South Florida MLS Listings Statistics for September 2007

The following is a real estate market report designed to provide you with insight into local market conditions in South Florida with regards to the number of new listings, available inventory, and length of time homes are taking to go from being listed “for sale” to “sold” (also known as “days on market”).  This is somewhat different information from what you’ll find in my South Florida real estate market conditions posts.

Days on MarketDuring the month of September 2007 there were a total of 2,464 new listings of single family homes entered into the MLS, which is a 2% increase over the same month last year.  There were also 2,798 new listings of condos and townhomes, which is also a 2% increase over a year ago.  What is more interesting to note is that there was a much larger increase in terms of the “available inventory”.  The number of single family homes listed as “available” on the MLS increased by 16% over the same time last year, while the number of available condos and townhomes increased by 26% over the same month last year.  What does this indicate?  Well, it means that the amount of time it’s taking to sell a house now is longer than it was a year ago.  How much more?  Have a look at the chart.

So, how long will it take for your South Florida home to sell?  That depends on several factors.  Probably the biggest factor at this time and under current market conditions will be how competitively you price your home when it first comes on the market.  Notice I said competitively, not comparatively.  Unfortunately, many sellers are finding themselves competing with other homes for sale in their community that are foreclosures or short sales, both of which tend to be priced on the low end in order to sell faster.  Furthermore, today’s home buyer is typically looking at many more homes than they were a year or two ago before deciding which home to place an offer on.  If you want to increase your chances of selling your home quickly, be sure to read my ongoing series of home selling tips which should help you get the most money you can for your home.  Another post you may find informative is on the Top 10 Ways to Save Money When Buying or Selling Real Estate.

If you’re thinking of selling your South Florida home but find that your budget doesn’t allow for a full-service commission listing agreement, remember that we offer a-la-carte real estate services and unlike most South Florida real estate brokerages, we don’t charge an administrative/transaction fee (that alone can save you a few hundred dollars!).

Give Internet Home Buyers What They Want… Photos!

Search the Broward County MLS / South Florida MLS.What do home buyers want most when they’re looking at listings of homes for sale on the Internet?  Studies have shown the answer is photos… the more photos, the better!  Listings lacking in photos have a tendency to be overlooked.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, least of all those who market the majority of homes – real estate agents/brokers.  One only needs to put oneself in homebuyer’s shoes to realize this.  Yet, too many listings of homes on the South Florida MLS offer few, if any, photos of what is considered most people’s largest investment – their home.

Personally, I’ve seen new & used cars that are marketed better than some homes on the South Florida MLS and this is frustrating for both home buyers and real estate agents who work with buyers.  So, why do so many listings offer no photo or even just one photo?  Well, let’s start with the obvious… perhaps it’s a brand new listing and the real estate agent hasn’t had a chance to take and upload the photos yet.  In certain cases this is true, though a good agent will typically not upload a listing to the MLS without at least one photo.  Digital cameras are inexpensive, not difficult to learn to use and eliminate the need (and cost) to develop photos.  Unfortunately, in many cases, listings remain for months on the MLS with minimal, if any, photos.  I’ve often wondered whether the home sellers are even aware of how poorly their property is being marketed or the impact a lack of photos can have on the sale of their property.  Now more than ever, in the current buyer’s market South Florida is experiencing, photos are a very important part of the marketing mix.

I decided to get some real, hard facts for this post, so this morning I searched the South Florida MLS for single-family homes in Broward County.  There are currently 17,306 listings of single-family homes for sale in Broward County.  Below is a breakdown of what I found:

Listings with…

  • NO photos:  2,158 … just over 12% of all listings – more than 1 in 8
  • 1 photo:  1,395 … listings with 0-1 photo = 20.5% or 1 in 5 listings
  • 2 photos:  423
  • 3 photos:  407 … 0-3 photos = 4,383 or just over 25% of all listings
  • 4 photos:  522
  • 5 photos:  594
  • 6 photos:  905
  • 7 photos:  924
  • 8 photos:  2,531 … 0-8 photos = 9,859 or just under 57% of all listings
  • 9 photos:  1,008
  • 10 photos:  876
  • 11 photos:  650
  • 12 photos:  755
  • 13 photos:  573
  • 14 photos:  530
  • 15 photos:  428
  • 16 photos:  2,628 (just over 15%)

As you can see, over 20% of listings had either no photos or just one photo, while just over 25% (1 in 4) had 0-3 photos.  With our current high inventory of homes for sale, properties with few (or no) photos are not as likely to get as many showings as homes with 8-16 photos.  Fewer photos = fewer showings = fewer prospective buyers… all of which reduces your chances of getting an offer sooner rather than later.  Under current South Florida real estate market conditions, it’s a good idea for Realtors to invest in the best marketing possible.  The South Florida MLS allows members to upload up to 16 photos and, yet, this is what we see in 1 out of 8 listings:

No Photo Available

If you’re considering selling your home, be sure to hire a Realtor
who understands the importance of marketing your home for sale!

South Florida Teardowns and McMansions

single story homes found in neighborhoods along the Intracoastal Waterway in South Florida

According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Florida is among the states they identified in 2002 that is experiencing teardowns in historic neighborhoods where McMansions are becoming more and more commonplace.  In 2002 they identified 100 communities in 20 states and, unfortunately, just about four years later that number soared to more than 300 communities in 33 states that are being impacted by teardowns.  The photo on the left is an example of what a typical neighborhood in South Florida looked like before some of the smaller, single-story older homes were replaced with newer, larger homes (as shown in the photo below).

There were 21 Florida cities identified (13 of which are in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade Counties): Boca Raton, Bradenton Beach, Coral Gables, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale (Rio Vista), Gulf Stream, Hollywood (Lakes), Juno Beach, Jupiter Island, Lighthouse Point, Marco Island, Miami (Coconut Grove, West Grove), Naples, North Miami Beach, Ocean Ridge, Old Marco, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, and Tampa.

An example of a Florida McMansion next to an older one-story home.The term “McMansions” is a slang architectural term and is often used to describe the house built to replace the teardown.  In Florida, McMansions are typically much bigger than the original house on the site and they tend to stand out in a neighborhood that mostly consists of older and smaller, one-story homes with roomy front and back yards. Sometimes this new construction is not welcomed by neighbors because it destroys the original character of the neighborhood. Immediate neighbors sometimes complain of the negative impact it has on their property with regards to restricted views, reduced sunlight to their house or yard, as well as property values.  Local leaders are often either not able or willing to prevent these teardowns that forever change the landscape of historic neighborhoods.

Most of the McMansions around South Florida are located in neighborhoods where homes are either on, or have access to, the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).  The land is often much more valuable than the original home that’s on the property and some of the teardowns are done by owners who have lived on the property for several years and love the location but simply want a newer, larger home.  In some cases, it’s luxury home developers who are buying the older homes, tearing them down and if the lot is large enough to allow it, they build more than one new home which makes for a very nice return on their investment.  These newer custom homes are typically full of luxurious details and features not found in older homes.

Among other terms that you may hear used in place of “McMansions” are: “monster home,” “faux chateaux,” and “starter castle.”

Additional information:

The Tequesta Trail at Forest Ridge in Davie, Florida

trail signPart of the Tequesta Trail can be found in the residential neighborhood of Forest Ridge in Davie, FL.  At one point along the winding road that is shaded by a canopy of live oak trees just past Forest Ridge’s grand main entrance, there is a sign marker that is sponsored by the Archeological and Historical Conservancy which reads:

“The Tequesta Indians and their ancestors inhabited Pine Island from circa 3000 BC through 1500 AD.  The Tequesta inhabited southeast Florida from Boca Raton southward to Key West.  Historians estimate that as many as 20,000 Indians may have lived in South Florida before they became extinct from diseases contracted from Europeans.

On August 31, 1989, archeologists unearthed during road construction the remains of a Tequesta Village at this site.  Near this sign are the remains of an ancient Tequesta settlement that is at least 2,000 years old.”

Resources worth checking out:

Weston FL Homes with No Homeowner Association Fees

BonaventureThe third in my series of posts on South Florida neighborhoods with no homeowners association (HOA), this one focuses on the City of Weston.   Unlike my previous two installments to this series, this one will be considerably shorter because only one neighborhood of single family homes in Weston is not governed by a homeowner association.

Although the Bonaventure Lakes neighborhood is HOA-free, there is a requirement of membership at the Bonaventure Town Center Club, a recreation and community center for the residents of the community of Bonaventure in Weston.  The club is located at the SW corner of Saddle Club Road and Bonaventure Blvd. and membership is currently $270 per year.

The majority of Weston’s Bonaventure Lakes homes have 3-4 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms as well as a 1- or 2-car garage, though there are a few homes that offer as many as 5 or 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.  Most homes feature a swimming pool and some offer canal or lake views.  Almost all homes here were built between the late 1970’s and early 1990’s and all are one-story homes.  Within the Bonaventure Lakes neighborhood there are two tennis courts and two basketball courts for residents to enjoy.  You’ll find Bonaventure Lakes homes ranging in price from $339,000 to about $625,000.  So, if you’d like to live in Weston and prefer not to live in a community with a homeowner association, this community may be just what you’re looking for!

Broward County Events – Art and Film Festivals and a Boat Show!

The following are some Broward County events scheduled for October 2007.  The festivities are plentiful this month and there’s something for everyone, so get out there and enjoy!

:: To view current Broward County Events, click here. ::

  • Sunday Jazz BrunchSunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch – Riverwalk in downtown Fort Lauderdale (the first Sunday of every month from 11 a.m. -2 p.m.).  Jazz music performed on four stages along the historic New River.  Bring a picnic basket, blanket, chairs, children and even your dog! For more information call the 24-hour hotline: 954-828-5363.
  • Broward Caribbean Carnival, a Celebration of Cultural Diversity (October 7, 2007) – a parade of bands and carnival show.  The parade begins at noon at the top of NW 12th Avenue and ends inside the fair grounds of Fort Lauderdale Stadium Complex.
  • Southeast Winter Sports Show – Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center (October 5-7, 2007) – for those who enjoy cold-weather sports!  For details call 954-765-5900.
  • Las Olas Art Festival (October 6-7, 2007 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) – leisurely stroll along Las Olas Blvd. and see paintings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures, jewelry and much more! This is one of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County’s most popular outdoor events offering something for every taste and budget.  For info: 954-472-3755.
  • FLIFFFort Lauderdale International Film Festival (October 15-November 11, 2007) – a 37-day event that will feature over 200 films from around the globe.  Meet the filmmakers and celebrities who will attend many of the screenings and events during the 22nd annual FLIFF.
  • Broward County Plant Affair (October 20-21, 2007) at Plantation Heritage Park (501 N. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation).  A plant show and sale, free after $1.50 park admission.  For information call 954-797-2722.
  • Viva Broward! (October 20-21, 2007 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Stranahan Park, downtown Fort Lauderdale) – the 18th annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, hosted by Bank of America.
  • Hollywood International Art and Music Festival (October 20-21, 2007; Sat. 10-6, Sun. 11-5 in ArtsPark at Youngs Circle in Hollywood).  For details call 954-921-3404.
  • yachtFort Lauderdale International Boat Show (October 25-29, 2007) – this show is celebrating its 48th year and features over a billion dollar’s worth of boats, yachts and accessories. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is among Broward County’s most attended events and is spread over six locations including the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, the Hyatt Pier 66 Hotel & Marina, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, the Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel and Yacht Club, Hall of Fame Marina and Las Olas Marina.
  • Art in the Park – Liberty Tree Park in Plantation (October 27-28, 2007) – featuring 150 artists, live entertainment, Kids Korner (with activities, crafts, bounce house and more).  Location: 7421 NW 5th St., Plantation.
  • Southern States Bull Riders Finals – Bergeron Rodeo Grounds in Davie (November 3, 2007).

Click here for a list of current Broward County Events!

Sunrise Florida – Recent Home Sales Prices

Recent home sales prices in Sunrise, Florida.The City of Sunrise is conveniently located in the heart of the tri-county area with easy access to all major highways in Broward County.  Some of the larger neighborhoods in Sunrise include the Residences of Sawgrass Mills, Welleby and Sunrise Golf Village.  Two new developments — Artesia (condos and townhomes) and the Tao Condo towers (two 26-story high-rise buildings that are the tallest structures in west Broward) are currently in various stages of construction.

Sunrise, Florida, is home to Sawgrass Mills (Florida’s largest retail and entertainment complex) as well as the Bank Atlantic Center – the second largest arena in the country and home to the NHL’s Florida Panthers ice hockey team.  Residents of the City of Sunrise can enjoy several amenities, including a world-class tennis club, golf courses, a soccer club, playgrounds and municipal swimming pools. Come see the lifestyle Sunrise can offer you! 

Below is a sampling of recent home sale prices* in Sunrise, Florida (sold/closed sales over the past 3+/- months through the date of this post).  You can search the South Florida MLS if you’d like to see listings of homes and condos currently for sale.

Recent Single-Family Home Sales Prices in Sunrise, FL:

Recent Condo Sales Prices in Sunrise, FL:

*As reported on the South Florida MLS. <– Find homes for sale in South Florida!

South Florida Real Estate Market Conditions – August 2007

The Florida Association of Realtors (F.A.R.) has released the sales reports for August 2007.  Comparing the July 2007 figures with August 2007 (see below), the number of resale single-family home sales decreased in all three counties in August.  While the median sales price decreased slightly in both Broward County and Palm Beach County, it increased in Miami-Dade County by approximately 4%.

Unfortunately, the Miami metropolitan area did not fare as well with respect to condos.  While the number of sales of resale condos stayed rather stable (from July to August 2007) in the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach metropolitan areas, the greater Miami area saw their numbers decrease a little over 16%.  Meanwhile, the median sales prices decreased somewhat in both the greater Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas but increased considerably in the West Palm Beach metro area.  Below are the numbers when compared to the same time last year.

Current Market Statistics

*Median is the price at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Source: Florida Association of Realtors (F.A.R.)

:: Read all posts tagged with South Florida Real Estate Market Conditions – 2007. ::

Jasmine Lakes Phase II in Davie, Florida

Jasmine Lakes Phase II pool and sun deckI’ve written before about investing in Davie condos or townhomes near NSU and the rest of the South Florida Education Center (SFEC).  If your preference leans toward purchasing new construction, you may want to consider Jasmine Lakes Phase II in Davie, which is ideally located just south of the SFEC near the SE corner of Davie Road and Griffin Road. 

Currently, there are several 2- and 3-bedroom condos in two-story Mediterranean style lakeside buildings that are reasonably priced in the $180’s and $190’s $170’s and $180’s (base price).  Standard with each unit are laminate countertops, carpeting in the living areas and ceramic tile flooring in the foyer, kitchen and bathrooms.  Optional upgrades include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, laminate wood floors, 20″ tile and more.  The maintenance fee is a relatively low $209 when compared to similar condos.  The second-story condos feature vaulted ceilings and limited attic space while the ground floor units offer a small concrete patio with a built-in planter.  All floorplans at Jasmine Lakes Phase II feature kitchens with a pass-through snack bar which opens to the dining area, and pre-wiring for a security system.  Some units offer views of the lake.

:: View a Virtual Tour of Jasmine Lakes Phase II ::

Community amenities include a two-level clubhouse that, once the renovations are complete, will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, ping-pong, and possibly a billiard table.  Already in place are brand new luxurious kitchen facilities with an adjacent open serving bar area (with sink), cabana bathrooms, a seating area on each level, and a water feature in the lobby.  Residents can also enjoy the heated swimming pool and spa, as well as a tennis/basketball court which is due to be refurbished soon.  The community also features a walking/jogging trail around a second lake.  Jasmine Lakes Phase II is approximately 15-20 minutes from Fort Lauderdale Beach and many Broward County hot spots. 

From now through the end of 2007 I’m offering buyers a rebate of $1,000 after closing if they purchase one of these condos through me.  So if you’re considering viewing any of the units at Jasmine Lakes Phase II, be sure to contact Leanne Paynter at 954-846-1600 to schedule a showing.  UPDATE:  Only a few of the 2-bedroom floorplans are still available at this time so don’t delay!

Broward County Events – Enjoy Live Music and a Clambake!

There’s always some event going on around Broward County.  Now that the weather is starting to cool slightly, why not get out and enjoy some live entertainment along one of our lovely beaches?  If you’ve never been to a clambake, here’s your chance to experience one South Florida style! 

Come enjoy a clambake - South Florida style!The following are upcoming events in Broward County for the month of September 2007.

  • Broadwalk Friday Fest – Hollywood Beach Theatre at Johnson Street (the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month from 7-10 p.m.). Enjoy live music along Hollywood’s 2.5 mile Broadwalk which offers oceanfront eateries so bring your appetite! (click on the link to see a .pdf flyer that includes a listing of restaurants within a short distance of the event).
  • Jazz On The Square – Lauderdale by the Sea (every Friday night at 7 p.m. ). An outdoor music festival at Commercial Boulevard and the Beach.
  • 6th Annual Hollywood Beach Clambake – Hollywood (Sept. 28-30, 2007 – Friday 5-11 p.m., Saturday 12 noon-11 p.m., Sunday 12 noon-9 p.m.). Enjoy fresh seafood, live music and entertainment on Hollywood’s Broadwalk.  Update: here’s a slideshow from this year’s Hollywood Beach Clambake!

Click here for an up-to-date list of Broward County events!

Affordable 2-Bedroom Condo at SpringCrest in Sunrise, Florida

SpringCrest at SunriseThis 2-Bedroom, 2-Bathroom is in the condo community of SpringCrest in Sunrise, FL, is in true move-in condition and even offers a pool view!  It has a split bedroom floorplan for maximum privacy and was completely updated 3 years ago.  The condo has 18″ neutral tiles throughout as well as knock-down textured walls, new baseboards, new A/C, new hot water heater, new stacked washer/dryer, and new kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances! 

This SpringCrest condo has the largest 2-bedroom floorplan available with 1,154 sq. ft. of air-conditioned living space, a spacious patio and included with the condo is a large extra storage space outside the unit.  Community amenities include a pool, tennis court and fitness center with sauna.  Pets are allowed (under 20 lbs.) and all ages are welcomed.  The price has just been reduced to $167,000.  You simply won’t find another condo like this in that price range!  View a virtual tour and contact Leanne Paynter at 954-846-1600 to schedule a showing.

UPDATE:  This condo has been rented.  For more information, please contact Leanne.

Quick Home Sale Strategy – Tip #3: New Door Hardware

Updated style door knobsIn the current South Florida buyer’s market it’s important that your house stand out above the competition if you want to have a good chance of selling it reasonably quickly.  Home buyers today are looking for signs that the house they’re looking at has not only been well maintained but also updated over the years.  Many buyers want that “new home look” without the price tag that almost always comes with the purchase of a new home.  In my experience, one of the things home buyers do when comparing resale homes is figure out how much time and money they’ll have to put into a house before they can get it to look how they’d like it to look.

Outdated door knobsIf you are at all a DIY (do-it-yourself) type of home seller, then consider whether your interior door knobs could use some updating.  If your door handles look more like the example on the right than that on the top left, you may want to invest some money on the newer, updated styles of door handles.  The example on the top left can be found at Lowes for $23.97 plus tax (that comes to an investment of about $127 for a typical 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house with five interior doors) and is the style many South Florida new home builders have been installing on their interior doors in recent years.  While you’re at it, you may want to invest in new door stops, too, if your old ones won’t match your new door handles.  Of course, an exception to the suggestion of new door knobs is if you own a home with an architectural style (Victorian, Craftsman, etc.) that is better off with the original or restored hardware in order to stay in character with the home.

Door StopSurprisingly, sometimes it really is these little touches that make a difference in whether or not your house is appealing enough for buyers to want to put an offer in rather than continue looking at homes.  Home buyers usually look at the overall picture, not just any one thing — but it’s the small things that make up the larger picture.  This tip along with my other quick home sale tips are based on comments I have personally heard buyers make as I show them homes.  First and foremost, though… in any market, but especially in the buyer’s market that South Florida is currently experiencing, your home must be priced competitively as none of these home improvements will make a bit of difference if your home is overpriced.