Real Estate News
is information for the month of August 2007 from our local MLS
of Houses Sold
Days on the
of Houses on
Market this Month
of 9/4/2007 9:11:16 AM)
Selling Price This
you see our median priced homes are well worth looking at!!!
insurance bill, take ceremony to people
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Jan. 25, 2007
– Gov. Charlie Crist planned to sign a bill Thursday that he and others hope
will lower Floridians’ property insurance costs, although it means that
state could have to pay billions of dollars if a catastrophic hurricane hit.
The measure was passed by lawmakers in a special session Monday. It will be
the first signed by Crist, who took office earlier this month. He planned an
official signing at the Capitol followed by two ceremonial signings in South
The bill aims to cut into the skyrocketing cost of home insurance that many
Florida residents, especially those on the coasts, have seen since the busy
hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. Many have seen premiums more than double
Although the measure (HB 1A) will provide some relief to a large number of
home owners, how much remains murky. Estimates range from 5 percent for many
inland customers to averages of nearly 20 percent for others, particularly
those on the coast.
After the Capitol signing, Crist would head to North Palm Beach for a
second ceremony. Then he planned to travel to Port Charlotte in southwest
Florida for another event at the home of Stan Whitney.
Whitney, 78, contacted the governor about his high insurance costs,
complaining that he wanted to drop the wind part of his coverage, but that the
law wouldn’t allow that. One of the many provisions in the new bill would
allow Whitney and others who want to forgo wind coverage to do so, if a
mortgage lender lets them.
As lawmakers worked on the plan, Crist urged them to avoid getting caught
up in political wrangling by keeping sight of the people who needed relief. At
one point he told lawmakers they needed to just “remember Stan,” and get
the bill written and passed.
A key provision of the bill forces an immediate rate decrease for
Florida’s largest insurance company, state-created Citizens Property
Insurance Corp., and cancel another planned increase for the company.
The other main way the bill seeks to lower rates is to make more state
backup insurance available to private insurance companies. By taking on more
of the responsibility to pay out of the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund if there is
a large storm, the state will reduce insurers’ ultimate risk, cutting their
need to raise rates. But the state and its residents take on that risk.
The backup coverage also will be cheaper than the private reinsurance that
most companies buy, immediately cutting one of their biggest costs. Those
savings will also be passed on to consumers.
The measure also makes an effort to allow consumers to change their
coverage to try to save money. Besides going without wind coverage, some might
be able to have a higher deductible, for example. Many of those changes,
however, won’t be available to homeowners who haven’t paid off their
house, because mortgage lenders often dictate how much coverage they must
© 2007 The Associated Press, David Royse, Associated Press Writer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
existing housing market: Median price up, sales down in 2006
Statewide, the median existing home sales price
rose 6 percent to reach $248,300; in 2005, it was $235,200. In 2001,
“The housing market transitioned to a more
sustainable balance during 2006, coming off the record-setting sales pace
and price gains of the previous five years,” says 2007 FAR President Nancy
Riley. “Changes in the marketplace mean it’s more important than ever
for consumers to turn to a Florida Realtor – someone they can rely on to
help them understand the true history of homebuying and selling in their
“With mortgage rates continuing to remain
historically low, stable home prices and at last, some inventory, now is the
time to take advantage of the homeownership opportunities we have throughout
NAR’s latest housing market outlook anticipates
modest quarterly gains for home sales in 2007, with the 30-year fixed-rate
mortgage expected to rise to 6.7 percent by the fourth quarter of this year.
“Home sales appear to have bottomed out, having
reached a cyclical low in September of last year,” notes NAR Chief
Economist David Lereah, who predicts that 2007 will represent a year of
stability for the housing sector.
Looking to Florida's existing condominium market, sales
of existing condos also decreased in 2006, with a total of 55,594 condos
sold statewide compared to 83,049 in 2005 for a 33 percent decrease,
according to FAR. The statewide median sales price for condos in 2006 was
$211,300; a year ago, it was $209,900 for a 1 percent increase.
In 2006, the rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage
averaged 6.1 percent; in 2005, the average rate was 5.87 percent. FAR’s
sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after
sales contracts are written.
Among the state’s larger metropolitan statistical
“The year 2006 was the second best year on record for
In the state's smaller markets, the Gainesville MSA
reported 3,174 homes sold last year, a 21 percent decrease over the 3,993
homes sold the previous year. The existing-home median sales price rose 19
percent to $213,200; the year before, it was $179,200. The
“Gainesville is just a great place to live – being
a university town, there’s so much going on whether your interests are the
arts, music or sports,” says Sherry Patrick, president of the Gainesville
Alachua County Association of Realtors and broker-associate with Coldwell
Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors in Gainesville. “The university provides a
stable economic base and attracts many other businesses and industry to our
area. Our housing market has stayed pretty strong, and we anticipate another
good year in 2007. It’s a great time to buy: interest rates are still low
and homeownership opportunities are available.”
© 2007 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
Voters OK maritime park
$70 million project passes in referendum
Voters OK maritime park | Local News | PensacolaNewsJournal.com
Maritime Park Project May Bring New Dining Options
The Maritime Park Project could bring new dining options to downtown Pensacola.
The design earmarks about 10-thousand square feet of space for restaurants..
and national chains are already showing an interest... Including Jimmy Buffet's
Cheeseburgers In Paradise... California Pizza Kitchen... And the cajun themed
Race Track Could be Baldwin County Bound
A big name in Nascar in backing a new race track in South Alabama.
Scott Filson/Baldwin County Visitor
Mike Sciocchetti/Baldwin County Resident
Ed Carroll/Orange Beach City Council:
Douglas Kolb/Baldwin visitor