August 2, 2017

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July 31, 2017

Florida Real estate - Bill would allow Canadian snowbirds to stay longer

WASHINGTON – July 28, 2017 – U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-New York) introduced the "Canadian Snowbird Visa Act" into the U.S. House.
Under the bill – which would need to be passed by Congress and signed by the president to be law – Canadians would be allowed to stay an extra two months in the United States if they own or lease a home.
Deutch says the bipartisan measure would be good for business because Canadians visiting Florida add about $4.5 billion annually to the state's economy.
"If our chilly neighbors to the north want to spend more time on our warm Florida beaches, we should welcome them with open arms," Deutch says.
Canada is the top source of international visitors to Florida, but the numbers have been falling, according to Visit Florida, the state's tourism organization. Approximately 3.2 million Canadians visited Florida in 2016, down 15 percent from the previous year.
Existing law limits the amount of time a Canadian visitor may spend in the U.S. to 182 days per year – about six months. Deutch's bill would permit Canadians over the age of 50 who own or rent a U.S. residence to stay in the U.S. for an additional two months each year. They would be prohibited from working for a U.S. employer or collecting public assistance, and they would still be subject to the vetting process required by law.
Source: Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (07/28/17) Swisher, Skyler
© Copyright 2017 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

July 28, 2017

Estero - Active New Developments - July 2017


Estero is rapidly approaching “build out” with approximately 400 acres of vacant land left to be developed of the total 17,000 acres in the Village of Estero. 
Currently, Estero has 17 projects under construction. Another handful of developments are making their way through the Village’s planning and zoning process. 
View the complete state of advancement of residential and commercial developments in Estero.
View Estero Real Estate and Estero News...

July 7, 2017

NAR study: Home staging decreases time on market

WASHINGTON – July 6, 2017 – Sixty-two percent of sellers' agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2017 Profile of Home Staging.
"Realtors know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR's most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers," says NAR President William E. Brown. "While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value."

July 6, 2017

Technology Leads More Buyers To Skip Actual Home Visits

SEATTLE – June 30, 2017 – The number of buyers making offers sight unseen – meaning they haven't physically visited the property – is on the rise, according to a survey of recent home buyers conducted by real estate brokerage Redfin.
Thirty-three percent of respondents in 11 major markets say they made an offer on at least one house sight unseen. These types of offers are more common when working with foreign buyers and in markets where homes are selling quickly, real estate professionals say.

For many buyers, advanced technology has made a physical in-home visit less necessary since they can have many of their questions answered virtually. An increasing use of 3-D photos, video tours and virtual reality give some buyers enough confidence to purchase a home without an in-person showing. According to The Wall Street Journal, some real estate pros are conducting property walkthroughs with long-distance buyers remotely via FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp. And some agents are working with technology companies to create 3-D photo and video tours within the virtual reality space to make long-distance buyers feel like they're at the property in person.

July 3, 2017

Naples Real Estate - Market Report - May 2017

Naples Real Estate Market Report - May 2017.
Overall closed sales of homes in May shined brighter than any other month previously reported in 2017, with an impressive 23% increase to 1,027 closed sales in May 2017 from 838 closed sales in May 2016. Likewise, overall pending sales (homes under contract) also outperformed activity reported in the last four months. Leading broker analysts who reviewed the May 2017 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), are quite confident that real estate agents will be very busy this summer.


"If May's momentum continues, this year will turn out better than last year," said Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. "Home sales during the summer months have become stronger over the past few years. We are no longer seeing a huge disparity in activity between winter and summer like we once did."
One familiar obstacle summer buyers will face again this year is a reduction in available inventory.
"This type of behavior is short sighted," said Hughes. "Those who let a listing expire at the end of our winter season are missing a huge opportunity to sell their property during the summer months." Hughes added that our area attracts a variety of buyers during the summer such as international travelers, families from Northern states, and those relocating from other parts of Florida.
The NABOR® May 2017 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® May 2017 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings: 
CATEGORIES
May 2016
May 2017
CHANGE
Total homes under contract (pending sales)

921
1,027
12%
Total closed sales
838
1,027

23%

Median closed price
$338,000
355,000
5%
Median closed price >$300K

$547,000
$590,000
8%

Total active listings (inventory)
5,207
5,404
4%

Average days on market 

73
98
34%
Single-family closed sales

396
485
22%
Single-family median closed price
$432,000

$435,000

1%

Single-family inventory

2,744
2,734
0%
Condominium closed sales

442
542
23%

Condominium median closed price

$276,000

$289,000
5%

Condominium inventory

2,463

2,670
8%


Continue to view Full Naples Real Estate Market Report...

June 30, 2017

The Future of Estero’s Malls: Brighter Than the National Outlook


The Future of Estero’s Malls:
Brighter Than the National Outlook.

New research from Credit Suisse predicts nearly one in four American malls will close by 2022, Fortune Magazine recently reported. Fueled by the rise in e-commerce, store closures are reaching epidemic proportions; Amazon sales continue to rise as sales from brick-and-mortar stores fall. What does this mean for Estero’s two major malls?
Although the numbers sound astounding (20-25 percent of malls predicted to close over the next five years), Coconut Point Mall and Miromar Outlets are unlikely to be affected. Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall developer, shed its low-end malls a few years ago and has been investing in the success of stronger properties like Coconut Point. 
Miromar Outlets is privately held by Miromar Development Corporation and is also likely to weather the “retail apocalypse” just fine.
Estero’s demographics have a lot to do with this sunny outlook. The estimated average income in Estero is about $20,000 above both the state and national averages, according to City-Data.com, which lists retail as the city’s No. 1 industry. Indeed, Estero has long been dubbed the “retail capital of Southwest Florida.”
While both of Estero’s malls have experienced recent store closures — including large spaces vacated by Sports Authority and World Market at Coconut Point — there also have been new store openings. Coconut Point is dividing the 40,000-square-foot space left by Sports Authority for use by two new tenants: Total Wine & More and Tuesday Morning. Clothing retailer Soft Surroundings and restaurant MidiCi Pizza are also currently under construction at Coconut Point.
Diversification is key to the continued health of any mall, according to industry experts. Thriving malls will be less apparel focused and will include more entertainment, dining and lifestyle/fitness opportunities, said Fortune Senior Writer and retail expert Phil Wahbe in “The Future of Malls in America.” He predicts Simon properties will continue to thrive as other malls vanish. 

Coconut Point is on top of the diversification trend, as several interesting tenants have opened within the last year. This includes an Italian bakery (Sospiri), an interior designer (LuxSpaceLiving) and an innovative concept combining apparel sales with dining: Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar. This “oasis” from shopping offers a walk-up bar where weary shoppers can enjoy a mojito, tacos and a key lime pie pop. 

“We are not afraid to take an existing space and split it, like for Total Wine, or combine spaces, like we did for the Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar, which is the only one in the U.S.,” noted Coconut Point Mall General Manager Jamie Grofik. “We want to innovate and surprise people — we have to keep it interesting and evolving.”
Fortune reports that Simon’s overall occupancy rate for its 108 malls is strong at about 96 percent. Coconut Point’s occupancy has remained constant since its opening, Grofik said. The newly opened Towneplace Suites by Marriott should drive even more traffic to the mall.


Divieto Ristorante (fine Italian dining) is another promising addition.
At Miromar, Wasabi Japanese Steak House and Sushi Lounge has opened on the mall’s south end, and a new H&M (a Swedish clothing retailer) is under construction nearby. Miromar offers 20 dining options, from snack vendors like Auntie Anne’s Pretzels to upscale restaurants like Wasabi, while Coconut Point offers 28 dining locations. On the casual end, there’s burgers from Five Guys, and on the upscale end, there’s Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

That diversity is key to the longterm success of the mall and extends to stores selling apparel and housewares. Coconut Point’s tenant mix includes bargain retailers like T.J. Maxx and Target on the north end of the mall, while an upscale department
store (Dillard’s) anchors the south end.
Special events like farmers markets, art festivals and charitable walks add to the foot traffic at both malls during the peak season for vacationers and seasonal residents.
Every mall will experience store closures, but the key is to fill them quickly with something as good, or better than, the previous tenant, Grofik said. Coconut Point’s strategy to combat the rise in e-commerce is simple: “You have to present a shopping experience that’s pleasant with retailers and restaurants that provide excellent service, offer a lot of choices,
and give guests a reason to return.”
Grofik says Simon, as a corporation, has always adapted to changes in the market and will continue to do so. She sees the future particularly bright for Coconut Point Mall, especially if Estero residents continue to support their local retailers.
“Residents need to realize that the more local dollars spent here and the better the tenant performance, the easier it is to retain key retailers and secure new leases for vacancies,” she advised.
©ECCL - June 2017 Report.
Search for Estero Real Estate...
  

June 14, 2017

How to claim Florida as your state of residence to save on taxes

NEW YORK – June 13, 2017 – Question: I live in New York. If I buy a second home in Florida, can I count Florida as my residence for state tax purposes?
Answer: Maybe, and claiming the Sunshine State as your permanent residence could save you a lot of money. Florida has no state income tax, whereas New York has a top income tax rate of 8.92%. But you can't just tap your heels together to make it happen.
And tax officials in states that are home to a lot of snowbirds – New York and Minnesota in particular – have become more aggressive about going after people they consider taxpaying residents.
State laws vary, but in general, you need to be able to prove that you intend to make the low-tax state your permanent home, says Rocky Mengle, a senior analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. 
The easiest way to do that is to sell your place up north and move down south. Of course, for many retirees, it's not that simple. You may want to keep the northern home in your family or return there during the summer months. If that's your plan, be prepared to keep meticulous records that will demonstrate your devotion to your new state.
Prove it. First, you'll need to show that you spend more than half the year – 183 days – in the state you claim as your domicile (that is, the place you consider your permanent home). That's the basis for most state definitions of residency for tax purposes. But don't expect state tax auditors to take your word for it. Keep a diary or log showing the number of days you spend in each state during the year, says Tim Steffen, director of financial planning for Robert W. Baird.
In the past, snowbirds could use plane tickets to show they were gone more than six months, but that may no longer suffice, says Terry LaBant, senior wealth strategist for Calamos Wealth Management in Naperville, Ill. State tax auditors may claim that such tickets only show where you were the day you left New York for Florida and the day you returned, but not all of the days in between, he says.
Next, take steps to show that you're committed to your new state. Register to vote and, if you receive a jury summons, perform your civic duty. Apply for a library card, and change your driver's license and car registration. You'll strengthen your case if you hook up with health care providers in your new location.
Open an account at a local bank, and keep receipts of ATM withdrawals, LaBant says. Shopping locally is also a good idea: State tax auditors sometimes review credit card records to determine where you were during the year. One of LaBant's clients, who had homes in New Jersey and Florida, was questioned by New Jersey tax auditors about purchases his wife made from a retailer in New Jersey. Fortunately, the client was able to produce records that showed the items had been ordered and shipped to the couple's Florida home.
In some cases, your adopted state will help you prove residency. You can show your intent to live in Florida, for example, by filing a Declaration of Domicile with your local county court.
As you take steps to establish residency in a new state, you should also start to cut ties with the old one. Avoid taking advantage of benefits that are limited to state residents. For example, if you claim a homestead exemption for property taxes on your first home, state tax officials could use that to show that you're still a resident and thus owe state taxes. Even checking the "resident" box on a state fishing license could be used as proof that you didn't really intend to leave your northern home for good.
Copyright © 2017, Sandra Block, senior associate editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Kiplinger Washington Editors.

June 8, 2017

Introducing Grandview At Bay Beach - Waterfront Luxury High-Rise

Grandview At Bay Beach - Fort Myers Beach -
Introducing the new exciting waterfront luxury high-rise tower to be built at the South end of Fort Myers Beach: Grandview At Bay Beach.
Grandview will be located in the gated complex of Waterside At Bay Beach which already offers high-rise condos with stunning views of Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Grandview to be developed by luxury award-winning London Bay Homes, will be a 11-story building offering 56 spacious and luxurious condominiums in a contemporary modern style.
Units will run from 2,400 to almost 3,000 sqft under A/C and splendid views of the water from the lowest floors. Prices start in the low $1 Million.
Please contact us for immediate reservations.
View Complete Information...

May 26, 2017

Naples Real Estate - April Market Report Shows Strong End-of-Season Activity

NABOR (Naples Area Board of REALTORS®) just released today the market report for real estate in the Naples area for April 2017.
Here are the principal points of the report.
Overall inventory in April increased 8 percent to 5,920 homes in April 2017 from 5,480 homes in April 2016.
But at the same time:
 - Inventory decreased for the second consecutive month and prices continued to remain stable in April, setting into motion a burst in end-of-season sales for homes in the market's sweet spot - the $300,000 to $500,000 price category.
The April report showed a 41 percent increase in pending sales for homes in the $2 million and above price category.
Most notable was a remarkable 35 percent increase in the $2 million and above condominium inventory for April.
 - Homes that are unrealistically priced influenced April's average days on market, which showed an increase of 35 percent to 97 days in April 2017 from 72 days in April 2016.
Prices overall have remained relatively flat over the last year.
For the 902 homes that closed in April 2017, the majority (65.3 percent) were cash sales and only 34.7 percent were conventional (financed) sales, a statistic that signifies the seasonal wealth factor.
View Complete Report...
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April 18, 2017

Mirasol At Coconut Point - Market Report - 1st Quarter 2017

Mirasol At Coconut Point
Mirasol At Coconut Point is a quaint gated community in The Village of Estero at walking distance of Coconut Point Mall.
Sales are doing well in Mirasol as there are only 8 properties on the market.
Here is the quarterly real estate market report (1st Quarter of 2017)  for Mirasol.
Active Listings:
There are  8 condos on the market in Mirasol.
Average days on market: 129.
Average asking price: $250,600.
Pending Sales:
condos are under contract.
Listed from $228,822 to $239,000. 
Average days on market: 53.
Average asking price: $232,240.
Closed Sales:
3 condos have sold in the past quarter.
Average days on market: 232.
Average Sale Price: $245,760.
Average Sale Price/Square Foot: $173.
Let us know if we can help you with any property on the market in Mirasol.

March 3, 2017

The Residences At Coconut Point - Open House Sunday March 5 - 1 to 4 PM

The Residences At Coconut Point. Estero, Fl.
Beautiful Top Floor condo in The Residences At Coconut Point in the Village of Estero. South exposure with large open balcony and tranquil lake view. Upscale travertine marble flooring in all living areas. Crown moldings. The dining area can also be used as a den and offers built-in cabinets and desk with granite top. Kitchen with upscale level 3 granite counter top, stainless steel appliances, wood cabinets with crown molding. Custom mirrors. This condo is upscale and tastefully decorated. All windows and doors are hurricane-impact resistant. Building is completely secure with covered garage space on ground level and this unit has two storages: One on the unit floor, left to the elevator and a large storage close to the garage. 
Perfect home for a pied-a-terre, second home or primary residence. 
The Residences have a great location inside Coconut Point and offer a swimming-pool, spa, fitness center, social room and BBQ area. Walking distance to movie theaters and upscale shopping and restaurants. 15 minutes away from the airport. Great seasonal or annual rental potentials too.
OPEN HOUSE - Sunday March 5 - 1 to 4 PM.
View Complete Details & Photos.

Hawthorne, Bonita Springs - Open House Sunday March 5th.

Chesapeake Cove At Hawthorne, Bonita Spring, Fl.
Perfectly maintained first-floor carriage home in Hawthorne. Expansive lake view with a SE exposure. Diagonal tiles throughout. Tiled lanai with sun shades. Brand new stainless steel appliances. Corian counter tops. Open floor plan. The den includes a queen-size murphy bed and a built-in desk with cabinets. This property is in mint condition. Hawthorne is well located in Bonita Springs with easy access from Imperial Pkway and a few minutes of the soon to be revitalized Olde Bonita Springs and a few miles from Bonita Beach and Barefoot Beach. Hawthorne is a gated community offering a clubhouse, two fitness rooms, two heated swimming-pools, heated spa, two tennis courts.
OPEN HOUSE - Sunday March 5 - 1 to 4 PM.
View Complete Details & Photos.

New Homes - Buyers: Act Now As Prices Could Go Up.

New construction, new communities are booming in the Naples area. Many new communities are under development or are going to be released soon in  Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero.

Some builders are offering nice incentives for buyers, but this trend may end soon, as the prices for new construction could start to go higher soon. If prices are going up soon, it can be also a good way for buyers to consider resale properties too.

View Article: New-home buyers: Act now before prices go up

Shop for New Homes in the Naples-Estero Area...

Average 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.1%

Now is the good time to buy!

Interest rates are still low but are not expecting to stay that way for long as the Federal Reserve is looking to increase them soon.

Find your dream home in the Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers area now.

View Article: Average 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.1%

January 2, 2017

Belle Lago, Estero - 2016 Real Estate Market Report

Belle Lago, a gated community of 447 single-family homes in The Village of Estero, Florida.
Here is the state of the market in Belle Lago.


Active Listings:
There are currently 17 homes on the market in Belle Lago.
Average days on market: 164.
Average asking price: $603,794.

Pending Sales:
homes are currently under contract. Listed from $349,900 to $549,000. 
Average days on market: 53.

Closed Sales:
28 homes have sold in 2016. From $310,000 to $755,000.
Average days on market: 190.
Average Sale Price: $527,014.
Average Sale Price/Square Foot: $176.

Cielo At The Colony: Almost Sold Out.

Cielo At The Colony is almost sold out!
Only 6 units out of 96 residences, are available.
These last units are located in building 1, 2, 3 & 12.
Priced from $717,475 to $1,139,610 depending of the floor and upgrades.
Cielo is an enclave of mid-rise buildings in The Colony At elican Landing,  an upscale golf community in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Contact us today for Cielo's last opportunities!

View Cielo complete information...
View All Properties For Sale in The Colony At Pelican Landing...

December 28, 2016

Estero North Point - A New Project in The Village of Estero

The Village of Estero Design Review Board meeting of December 14, 2016 examined the project presented by Estero North Point Ltd.
Estero North Point proposes to construct the core infrastructure that will serve the future development parcels within the approximately 100 acre Estero North Point site.
They are proposing a main entrance, with traffic signal, at US 41 and Pelican Sound Drive, a second entrance on US 41 further south opposite the 7/11 store, and an entrance off of Williams Road. There will also be a connector road to the north.
They are planning to include a 10 foot multi-use bike/ped path on one side of their internal road.
The applicant will be providing a buffer along US 41 at a later date.  For now, they will leave the current foliage to screen the undeveloped parcel, even though it is predominantly invasive plants.
This project is located northeast of the intersection of US 41 and Williams Road and is located in the Village Center.

December 7, 2016

Lee County, Florida - Single-Family Homes permitting up in November over 2015

During November, contractors pulled 66 permits to build single-family houses collectively valued at about $19.8 million in unincorporated Lee County. That compares with 95 permits issued in October and 47 issued in November 2015, according to the Lee County Department of Community Development (www.leegov.com/dcd/). 
Data for 2015 includes permits for the Village of Estero. 
Twelve multi-family units were permitted in November, compared with no units in October and six units in November 2015. General commercial activity was valued at about $16.6 million for 18 permits, compared to about $17.7 million in October and about $13.3 million in November 2015. Lee County Community Development issued 2,973 permits of all kinds in November.
View Properties For Sale in Bonita Springs.
View Properties For Sale in The Village of Estero.

Kalea Bay, Naples - Second Tower Released For Reservation

Kalea Bay, Naples Florida.
Following the success of the first tower, the developers of Kalea bay, a high-end waterfront high-rise community in North Naples have just released the pricing and floor plans for Tower 200, the second tower to be built close to Tower 100.
Tower 200 will offer six large units per floor with gorgeous views on the water and a SW exposure.
Each condo will offer around 3,300 sqft under A/C with 3 or 4 bedrooms.
Tower 200 will feature comparable amenities as Tower 100 with a rooftop swimming-pool.
Prices start at $1,495,000 and goes up to $3,150,000 for the penthouse units on the 23rd floor.
Kalea Bay is located close to Aqua at Pelican Isle, another luxury waterfront complex.
Contact us for complete price sheet and reservations.
View Kalea Bay Complete Information and Floor Plans.

November 21, 2016

Naples Area Real Estate - Market Report - October 2016

Naples Area Board of Realtors® (NABOR) has just released the real estate market report for October 2016 compared to October 2015 for residential real estate transactions in the Naples area.
Despite an increase of transactions using mortgages (44%), 65% of transactions are cash sales in the Naples area.
The overall pending sales decreased 13% but the numbers continue to show an accrued interest for  properties over $500,000:

  • Overall pending sales increased 14%.
  • Pending sales of condominiums from $500,000 to $1 million increased 30%.
Here are the other noticeable figures for this report:
  • Overall closed sales decreased 7%.
  • Closed sales of condominiums from $1 million to $2 million increased 80%.
  • Closed sales of single-family homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 category increased 21%.
  • Overall median closed price increased 6%.
The Naples area real estate report for October shows a six-month worth of inventory, which make an healthy level of choice for buyers. The increase in days on the market (+15%) has been affected by some overpriced properties and shows that sellers must price their properties in a more realistic way in today's market.

October 26, 2016

Bonita Landing: New Gated Community in Bonita Springs

Bonita Landing is a new gated community just released in Bonita Springs.
Bonita Landing is located off Bonita Beach Rd, close to Bonita National.
Bonita Landing will offer 240 single-family-homes at completion around a 40-acre lake; most of the homes will have a lake view.
No clubhouse or amenities except a basket ball court in a way to keep the maintenance fees low.
Twelve floor plans to choose from, in two collections.
1,677 to 3,867 sqft under A/C. 3 to 6 bedrooms. 2 to 3-car garages. 1- or 2-story homes.
View Complete Details & Floor Plans....

September 30, 2016

Study: Florida Ranks Fourth As Business Friendly State

WASHINGTON – Sept. 29, 2016 – 
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation released its 13th annual State Business Tax Climate Index, which measures how well-structured each state's tax code is by analyzing more than 100 variables in five tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance.
Wyoming once again took first place with the most competitive tax code in the country, while New Jersey maintained its long-standing position at the bottom of the pack.
Overall, Florida ranked fourth. Only three other states were deemed to have a more business-friendly tax code. This year's most competitive states include:
1. Wyoming
2. South Dakota
3. Alaska
4. Florida
5. Nevada
6. Montana
7. New Hampshire
8. Indiana
9. Utah
10. Oregon
This year's least competitive states include:
41. Louisiana
42. Maryland
43. Connecticut
44. Rhode Island
45. Ohio
46. Minnesota
47. Vermont and D.C.
48. California
49. New York
50. New Jersey
States are penalized for overly complex, burdensome and economically harmful tax codes, and rewarded for transparent and neutral tax codes that do not distort business decisions. A state's ranking can rise or fall in rank because of its own actions or actions taken by other states.
"Our goal with the State Business Tax Climate Index is to start a conversation between taxpayers and policymakers about how their states fare against the rest of the country," says Tax Foundation policy analyst Jared Walczak. "While there are many ways to show how much a state collects in taxes, the index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems and to provide a roadmap for improvement."
The index can also be used as a tool for identifying state tax trends. For instance, the report shows that a number of states are now opting to simplify their tax systems by consolidating individual income tax brackets or even moving to a flat tax.
Hawaii eliminated its top three individual income tax brackets in 2016 and reduced its top marginal rate from 11 to 8.25 percent, for example. That improved its overall rank from 30th to 27th. North Carolina moved to a flat individual income tax in 2014 and continues to phase in rate reductions, building on its 2013 reforms and shoring up its place at 11th overall.
Another trend is the tendency for states to shift away from taxes on capital. Pennsylvania, for example, has now completely phased out its capital stock tax, boosting its property tax component ranking six places, from 38th to 32nd, and improving its overall state ranking from 28th to 24th.
The full report is available online, along with a map that graphically shows the ranking of each state.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®   

September 29, 2016

Average time to close? 46 days

NEW YORK – Sept. 28, 2016 – 
The time to close on a mortgage loan is leveling off at about a month and a half after fluctuating for months following last year's implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's TILA-RESPA Integrated disclosure rules.
But as the learning curve has passed, the average time to close on a mortgage seems to be settling at about 46 days, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report. The report shows that the time to close on a loan has remained at 46 days for the past three months. The average time to close a refinance also averaged 46 days.
Sixty-four percent of real estate professionals indicated their contracts were settled on time in August, while 30 percent said they faced delays to settlement, and 6 percent saw their contracts terminated, according to the latest Realtor® Confidence Index, a survey sent to more than 50,000 real estate practitioners. The biggest issues affecting a contract delay were issues related to obtaining financing, the appraisal and a home inspection, according to the survey.
"The fraction of delays due to appraisals has increased in recent months, in part due to a shortage of appraisers and other issues reported by Realtors (e.g. being asked to make 'inspections')," the report states.
Source: REALTOR® Confidence Index (August 2016) and "The New Normal: Time to Close Settles at 46 Days," HousingWire (Sept. 22, 2016)
© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688