Sunday, August 23, 2009

Florida's Existing Home, Condo Sales Up in July

ORLANDO, FL/PRNewswire/ -- Florida's existing home sales rose in July - the 11th month in a row that sales activity increased in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR).

Statewide existing home sales in July also rose over the previous month's sales level.Existing home sales rose 37 percent last month with a total of 15,882 homes sold statewide compared to 11,595 homes sold in July 2008, according to FAR.

Statewide existing home sales in July increased 0.2 percent over June's statewide activity.

Florida Realtors also reported a 48 percent rise in statewide sales of existing condos in July.Eighteen of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased existing home sales in July; the same number of MSAs also showed gains in condo sales.

A majority of the state's MSAs have reported increased sales for more than a year (13 consecutive months).

To gain insight into current trends in Florida's real estate industry, the University of Florida's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies conducts a quarterly survey of industry executives, market research economists, real estate scholars and other experts.

According to the recent second quarter 2009 survey, investor confidence in the outlook for business and availability of money are reasons for cautious optimism.

"I think we're on the road to recovery and even though most markets report they've seen the bottom, it's going to be a long climb," said Timothy Becker (top left photo) , the center's director.

He noted that the investment outlook for single-family development increased to its highest level since the survey began, with more respondents than ever believing it is a good time to buy.

Florida's median sales price for existing homes last month was $147,600; a year ago, it was $193,800 for a 24 percent decrease.

According to housing industry analysts with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in June 2009 was $181,600, down 15 percent from a year earlier, according to NAR.

(The 41-story, $355M, 200-unit Trump Hollywood condominium, Hollywood, FL, bottom left photo)

In Massachusetts, the statewide median resales price was $306,000 in June; in California, it was $274,740; in Maryland, it was $274,008; and in New York, it was $189,900.Several positive market factors are influencing the housing sector, notes NAR's latest industry outlook.

"Historically low mortgage interest rates, affordable home prices and a large selection are encouraging buyers who've been on the sidelines," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. (middle right photo)

"Activity has been consistently much stronger for lower priced homes. We expect a gradual uptrend in sales to continue due to tax credit incentives and historically high affordability conditions."In Florida's year-to-year comparison for condos, 5,035 units sold statewide compared to 3,396 units in July 2008 for a 48 percent increase.

The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $108,300; in July 2008 it was $168,700 for a 36 percent decrease.

The national median existing condo price was $183,300 in June 2009, according to NAR.Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.22 percent last month, down significantly from the average rate of 6.43 percent in July 2008, according to Freddie Mac.

FAR's sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.Among the state's smaller markets, the Pensacola MSA reported a total of 371 homes sold in July compared to 321 homes a year earlier for a 16 percent increase.

The market's existing home median sales price last month remained level compared to a year ago at $157,800. A total of 48 condos sold in the MSA in July, up 23 percent over the 39 units sold in July 2008. The existing condo median price in July was $250,000; a year earlier, it was $325,000 for a 23 percent decrease.

For a complete copy of the FAR release and full statistics, please contact Marla Martin, Communications Manager, or Jeff Zipper, VicePresident of Communications, both of Florida Association of Realtors,+1-407-438-1400, ext. 2326 or 2314

Web Site:

Marcus & Millichap Sells 6,245-SF Single-Tenant Net Leased Building in Fort Myers, FL

FORT MYERS, FL – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of Wachovia - Wells Fargo - Ground Lease, (bottom left photo) a 6,245 square foot single-tenant net-leased property located in Fort Myers, FL, according to Bryn D. Merrey, Regional Manager of the firm’s Tampa office.

The asset commanded a sales price of $1,750,000.

Ron Schultz, (top right photo) an investment specialist in Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a national developer. The buyer, a private investor in a 1031 exchange, was also secured by Mr. Schultz.

Schultz utilized the firm’s national marketing platform to procure multiple offers for this asset.

“Buyers are scrambling to safer deals like the Wachovia-Wells Fargo ground lease in Ft. Myers and they are willing to compete”.

“The seller achieved a very aggressive cap rate and a quick close, despite the economy. Buyers are active and deals are still getting done” states Schultz.

Wachovia-Wells Fargo Ground Lease is located at 11801 Palm Beach Boulevard.

Press Contact: Bryn D. Merrey, Regional Manager, Tampa, (813) 387-4700

Marcus & Millichap Names Rick Raymundo Vice President Investments in Los Angeles Office

LOS ANGELES, CA – The board of directors of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has named Roderick “Rick” Raymundo (top right photo) to the position of vice president investments.

The achievement of vice president investment status is one of the highest levels of recognition the firm awards its sales agents. It represents excellence in client relationships, investment real estate expertise and sales volume, according to Stephen D. Stein, first vice president and regional manager in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Raymundo began his career with Marcus & Millichap in 2002, specializing in the sale of multi-family properties in the San Fernando Valley.

Press Contact: Stacey CorsoCommunications Department(925) 953-1716

HFF secures bridge and mezzanine financing totaling $49M for Class A office tower in Hartford, CT

BOSTON, MA – The Boston office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has secured $49 million in bridge and mezzanine financing for CityPlace I, (top right photo) an 885,000-square-foot, Class A office tower in Hartford, Connecticut.

HFF senior managing director Dana Brome (lower left photo) and senior analyst Carlos Febres-Mazzei placed a $39 million, three-year adjustable-rate bridge loan with People’s United Bank and a $10 million mezzanine loan through Buchanan Street Partners.

Located at 185 Asylum Street, CityPlace I is situated in Hartford’s central business district and is recognized as the tallest office building in Connecticut.

The property is 93% leased to tenants including Brown Rudnick, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, Smith Barney,PricewaterhouseCoopers and United Healthcare Group.

“We are thrilled by the execution of both lenders in what has been an extremely cautious capital market. The local law firms of Mayo Crowe and Bingham McCutchen worked hand-in-hand to deliver a rapid closing for a very complex transaction,” said Brome.

“Given the current challenges in capital markets and the highly structured nature of this transaction, this closing was attributable to the creativity and hard work of everyone involved in the deal,” added Febres-Mazzei.

Dana E. Brome,HFF Senior Managing Director, (617) 338-0990,

Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,