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Pensacola Real Estate Is Making A Comeback!

New housing report shows the best quarter of the last 5 consecutive.

The post below is cut and pasted from a report that I received from Emerald Coast Appraisal Services.  I have been saying for a while that the market appears to be picking up, and here is the proof of it.  Not only did housing sales increase, but of the 19 metropolitan markets studied in Florida, Pensacola came up with the largest increase.  A special thanks to Roger Kinnard for making this information available.

Emerald Coast Appraisal Services

409 S. Navy Blvd.

Pensacola, Florida 32507

Phone: 850-455-3333 Fax: 850-456-0192

Email: ecas@ecas.biz

The State of the Pensacola Housing Market – 06/2008

(Roger Kinnard, St. Cert. Res. REA #2782, RAA)

As spring transitions into summer, our real estate market appears to be gaining some momentum and the traditional sales season is underway. Many indicators of activity are up and the message that this is a buyers market and a good time to buy appears to be sinking in. While all of the positives are tempered by the remaining overabundance of active listings and declining values in many segments of the market, they are undeniable.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight issues a housing price index every quarter that measures housing price trends in numerous metropolitan statistical areas throughout the country. The Pensacola market has posted 5 negative quarters in a row, until now. The latest housing price index shows Pensacola gaining .76% in the first quarter of 2008. While less than 1% many not sound impressive, it is the highest number posted by any market in the state of Florida. Out of 19 markets studied in Florida only 3 posted a positive number and Pensacola had the highest increase.

The latest statistics issued by our own Pensacola Association of Realtors show that the median price for May 2008 ($170,900) is higher than the median price for May 2007 ($170,500). While the volume of sales continues to lag behind last year by around 24%, the number of sales has increased every month since January. Supply has remained stable at around 6,400-6,500 units for sale throughout the year to date.

The significance of these signs of stabilization is twofold. Not only are they positive indicators for the future of this market, but they could also affect the number of potential buyers who can qualify for loans. On the basis of previous OFHEO reports, association of Realtors information, and other sources of data, FNMA and many individual lenders have designated the Pensacola market to be a declining market. A loan originated in a designated declining market has different underwriting and qualifying standards. While FNMA has recently announced changes to their policy of requiring higher down payments in declining markets, many lenders remain tentative about making loans in declining markets. If these positive indicators hold true, it is possible that Pensacola may be taken off the list of declining markets.

As mentioned previously, FNMA has recently (starting 06/01/2008) made changes to their loan-to-value policies. A mortgage originated through desktop underwriting can qualify for up to a 97% loan, even in areas that are designated as declining markets. This will allow borrowers who need these types of loans to have another option, besides FHA.

With these positive indications, the first we have seen in a long time and the possibility of more open, available financing, the prospects for the market are much brighter than they were just a few months ago.

Our market remains segmented. Some areas are showing signs of stability, while some areas remain in decline. Even varying price ranges within a specific area are performing differently.

The following charts and tables show how different two segments of the same market can be. While Z2Y1 and Z7Y2 are only separated by 3 or 4 miles, the difference in performance between the two areas over the past year is notable.

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1 Comment»

  Jim Lee wrote @

Another comeback; it appears lots of market all over the country are on the upswing.


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