Headlines – Week of October 14, 2012

October 25, 2012

Remodeling Boom Seen into 2013

According to a recent study published by The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies remodeling and home improvement activity will see strong gains over the rest of 2012 and the first half of next year.

The Center’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) suggests a recovery in the remodeling industry is underway and there could be double digit growth in home improvement spending over the next eight months.

The study uses the Department of Commerce’s Value of Construction Put in Places series (or C-30) to project the value of residential improvements.

The Department of Commerce defines home improvements as remodeling, additions, and major replacements to owner-occupied properties after the completion of the original building. This definition include additions to existing buildings, finishing basements and attics, improvements to the exterior building or lot, and replacement of major systems and equipment such as furnaces or water heaters. It does not include spending for painting, landscaping, or routine maintenance.

The study cites strong growth in sales of existing homes and housing starts, coupled with historically low financing costs which are providing the thrust to produce a favorable outlook for home improvement spending over the coming months.”

Southwest Florida Real Estate Recovery Strengthens

According to a recent article in the Fort Myers New Press, we are on the upside of recovery. Both notable shifts in forward-looking indicators, and overall outlook from prudent real estate investors, point to very positive signs of improvement.

In Florida, and particularly here in Southwest Florida, the industrial sector of the commercial real estate market is leading the pack with newly released data showing a top-three placement for lowest industrial vacancy rates in the nation.

According to a recent Cushman and Wakefield market statistical report, the Naples metro area ranked No. 2 in the nation for the lowest industrial vacancy rates with 4.2 percent overall vacancy.

Moreover, Florida claimed three of the top 10 metro areas with the lowest industrial vacancy rates (Lakeland at No. 1, Naples at No. 2, and St. Petersburg/Clearwater at No. 7). Lee County ranked 38th on the list with a 9.3 percent vacancy rate, slightly higher than the national average of 8.7 percent vacancy.

Both nationally and statewide, prices and home sales increased year over year in August. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales jumped 7.8 percent in August to the highest level in more than two years, the highest level since May of 2010 when sales were fueled by a federal home-buying tax credit.

Foreclosure activity was down sharply in Lee County according to statistics recently released by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investors Association. In September, lenders filed 567 foreclosure lawsuits, down sharply from 765 in August and about the same as the 570 in September 2011. Decreases in foreclosure filings further constrain the amount of future inventory available to buyers paving the way for the resurgence of new construction.


9 States Where Foreclosures Are Dropping the Most

According to information from RealtyTrac, foreclosures are continuing to fall across the country, reaching five-year lows, but states where foreclosures don’t have to be approved by courts are posting some of the largest drops.

The following states with a “non-judicial” process reported the largest annual decreases in foreclosure activity in the third quarter:

  1. Nevada: 71 percent decrease
  2. Oregon: 63 percent
  3. Utah: 60 percent
  4. Virginia: 34 percent
  5. California: 29 percent
  6. Michigan: 28 percent
  7. Arizona: 23 percent
  8. Colorado: 21 percent
  9. Georgia: 20 percent

Florida is a judicial state in which foreclosures must be approved by the courts.

Some of the largest drops in foreclosure activity are attributed to recent laws adopted in some states such as Nevada, Oregon, and California that have added requirements for lenders to meet before they can foreclose on home owners.


Posted by Scott R. Lodde


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