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Report: Volusia-Flagler No. 3 in nation for rise in home asking prices
By Clayton Park
Published: Sunday, April 5, 2015 at 5:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 5, 2015 at 9:59 p.m.
For the second month in a row, the Volusia-Flagler area is ranked among the top 10 metro areas in the nation for largest percentage increase in home asking prices.
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Top five metro areas in the nation where asking prices for homes have risen the most, based on year-over-year increases as of January 2015.
1. Atlanta (16.2%)
2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers (15.4%)
3. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach* (13.9%)
4. Oakland, California (13.8%)
5. Houston, Texas (13.8%)
(* Includes both Volusia and Flagler counties)
Volusia and Flagler counties, identified in real estate website Trulia.com’s latest report as the “Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach” metro area, ranked No. 3 with a 13.9 percent year-over-year increase in home asking prices in January, behind Atlanta, No. 1 with a 16.2 percent increase, and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, No. 2 with a 15.4 percent increase.
The Volusia-Flagler area ranked No. 5 on Trulia’s ranking last month, based on increases in December asking prices.
Nationwide, asking prices in January rose 0.5 percent, according to Trulia.com’s latest report, which tracked only the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.
Daisy Kong, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Trulia, said the ranking is “based on all the for-sale listings on Trulia.” She said most of the listings come from her company’s partnerships with Multiple Listing Services throughout the country.
“Asking prices lead (actual) sales prices by approximately two or more months,” Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, wrote in the latest report.
Kolko added that the metro areas “where home prices are now rising fastest are, almost without exception, the ones with faster job growth. … Across all 100 largest metros, the relationship between job growth and home prices is strong.”
Volusia County had been forecast by staffing agency Manpower to have the nation’s third-highest percentage of employers adding jobs in the first three months of 2015 and is predicted to have the nation’s sixth-highest percentage in the second quarter.
In terms of actual closing prices for homes, Volusia in January saw the median price climb 14.1 percent to $130,000, up from $113,900 the same month last year, according to Florida Realtors association data. Flagler County in January saw median sale prices rise 14.8 percent to $155,000, compared with $135,000 the same month a year ago.
“It’s definitely encouraging,” said Angela Pitre-Reddy, a real estate agent with Central Florida Home Pros in DeBary. “I think it’s definitely accurate. We’ve seen price increases over the past year quite a bit in just our area (West Volusia) alone.
“Sellers now are seeing price appreciation that they weren’t in the past,” added Pitre-Reddy, who is also president of the West Volusia Association of Realtors.
Matthew Wilson, an agent with Coquina Real Estate & Construction in Flagler Beach, said the increase in home prices “is creating a positive environment all around for real estate.” But while properties are starting to regain some of the value lost during the recession, “we’re certainly far removed from where we were in 2006,” he added.
Wilson, who is also president of the Flagler County Association of Realtors, said he doesn’t expect to see a return to the days when homes were significantly “overvalued” — as many were during the last housing boom — anytime soon.
The gap between asking prices and actual closing prices is also shrinking, noted Rose Roberts, an agent with Re/Max Property Centre in Ormond Beach.
“It used to be where buyers could easily negotiate 10 percent off,” said Roberts, who is also vice president of the Daytona Beach Area Association of Realtors. “Now they’re lucky if they can get (a reduction of) between 3 and 5 percent. A lot of sellers are getting full price and some are getting above full price with multiple offers. If it’s priced right, it’s gone within days.”
Roberts said the increase in home prices is also finally starting to spur more owners of non-distressed properties to put their home on the market so they can buy either a bigger or smaller house to better suit their needs — something many put off during the recession because of the sharp decline in property values.
“The foreclosure market has dried up quite a bit,” she said, helping boost overall home prices.
Despite the increase in home prices, Volusia continues to have a sizable number of distressed properties where homeowners owe more on their mortgage loan than what their property is worth.
“There’s still some who are underwater,” Roberts said, “It hasn’t gotten back to that point” where distressed properties have completely gone away.