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Fla.’s housing market: Median prices rise in Dec. 2016

NAR:

Existing-home sales slide in December, but 2016 hits 10-year high.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 24, 2017 – Florida's housing market had higher median prices and fewer all-cash sales in December, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,332 last month, up 0.8 percent from December 2015.

"The trend of tight housing supply continued to have an impact on Florida's housing market in December," says 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. "Last month, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for 61 months in row. While that's good news for sellers, it's continuing to put pressure on inventory for first-time homebuyers and those who may be looking for their next 'move-up' home.

"And that's where your local Realtor comes in – he or she will put their expertise to work for you to successfully navigate the complexities of finding the right property in your local real estate market and will make sure you get to the closing table."

Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table in December: Sellers of existing single-family homes received 96 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.7 percent (median percentage).

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $226,000, up 9.2 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in December was $166,900, up 7.7 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in November 2016 was $236,500, up 6.8 percent from the previous yearthe national median existing condo price was $222,600.In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in November was $501,710; in Massachusetts, it was $365,000; in Maryland, it was $266,164; and in New York, it was $240,000.

Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,673 last month, down 5.2 percent compared to December 2015. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 45 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 39.2 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

"Florida's markets for existing homes closed out the year in December with a performance very much in line with what we saw over the previous 11 months of 2016," says Florida Realtor Chief Economist Brad O'Connor. "At the local level, single family home sales increased in 15 of Florida's 22 metro areas, while condo and townhouse sales rose in only five of these markets. And, as has been the case all year, the lack of significant sales growth in much of the state has had a lot more to do with a shortfall of supply in key price tiers than with demand."

Inventory dipped to a 3.9-months' supply in December for single-family homes and was at a 6-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.20 percent in December 2016, up significantly from the 3.96 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

For the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Research and Statistics on floridarealtors.org. Realtors also have access to local market stats (password protected) on Florida Realtors' website.

Breakout: NAR: Existing-home sales slide in Dec. but 2016 hits 10-year high

© 2017 Florida Realtors®

This under the radar town in Florida has become a playground for the richest of the rich-(Wellington)

January 15, 2017 10:30AM 
By Business Insider

 

Every winter, the small town of Wellington, in southeast Florida, experiences a tremendous influx of some of the wealthiest people in the world.

From the Springsteens to the Bloombergs, to the families of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, to Arab sheikhs and South American billionaires, it’s a congregation of people with spectacular quantities of money.

No, they aren’t gathering for some sort of business affair. They’re coming for WEF: the Winter Equestrian Festival, which takes place every year from January to April on the hallowed grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The 12-week WEF has been the longest equestrian event of its kind for several years running, and it attracts riders at all levels of the sport.

Because of the costly nature of all things equestrian, it’s no surprise that rich people and horses go hand in hand. But while some wealthy riders and owners are just in it for the glamour and prestige, some — like Georgina Bloomberg and Jessica Springsteen — are serious and successful competitors.

As WEF has grown over the years, it has turned Wellington into a winter oasis for the upper crust, who come to ride, mingle, and bask in the warm weather. But while the human amenities are nothing to sneeze at, the real luxuries are reserved for the horses. Here’s an inside look at this star-studded fantasy world, where celebrities come to play and their four-legged companions reign supreme.

Wellington, Florida, is a community of about 60,000 people in southeast Florida, about 15 miles west of West Palm Beach. And without a doubt, horses rule in Wellington.

Bill Gates owns several properties in the area, and in 2016 he reportedly completed a $38 million purchase of an entire Wellington street, totaling six properties and about 20 acres. His daughter Jennifer is a seasoned WEF competitor.

In a fitting continuation of the rivalry between Gates of Microsoft and the late Steve Jobs of Apple, Laurene Powell Jobs reportedly purchased a 3.5-acre ranch on Wellington’s Quarter Horse Trail for $15 million in July 2016. Her daughter Eve is also an accomplished rider and has competed against Jennifer Gates.

Grand Prix Village, an exclusive, horse-focused development within walking distance of the show grounds, is famous for stables that look like this.

Peek inside the Miami mansion where Al Capone died

Updated 1:02 pm, Wednesday, September 7, 2016

 

  • Al Capone's mansion  93 Palm Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139  toptenrealestatedeals.com Photo: Toptenrealestatedeals.com

Photo: Toptenrealestatedeals.com

Al Capone's mansion
93 Palm Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

toptenrealestatedeals.com

On February 14, 1929, one of the most infamous gang killings happened in Chicago: the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

On this day, seven men associated with the Irish gangster George "Bugs" Moran were shot down by men wearing police uniforms, history.com writes.

The event is widely regarded as Al Capone's doing, but he was never linked to the crime. He maintained that he was in Florida the whole time at his Miami mansion. Capone died in that same mansion in 1947.

Real estate site toptenrealestatedeals.com gives an a peek inside the famed mob mansion.  

Capone bought the home, now called 93 Palm, in 1928 after leaving Alcatraz. He bought it in his wife's name, according to the property's website.

"With a simple and restrained design, the general feel is one of elegance and a tie to history that brings the traditions of its past into play in a modern lifestyle," the website writes.

The 6,103 square-foot stucco house features a black-and-gold art deco powder room and 1920s ceiling lights. It also boasts a large swimming pool and views of Biscayne Bay.

Today, the house is used for press events and shoots.