The Seagrave Group Realty team are dedicated Fort Lauderdale real estate professionals

Forecast: Fla. home sales to rise 8-10% in 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dec. 14, 2015 – “For most of 2015, the Florida real estate market has outperformed the nation as a whole,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo.

In recent months, however, the Florida market rise has eased off a bit – “catching its breath after a very hectic late summer and early fall,” says Tuccillo.

“For 2016, we expect this settling down to continue,” he continues. “Against the backdrop of an expanding state economy with growing employment, home sales should increase by 8-10 percent over 2015 (numbers) and home prices (measured as actual value) should rise by about 5 percent.

Tuccillo notes that a few conditions could impact 2016′s outlook.

“The biggest potential snag to this forecast at the state level is the growing shortage of workforce housing in the more populated areas of the state,” he says. “Florida is attracting jobs, and we need to do a better job creating housing options for the workers we are attracting from out of state.”

National issues could also influence Florida real estate sales in 2016.

“On a national level, rising interest rates may cause a dent in the market, but it will not have a significant effect,” Tuccillo says. “The new closing rules (TRID or Truth in Lending Disclosure) could cause delays in processing and may (affect) a significant number of sales.”

International issues could also have an impact since the Sunshine State real estate market relies on foreign buyers.

“Looking a bit farther afield, weak economic growth in other countries will dampen international demand for Florida real estate – but foreign buyers will remain a noticeable presence in the market,” Tuccillo predicts.

Top 9 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell. Really. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips from FrontDoor.

1. Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard.
Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.

2. Hire a reliable real estate agent.
That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a listing agent who will go above and beyond to get your home sold. This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.

3. Seek out motivated buyers.
Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.

4. Price it to sell.
No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.

5. Make curb appeal a top priority.
When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard.

6. Take top-notch real estate photos.
Homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.

7. Create a video tour for the Web.
You’ll get less foot traffic during the holidays thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.

8. Offer holiday cheer in the form of financing.
Bah, humbug! Lenders are scrooges these days, but if you’ve got the means, then why not offer a home loan to a serious buyer? You could get a good rate of return on your money.

9. Relax — the new year is just around the corner.
The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which, luckily, is only a few days away.

Expanding Fort Lauderdale Real Estate

Seagrave Group Realty is eager to announce the launch of our new website. We have added many new features that make finding the right home easier than ever.

With 13 available search options, you are now able to make your selections quicker and more efficiently than any other real estate site. With categories that include Neighborhood Search, Short Sale, Foreclosure, Commercial and Residential, Seagrave Group Realty makes you that much more connected to your community and it’s surrounding areas.

The quick search system quickly helps narrow down our vast database of homes to a selection that keys in on the criteria most important to you. Or you can use our map search to hone in on selected regions of your choice to pinpoint Seagrave Group’s listings. With our Daily Property signup, you can receive email updates on featured properties so you are always in the know. You can also register to receive our newsletter that will keep you up to date on property listings in your neighborhood as well as current real estate trends and updates on Seagrave Group’s Homes.

Not only do we want to provide you the opportunity to find the home you deserve, but also with outstanding care even after you have settled in. At Seagrave Group Realty, we value family and community. Now with our Community Events link, you will be kept informed on what is happening in your neighborhood as well as surrounding areas.

In order to always keep you connected and ensure that Seagrave Group Realty is providing you ultimate access to our database and your community, we have created an app for your mobile device and/or ipad. This resource places the ability to locate and view a property right in the palm of your hands.

With the multitude of advancements that Seagrave Group Realty has to offer, it is no wonder why we are the leading independent real estate company in South Florida. Despite our growth, we always put the needs of our clients first. Our attention to quality service as well as an undeniable passion for what we do, continues to place Seagrave at the forefront of real estate, allowing us to grow the valued relationships that we have with our loyal clientele.

Foreclosure Levels Drop:

How do these changes affect Fort Lauderdale Real Estate?

After a consistent three year low, American home foreclosure activity significantly slowed this past April allegedly due to faulty paperwork. With a significant drop of 8.6 percent from March, and a jaw dropping one third decrease since last year, banks swept up 69, 532 homes this April – a drastic difference from the climbing statistics we have seen in the past few years.

In fact the amount of foreclosures fell to a nominal 219, 258 last month alone – maintaining a seven month decline that proves to be the lowest level since December of 2007.

Before the real estate boom became a bust in 2005, banks foreclosed a mere 100,000 homes. This year alone, banks have accumulated roughly 285, 000 homes thus far with an estimated 850,000 foreclosures by the end of 2011.

This year’s real estate foreclosure estimate was expected to rise above the million plus homes that were seized last year. However with current investigations into the overall foreclosure process, temporary halts from several mortgage servicers last year have hindered the steady increase.

There is talk of a multibillion-dollar settlement over foreclosure abuse between U.S. banks and the government. Negotiations are said to be underway with sate attorney generals and huge mortgage lenders, such as JPMorgan, Chase and Bank of America. These banks and mortgage brokers are thought to have foreclosed on thousands of homes without proper paperwork, leaving borrowers unnecessarily without homes.

Interestingly enough, a mere 10 states are to blame for more than 70 percent of all U.S. foreclosures: Florida, California, Arizona, Michigan, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Ohio and Colorado. This recent discovery may not come as a surprise to South Florida, where an unspeakable amount of foreclosure activity has Fort Lauderdale home and condo owners upside down. Locally the Fort Lauderdale real estate market has noticeably struggled, with rental and home sale going for a fraction of the cost they once were.

Even in residential communities like Wilton Manors, real estate foreclosure has taken it’s toll on these South Florida homes.

With recent developments in foreclosure statistics, real estate in South Florida is more hopeful than ever to see a turn of events.

Mortgage Fraud in South Florida

South Florida’s mortgage fraud risk index shot up 10 percent during the first part of the year, shooting the region to second place nationally for potential housing scams. It ranked 20th during the same time last year. Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are the only high-risk areas to see an overall increase, according to a report released this month by fraud analysis company Interthinx. Modesto, Calif., experienced a 23 percent decrease in the first quarter compared with the same time in 2010.

The quarterly Mortgage Fraud Risk Report tracks indicators of fraud on mortgage applications run through an Interthinx detection program available to lenders. Nationwide, the index posted four consecutive quarters of decline until it jumped 25 percent during the first quarter of 2011. “Risk is becoming more prevalent across the board,” said Kevin Coop, president of Interthinx, which recommends that lenders continue strict screening processes before making home loans. And despite an assumption that fraud occurs only during a market boom, analysts said plenty of scams happen on the downside. “Fraud ebbs and flows,” said Ann Fulmer, vice president of business relations for Interthinx. “Whatever schemes are out there are always mutating to take advantage of the local economy and the weaknesses in lender processes.”

While the report ranks fraud on an overall basis, it also measures four types of scams: property valuation fraud, identity theft, occupancy fraud and phony income reports. South Florida ranked in the top five for all types of fraud except income-based scams.

The area ranked first in occupancy fraud, which is perpetrated mostly by investors or second-home buyers who falsely claim they are going to live in the house full time as a way to reduce down payments and interest rates.

The region ranked fourth for identity fraud and fifth in property valuation fraud. Identity fraud typically involves schemes to hide the real buyer of a home to get a better credit profile and meet lender guidelines. South Florida real estate was the only top-five region to see an increase – 2 percent – in valuation fraud, which includes manipulating property values to create a profit margin. Flipping, in which an investor buys a property cheap or at market value and sells at an artificially inflated price, was part of what led to the real estate crash. Although flipping decreased after 2008, Fulmer said it is on the rise again. “Real estate is local, everything responds to local markets, and there are places like South Florida that are vulnerable to certain risk categories,” Fulmer said. One reason for that susceptibility is the variety of South Florida buyers, including investors, retirees, second-home buyers and foreigners.” People not familiar with the area rely on professionals for help, but con artists trade on the appearance of being upstanding individuals,” Fulmer said.


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Seagrave Group Realty Office is located in Wilton Manors Florida
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  • Wilton Manors, Fl 33305
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