My neighbor’s tree is ruining my yard – what can I do?

February 9th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Florida Realtors® – Gary M. Singer

Question: We live in a community with small lots. My neighbor has a huge tree sitting 3 feet from my property line that blocks the morning sun and sheds leaves constantly, making my yard look horrible and stopping the lawn from filling in. What are my options? – Landra

Answer: There is not too much you can do about the sun being blocked, but you do have some rights.

You can, at your own expense, trim any branches that hang over your property as long as you do not damage the tree. Your neighbor is not responsible for the leaves that fall in your yard or for blocking the sunlight.

You should try to speak with your neighbor and let him or her know how the tree is affecting you. I am amazed by how many people I consult with who did not speak to their neighbor about an issue first before calling a lawyer. Often a friendly conversation can work miracles. However, this is not always the case.

Before you give up, it pays to do some research. Each property is different, and you may find some relief in the things that make your property unique. Take a look at your municipality’s code to make sure the tree is allowed where it is. Many cities have rules about types of trees and how high they can be grown. If you live in a community association, check the rules and speak with the board about the problem. You may get some traction if the tree is also blocking a particular view, such as a view of the ocean or a landmark.

About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Send him questions online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

© 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Things To Do This Weekend

February 8th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate

Clematis By Night – Thursdays
Clematis by Night is the place to be for great live music, a taste of mouth-watering foods and fun people all in the hip ambiance of an energized downtown waterfront. Centennial Square at the end of Clematis Street in Downtown West Palm Beach.
100 N Clematis St. – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Clematis By Night

Food Truck Invasion’s at Abacoa – Friday
Come have a taste of the best food trucks in South Florida. The growing trend of gourmet food trucks is headed to Abacoa. The ultimate picnic rolls into Abacoa Town Center every 2nd Friday of the month. You provide the seating. Bring your folding chairs, blankets, even a table, and the whole family. Pick and choose from the different cuisine/trucks. There is something for everyone.
4798 Central Blvd. – Jupiter, FL 33458  Food Truck Invasion

South Florida Garlic Festival – Friday to Sunday
The South Florida Garlic Fest is the epitome of homegrown talent and a cultural showcase providing an outlet for local artists and chefs to express themselves. In a variety of mediums, Garlic Fest serves as a gathering festival focal point for musicians, artist of every genre and culinary artists. Each year over 40,000 local South Floridians attend to enjoy the premier food and entertainment event in South Florida. The best Stinkin’ Party in South Florida! In addition to great food, the Garlic Fest showcases a diverse and eclectic selection of national musical acts including Buddy Guy, Dispatch, Collective Soul, Sister Hazel and Trombone Shorty to name just a few.
4759 South Congress Avenue – Lake Worth, FL 33461 – John Prince Park  19th Annual Garlic Fest

Palm Beach Paddlefest – Saturday
Palm Beach Paddlefest is a free, family-friendly event featuring a variety of exhibitors, races sponsored by Blueline Surfand PaddleCo, relays, and water-based demos. Enjoy food, drinks, and live entertainment. The festival caters to both new and experienced paddlers, and everyone with a love of the water! Harbourside Place.
200 N US Highway 1 – Jupiter, FL 33477   Palm Beach Paddlefest

ArtsFest – Saturday & Sunday
The Arts Council of Martin County has been a leader in the arts, since 1980! The arts and cultural programs we support inspire creativity, learning and strengthen the fabric of our community. ArtsFest is both our biggest celebration of the arts and our largest fundraiser put on each year to provide opportunity for people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to discover and embrace the arts!
300 SE Ocean Blvd. – Stuart, FL 34994  ArtsFest

The Great Smoke 2018 – Saturday
We’re pleased to introduce to you the 12th annual edition of The Great Smoke, a mega cigar event like none other. Each year, we strive to make this cigar-centric gathering bigger & better.
9067 Southern Blvd. – West Palm Beach, FL 33411  The Great Smoke

Paws in the Park – Sunday
Celebrate your FURRY friend by bringing them out to experience a day of fun, frolic and exploration! Dogs and their owners are invited to join us at Pawchella for a full day of exhibits, demonstrations, experts, entertainment, and more! Pawchella provides an opportunity for local pet-related organizations and businesses to showcase their causes, products and services in a fun, animal-friendly environment. Searching for your new best friend? Come out and adopt from area rescue groups, who will have adoptable animals on site.
100 Clematis Street – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Paws in the Park

Equestrian Triathlon – Sunday
Family-friendly equestrian competition with world-class athletes. Three teams made up of one polo player, one hunter jumper, and one dressage rider make their way on to the grounds. The twist…Athletes do not compete in their own sports. General admission and reserved seating. Deeridge Farms.
12500 Pierson Road – Wellington, FL 33414  Equestrian Triathlon

The Gardens GreenMarket – Sundays
At the Market, you can shop an abundance of just-picked, orchard-grown goods, a wide selection of seasonal vegetables and fruits, fragrant herbs, honey, homemade old-fashioned breads, pies, cheeses, sauces, handmade crafts and much, much more. This event is rain or shine.
10500 Military Trail – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410   The Gardens GreenMarket

Green & Artisan Market – Sundays
Stroll along the waterfront and shop fresh produce, specialty foods, flowers, fashion, local art and more! This market is free and open to the public. Every Sunday 10 AM – 3 PM.
200 North US Highway 1 – Jupiter, FL 33477  Green & Artisan Market

American Heart Month

February 7th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Insurance Office of America

February is American Heart Month. First declared in 1964, heart disease was the cause of more than half of deaths in the United States at the time. Today, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. However, it is also one of the most preventable. How?

Choose a Heart Healthy Lifestyle: 

  • Engage in regular aerobic exercise.
  • Adopt a balanced diet that is low in salt, saturated fats, and trans fats.
  • Avoid smoking and recreational drug use.
  • Manage anger and stress.
  • Know and review your risks with your physician or cardiologist.

Make an Impact in Your Community: 

  • Get Your CPR Certification- The Red Cross offers training classes in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) across the country. These classes are reasonably priced and include a two-year certification.
  • Donate Blood- There is always a serious need for all blood types across the country. One donation can save up to three lives!

The Market Preview

February 6th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

A Rising Start to 2018

Market participants have anticipated rising mortgage rates for a while. Some have anticipated for years. If the recent trajectory of mortgage rates sets the tone for 2018, no one needs to anticipate anymore.

To belabor the obvious, mortgages are on a rising trajectory. Mortgage News Daily’s latest survey shows the range of quotes on a prime 30-year fixed rate loan at 4.375%-to-4.5%. The range was last this high in March 2017, which was a brief outlier. Before that, we have to go back to 2014.

A respite in the near future appears unlikely. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise the federal funds rate when Fed officials meet in March. Futures traders are betting a 77.5% chance the Fed will raise the range 25 basis points to 1.5%-to-1.75%.

If we look further afield, the same traders offer the best odds on the fed funds rate being raised two more times — in 25-basis-point increments — past the March increase. The best odds are given on the fed funds rate ending the year in the 2%-to-2.25% range.

The fed funds rate is an overnight lending rate among commercial banks. It’s a short-term interest rate, which has had a marginal and fleeting impact on long-term interest rates in the past. This go-around we have a few new variables in play: Major tax reform, higher GDP growth expectations, and a shrinking Fed balance sheet (tentative) favor higher interest rates over lower interest rates.

Inflation, though, could be the most influencing variable. Consumer-price inflation has been dormant (by official Fed measures) since the 2008-2009 recession. Fed officials are bullish on inflation: They see it rising more this year than in past years. (Fed officials are singularly attracted to inflation because of a singular phobic fear of deflation.) If the Fed is right in its forecast, mortgage rates are more likely to maintain the current trajectory.

With the important variables aligned on the same side of the fence, the broad trend for mortgage rates is negative. A major shock — a stock-market correction, a geopolitical conflagration, an encompassing political scandal, or some such outlier — would be needed to get rates trending lower.

This isn’t to say minor pullbacks can’t occur. If they do, they surely offer an opportunity to lock. That said, floating and hoping is risky business. Yes, you can look like a genius if you time it right.

But you can never know if it was timed right because of genius or chance.

All good things must end — a party, a vacation, life, the sun. We can add low interest rates to the list. Though the end is eventual, it doesn’t mean its imminent, but recent market trends point to the end being more imminent than not.

Look Beyond the Seen to the Unseen

Let’s wander off course with an observation and a thought experiment.

The observation: Home prices have risen relentlessly at the national level since the start of the decade. They continue to rise to this day. Rising input costs are key contributors. No cost has risen more than lumber. The NAHB tells us lumber prices have risen 30% since summer. For this, we can thank the 20.8% tariff the U.S. Commerce Department slapped on imported Canadian lumber.

The Commerce Department slapped Canadian lumber with the tariff because it claims the Canadian government is subsidizing Canadian lumber. This allows Canadian lumber providers to sell at a lower price — a price that hinders U.S. competitors.

Now for the thought experiment: Let’s take it to the extreme. Let’s say the Canadian government is willing to subsidize its lumber industry to the point that the providers can give lumber to the United States. U.S. lumber providers would go bankrupt, no doubt. But what about U.S. lumber consumers?

Home prices would be significantly cheaper. Demand for homes would rocket. More homes would be built and sold. People who bought products made with lumber would have more money. Taken in total, we would have more money that could be spent on many other goods and services. We’d also have more money to invest.

U.S. lumber providers would suffer an obvious immediate loss from free Canadian lumber. But lumber consumers suffer a far greater loss with a tariff applied to Canadian lumber. Lumber providers are a tiny, concentrated constituency. The rest of us are a large, disbursed constituency. The former has much more political influence than the latter.

So we ask, do the benefits of the U.S. tariff on Canadian lumber outweigh the costs?

Jackie Doran
Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Loan Officer
NMLS # 364090
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
www.mortgagesbyjackie.com
© 2017 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Jackie Doran NMLS # 364090, . 11290 Legacy Ave, North Palm Beach, FL 33410. Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC  1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender. 

The Markets In A Minute

February 5th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

The Economy

The Fed didn’t raise policy rates at this week’s FOMC meeting, though their announcement pointed to a likely increase when they meet in March.

Consumer spending increased in December, a reflection of the strong labor market. However, the 2.4% national savings rate was the lowest since 2005.

The Fed believes that inflation could reach their 2% target this year. Supported by a growing economy, inflation pushes rates (including mortgage rates) higher.

Housing News

National home prices continued their run higher in November, rising 6.2% annually. Home prices are rising more than three times faster than the rate of inflation.

Despite tight inventory, pending home sales were up 0.5% in December over November. The supply of homes for sale is at its lowest level since 1999.

Construction spending increased more than expected in December. Private residential projects rose to their highest level since March 2007.

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Jackie Doran

Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Loan Officer
NMLS # 364090
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
www.mortgagesbyjackie.com
© 2017 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Jackie Doran NMLS # 364090, . 11290 Legacy Ave, North Palm Beach, FL 33410. Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC  1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender. 

Find Your Ideal School in a New Neighborhood

February 2nd, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Trulia – by Trulia

Here’s where to start when searching for the perfect school, whether you’re moving across town or across the country.

When looking for a new neighborhood to call home, school is often one of the most important deciding factors for a family. There’s no single solution to finding the right one, but there is more to consider than test scores alone. Things like commute times and the school’s PTA scene, in addition your child’s classroom experience, will shape your daily  existence in a neighborhood. So how can you assess a school from a distance? And, really, what does it mean to find the “right” school for you?

6 Steps To Choosing a School That Fits Your Family

1. Ask yourself important questions

Before beginning the process, it’s key to do a little soul searching about what matters most to you when it comes to your child’s education. Consider the values you want to come through not just at home, but in a school setting.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What are some places where my child has thrived in the past?
  • What unifies those experiences?
  • Do we prefer a traditional or alternative educational style?
  • How important are extracurricular enrichment opportunities?
  • What sort of contributions (time or money) are we interested in making as a family?

2. Use your network to get insight

Whether you’re hoping to move five blocks away or you’re picking up and heading to another state, you have a useful network easily at your disposal. It’s worth a shot to reach out to everyone you know to start to do some research. “Just like you use your network online and off to find a job, you should make use of any and all contacts you have that may be able to advise you on the area you are looking in,” suggests Dana Points, former Editor in Chief of Parents magazine and mom of two school-aged kids.

Post a question on Facebook letting everyone know that you are investigating schools in a certain area, and find out if they have any experience or insight to share. You can also ask your network to share your post so that it gains even more exposure. It could turn out that your uncle’s best friend or your daughter’s soccer coach grew up in your new town and would be able to give an insider’s perspective on a school you’re looking into — or perhaps point you to a school you might not have even considered.

3. Call schools directly for information

Once you’ve found a few options in your new neighborhood, reach out the old school way: by phone. Use Trulia’s school directory to find school contact information. When you get someone one the line, you’ll have the opportunity to ask more nuanced, personalized questions. You can also request to have school catalogs sent by mail, along with any other printed material available, particularly about how this school or district compares to others in the area.

4. Surf schools’ websites

Most schools and school districts have their own websites (many of which can be found on Trulia), and they can include a wealth of information. Spend some time reading newsletters or PTA meeting notes if they’re available. Look into what awards or certifications the schools have recently received. If you’re eager to dive even deeper into the school website, look for downloadable calendars, and sign up for a weekly newsletter, which can give you insight into any events or news at the school.

5. Visit in person, if possible 

It’s always ideal to visit a school in person. While it seems logical to visit during school hours, that may not be possible. You could be 1000 miles away—or a school may have restrictions on visiting hours for prospective families. If you’re local, ask about coming in after school hours to see classrooms and common areas. Look at the art in the hallways and any posters around the school to try to get a feel for the school’s values, teacher engagement, and what the administration prioritizes. Whether you encounter the crossing guard or the person at the front desk, try to engage people in conversation to ask them any questions you may have. If you get the chance, ask to meet with the principal. Among other things, you might want to find out how teachers are evaluated.

Here are some other questions to ask:

  • What is the school’s approach to discipline and homework?
  • What does current parent involvement look like?
  • What are the rates of teacher turnover?
  • How is information shared with parents?
  • How does the school support children with any unique academic, social, or developmental needs?

6. Read reviews

Parent reviews, like those from sites like GreatSchools and SchoolDigger, provide helpful additional insights. Families of children currently enrolled often share important details about things like class sizes, current events, and what the school is doing well (and what they believe needs work) in real time.

Read more:

Things to Do This Weekend

February 1st, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate

Clematis By Night – Thursdays
Clematis by Night is the place to be for great live music, a taste of mouth-watering foods and fun people all in the hip ambiance of an energized downtown waterfront. Centennial Square at the end of Clematis Street in Downtown West Palm Beach.
100 N Clematis St. – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Clematis By Night

Viking VIP Event – Friday & Saturday
The 22nd Annual Viking Yacht Company VIP Event is closer than you think! Be sure to join us Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd to view Viking’s FULL FLEET from 37 to 93 feet at the Viking Yacht Service Center in Riviera Beach, Florida. In addition to the floating display, there will be sea trials on selected models and over 40 preferred vendors will be on-hand as well.
1550 Avenue C – Riviera Beach, FL 33404  Viking Yacht Service

Jupiter Jubilee – Saturday
The Jupiter Jubilee is an annual community event put on by the Town of Jupiter for area residents. The Jubilee typically has entertainment, civic, educational, and cultural components. Free parking is available at Jupiter High School, just south of the Jupiter Community Center, on Military Trail.  Free shuttles will operate continuously throughout the event, back and forth from the high school and the Jubilee.
210 Military Trail – Jupiter, FL 33458  Jupiter Jubilee

Manatee Lagoon’s ManateeFest 2018 – Saturday & Sunday
Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center™ will celebrate its second anniversary with its first-ever Manatee Lagoon’s ManateeFest 2018, featuring a line-up of fun family events over the Feb. 3-4 weekend. This event features FREE admission and parking. Food and beverages are available for purchase.
6000 N. Flagler Drive – West Palm Beach, FL 33407  ManateeFest

17th Annual Hobe Sound Festival of the Arts – Saturday & Sunday
Hobe Sound will transform four blocks of A1A/Dixie Highway into a living, breathing, art gallery for two days with The Hobe Sound Festival of the Arts. Life-size sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography, ceramics, and much more make for one fabulous weekend. There is also a craft section and green market. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be sure to find it among the various array of artists participating in this juried art fair.
11954 SE Dixie Highway – Hobe Sound, FL 33455   Festival of the Arts

Live! At the Norton concert by Operafusion – Sunday
Opera Fusion, Inc. presents Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and the Music She Loved
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s memoirs include notes on music that she enjoyed, from Strauss’s Salome to Gershwin’s popular songs. In this program, the singers of Operafusion – a group dedicated to expanding opera’s audience — share the music that inspired the sculptor a century ago.
1451 S. Olive Avenue – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Operafusion

The Gardens GreenMarket – Sundays
At the Market, you can shop an abundance of just-picked, orchard-grown goods, a wide selection of seasonal vegetables and fruits, fragrant herbs, honey, homemade old-fashioned breads, pies, cheeses, sauces, handmade crafts and much, much more. This event is rain or shine.
10500 Military Trail – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410   The Gardens GreenMarket

Green & Artisan Market – Sundays
Stroll along the waterfront and shop fresh produce, specialty foods, flowers, fashion, local art and more! This market is free and open to the public. Every Sunday 10 AM – 3 PM.
200 North US Highway 1 – Jupiter, FL 33477  Green & Artisan Market

The Market Preview

January 31st, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

Is it Different This Time?

Given the number of false starts in recent years, it’s understandable to ask the obvious: Is it different this time, or is it another false start?

More than a couple times in recent history we’ve seen interest rates rise into January and then fall soon after. This time has been different: Interest rates have continued to rise.

But is it really different this time? By “it,” we mean the end of the bull market in bonds that began in 1981? We have to ask again because the punditry that market participants most heed have amplified their concerns. This could be it.

Bond gurus Bill Gross of Janus Henderson and Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital believe rising interest rates are a given following federal tax reform that occurred in December. Lower income tax rates — lower corporate income tax rates, in particular — are expected to stimulate the economy. GDP growth is expected to accelerate (albeit modestly). Bond investors, if they dislike anything, they dislike accelerating GDP growth.

Ray Dalio, CEO of Bridgewater Associates, an investment firm with $160 billion in assets under management, joined the choir this past week. Dalio believes that the bond market has slipped into a bear market — marked by falling bond prices and rising yields. Dalio warned on Bloomberg TV that “a 1% rise in bond yields will produce the largest bear market in bonds that we have seen since 1980 to 1981.”

Dalio likely meant a one percentage point rise (not a 1% rise), which would translate to a 40% increase in the yield on the influential 10-year U.S. Treasury note. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have historically averaged two percentage points above the yield on the 10-year note.

The percentage increase in the 30-year fixed-rate loan would be less harrowing, though. Yes, quotes of low-fours on a 30-year loan would levitate to the low-fives, but the percentage increase would be roughly 25%, as opposed to 40% for the 10-year note.

Of course, this is all conjecture — on their part and ours. Bulls and bears are seen only in hindsight.

The rising-rate argument is at least sensible, though: Lower corporate income tax rates, expectations for economic growth, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin backing a weaker dollar, and a Federal Reserve determined to reduce its balance sheet and raise interest rates all point to a future marked more with rates rising than one with rates falling.

With that said, we’ve seen a slight easing in mortgage-rate quotes in the past week (some down drift in rates or fees). Could slight easing morph into a sustained downtrend? It could, but the data today suggests otherwise. We view any easing as an opportunity to lock as opposed to a reason to float for better future rates.

A Concern, but Not an Overwhelming One

Mortgage rates are up, and so, too, are purchase-mortgage applications. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that its seasonally adjustedpurchase index rose 6% last week to mark its fourth-consecutive weekly increase. The index is at its highest level since April 2010.

We’re not surprised activity has risen. When home buyers anticipate rising mortgage rates, they act now to avoid paying an even higher rate in the future. (The reverse holds as well, but to a lesser degree with strong home-price appreciation lurking in the background.) We’re interested to see how the trend manifests in home sales.

The latest data on existing home sales doesn’t tell us much. The data focus on December, and in December existing home sales declined 3.6% to 5.57 million units on an annualized rate.

If we look at the bigger picture, we find a lot to like. Despite the poor showing in December, existing home sales in 2017 were at the highest levels in 11 years. What’s more, it could have been better if not for the dastardly duo — a low supply of homes sale and relentlessly rising home prices.

If mortgage rates relentlessly rise could the dynamic change? Could sales and housing activity slow?

It could, but we expect that it would take time. We still have many positive factors at work — persistent job growth, rising wages, strong corporate earnings, strong housing demand — to keep housing on its upward trajectory, at least for the near future.

Jackie Doran
Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Loan Officer
NMLS # 364090
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
www.mortgagesbyjackie.com
© 2017 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Jackie Doran NMLS # 364090, . 11290 Legacy Ave, North Palm Beach, FL 33410. Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC  1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender. 

The Markets In A Minute

January 30th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

The Economy

The government shutdown had a nominal effect on markets and no effect on rates. Another shutdown is possible February 8th, the new deadline for a deal.

The dollar slumped this week, its biggest weekly decline in 18 months. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says a weaker dollar could boost U.S. trade though.

Jobless claims were up from last week’s 45-year low, but still lower than expected. The labor market continues to tighten with near full employment.

Housing News

Existing home sales were down 3.6% in December from November, but were up 1.1% year-over-year. A lack of supply of homes on the market played a role.

New home sales were also down in December, blamed partly on unseasonably cold temperatures. However, new home sales were 14% higher than a year ago.

Rising mortgage rates have spurred more buyers off their couches and into the market. Mortgage applications were up 4.5% over last week, 6.1% over last year.

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Jackie Doran

Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Loan Officer
NMLS # 364090
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
www.mortgagesbyjackie.com
© 2017 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Jackie Doran NMLS # 364090, . 11290 Legacy Ave, North Palm Beach, FL 33410. Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC  1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender. 

Expect growth in Fla. employment, population and visitors

January 29th, 2018

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Florida Realtors®

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 26, 2018 – Florida’s economy grew in 2017, and that positive momentum should continue in 2018, according to economists and business data experts who spoke to a crowd of about 500 Realtors®at the 2018 Florida Real Estate Trends event Thursday during Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings.

“For 2018, from a business point of view, Florida’s economy benefits from a growing population, strong and growing employment, and a rising number of visitors,” said Dr. Tony Villamil, founder and principal advisor of The Washington Economics Group and a former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs under President George H.W. Bush.

“In fact, Florida is growing faster in terms of employment growth than the rest of the U.S., which is good for Florida real estate.”

He noted the three major drivers of the state’s economy are 1) Florida’s business climate, including real estate sales; 2) the U.S. economy and financial market trends; and 3) the global economy.

“Overall, Florida is a positive, pro-business climate state and I don’t see that changing significantly,” Villamil said. “For U.S. economic activity, I see a lot of enthusiasm on tax reform and deregulation – the U.S. economy is poised for a strong performance this year. We’ll likely see about 3 percent growth in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the U.S.” He added that Florida’s GDP growth in 2018 is likely to also be about 3 to 3.5 percent.

Global economy activity is rebounding from its sluggish performance and growing, especially in major markets like Brazil and Canada, he noted. “Here in Florida, one of the sleepers is going to be India – it deserves a closer look,” Villamil said.

Another positive: Household net worth is at record levels, leaving consumers ready to spend – so real estate is in demand, he added.

However, “One downer here, is D.C. dysfunction,” Villamil cautioned. “In Washington, there’s a lot of animosity between the political parties. The key (for action) is going to be how we move toward less polarization between the parties.

“Florida’s economy depends on open markets. Looking at the global economy, in this area, I’m concerned about the administration’s policies. ”

Other speakers who discussed trends for 2018 and beyond were Kevin Foreman, general manager of GeoAnalytics for INRIX Inc.; and Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors chief economist.

Foreman discussed how self-driving cars will impact real estate in the future, noting that there are currently about 7,000 on the roads, with that figure expected to reach 4.5 million by 2035. There are four trends in self-driving cars: autonomous (Tesla, Uber, Google and others are working on versions of autonomous cars); also shared; electric; and connected. And there are five levels of autonomy, including hands-on at level 1, hands-off at 2, eyes-off at 3, mind-off at 4, and no-wheel at 5.

At his Seattle office, INRIX offers, on a rotating basis, the chance to get to work using a Tesla autonomous vehicle, Foreman said.

“It’s really nice to go to work and be able to shave, to eat (with both hands) and check email – oh, yes, you’re all Realtors – you already do that,” he said, earning laughs from the crowd.

Foreman added, “We as humans are starting to measure distance differently. It used to be in miles or kilometers. Now, it’s minutes – how long will it take me to get to the airport?Take a picture of traffic signals and milepost signs; they’ll be gone in 30 years. “Now, many people want to search for homes in drive time, to see how long their commute would be to work, to school, and so on.”

According to Foreman, with self-driving cars, the new landscape for real estate will include:

  • No more speeding tickets
  • No more drunk driving
  • No more drivers’ licenses – the blind, elderly and kids can “drive”
  • No distracted driving – more texting, sleeping
  • Two-handed eating
  • Longer “drive” times – people can eat, sleep, work during commutes
  • Less office infrastructure
  • ″More agent productivity

Wrapping up the event, Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor took a look at what happened in Florida real estate in 2017 after Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on Cudjoe Key on Sept. 10 as a Category 4 with winds of more than 130 mph. Prior to Irma, Florida had not been hit by a major (Category 3 or above) hurricane in about 10 years.

To analyze what Hurricane Irma’s long-term impact might be on the market, Florida Realtors Research Department reviewed residential real estate sales data from Florida Realtors from 2004 and 2005 (during the span of time when Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Ivan, Dennis and Wilma struck Florida) as well hurricane claims data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

“Long-term market impacts from landfalling hurricanes are rare and highly localized,” O’Connor said. “Long-term sales declines were observed only in coastal areas where a significant percentage of structures were severely damaged by Category 4-plus winds.”

Short-term market impacts from a hurricane are more common and widespread, he added.

“Sales in areas where most homes did not experience severe structural damage rebounded within a month or two of landfall,” he said. “These temporary slowdowns were due to business activity halting ahead of the storm and power outages, regulations and additional required inspections afterwards.

“Sale prices don’t seem to care much about hurricanes. Plenty of buyers are happy to line up to buy the real estate as long as it’s not completely annihilated.”

Summarizing 2017 housing market activity, O’Connor said single-family existing home sales in Florida were up 1.2 percent over 2016’s sales level – and would have been up by about 3 percent if there had been no Hurricane Irma. 2017 sales of existing condos and townhouses were up about 3 percent year-over-year; and would likely have been about 6 percent higher than 2016 without Irma. The statewide median price in both sectors was up about 8 percent compared to a year ago.

“Dollar volume is up, time on market is down and inventory is down,” he said. “It’s really inventory constraints that’s bringing sales down. Not only aren’t enough homes being built, but people who own their homes aren’t moving. They used to stay in a home on average about seven years, and that median has moved up to 11 years now.”

The Miami Association of Realtors®was the title sponsor for the 2018 Florida Real Estate Trends event; co-sponsors included the Realtors®of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale; the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors®; Orlando Regional Realtor®Association; My Florida Regional MLS; and the Royal Palm Coast Realtor®Association.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®