What do today’s buyers want in a home?

NEW YORK – Aug. 5, 2015 – What building materials are trending in new-home construction? The latest Annual Builder Practices Survey, conducted by Home Innovation, reveals what buyers can expect to see in the new-home market.

1. Garages: The garage door is getting more enhancements, including windows, insulated doors, and doors made of composite or plastic materials. In 2014, 32 percent of all new single-family homes had bays for three or more cars – the most ever recorded in this study’s history.

2. Flooring: Carpeting continues to be the most popular flooring option for new construction, included in about 83 percent of all new-home bedroom installations. However, only about 40 percent of living rooms now have carpet. Hardwood flooring – both solid and engineered– is the second most popular type of flooring included in 27 percent of all new-home installations. Ceramic tile (which appears in 72 percent of all bathroom floor installation) follows in third place, making up 20 percent of all new-home floor installations.

3. Countertops: For kitchen countertops, granite continues to reign in two out of three homes (64 percent of new-home installations). Quartz/engineered stone is gaining popularity while laminate, solid surfacing and ceramic tile are losing appeal.

4. Appliances: Cooktops and wall oven combinations are gaining in popularity and make up about 24 percent of the market, compared to freestanding ovens (45 percent). Freezer-on-bottom refrigerators are gaining in popularity at 19 percent, while side-by-side has fallen to 28 percent of the share.

5. Kitchen sinks: More buyers are paying attention to their kitchen sink, with the single basin kitchen sink making a comeback, growing from 5 percent to 20 percent of all new single-family homes in the past decade. Also growing in popularity are granite/stone kitchen sinks (at 8 percent). One-piece cultured marble lavatories are continuing to decline in demand.

Source: “Material World: The Hottest Trends From the 2015 Builder Practices Survey,” BUILDER Online (July 29, 2015)

© Copyright 2015 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Advertisements

4 Florida cities tops for seriously underwater homes

IRVINE, Calif. — July 30, 2015 — RealtyTrac released its second quarter (Q2) 2015 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report, which listed four Florida cities at the top of the list for homes seriously underwater – properties where the homeowners owe at least 25 percent more than the home’s current market worth.

Areas (population greater than 500,000) with the highest percentage of seriously underwater properties included Florida markets such as Lakeland (28.5 percent), Cleveland, Ohio (28.2 percent), Las Vegas (27.9 percent), Akron, Ohio (27.3 percent), Orlando (26.1 percent), Tampa (24.8 percent), Chicago (24.8 percent), Palm Bay(24.4 percent) and Toledo, Ohio (24.3 percent).

In addition, RealtyTrac looked at underwater homes that are also in the foreclosure process.

In the same Florida cities, over half of the homeowners going through foreclosure were seriously underwater:Lakeland (54.8 percent of foreclosures seriously underwater), Tampa (51.7 percent), Palm Bay (51.5 percent) and Orlando (51.2 percent).

Statewide, 23.6 percent Florida of homeowners with a mortgage were seriously underwater in the Q2 2015 – a drop from 23.8 percent in the first quarter and 30.3 percent year-to-year.

On the flipside, RealtyTrac found that 17.6 percent of Florida owners with a mortgage were “equity rich” with at least 50 percent equity. That’s a slight drop for the first quarter’s 17.8 percent but an increase from 15.9 percent year-to-year.

Looking only at homes in foreclosure, 62.8 percent in Florida were seriously underwater, while 18.6 percent, even though going through foreclosure, were equity rich.

“Strong South Florida price increases over the past few years have moved many homeowners from negative to positive equity. We would encourage the remaining distressed homeowners to ask for a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) regarding the value of their property – many may be surprised at their improving value,” says Mike Pappas, CEO and president of Keyes Company in South Florida.

National numbers

Nationwide, 13.3 percent of all properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater in Q2, an increase from 13.2 percent of all homes in the first quarter. However, they dropped from 17.2 percent year-to-year. At the peak of the foreclosure crisis in 2012, the percentage was 28.6 percent.

“Slowing home price appreciation in 2015 has resulted in the share of seriously underwater properties plateauing at about 13 percent of all properties with a mortgage,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“However, the share of homeowners with the double-whammy of seriously underwater properties also in foreclosure is continuing to decrease and is now at the lowest level we’ve seen since we began tracking that metric in the first quarter of 2012,” he adds.

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

Signs point to reversal in foreclosure numbers

RealtyTrac: ‘It may be that we have reached that plateau’

June 14, 2012 12:01AM 
By Alexander Britell

Foreclosure filings in the tri-county area increased in May for the sixth straight month, but may be slowing down, data from the foreclosure research firm RealtyTrac shows. Properties with foreclosure filings in the tri-county area were 11 percent higher than they were in May 2011. The increase was especially pronounced in Miami-Dade County, which saw a 39 percent increase in foreclosure activity.

But those foreclosure numbers were significantly lower than in previous months — a sign that South Florida’s foreclosure problem could be peaking. In fact, foreclosures fell 36 percent year-over-year in Broward County.

“It’s possible that somewhere in this range of 7,000 to 10,000 properties a month is what we’re going to see,” RealtyTrac spokesperson Daren Blomquist told The Real Deal.

He noted: “If we continue to see somewhere around that 11 percent increase year-over-year, it may be that we have reached that plateau, and lenders are just pushing through as many [foreclosures] as they can.”

The month-to-month data leads to a similar conclusion. In May, foreclosure filings in South Florida decreased by 22 percent compared to April 2012.

The region was one of just three of the largest 20 metro areas in the United States to see a monthly decline, along with Boston and San Diego.

He cautioned that foreclosure activity at the county level could show more volatility than statewide and national numbers.

Nationally, foreclosure activity has continued to decline. In May, U.S. foreclosure filings fell 4 percent compared to the same period in 2011, the 20th straight month of reductions. That shift has been driven in part by an increase in pre-foreclosure sales, according to RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore.

The last six months represent a change from much of 2011, when much of Florida’s activity ground to a halt due to the foreclosure document scandal. After months of decreases, lenders began ramping up their processing toward the end of 2011.

“The lenders are pushing through the delayed foreclosures from a year ago, and continuing to do so,” Blomquist said. “I think the mortgage settlement between the attorneys general and fit major lenders that was finalized in April helped continue the upward trend.”

Now, it looks like that activity is reaching its limit.

Signs point to reversal in foreclosure numbers

RealtyTrac: ‘It may be that we have reached that plateau’

June 14, 2012 12:01AM 
By Alexander Britell

Foreclosure filings in the tri-county area increased in May for the sixth straight month, but may be slowing down, data from the foreclosure research firm RealtyTrac shows. Properties with foreclosure filings in the tri-county area were 11 percent higher than they were in May 2011. The increase was especially pronounced in Miami-Dade County, which saw a 39 percent increase in foreclosure activity.

But those foreclosure numbers were significantly lower than in previous months — a sign that South Florida’s foreclosure problem could be peaking. In fact, foreclosures fell 36 percent year-over-year in Broward County.

“It’s possible that somewhere in this range of 7,000 to 10,000 properties a month is what we’re going to see,” RealtyTrac spokesperson Daren Blomquist told The Real Deal.

He noted: “If we continue to see somewhere around that 11 percent increase year-over-year, it may be that we have reached that plateau, and lenders are just pushing through as many [foreclosures] as they can.”

The month-to-month data leads to a similar conclusion. In May, foreclosure filings in South Florida decreased by 22 percent compared to April 2012.

The region was one of just three of the largest 20 metro areas in the United States to see a monthly decline, along with Boston and San Diego.

He cautioned that foreclosure activity at the county level could show more volatility than statewide and national numbers.

Nationally, foreclosure activity has continued to decline. In May, U.S. foreclosure filings fell 4 percent compared to the same period in 2011, the 20th straight month of reductions. That shift has been driven in part by an increase in pre-foreclosure sales, according to RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore.

The last six months represent a change from much of 2011, when much of Florida’s activity ground to a halt due to the foreclosure document scandal. After months of decreases, lenders began ramping up their processing toward the end of 2011.

“The lenders are pushing through the delayed foreclosures from a year ago, and continuing to do so,” Blomquist said. “I think the mortgage settlement between the attorneys general and fit major lenders that was finalized in April helped continue the upward trend.”

Now, it looks like that activity is reaching its limit.