Southern California has long been famous for its high-priced real estate, and the heart of that market lies in Orange County. Further, Newport Beach could arguably take the distinction of being the most exclusive and high-priced market within Orange County so the trends of its real estate market can give onlookers important signs and clues about the area.
However, because many of the Newport Beach homes for sale are so expensive, the market caters to a different clientele than most and can tend to be quite insular. This must be taken into consideration, as those who can afford $5 million homes are not necessarily representative of the region as a whole.
In a three-week period ended Feb. 16, real estate tracking by DataQuick quoted in the Orange County Register showed that the four Zip codes in Newport Beach showed mostly positive signs for the Newport Beach real estate market. Median prices ranged from $1 million to almost $5 million, and all four Zip codes’ mean prices had increased since the same period of last year.
Sales volume showed mostly positive signs as well, with activity up in all but one Zip Code. The two most active areas had 19 and 16 sales, respectively, increases of 26.7% and 60%. In January 2010, two Zip codes showed zero increases year-over-year in sales volume. In the month of January, one Zip code saw a decline in median prices year-over-year, which was evidently compensated for in February.
Located in the southern region of Tampa Bay, Florida, the city of Bradenton has recently experienced a surge in home sales, providing local real estate experts with optimistic views of the future of the Bradenton real estate market. However, experts still point out that the real estate struggle isn’t over yet, considering the continuing decline in median sales prices and a still heavily distressed housing inventory. The Tampa Bay area has suffered from sharp declines in median prices and high foreclosure rates due to the recession that began in the fall of 2008. However, affordable housing prices, low interest rates, and the federal first-time homebuyer’s tax credit have enticed many prospective homebuyers to reenter the Bradenton real estate market, making Bradenton one of the most improved real estate markets in the Tampa Bay area in terms of single-family home sales.
According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the region has recently posted major increase in both its single-family home sales and condominium sales. Realtors say the recent burst of real estate activity has resulted in almost a 111 percent increase in condo sales. However, at the same time, the region also posted a 21 percent decline in median sales prices from about $131,000 in November of 2008 to $104,000 in November of 2009. Bradenton posted the largest increase in single-family home sales with a 63 percent jump from 482 sales to 784 sales between November of 2008 and 2009. However, Bradenton real estate also suffered from a 7 percent decline in median sales prices. Nevertheless, realtors are optimistic that the federal tax credit will continue to spur real estate activity in the region, promoting a successful and speedy recovery in the near future.
Tampa Bay Online has also noted the recent improvements in the Tampa Bay region real estate market. Most realtors in the region have reported that most homebuyers are saying that the federal tax credit was a major influence in urging them to invest in real estate. The Bay area posted a 34 percent increase in home sales in November from the previous month, with much activity taking place towards the end of November when the federal tax credit was expected to expire. However, since the deadline for the tax credit was extended to April, local realtors hope it will continue to promote real estate growth in the region.
Santa Barbara real estate is poised for recovery and stability, according to economist Mark Schniepp through a Pacific Coast Business Times article published on November 17, 2009, by Hendry Dubroff. While commercial real estate markers and other economic benchmarks like job growth and a turnaround of other measures may continue to be problematic for Santa Barbara, it is a good sign to see the housing market begin to level off.
RealtyStore.com’s October 2009 California Foreclosure Report was released on October 31, 2009, and brought good news for real estate in Santa Barbara. Based on NODs, or Notices of Disclosure, Santa Barbara and the surrounding county saw only a 26% increase while the rest of the state suffered from a jump of 34%. “The figures indicate that many California homeowners are struggling even more in 2009 to meet their mortgages.” However, it is important to realize that the actual foreclosure rate in Santa Barbara is also much smaller than that of other cities and communities in the state. Although the number of notices increased by about a third, this doesn’t mean that 33% more homes were actually foreclosed by banks.
Santa Barbara homes for sale aren’t completely free of worry yet, though. David Streitfeld wrote on October 27, 2009 in the New York Times that “even as new figures show house prices have risen for three consecutive months, concerns are growing that the real estate market will be severely tested this winter. Artificially low interest rates and a government tax credit are luring buyers, but both those inducements are scheduled to end. Defaults and distress sales are rising in the middle and upper price ranges. And millions of people have lost so much equity that they are locked into their homes for years, a modern variation of the Victorian debtor’s prison that is freezing a large swath of the market.”