Bank Listing Foreclosures Drive Home Sales in Florida Keys

by on States

Bank listing foreclosures have been driving home sales in the Florida Keys, based on October home sales data released by a real estate brokerage specializing in Keys properties.

According to the company, total home sales across the Keys rose to 3,666 units in October, a jump of 18 percent compared to sales in September. Despite a drop in price levels, overall home sales increased in all the four key sales areas in the Keys.

The average home price in the Florida Keys dropped to $463,000 in October, a decrease of 22 percent compared to price levels in October 2008. Across several areas in the Keys, the average home sales price dropped by 13 to 31 percent from the average price levels in October last year.

Local real estate agents said that the average home sales price levels still reflect the fact that both buyers and sellers are not yet meeting on a price level that is satisfying to both parties. They said that the difference between the original listing price and the sales price remains high at 30 percent, but in recent weeks, the gap has been narrowing to about 12 to 15 percent as bank listing foreclosures slowed down compared to filings in October last year.

In Monroe County, a total of 185 residential units received foreclosure notices in October, with one housing unit in every 290 houses in the county getting hit with a foreclosure posting. A total of 129 households received lis pendens, a total of 50 homes were sold at foreclosure auction, and six homes were taken back by lenders. Overall foreclosure filings rose by 31 percent compared to September 2009, but dropped by 13 percent compared to October last year.

Compared with 66 other Florida counties, Monroe County is not as clobbered as the other 34 counties, which have higher foreclosures than Monroe.

In addition to the recent extension and expansion of the federal tax credit scheme and the low house prices, the Monroe County State Housing Initiative Partnership is another helpful factor driving hopes of more sales in the Keys.

The initiative provides bridge loans of $8,000 to qualified first-time home buyers who will repay the loans in 18 months without interest or in five years at six-percent interest.

With these federal and local government initiatives, realtors in the Keys are hoping to make more sales of new homes, existing houses, bank listing foreclosures and other distressed properties in the coming months.

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