tankless water heaters, water-saving faucets, showerheads, dual flush toilets, air conditioning with a SEER 15 rating, Energy Star qualified lighting in every room, low VOC paint and energy star rated appliances.

Progresso Point Apartment Homes is at 619 N. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Census Bureau: Urban growth outpaces nation

WASHINGTON – March 26, 2012 – The nation’s urban population increased by 12.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, outpacing the nation’s overall growth rate of 9.7 percent for the same period. The Census Bureau released the new list of urban areas today based on 2010 Census results.

Urban areas – defined as densely developed residential, commercial and other nonresidential areas – now account for 80.7 percent of the U.S. population, up from 79.0 percent in 2000. Although the rural population – the population in all areas outside not classified as “urban” – grew by a modest amount from 2000 to 2010 but declined as a percentage of the national population.

The Census Bureau identifies two types of urban areas: “urbanized areas” of 50,000 or more people and “urban clusters” of at least 2,500 but less than 50,000 people. Under that classification, the U.S. has 486 urbanized areas and 3,087 urban clusters.

Of the 10 most densely populated urbanized areas, nine are in the West, with seven of those in California. Urbanized areas in the U.S., taken together, had an overall population density of 2,534 people per square mile.

The nation’s most densely populated urbanized area is Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., with nearly 7,000 people per square mile. The San Francisco-Oakland, Calif., area is the second most densely populated at 6,266 people per square mile, followed by San Jose, Calif. (5,820 people per square mile) and Delano, Calif. (5,483 people per square mile). The New York-Newark, N.J., area is fifth, with an overall density of 5,319 people per square mile.

The New York-Newark area continues to be the nation’s most populous urbanized area, with 18,351,295 residents. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim is the second most populous (12,150,996), followed by the Chicago area (8,608,208).

Among urbanized areas with populations of 1 million or more, the Charlotte, N.C.-S.C., area grew at the fastest rate, increasing by 64.6 percent, followed by the Austin, Texas, area, at 51.1 percent, and Las Vegas-Henderson, Nev., at 43.5 percent. The Charlotte and Austin areas also had the highest rates of land area change, increasing by 70.5 percent and 64.4 percent, respectively.

The population within the nation’s 486 urbanized areas grew by 14.3 percent from 2000 to 2010. For any given urbanized area, population increase may be attributed to a combination of internal growth, outward expansion to include new growth, and outward expansion encompassing existing communities that previously were outside the urbanized area.

Regional and state patterns

Of the nation’s four census regions, the West continued to be the most urban, with 89.8 percent of its population residing within urban areas, followed by the Northeast, at 85.0 percent. The Midwest and South continue to have lower percentages of urban population than the nation as a whole, with rates of 75.9 and 75.8, respectively.

Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division remains the most urban, with nearly 92 percent of its population residing within urban areas. The East South Central division (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee) remains the least urban, with only 59.9 percent of its population residing within urban areas.

Of the 50 states, California was the most urban, with nearly 95 percent of its population residing within urban areas. New Jersey followed closely with 94.7 percent of its population residing in urban areas. New Jersey is the most heavily urbanized state, with 92.2 percent of its population residing within urbanized areas of 50,000 or more population.

The states with the largest urban populations were California (35,373,606), Texas (21,298,039) and Florida (17,139,844). Maine and Vermont were the most rural states, with 61.3 and 61.1 percent of their populations, respectively, residing in rural areas. States with the largest rural populations were Texas (3,847,522), North Carolina (3,233,727) and Pennsylvania (2,711,092).

For more information, visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s website. (http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ua/2010urbanruralclass.html)

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

REO discounts to grow even bigger?

NEW YORK – March 26, 2012 – Foreclosures are expected to pick up as soon as banks begin to clear their backlog of troubled loans – RealtyTrac is projecting a 25 percent increase in 2012.

If an increase does occur, some housing experts wonder how it will impact overall home prices, and whether the discounts for REOs will be even larger this time around. For example, in metro areas like Las Vegas, the average foreclosure sells at 6.1 percent less than a non-foreclosure home. In Miami, the foreclosure discount is 7.1 percent, according to data by LPS Applied Analytics. In some places, it’s even more.

“A spike in sales of bank-owned homes can be bad news for other sellers,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “And foreclosure sales make it hard for prices to rise overall since they boost sales activity at the lower end of the market.”

This time around, however, housing experts don’t expect the discounts in distressed properties to grow.

“More often than not, prices are determined more by demand than supply,” Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. Areas with a high number of REOs may have greater demand for REOs in good condition and less supply for other properties. Plus, Capital Economics predicts that demand will improve nationwide this year as the housing markets starts to recover.

Source: “Will the ‘Foreclosure Discount’ Grow This Year?” The Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2012)

© Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688