Weather & Demographics Shift Buyer Patterns

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Weather and changing demographics have altered U.S. home buyer patterns. The tried and true WWII Generation mantra of “Honey its time, let’s go south”, is being supplanted by Baby Boomers, many of whom already moved, re-position their assets close to home for maximum enjoyment and sustainability in light of fewer guaranteed pensions. Once people reach age 75, most are not very likely to purchase a new home/move unless its related to a health issue like physical decline. They will either move nearby (or in with) family or into health facilities. The youngest WWII buyer is 72. Boston & NY, had record warm Christmas Day temps triggering hotel cancellations in FL and the southeast US. Severe record rain and tornadoes have hit, TX, MS, AL, AR & TN.

Florida passed N.Y, as the third most populous state. N.J., with lagging real estate values, still leads the nation in new foreclosures, no longer originates the most retiree/snowbird buyers. Cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, Richmond and Tampa are becoming the new buyer originators for many communities around the southeast U.S.

If old WWII Generation buying patterns and weather has been your driver of urgency to sell property, its important to update your marketing strategy and offset the projected decline of those buyers. Adjustments early in the first quarter of 2016 can help bolster spring, summer & fall sales. Now is the time to reach out to prospects and engage them. There is a shortage of housing inventory and aligning your unique selling position with effective messaging to capture the most retirees & snowbirds will yield positive sales. Act now, contact Dave Robertson, Real Estate Community Advisor, LLC, 561-299-6249.

Canadians Largest International Buyers of US Property

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Canadians, in spite of a high US dollar, are still buying U.S. properties in large numbers. They purchased 30% of all Florida property sales 2013, to international buyers, 6% of all sales. Growing at 4% annually, 4m Canadians visit each year and pay $500m in U.S. property taxes.  They are closer than Europeans, and though most sales are cash, it is easy to get a mortgage through a Canadian bank that operates in the U.S. Mostly snowbirds, they stay longer, averaging 6 months and arrive earlier than other American buyers. The National Association of Realtors reported that in September Canadians were the most active foreign consumers on realtor.com. The most popular property searched cities were New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, FL.

Funding Renews EB-5 Foreign Visa

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Congress passed a tax & spending bill averting a government shut down. There are several elements that were supported by both the National Assoc. of Realtors and the National Assoc. of Home builders that benefit the housing industry. These include; renewing the EB-5 visa program,  Another component makes condominium certification easier and reduces the primary owner only requirement for financing (which makes lender approval  more attainable for resort and snowbird properties), It also made mortgage interest deductions, essential for housing, permanent, And it extends the tax deduction for certain kinds of restaurant equipment. The bill is expected to be signed by President Obama and funds the government through September 2016.

Decline in International Buyers of U.S. Properties

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International buyers of U.S. property have declined 30% since late 2014 and are expected to fall another 25% in 2016. The U.S. dollar is at a seven month high vs. the Euro. The Canadian dollar, traded at 1.2 in 2014 and is now down below $1. in value. With Brent Crude Oil near $40 a barrel and not expected to rise above $50 for 18-36 months, many other commodity based currencies in Mexico, Central & South America are also down in value vs. the U.S. dollar. Further since the western trade sanctions against Russia, those residents have challenges buying a U.S. property too.  For all these reasons luxury developers in South Florida, the Caribbean and other desirable destinations are reaching out to high net worth U.S. buyers much more aggressively.

FL Leads Nation in Cash Real Estate Sales

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Cash sales are falling nationwide, but rising in Florida, up to 47.8% of all real estate transactions. FL, NY, NJ, AL & MI are the top states for cash sales. South Palm Beach County cash sales are 58.1%, top market in the U.S. This trend is driven by both retirees and investors who make up a majority of buyers. Sarasota, Ft. Myers & Miami are also in the top five spots along with Detroit at fourth. Surprisingly Southeast Florida still has 1 & 2 bedroom, 55+ retirement condos available below $100,000.