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Destin 32541 News

The Roller Coaster of Florida Mortgage Rates is on the Up Swin

Home prices in Florida have been steadily climbing over the past few years as homeowners enjoy the benefits of a long awaited recovery, but this also means that Mortgage-Interest Rates are equally on the rise. In early July, CNBC reported that according to the Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Survey, the average rate on a 30-year fixed conforming loan had moved to its highest level in two years - and this number is poised to keep going up. This upward jolt immediately caused refinancing applications to fall by more than 15% and application interest by 3%.

Experts have been predicting a trend such as this for some time, suggesting that the housing boom of May, where signed contracts on newly built home sales reached their highest level in five years, was doomed to hit a ceiling. read more >>


House Bill 87 and Fast Track Foreclosures

It’s been an interesting month here in Florida as Governor Rick Scott signed 34 new bills, one of which being House Bill 87. This bill, referred to as the “foreclosure fast track bill” pushed for the expedition of foreclosures through the court system. This has placed many homeowners in a difficult place - especially those who have lost their homes due to wrongful foreclosure.

Despite this truth, many people believe - Scott included - that the movement was necessary. The average time to complete a foreclosure in Florida is 631 days - between one and a half to two years - is the longest average time frame in the nation. Plus, the rate of foreclosure is presently more than three times the national average.

But before we delve into the pros and cons of the bill, and what impact it will have on Florida’s future, let’s take a step back and review the basics .read more >>

The Difference Between Short Sales, REOs, and Foreclosures

The term “short sale” quickly became Florida real estate buzz word just a couple of years ago, giving homeowners a way out when they’re facing foreclosure. After the bubble burst in late 2006, short sales became a common approach for avoiding an impending foreclosure. Although the amount of short sales has gone down considerably over the last few years, they still make up about 10-11% of total real estate transactions, and approximately 22% of all distressed sales.

But what exactly is a short sale? How can the seller benefit from it? And, in turn, how can a potential buyer take advantage of these new opportunities?

What is a Short Sale?

Basically, a “short sale” is an agreement a lender makes with a homeowner to accept less than the amount the current owner owes on the mortgage, by way of a sale. The lender, or mortgage company, in a way forgives a portion of the debt in order to escape total loss caused by foreclosure. The difference between the remainder of the debt and the amount that the property sells for is called a “deficiency.” read more >>


Extended tax protection could help short sale sellers past 2012

Extended "Debt Forgiven"  Bill could help short sale sellers in 2013

WASHINGTON – April 2, 2012 – Under U.S. law, a homeowner with an underwater mortgage who goes through a short sale has part of his or her debt forgiven by a bank. The amount forgiven is legally considered income, as if the lender gave the owner a monetary gift by saying, “You no longer have to pay this.”

As a gift, that money is income and taxable by the IRS when the homeowner fills out his yearly income taxes. However, a temporary law effective through Dec. 31, 2012, nixes that amount as homeowner income, making the debt forgiveness tax-free. A short sale in 2012, then, allows a homeowner to walk away free of debt. read more >>


Freddie Mac Eliminates Credit Score Requirements for Home Refinances
Freddie Mac decided recently to remove some of the requirements for its servicers in allowing homeowners with lower credit scores to refinance.  This is a limited pool, but it’s a step in the right direction as the mortgage giant begins to ease the burden on some of its borrowers.

The current category in question is only borrowers who currently have 20% equity in their homes.  While this certainly doesn’t apply to many homeowners, it’s not a dead-end change.  This is more likely the start of easing requirements in general.  It’s also not a start to carefree lending–it does not apply to purchases of homes.  From Housing Wire: read more >>

Finally, Time to Buy a House

U.S. house prices have fallen by nearly one-third in five years, and the nation's homeownership rate is dropping at the fastest rate since the Great Depression.

Two key measures now suggest it's an excellent time to buy a house as a long-term residence or an income property (but not necessarily for a quick flip). First, the nation's ratio of house prices to yearly rents is nearly restored to its pre-bubble average, suggesting the financial advantages of homeownership once again await buyers. Second, when ultra-low mortgage rates are taken into consideration, houses are the most affordable they've been in four decades of data.

Two mantras prevalent during the real estate bubble were that a house is the best investment you'll ever make and that a renter "throws money down the drain." Whether buying is a better financial deal than renting isn't a stagnant fact but a changing condition that depends on the relationship between prices and rents and the cost of financing, among other factors. read more  >>


                                                                                                             DESTIN MARKET SNAPSHOT AS OF OCTOBER 11, 2011

                                                                                               DESTIN SINGLE FAMILY HOMES SOLD:257 , TOTAL:
                                                                                                                            DESTIN CONDOS SOLD: 364,  TOTAL:$113,104,407
                                                                  DESTIN COMBINED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES SOLD:696 , TOTAL:$240,378,609




Statistics Summaries Report For Area: Destin  FL32541

Category - Combined All Residential
Statistics for Entire MLS from 1/1/2011 - 10/11/2011





Total List/Total Sold

Avg List

Avg Sold


Median Price





Currently Pending


$23,355,845/ N/A








Currently Active


$609,677,788/ N/A








Currently Contingent


$46,979,066/ N/A








ON MARKET (1/1/2011 - 10/11/2011)

New (1/1/2011 - 10/11/2011)


$590,681,050/ N/A








Pending (1/1/2011 - 10/11/2011)


$322,274,358/ N/A








OFF MARKET (1/1/2011 - 10/11/2011)













$262,785,072/ N/A










$376,514,819/ N/A














Sales of Destin FL homes increased more than 25% for the first quarter of 2010 when compared to the same time period last year. The increased demand is also exerting pressure on home values as the average sales price was $435,715 or 17% higher than last year. Other key statistics are listed in the table below.

  Q1 2009 Q1 2010 % CHANGE
Homes Sold 82 103 25.61%
Average Sold Price $373,124 $435,715 16.77%
Median Sold Price $297,500 $320,840 7.85%
Highest Sales Price $1,300,000 $2,700,000 107.69%
Lowest Sales Price $114,900 $105,000 -8.62%

The increase in sales came as the number of Destin FL homes for sale declined. In other words, homes in Destin are selling faster than new listings are coming on to the market. This trend is especially prevalent in the lower price ranges where inventory for Destin FL homes is almost below 6 months now. However, the luxury price ranges aren’t fairing as well and inventory levels exceed 8 years for homes in Destin FL priced above $1M.

Destin Homes For Sale Total InventoryDestin Homes For Sale 2010 Inventory

I field many calls each week from buyers looking for Destin FL homes that are bank owned (REO’s) or short sales. While these can lead to great “deals” there are many Destin FL homes for sale from “normal” sellers. These sellers typically own their properties free and clear and are able to sell at today’s market values. In fact over 61% of sales in the first quarter came from these sellers while Destin Foreclosures and Short Sales only accounted for 39% of the total market.

Destin Properties Sold


  • Buyers: Homes in the lower price ranges are selling faster than new homes are being listed. There are still some good deals available but time is running out. There are fewer homes available so you must be ready to move quickly and aggressively when you see something you like.
  • Buyers: Homes in the higher price ranges are stagnant. You have a great selection of quality, location, and size available to you right now. This won’t last forever and the best homes will be bought first. You can negotiate aggressively on both price and terms being more aggressive as you go higher in price. The key is figuring out which seller’s are motivated.
  • Sellers: If you are selling a home priced below $400k, make sure you are pricing within recent comparable sales. While the market has improved in your favor, conditions are still not strong enough for you to be overly aggressive.
  • Sellers: If you are selling a home in the upper price range, lower your price! The market is still extremely weak and you must be extremely aggressive to sell.