Foreclosure Markets Dominate Realtor.com Turnaround Towns

Foreclosure Markets Dominate Realtor.com Turnaround Towns

Ten of the nation’s local real estate markets that suffered from high foreclosure rates in recent years, eight of which are in Florida, are leading America’s housing sector towards a general recovery, according to Realtor.com’s Top 10 Turnaround Town Report, fourth quarter 2011.<a href=”//GulfPointeProperties.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Fl.jpg”><img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-1143″ title=”Fl” src=”//GulfPointeProperties.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Fl-300×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”210″ height=”210″ /></a>

The current list of Top 10 Turnaround Towns, developed using year-over-year comparative data from the fourth quarters of 2011 and 2010, begins with three of the nation’s top foreclosure markets that also achieved significant year-over-year median list price appreciation: Miami, FL, Phoenix, AZ, and Orlando, FL. They were followed by Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL, which fell from third to fourth on the Realtor.com Top 10 Turnaround Town list in one quarter, and Sarasota-Bradenton, FL which rose from sixth to fifth. Ranking sixth was Boise City, ID, the only Rocky Mountain market to make the list. Four Florida markets rounded out the list including: Naples, Fort Lauderdale, Lakeland-Winter Haven and Punta Gorda.

The market rankings are based on year-over-year median price appreciation, reduction in year-over-year median age of inventory, and inventory reduction levels as observed on Realtor.com, as well as unemployment rates on a year-over-year basis. The Realtor.com Top 10 Turnaround Report is based on an algorithm that combines those four key measures with searches for properties on Realtor.com and the ratio of searches to listings in order to equalize markets by size. The resulting report reflects price changes that have taken place and gives weight to supply and demand dynamics that create continued progress towards growth and stability in future months.

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The Realtor.com Top 10 Turnaround Towns, according to Fourth Quarter 2011 data are:

1. Miami, FL

2. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ

3. Orlando, FL

4. Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL

5. Sarasota-Bradenton, FL

6. Boise City, ID

7. Naples, FL

8. Fort Lauderdale, FL

9. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fl

10. Punta Gorda, FL 17.79%

Miami, FL is leading the nation on the turnaround path. According to the Miami Association of Realtors, sales of existing single-family homes in the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) jumped 51 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago Miami has half as many properties in Realtor.com’s inventory of listings as it had a year ago, and the median age of inventory is down 30 percent from a year ago. Miami also continues to be a hot market for international buyers. In May, international clients purchased about 60 percent of the existing houses and condos and 90 percent of the newly built homes in Miami. With inventory stabilized and median list prices regaining some of the 50 percent of value that was lost since 2006, experts say one of the hardest hit foreclosure markets in the nation is on its way back.

Phoenix-Mesa AZ advanced two places on this Top 10 list between the third and fourth quarters of 2011. One of the areas hit hardest by foreclosures, Phoenix today still generates one foreclosure filing for every 317 housing units. Median list prices in Phoenix are up 15.38 percent on a year-over-year basis, but the market has to regain ground on what was lost in recent years. An uptick in demand driven by foreclosure bargains has contributed to a 27.47 year-over-year decline in the local median age of inventory. Unemployment in November was only 7.7 percent below both state and national rates. With inventory in check, an improving local economy and growing demand, it’s only a matter of time before Phoenix returns to stability and lasting home value appreciation.

Orlando, FL secured its number three spot on the Realtor.com list of Top 10 Turnaround Towns as a result of progress made toward getting inventory back in balance with demand, suggesting the market may be stabilizing and turning a corner. The median age of inventory in Orlando on Realtor.com in the fourth quarter was down to 73 days, a 36 percent drop from a year ago and inventory was down 44 percent compared to a year ago. The Orlando MSA posted big declines in November foreclosure filings compared to the prior year and month. Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties posted 2,806 filings, or one in every 323 households. This is down 24 percent from November 2010, and nearly 36 percent down from the October 2011 filings. Fourth quarter 2011 year-over-year list prices on Realtor.com in Orlando rose 8.22 percent. Orlando leads the nation in the ratio of searches to listings on Realtor.com, a leading indicator that buyer demand may strengthen in the near future.

Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL fell one rung to fourth place in the fourth quarter 2011 ranking on the list, but its recovery remains strong. Its median sale price has increased 20 percent over the past year, more than any other Florida market, though sales are down 13 percent. The market led the nation in year-over-year median list price increases on Realtor.com (31.27%) in the fourth quarter 2011, and ranked 14th in inventory declines that same quarter compared to a year ago. Only one in every 390 homes in the Fort Myers metro market received a foreclosure filing in December.

Sarasota-Bradenton, FL ranks fifth in the nation on Realtor.com’s Top Turnaround Towns list for the fourth quarter 2011. Sales have been hopping in Sarasota and Bradenton this past fall, which is up 17 percent over last year. Median list prices were up 2 percent for the same period. This sales resurgence paralleled the drop in the available for sale inventory observed on Realtor.com, which just may place the remaining homes in range of a seller’s market. List prices on Realtor.com were up 10.78 percent in the fourth quarter 2011 compared to the fourth quarter 2010, and inventory is down 31 percent from a year ago.

Boise City, ID year-over-year for sale inventory observed by Realtor.com is down 40 percent, eighth best in the nation based on the year-over-year rate of decline. A key reason for the declining inventory is a reduction in foreclosures. A smaller inventory has helped drop the median age of inventory by 23.42 percent compared to a year ago. Smaller inventory is driving a median listing price increase of 13.77 percent, fifth best among Realtor.com’s 146 markets in the fourth quarter of 2011. Boise’s unemployment rate at 8.5 percent in November is better than the national rate.

Naples, FL is a newcomer to the Top 10 Turnaround Town list this quarter, powered by a 13.38 percent year-over-year increase in median list prices, seventh best in the nation overall, and a 35.94 percent reduction in for sale inventory. The median age of inventory in Naples is down 13.64 percent compared to a year ago. Demand in Naples, FL has been fueled by foreign buyers as the MSA attracts 6 percent of Florida’s international sales. While not everyone is bullish on Naples, sales are up and prices are moderating. The latest sales data from the Naples Board of Realtors confirms that the market is in the midst of change, but moving in the right direction. Sales of November single family homes are up 8 percent from November 2010 but sale prices are down 13 percent. Inventory is down 21 percent from a year ago.

Fort Lauderdale, FL has benefited from a shrinking inventory, which is down 41.63 percent year-over-year – sixth best (lowest) in the nation as observed by Realtor.com. Sales were up 22 percent in November and sale prices were up 18 percent year-over-year. List prices are up 7.84 percent over last year. However, like many other Florida markets, Fort Lauderdale, whose prices fell at least 46 percent from 2006 to 2010, still has a ways to go in part due to an unemployment problem affecting its housing market. But in November its unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent.

Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL has observed a 9.09 percent increase in median list prices compared to a year ago. Its inventory has declined 35.28 percent since 2010 and its search-to-inventory ratio on Realtor.com, a measure of the number of buyers who are shopping for properties in the market, ranks fourth highest (best) in the nation in the fourth quarter 2011. As recently as a year ago, Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL was at the top of the national lists for foreclosure filings. But in recent months foreclosures in this MSA have been declining. In September, there were a total of only 86 distressed homes sold, compared to the 107 homes the previous month and 132 homes the previous year. Lakeland’s biggest hurdle on the road to recovery is its unemployment rate that dropped from 12 to 11 percent from the third to the fourth quarter, just a point over the state average.

Punta Gorda, FL returns to the Top 10 Turnaround Town list for the fourth quarter 2011 after it fell off the list the previous quarter. Like other Florida markets, it’s a market on the rebound, with both sale prices and sales up 11 percent year-over-year in November. Punta Gorda made it back to its 10th place position on this list thanks to its29.25 percent year-over-year reduction in for sale inventory. But prices are just starting to turn around and must still make up for the 56.2 percent decline in home values observed since 2006. Currently Punta Gorda properties are selling at bargain prices, attracting both domestic and international buyers.

Read more: <a href=”//www.upi.com/Business_News/Real-Estate/2012/01/31/Foreclosure-Markets-Dominate-Realtorcom-Turnaround-Towns/5691328031480/#ixzz1lLfrEnZP”>//www.upi.com/Business_News/Real-Estate/2012/01/31/Foreclosure-Markets-Dominate-Realtorcom-Turnaround-Towns/5691328031480/#ixzz1lLfrEnZP</a>

From <a href=”//www.realestateeconomywatch.com/” target=”_blank”>Real Estate Economy Watch</a>

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