Friday, April 13, 2012

Marcus & Millichap Facilitates Sale of 58th Street Apartments in Tampa, FL

TAMPA, FL, April 13, 2012 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of 58th Street Apartments (top left photo), a 10-unit apartment property located in Tampa, Florida, according to Bryn D. Merrey, vice president and regional manager of the firm’s Tampa office.

The asset commanded a sales price of $300,000.

Michael P. Regan (middle right photo), a vice president investments, Francesco P. Carriera (lower left photo), associate vice president investments and associate James Vestal (lower right photo) in Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a private investor.

The buyer, a private investor, was also exclusively secured and represented by Regan, . Carriera and Vestal.

58th Street Apartments is located at 12423 North 58th Street.  The property was built in 1979 and is situated on a 1.01 acre lot. 

It is comprised of five contiguous duplexes totaling 10 units.  All 10 units are two-bedroom/one bath and have varying square footage based upon the individual duplex. 

“This transaction reflects the continued stability of the market and the high demand for apartments of non-distressed, market rate transactions” comments Vestal.

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

Marcus & Millichap arranges sale of citrus springs mini storage in Florida for $525,000

CITRUS SPRINGS, FL – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has announced the sale of Citrus Springs Mini Storage (top left photo), a 20,000 square foot self-storage facility located in Citrus Springs, Florida, according to Bryn D. Merrey, vice president and regional manager of the firm’s Tampa office. The asset commanded a sales price of $525,000.

Adam Wides (lower right photo), a self-storage specialist in Marcus & Millichap’s Tampa office had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a private investor.  The buyer, a limited liability company, was also secured and represented by Wides.

Citrus Springs Mini Storage is located at 7465 North Florida Avenue.  The property was built in 1997 and is situated on approximately 2.73 acres of land.  This investment has 211 self-storage units, of which 43 are RV and boat parking spaces.  Amenities include; security cameras, alarm system, gated entrance and roll-up doors.

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

Bank Repos Increase By 13% In South Florida Market In Q1 2012

MIAMI, FL --For the first time since the South Florida real estate crash began in 2007, lenders have repossessed more than 10,000 properties in the first quarter of a year in the tricounty region of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, according to a new report from   

Lenders armed with the foreclosure process forced a change in ownership of nearly 10,200 properties in South Florida in the first 90 days of 2012 compared to less than 9,000 repossessions in South Florida in the same period in 2011 and nearly 9,200 repossessions in 2010, according to an analysis based on Clerk of the Court records in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

In the first quarter of previous years in South Florida, lenders repossessed 7,300 properties in 2009, nearly 4,800 properties in 2008, and less than 1,400 properties in 2007, according to government records.  

"More than 165,000 properties in South Florida have changed ownership forcibly in South Florida since the first year of the real estate crash in 2007," said Peter Zalewski (top right photo), a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures® LLC.

"We expect this total to grow in future quarters as more than 300,000 notices of default have been filed against South Florida properties to date. The unanswered question is when are the lenders going to put the bank repossession on the resale market for purchase."

As of April 11, 2012, less than 1,600 bank-owned residential properties are on the resale market in South Florida, according to an analysis by the licensed Florida brokerage CVR Realty™. 

The bank-owned residential properties represent less than five percent of the total number of condos, townhouses, and single-family houses on the resale market in South Florida, according to the analysis based on Florida Realtors association data.

At the current first quarter of 2012 repossession velocity, lenders are on pace to force a change in ownership of more than 40,000 South Florida properties this year.

The year 2010 ranks as the busiest 12-month period in recent memory in South Florida for lender repossessions with more than 54,400, according to the report.    

Compare this to 2011 when lenders repossessed less than 35,000 properties in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, according to government records.

Previously, lenders repossessed more than 30,400 properties in 2009, nearly 26,250 properties in 2008, and about 10,100 properties in 2007 in the tricounty region, according to the report.

Administrative irregularities in the repossession process first surfaced in late September 2010, creating a "foreclosure freeze" that prompted many lenders to slow the number of defaults being initiated against borrowers in South Florida between October and December 2010 compared to the same three-month period in 2009.

The slowdown in the foreclosure filing process continued throughout 2011.  

In February 2012 after months of negotiations, the nation's five largest mortgage servicers cut a deal with the federal government and the attorneys general from 49 states to provide at least $25 billion in relief to borrowers.

It is unclear what impact the National Mortgage Settlement Agreement will have on foreclosure filings going forward in South Florida.

The settlement agreement incentivizes the mortgage services to consider various options – including principal reductions, mortgage modifications, and shortsales - before filing to foreclose on borrowers who owe more than their residences are worth currently, according to the agreement.

Even before the concerns about the legality of thousands of bank repossessions surfaced in the second half of 2010, lenders had already started to slow their foreclosure efforts due to the rising costs and difficulty involved with repossessing properties from borrowers in default. 

 Prior to the real estate crash, lenders generally expected the foreclosure process to take about six months to complete at a cost of about $40,000 in loss of debt service, unpaid taxes, damage, court fees, and attorney costs.

With nearly 310,000 notices of default filed against borrowers between 2007 and the first quarter of 2012, the South Florida court system was overwhelmed with foreclosure actions, according to the Condo Vultures® Foreclosure Database™.

In South Florida today, lenders now plan for a 700-day repossession process with a cost of about $100,000 per property, industry watchers said.
In the end, bank-owned properties offered on the open market generate a lower average price than properties that are sold as shortsales.

In 2011, the average transaction price for a South Florida condo or townhouse shortsale was $113,100 compared to $92,50 for a bank-owned condo or townhouses, according to Florida Realtors association data.

The strategy shift by the lenders has led to a 12 percent spike in condo and townhouse shortsales, reaching more than 11,350 transactions in 2011. In previous years, condo and townhouse shortsales totaled 10,100 in 2010 and 5,550 in 2009, according to a report.

Condo and townhouses transactions that were never listed on the Multiple Listing Service are not included in this report. 

It is important to note there are various stages to a residential real estate transaction in South Florida.

A transaction begins when a property is made available for sale and ends when a title is conveyed from one party to another party as a result of the recording of a deed with the local government.

As part of the process, a property typically goes under contract and into a due diligence phase by which a deal can be canceled. 

Condo Vultures® LLC is a real estate consultancy and marketing company based at 1005 Kane Concourse, Suite 205, Bal Harbour, Florida, 33154. You can reach Condo Vultures® LLC at 800-750-0517.

Fair Housing Organizations File Discrimination Complaint Against Wells Fargo

National Fair Housing Alliance Alleges Discrimination in Marketing and Maintenance of Foreclosed Properties

WASHINGTON, DC /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and four of its member organizations announced a federal housing discrimination complaint against Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

 This complaint, which was filed April 10 with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the result of an undercover investigation of Wells Fargo's bank-owned properties that found foreclosed properties in White areas are much better maintained and marketed by Wells Fargo than such properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods. 

The investigation of 218 foreclosed properties owned by Wells Fargo demonstrates that Wells Fargo has engaged in a systemic practice of maintaining and marketing its foreclosed, bank-owned properties (also known as Real Estate Owned or REO) in a state of disrepair in communities of color while maintaining and marketing REO properties in predominantly White communities in a far superior manner. 

The Wells Fargo investigation evaluated REO properties in the eight metropolitan areas of Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Dallas, TX; Dayton, OH; Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL; Oakland/Richmond/Concord, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC. 

Nationally, and in each of the eight metropolitan areas, Wells Fargo's REO properties in communities of color were far more likely to have several deficiencies in maintenance or marketing  than REO properties in predominantly White communities.  

Without a "for sale" sign, for example, potential homebuyers would simply not know the property is available.  Also, if there is storm damage or unauthorized occupants, neighbors have no one to call. With a for sale sign, neighbors can call a real estate agent to report these kinds of problems.  

Almost twice as many for sale signs were found in White communities than in communities of color in Philadelphia, PA and Oakland, CA. In Washington, DC, there were four times as many for sale signs in White neighborhoods than in neighborhoods of color.  There were no for sale signs at 90 percent of Wells Fargo properties in Dayton, OH's communities of color.

Trash on the property is a health and safety hazard and makes a home unappealing - but this is a very easy problem to fix and should be addressed immediately.  Wells Fargo properties in communities of color in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, Miami, Dallas, and Washington, DC had almost twice as much trash as those in White communities.

"Wells Fargo's disregard for homes in communities of color has severely damaged these communities," said Shanna L. Smith (top right photo), NFHA President and CEO.  "The company has also hindered this nation's efforts to promote fair housing and is in clear violation of the Fair Housing Act."

 The National Fair Housing Alliance in Washington, D.C., and four of its member organizations - the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center in Dayton, OH; Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence in Miami, FL; Metro Fair Housing Services in Atlanta, GA; and North Texas Fair Housing Center in Dallas, TX - evaluated the maintenance and marketing of REO properties for the existence of 39 different types of maintenance or marketing deficiencies, such as broken windows and doors, water damage, overgrown lawns, no "for sale" sign, trash on the property, and other deficits.
 "We hope that Wells Fargo will take immediate action to correct the stark racial and ethnic disparities we have found in the maintenance and marketing of its foreclosed properties," continued Smith. 

 The Complainants are represented by Peter Romer-Friedman (lower right photo), an attorney at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, law firm that specializes in class action and other complex litigation on behalf of plaintiffs.

The NFHA is expected to announce another complaint shortly against another major bank.

Last week, NFHA issued a report on the findings of its nationwide REO investigation, The Banks Are Back, Our Neighborhoods Are Not:  Discrimination in the Maintenance and Marketing of REO Properties.  The report offers disturbing evidence that the same banks that peddled unsustainable loans to communities of color and triggered the current foreclosure crisis are now exacerbating damage to those communities.  It details the results of the evaluation of more than 1,000 REO properties nationwide. 

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status, as well as the race or national origin of residents of a neighborhood.  This law applies to housing and housing-related activities, which include the maintenance, appraisal, listing, marketing and selling of homes.

To read the HUD administrative complaint and view the news conference presentation, please go to

Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence (

Metro Fair Housing Services, Inc. (

The Miami Valley Fair Housing Center (

North Texas Fair Housing Center (