There are signs that confidence in the Vero Beach housing market is waning a bit with the latest new home construction data. Many analysts are still trying to figure out why housing starts nose-dived in February.
Privately owned housing starts in February plummeted 17%, down to an annualized 897,000 from the revised January estimate of 1,081,000.
Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 593,000; this is 14.9% below the revised January figure of 697,000.
Is Weather to Blame for the Vero Beach Housing Downturn?
Some looked at the weather as the primary culprit despite the big drop in the West region, but now thoughts are turning to other factors like whether there's a skilled labor shortage, or whether younger buyers are still staying on the sidelines.
Here is more in this Fox Business News interview with real estate broker Kendra Todd and Avison Young VP Jason Meister…
Thinking of putting your Vero Beach house on the market? Well, the spring home selling season is finally here, so now is the time to get your Vero Beach house in order if you plan to sell.
A home can be ready to list in as little as a month, especially if it's in good shape and you're working with a competent real estate agent. But it's often better to give yourself a little more cushion. Here's a rough timeline which may already have you behind if you're just getting started on this process, including advice gleaned from a recent survey of 303 real estate professionals conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.
Timeline for Getting Your Vero Beach House Ready to Sell
Two Months Out
Find a real estate agent. This is arguably the most important decision you'll make in the whole process of selling your Vero Beach house. You want to find an agent who is credible and trustworthy and with whom you have good rapport. It pays to speak with a few professionals, ideally using word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. Before signing a listing agreement, be clear on the agent's commission.
Six Weeks Out
Handle any large repairs or upgrades. Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, which are the two rooms that most sell a Vero Beach house. Spending about $2,200 on a new suite of appliances—the dishwasher, range, and refrigerator—could fetch you an extra $6,000.
In the bathroom, consider replacing corroded fixtures as well as the vanity counter-top, which can be fairly inexpensive given its small size. Applying a fresh coat of paint in high-traffic parts of your Vero Beach house, including the front door, is also a good use of time and money
One Month Out
Get rid of clutter. Nothing turns away buyers faster than a messy Vero Beach house. You want them to be able to imagine themselves in your home, which will be impossible if your stuff is piled everywhere. Storage is a big selling point, so free up the closets and kitchen cabinets. This is also the time to pack up family photos, which can be another distraction for would-be buyers. These measures can add about 5 percent to a home's asking price, which works out to $10,000 on the average property.
Two Weeks Out
Photograph your home. In the era of online real estate, this step is crucial. If you're working with a top-quality real estate agent, they'll hopefully pony up for professional photographer—and maybe even a stager too. If they try to tell you their smart phone camera can do the job, don't believe them. An advanced digital camera is essential, because its large sensor will take clear pictures even in low-light interiors. Be sure to photograph every room in the home, as well as the exterior and yard.
One Week Out
Do a deep clean. Ahead of the first open house, you need to thoroughly wipe down every surface in your Vero Beach house, as well as vacuum and dust every corner. Do your best to air out the property by opening windows. And avoid cooking any smelly dishes in the final days leading up to the open house.
One to Two Days Out
Get your Vero Beach house listed online. Traffic to real estate websites tends to spike just before the weekend. Aim to post your listing on Thursday or Friday. Make sure you have the pieces in place before posting, especially the visuals. Some sellers debut their listing without the photos, thinking they can upload them later. But by that time, much of the traffic will have moved on.
Get more information about tips for selling your Vero Beach house in our section on Vero Beach Home Selling Tips to your right under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories.
Remember, we post tips daily to Twitter, and also on our Facebook Page. We'd love you to check us out there too.
Many Vero Beach properties were still underwater at the end of 2014. According to CoreLogic, about 5.4 million homes, or 11 percent of all U.S. residential properties with a mortgage, were still in "negative equity" at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, meaning that a borrower owes more on a Vero Beach home than it is worth. These Vero Beach properties are referred to as "underwater" or "upside down."
Negative Equity of Vero Beach Properties Expected to Improve
Negative equity continued to be a serious issue for the Vero Beach housing market and the U.S. economy at the end of 2014 with 5.4 million homeowners nationwide still "underwater". The situation is expected to improve over the course of 2015. CoreLogic projects their Home Price Index will rise 5 percent in 2015, which will lift about 1 million homeowners out of negative equity.
More and more mortgage borrowers are gaining equity as home prices continue their steady rise. Nearly 1.2 million U.S. borrowers regained equity in 2014.
Fewer Vero Beach properties are underwater since the peak of the foreclosure and financial crisis, but the national aggregate value of negative equity was $348.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $341.8 billion for third quarter 2014, an increase of $7 billion.
The share of homeowners that had negative equity increased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2014, reflecting the typical weakness in home values during the final quarter of the year. The CoreLogic HPI dipped 0.7 percent from September to December, and the percent of owners "underwater" increased to 10.8 percent. However, from December-to-December, the CoreLogic index was up 4.8 percent, and the negative equity share fell by 2.6 percentage points.
As we move through calendar year 2015, we will continue to monitor Vero Beach properties and their rise from underwater status. We'll post an update to the problem of Vero Beach properties being underwater later in the year to see how they compare to 2014.
Remember, we also post daily on our Facebook Page, and over at Twitter. We'd love you to find us there too.
There have been all sorts of reports and predictions coming out about the Vero Beach homebuying season outlook. Freddie Mac's Deputy Chief Economist, Len Kiefer, gives Freddie Mac's preview and prediction of the March 2015 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook in this short video report…
And don't forget, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes pertaining to Vero Beach homebuying. Find us there as well.