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Below is information for the month of August 2007 from our local MLS

 

Number of Houses Sold

This Month

468

Average Selling Price

This Month

$223,471

Average Days on the

Market This Month

131

Number of Houses on

The Market this Month

(As of 9/4/2007 9:11:16 AM)

6979

Median Selling Price This

Month

$170,000

 

As you see our median priced homes are well worth looking at!!!

 

Crist signs 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 Florida.

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 or triple.

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 have.
 

AP Logo© 2007 The Associated Press, David Royse, Associated Press Writer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Florida's existing housing market: Median price up, sales down in 2006
 ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 25, 2007 ­– Florida’s housing market mirrored the national trend in 2006, with sales of existing single-family homes slowing to a more sustainable pace following a five-year run of record closings. By year’s end, a total of 180,037 homes changed hands statewide for a 28 percent decrease compared to the 248,575 homes sold in 2005, according to the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). At the same time, 2006 sales figures made it into the record books for several markets around the state; 2006 also is expected to be the third highest sales year on record nationally, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Statewide, the median existing home sales price rose 6 percent to reach $248,300; in 2005, it was $235,200. In 2001, Florida ’s median existing home sales price was $127,700, which represents a gain of 94.4 percent over the five-year period, according to FAR records.

“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 local areas.

“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 the Sunshine State ,” she adds. “Along with the tangible benefits of owning a home, such as building household wealth and stability, there are so many other intangible assets. When you buy a home, you’re not just creating an investment that makes dollars and cents; you’re making an investment in your family and in your future – and that’s priceless!”

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 areas (MSAs), Orlando reported a total of 27,212 existing homes sold last year, down 26 percent than the area’s 2005 sales activity, when 36,727 homes changed hands. The existing-home median sales price rose 14 percent to $262,900; the year before, it was $231,400. A total of 4,933 existing condos sold in the Orlando market in 2006, a 2 percent increase over the 4,833 condos sold the year before. The existing condo median price for the area was $166,100, a 3 percent decrease from the 2005 figure of $171,100.

“The year 2006 was the second best year on record for the Orlando area housing market,” says Randy Martin, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association and broker-associate with RE/MAX 200 Realty Inc. in Winter Park . “A driving force behind the market this year is that builders have all this new inventory out there, so they’re offering these incredible incentives to clear and move their inventory of new homes. At the same time, they’re reducing plans to build new development. The anticipation is that builders will ‘burn’ their supply of available homes sometime in mid-2007. It’s why right now is an outstanding time to buy, plus the interest rates are still low. And looking to 2007, we anticipate another strong year, with opportunities for buyers and sellers.” 

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 market reported a total of 1,284 existing condos changed hands in 2006, up 10 percent from the 1,171 condos sold the previous year. The existing condo median price was $153,400; in 2005, it was $135,300 for a 13 percent increase.

“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
http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060906/NEWS01/609060374&SearchID=73256237062183

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 Fat Tuesdays.

Johnny Rockets, Nathan's Hot Dogs, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, And A-And-W All American Cafes have also expressed interest in the property.

Race Track Could be Baldwin County Bound 

A big name in Nascar in backing a new race track in South Alabama.

Dale Earnhart, Junior is considering three locations for a 75-thousand seat motorsports stadium and entertainment park. One location would be on about 23 hundred acres in Pritchard, near the University of Mobile. Another proposal calls for a track off the Foley Beach Express just a few miles from Orange Beach. The third location has not been announced, but it would also make Baldwin County its home.

Channel three's Cynthia Reeves takes us there for reaction.

At Lu Lu's restaurant in Gulf Shores, news about Dale Junior's plans to back a track in their back door is racing from table to table,
but the idea hasn't taken off with everyone. Its getting mixed reviews.

Scott Filson/Baldwin County Visitor
"For me its not what I'd like. Not not a Nascar fan, but not for me."

Mike Sciocchetti/Baldwin County Resident
"It would definitely be good for the area. There are a lot of Nascar fans... just be awesome"

Promoters say wherever the track is built, it will include an oval speedway, a road course, a dirt track, and other entertainment venues.

There's a lot of excitement in Orange Beach as well, but City Councilman Ed Carroll says there could be some opposition to the track, depending on exactly where it would be located."

Ed Carroll/Orange Beach City Council:
"Yeah, I think the biggest problem you're going to have is and the only ones that are going to be against it is if they put it close to neighborhoods which would destroy their nice silent life they're used to."

But Carroll says if it fills condos off season, it'll be a great benefit to Baldwin County overall.

Visitors say, bring in on. The more entertainment in the area, the better.

Douglas Kolb/Baldwin visitor
"Its quite exciting. I think it should go over big."

Of course, the question on everybody's mind is would Nascar bring a race there.

Promoters say they don't even plan on talking to Nascar until the stadium is under construction.

Promoters plan to choose a location by the first of November, with the goal of holding the first race in the fall of 2009.


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