First look at 2017 real estate market First look at 2017 real estate market

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Oct. 19, 2016 – The 2017 home buying season will be see a large increase in first-time homebuyers, according to’s latest Active Home Shopper Report, and an increased demand for suburban homes. However, buyers will also face greater affordability challenges.

The study, based on September survey data of active shoppers on, provides insight into future home buying trends in 2017 by analyzing responses from consumers who plan to purchase homes in the spring or summer of 2017.

According to the report, the percentage of first-time homebuyers could rise as high as 52 percent of all buyers, and increase from 33 percent in 2016.

But this boost in first-time buyers will also make affordability, downpayments and credit scores a challenge, and those issues could become the market’s top problem next year. Currently, the limited inventory of listings is the top barrier to homeownership.

In general, suburban homes are preferred by 43 percent of first-time homebuyers surveyed, likely due to their desire for safe neighborhoods, privacy and the needs of growing families, according to researchers.

Top 5 predictions for 2017

1. First-time homebuyers could make up a majority of 2017 homebuyers
According to the survey, first time homebuyers make up 52 percent of prospective buyers looking to purchase in 2017. Millennials lead the pack with 61 percent of potential first-time buyers under age 35. Top reasons cited by millennials for buying: getting married or moving in with a partner, growing tired of their current living space, and planning to increase family size.

“This represents an ‘Oh, shift’ moment in housing,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for “With so many first-time buyers in the market, competition will be even fiercer next year for affordable starter homes in the suburbs. Those looking to buy may want to consider a winter home purchase in order to avoid bidding wars and higher prices spurred by a potential increase in millennial buyers.”

2. Affordability and mortgage qualifying expected to replace lack of inventory as largest barrier to homeownership
In 2016, 40 percent of home shoppers cited lack of inventory as the largest barrier to homeownership, but reports this will potentially shift to affordability and mortgage qualification issues as more first-time home buyers enter the market. Of first time buyers planning to purchase next spring, 37 percent said their largest impediment to homeownership is the downpayment, and 30 percent said finding a house within their budget.

3. Safe neighborhoods, more living space and larger yards top list of key home attributes
Safety, more living space and larger yards as key features is consistent with their top goals of buying: attaining privacy and addressing the needs of their families. A third top objective of first-time buyers is to make a financial investment that will grow over time.

As millennials marry and move in with partners, reasons to purchase are driven by actual or planned growth in their families, and they show strong preference for single-family homes (39 percent) or townhomes (34 percent), and away from multi-family homes (15 percent), condos (10 percent) or mobile homes (2 percent).

4. Competition for the suburbs should heat up
With families and safety on the brain, it’s no surprise that first time homebuyers identified the suburbs as their No. 1 preferred location. In fact, 50 percent of all respondents identified suburban areas as their preferred location. For boomers, their desire for the suburbs can likely be attributed to their desire to be close to family and friends.

Data also show younger homebuyers are more likely than their older counterparts to prefer urban living, the second-most common location preference among millennials after suburbs.

5. Spring and summer will continue to be 2017’s hottest time to buy a house
A majority of all survey respondents were beginning the housing search at the time of the survey and planned to purchase in seven months or longer, indicating spring and summer will continue as the top seasons to buy and sell homes: 73 percent of respondents had been considering homeownership for less than three months and did not expect to purchase a home immediately.

Source: © 2016 Florida Realtors®

What happens when a home under contract is damaged?

What happens when a home under contract is damaged?

October 3, 2016 — Since all contracts are different and contain various provisions regarding how damage to the property is handled, the answers depend on the language of your specific deal. However, if you use the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contracts, Standard 18M covers repairs, the obligation of the seller and other issues related to property damaged before closing.

This section, entitled Risk of Loss, states that if the property is damaged by fire or other casualty loss and the cost of restoration does not exceed 1.5 percent of the purchase price, the seller must restore the property and closing shall proceed according to the terms of the contract. In the event the cost of restoration exceeds 1.5 percent of the purchase price, the buyer has the option of taking the property “as is” together with the 1.5 percent, or the buyer can receive his or her deposit back, and all parties are released from the contract.

In the event of any casualty damage to the property, it is important for the parties to get an estimate for repairs as quickly as possible so they will have a better understanding of their options. Additionally, depending on the type of casualty loss, the contract’s force majeure provision may apply, which could delay the closing or terminate the deal.

As risk of loss could involve potential legal issues, buyers and sellers may also want to consult their own legal counsel.

Meredith Caruso is Manager of Member Legal Communications for Florida Realtors

© 2016 Florida Realtors®

Source : Florida Realtors

Fla. sees 19% year-to-year drop in mortgage fraud

Fla. sees 19% year-to-year drop in mortgage fraud

NEW YORK – Sept. 22, 2016 – According to the second quarter mortgage fraud report from CoreLogic, Florida continues to lead the nation, but the total amount of mortgage fraud in the Sunshine State dropped significantly – 19 percent in a year-to-year comparison. Nationwide, mortgage fraud rose over the same period by 3.9 percent.

Miami ranked first nationwide for mortgage fraud risk, and seven out of the top 10 high-risk cities are in Florida.

The CoreLogic Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index is standardized to a baseline of 100; each 1-point change in the index represents a 1 percent change in the share of mortgage applications with a high risk of fraud.

Florida cities in the top 25, by rank, for mortgage fraud risk

1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: 278 risk index

2. Lakeland-Winter Haven: 226 risk index

3. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: 213 risk index

5. Jacksonville: 198 risk index

6. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach: 193 risk index

7. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: 181 risk index

11. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville: 163 risk index

12. Cape Coral-Fort Myers: 161 risk index

14. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton: 152 risk index

Increase/decrease of risk by fraud type (nationally)

  • Income fraud: Up 12.5%. With income fraud, applicants lie about their income in order to qualify for a mortgage.
  • Transaction fraud: Up 3.2%. With transaction fraud, the nature of the deal isn’t fully revealed, such as falsified downpayments or undisclosed agreements.
  • Occupancy fraud: Up 2.9%. In this case, applicants lie about their intended use of the property.
  • Undisclosed real estate debt fraud: Down 3.4%. Applicants who fail to disclose other real estate debt, such as another mortgage or taxes, commit this type of fraud.
  • Identity fraud: Down 10.8%. Considered one of the worst types of fraud, applicants apply under a name other than their own.
  • Property fraud: Down 14.2%. In this case, the application contains lies about the property or its value.

© 2016 Florida Realtors®

Buy a home with only $100 downpayment!

Buy a home with only $100 downpayment!

Sales incentives (Florida only):

  • $100 down payment – for qualifying owner-occupant buyer with FHA financing only
  • Up to 3% closing costs – on qualifying homes

To get started, contact us at 407-909-8000 to help you get pre-qualified and show you qualifying homes.

FHA Financing benefits include:

  • low down payment
  • competitive interest rates
  • flexible credit qualifying
  • more protection to keep your home
  • approved lenders near you

Purchase and fix up your home with the FHA 203(k) Program. One mortgage loan does it all, financing both the purchase and repairs of your new home. Find out more by calling 407-909-8000!


Orlando’s homebuying season kicks off with a decline in inventory and an increase in median price

Orlando’s homebuying season kicks off with a decline in inventory and an increase in median price


View detailed statistical reports

Orlando’s homebuying season kicks off with a decline in inventory and an increase in median price

The traditional start to Orlando’s homebuying season — April 1 — finds buyers continuing to grapple with a dwindling inventory that in March pushed home prices up 10 percent and restrained sales by 4 percent.

“Like much of the country, Orlando home sales are being impacted by a lack of inventory rather than a lack of buyers,” says ORRA President John Lazenby, Colony Realty Group, Inc. “For example, there is only 2.16 months’ worth of non-distressed single-family homes in the critical first-time homebuyer price categories. That’s even below the area’s overall 3.50 months-of-supply, which is far below the six months that economists consider balanced between supply and demand.”

Median Price

The overall median price (all sales types and all home types combined) for the month of March 2016 is $195,000, a 10.12 percent jump compared to the $177,075 median price in March 2015. The median price is up 5.41 percent compared to the February 2016 median of $185,000.

The Orlando median home price has now experienced year-over-year increases for the past 56 consecutive months; as of March the median price is 68.83 percent higher than it was in July 2011.

The year-to-year median price of normal sales decreased 0.01 percent, while the median price for foreclosure sales increased 8.11 percent and short sales increased 15.38 percent.

The median price of single-family homes increased 9.74 percent when compared to March of last year, and the median price of condos increased 16.56 percent.

Completed Sales

Members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association participated in the sale of 3,022 homes (all home types and all sale types combined) that closed in March 2016, a decrease of 3.51 percent compared to March 2015 and an increase of 25.13 percent compared to February 2016.

Sales of normal homes increased 18.79 percent in March 2016, while foreclosures decreased 53.70 percent and short sales decreased 30.77 percent.

Homes of all types spent an average of 70 days on the market before coming under contract in March 2016, and the average home sold for 97.14 percent of its listing price. In March 2015 those numbers were 80 days and 96.87 percent, respectively.

The average interest rate paid by Orlando homebuyers in March was 3.70 percent. Last month, the average interest rate was 3.75 while this month last year homebuyers paid an average interest rate of 3.78.

Pending Sales

Pending sales – those under contract and awaiting closing – are currently at 5,798. The number of pending sales in March 2016 is 13.63 percent lower than it was in March 2015 and 6.90 percent higher than it was in February 2016.

Normal properties made up 67.56 percent of pending sales in March 2016. Short sales accounted for 17.35 percent, while bank-owned properties accounted for 15.09 percent.


The number of existing homes (all types combined) that were available for purchase in March is 8.21 percent below that of March 2015 and now rests at 10,583. Inventory decreased by 1.06 percent (113 homes in number) compared to last month.

The inventory of normal homes increased 4.80 percent, while foreclosures decreased 62.22 percent and short sales decreased 40.92 percent.

The inventory of single-family homes is down by 6.35 percent when compared to March of 2015, while condo inventory is down by 16.31 percent. The inventory of duplexes, townhomes, and villas is down by 8.10 percent.


The March affordability index is 165.41 percent, a decrease from February’s index of 173.30. (An affordability index of 99 percent means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 1 percent short of the income necessary to purchase a median-priced home. Conversely, an affordability index that is over 100 means that median-income earners make more than is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home.)

Buyers who earn the reported median income of $57,038 can qualify to purchase one of 4,391 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $322,548 or less.

First-time homebuyer affordability in March decreased to 117.62 percent from last month’s 123.24 percent. First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $38,786 can qualify to purchase one of the 2,207 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $191,963 or less.

Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas

The sales of condos in the Orlando area were down 6.09 percent, with 339 sales recorded in March 2016 compared to 361 in March 2015.

Orlando homebuyers purchased 265 duplexes, town homes, and villas in March 2016, which is 8.62 percent less than in March 2015.

MSA Numbers

Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in March (3,675) were down by 4.30 percent when compared to March of 2015 (3,840).

Each individual county’s monthly sales comparisons are as follows:

•    Lake: 8.21 percent below March 2015;
•    Orange: 3.52 percent below March 2015;
•    Osceola: 6.56 percent below March 2015; and
•    Seminole: 0.97 percent below March 2015.

Monthly Housing Market Reports Monday Morning Quarterback Reports



This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association and the My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor MFRMLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or MFRMLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Due to late closings, an adjustment is necessary to record those closings posted after our reporting date.

ORRA REALTOR® sales, referred to as the core market, represent all sales by members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, not necessarily those sales strictly in Orange and Seminole counties. Note that statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is received.

Orlando MSA numbers reflect sales of homes located in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties by members of any REALTOR® association, not just members of ORRA.

First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program | Asistencia para la compra de una vivienda

First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program | Asistencia para la compra de una vivienda

The Down Payment Assistance Program, in Orange County, provides assistance to qualified first time homebuyers for down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a home. The amount of assistance provided will be determined based on your household income. A household can qualify as very low income, low income, and moderate. Please refer to the income chart in the Learn More section of this web page to access the income limits. The amount of assistance available is from $10,000 to $30,000. All applicants must complete a pre-purchase homebuyer’s education program, and secure a first mortgage. The property to be purchased must be located in Orange County, outside the city limits of Orlando. For additional information, please refer to the Down Payment Assistance flyer and applicants are also encouraged to use the contact information below.


Housing and Community Development Division
525 East South Street,
Orlando, Florida 32801-2891
(407) 836-5150

Asistencia para la compra de una vivienda

El Programa de Asistencia en el Pago Inicial, en el Condado Orange, ayuda a los compradores de primera vivienda calificados con el pago inicial y los costos de cierre asociados con la compra de su primera casa. El monto de asistencia que se proporciona se determinará en base a sus ingresos familiares. Los ingresos familiares se pueden calificar como muy bajos, bajos y moderados.. Remítase al cuadro de ingresos en la sección “Más Información” de esta página web para acceder a los límites de ingresos. El monto de asistencia disponible es de entre $10,000 y $30,000. Todos los solicitantes deben completar un programa educativo de pre-compra para compradores de viviendas, y asegurar una primera hipoteca. La propiedad que se desea comprar debe estar ubicada en el Condado de Orange, fuera de los límites de la ciudad de Orlando. Para obtener más información, consulte el folleto de Asistencia en el Pago Inicial. Los solicitantes también pueden utilizar la información de contacto (arriba).