Real Estate, Community News & More from My Desk to Yours

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coral Gables Receives Community Award from Magazine

The City of Coral Gables was selected by American City & County magazine as one of six 2010 America's Crown Community recipients. Other winners included Downers Grove, Illinois; Pinellas County, Florida; Round Lake Beach, Illinois; Hollywood, Florida and Sandy Springs, Georgia. Recipients of the annual awards are selected by the editors of American City & County based on nominations submitted by the magazine's audience, city and county leaders, and associations. Read more.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Strong Rebound in Home Sales

Pending home sales increased by 10.4% in October 2010, showing a positive trend, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose to 89.3 based on the number of contracts signed in October from 80.9 in September. The data reflects sale contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. In a Florida Realtor article, the National Assoc. of Realtors’ chief economist said outstanding housing affordability conditions drew in more homebuyers. The market is showing signs of recovery.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Current Coral Gables Condo Sales Yield Positive Signs

• Condo inventory in the Gables from October 2009 to October 2010 has fallen by approx. 14%.

• The # of units under contract is down by about 10%, however from August to October 2010 this # is up by approx. 7%.

• Average price per sq.ft. is on an upward trend of approx. 5%.

• 42% of all residences for sale in the Gables are condos.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Notable $1 Million Market Trends

Stable in the Gables: In the past year, homes priced at $1 million+ in Coral Gables represent 50% of the total inventory. Sales have remained constant since August 2009. Specifically, the sector between the $1 million to $1.25 million range is very stable representing 6% of the inventory and 6% of the sales. In any case, sellers must continue to show the value of homes by using compelling pricing.  Across Florida: A survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors in July-August 2010 in Florida showed that international buyers purchased $1 million+ homes at at a rate of almost one out of 20 (or 3%).  Nationwide: CNBC.com surveyed 19 major markets in the U.S. to show what $1 million can buy. In the $1 million inventory, median home sizes are: 2,297 sq.ft. in San Francisco. 2,459 sq.ft. in New York City. 5,361 sq.ft. in Dallas. 5,692 sq.ft. in Charlotte. 5,947 sq.ft. in Las Vegas. 7,064 sq.ft. in St. Louis. (In our hometown of the Gables, the four most recent closed sales in the $1 million range averaged 3,418 adj.sq.ft.) Homes in this price range provide indicators for spending and the health of local economies.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

GABLES’ GOODS CORNER: Coral Gables Garage Sales

This Saturday! Enjoy the lovely weather outdoors on Saturday, November 13, and come out to the Gables' garage sales:

Coral Gables Rotary Yard Sale
7000 Old Cutler Road, C. Gables. All-day event.
Contact: Sally B. 305-491-4180, sallybsez@yahoo.com

Miami Children’s Hospital Community Council’s 2nd Annual Garage Sale Benefits MCH Foundation
12850 SW 60 Avenue, Pinecrest
Contact: Joann Stylianos, 786-390-3235

Huge Moving Sale
4739 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables
Contact: Imelda Sibauste, acristinawagner@gmail.com

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Market Update: Affordability is at an All-Time High

Buying a house is more affordable now than it has been in the past 40 years! This is according to the Beacon Economics’ new Home Affordability Index. Based on their August 2010 report, “prices are down approximately 25% from their peak, and mortgage financing rates are at all-time lows.” This could become a driver for increased demand, thereby reducing excess inventory, increasing prices, and generating new construction. The index argues that we are at or near the bottom nationally, and the market will begin to stabilize in the coming months.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Junior Orange Bowl Royal Court Search

Calling All Middle School Girls! The Junior Orange Bowl is looking for young ladies between the ages of 12 and 14 to compete for the titles of Junior Orange Bowl Queen and Princess! The Queen and the two Princesses act as goodwill ambassadors that “reign” over all the various events held during the Junior Orange Bowl Festival season. There are three preliminaries being held:
  • Florida Keys Preliminary, October 16th at 7:00 p.m. at Coral Shores High School
  • Broward Preliminary, October 23, 6:00 p.m. at Christian Worship Outreach Center
  • Dade Preliminary, October 29, 7:00 p.m. at Cocoplum Women’s Club

For more information, visit http://www.jrorangebowl.org/

Monday, October 4, 2010

Coral Gables Museum Grand Opening

The City of Coral Gables and the Coral Gables Museum will host a free, public Open House and Ribbon Cutting Dedication on Sunday, October 10 at the restored 1939 Old Police and Fire Station, the new home of the Museum and the City’s Historical Resources Department and Valdes-Fauli Archives. Join us!
SCHEDULE
10:10 a.m. - Activities for children and families, tours, refreshments
2 p.m. - Speaker Jorge L. Hernandez, the project’s architect
4 p.m. - Live music, Bacardi mojitos, Mena Catering hors d’oeuvres
5 p.m. - Main Event: Dedication Ceremony
More details are available at http://www.coralgablesmuseum.org/.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Slesnick & Associates Wishes Friends and Colleagues a Happy Birthday

To: Christine Barney, Stephen Beatus, Marshall Criser, Roger Cuevas, David Duckenfield, Dan Ricker, Merrett Stierheim, Bill Talbert, and Tom D. Wood, Sr.  Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Coral Gables Senior Health Fair on September 20th

Calling all seniors! Free health check and light lunch will be available at the Senior Health Fair Monday, September 20th at the War Memorial Youth Center, 405 University Drive from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Contact 305-460-5609 for more information. Meet the new CEO of Doctors Hospital and the CG Mayor from 11:00 to 11:30 am. Sponsored by the City of C. Gables, Doctors Hospital and the non-profit organization Coral Gables@HOME.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Testimonial of a Successful Home Sale in Coral Gables

1436 Cantoria Sold for Almost Asking Price at $720,000. Julie & Jim Berlin wrote to us and said: “We want to personally acknowledge the wonderful job that Slesnick Associates provided in our recent relocation in the Gables. You really accomplished double duty in that you helped us buy a perfect new home and also sell our old home all within a couple of months. For several years we had been considering downsizing. Then low and behold we ventured into one of your open houses. It was just what we wanted and more. With your guidance we made an offer and achieved a closing within just a few weeks. At the same time, Slesnick Associates rushed to identify the appropriate preparation of our old home. We followed all of your suggestions and pressure cleaned, painted, decluttered, removed furniture, pulled up carpeting, washed our windows, and more. We also appreciated your allowing us to borrow some of your staging materials like oriental area rugs, paintings, and linens. Your experience in setting a fair price and in extensive marketing allowed us to attract a buyer surprisingly quickly. So we never had a period of two mortgage payments. Really outstanding!”

Story of a Successful Home Sale in Coral Gables

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1436 Cantoria Sold for Almost Asking Price at $720,000.  Julie & Jim Berlin wrote to us: “We want to personally acknowledge the wonderful job that Slesnick Associates provided in our recent relocation in the Gables. You really accomplished double duty in that your helped us buy a perfect new home and also sell our old home all within a couple months. For several years we had been considering downsizing but only viewed a few prospective homes for information purposes. Then low and behold we ventured into one of your open houses. It was just what we wanted and more. With your guidance we made an offer and achieved a closing within just a few weeks. At the same time, Slesnick Associates rushed to identify the appropriate preparation of our old home. We followed all of your suggestions and pressure cleaned, painted, decluttered, removed furniture, pulled up carpeting, washed our windows, and more. We also appreciated your allowing us to borrow some of your staging materials like oriental area rugs, paintings, and linens. Your experience in setting a fair price and in extensive marketing allowed us to attract a buyer surprisingly quickly. So we never had a period of two mortgage payments. Really outstanding! ”

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coral Gables Market Trends Update

Homes that are priced fairly under $1M in Coral Gables seems to be selling, and selling at a much faster rate than they have for over three years. Of course, the inventory over $1M takes a lot longer to sell as there are fewer buyers with still a large inventory of homes in that price range. What use to take us five to six months to sell is now taking less than three weeks. Three years ago, we also had twice as much inventory with a lot fewer sales. Our market in Coral Gables has been very stable for some time now and with the low interest rates, we predict that the August figures will be even better than the July ones. This photo is of one of our listings that sold at asking price just three days after the first open house.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Points of Interest about the Current Residential Real Estate Market

In the time period from May 2009 to July 2010, the inventory of homes and condos in Miami-Dade County has gone down by approximately 22%.
  • For the same period, the number of month’s supply of homes decreased by approximately 27%, from a 24.4 month supply to a 17.8 month supply of homes, as compared to closed sales.
  • The number of homes that have sold during this period increased nearly 8%.
  • The number of homes that have gone under contract (pended) for this same period is up by approximately 22%.
The landscape of residential inventory in Miami-Dade County is decreasing, while prices are stabilizing. Have we hit bottom, and are we about to see a rise in prices? Post your comment here and forward to your friends.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Increasing Interest from Abroad in U.S. Homes

A growing number of international home shoppers are attracted to residential properties in the United States, according to a survey performed by the National Association of Realtors entitled the 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity which covers the one-year period between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010. Some interesting statistics revealed were: International buyers came from 53 different countries; top four were Canada, Mexico, U.K. and China. 66% purchased single-family detached homes. 16% of total purchases were for homes priced at more than $500,000. Median price paid by international buyers was $219,400. It is possible that the perception of foreigners is that real estate in the United States is becoming more affordable making it a great time to buy. The majority of international buyers were reported in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas. These four states account for 53% of purchases and have remained the top destinations for the past three years, with Florida and California remaining the top two destinations. Florida typically attracts European, Canadian and South American buyers. Only 44% of international buyers used a mortgage to pay for their home, compared to 92% of domestic buyers. Visit www.slesnick.net to see homes for sale.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mortgage Interest Rates Continue to Fall

A Florida Realtor article this week noted that a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan rate (Freddie Mac) dropped to 4.58%! The last time rates were lower was in the 1950s. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to an average of 4.04%, down from 4.13% a week earlier. Rates on five-year adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.79%, the lowest since January 2005. Mortgage applications rose almost 9% last week from a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Freddie Mac collects data on mortgage rates from lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week to calculate the national average. Borrowers may be encouraged to refinance, and the Obama administration has launched programs to assist them with refinancing if they owe up to 25% more than their home’s value and have their loans guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Losing It Big Time" Helps Senior Citizens

Coral Gables TV coverage of Losing it Big Time, Click Here.  Joined by colleagues and friends, we pledged to publicly lose at least 25 pounds in two-month’s time to improve our own health and build awareness for a great cause, the Coral Gables@HOME program. We raised $10,000 to help senior citizens. Coral Gables@HOME is an initiative of the Coral Gables Community Foundation, and is the first non-profit membership program of its kind in Florida. The initiative provides services for elder independent living such as wellness programs, meal catering, transportation, and more. To volunteer or make a donation, information and membership applications for Coral Gables@HOME are available at www.gablesfoundation.org.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Coral Gables Condo Market - Rising Sales, Less Inventory

Coral Gables condo inventory has been fairly stable in 2010, and has decreased about 21% since May of 2009. At that time there was about a 50-month supply of condos on the market, at all price ranges. Inventory, especially in the $300,000 to $600,000 price range (where the bulk of the condos are), has fallen from a 140-month supply as of May 2009 to a 10-month supply in May 2010. Also, builders do not have many new units under construction, so the inventory should continue to decline in the Gables area. Now is a great time to make an investment as prices seem to be very stable and perhaps on the rise. Call us at (305) 446-2001 for a consultation.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Real Estate Sales Are Up

For the third month in a row, home sales are on the rise. Perhaps this is largely due to the government-run first-time homebuyer subsidy program, but also in part has to do with the availability of the lowest mortgage interest rates in half a century.  According to Florida Realtor, this rise in pending sales is improving inventory levels making it more attractive for homeowners to sell in today’s market. To find out how to get a free market analysis on your home, call Jeannett or Ginger at 305-446-2001.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Interest Rates Drop Below 5%

Mortgage interest rates are now at their lowest levels of the year, according to a Wall Street Journal article released just last week. Experts say rates could dive as low as 4.5% in the next few months. Low rates mean home-buyers have a great opportunity to buy a home with lower mortgage payments. For every 1% reduction in the interest rate, it is like getting a 10% reduction in the home price making it a great time to make a “move.” Economists have attributed the drop in mortgage interest rates to a surge of international investment in the U.S. bond market.  Call us today for a Free Market Analysis, (305) 446-2001. We Need Listings.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Real Estate Market Stabilizing

The market is stable and improving (perhaps positively influenced by the recent first-time homebuyer credit). Sales of existing single-family homes in Florida rose 24% in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the previous year, according to the latest housing statistics from Florida Realtors®. This marks the sixth straight quarter of increased sales across the state in the single-family home market. In Coral Gables, there is a diminishing supply of inventory. Buyers should begin looking for homes before prices start to rise. Coral Gables’ sales on single-family homes rose comparatively by 56% from 2009 to 2010, more than double the rate of the state’s figures.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Coral Gables to Host "EGGstravaganza!"

The City of Coral Gables is hosting the state's largest simultaneous Easter Egg Hunt throughout 13 of the city's parks. Starting at 10:00 am on Saturday, kids can find thousands of eggs, including special bronze, silver and gold eggs that can be traded in to Park staff in exchange for some cool prizes. For more information on the event and for a list of participating parks, please click here.

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Welcome to My Blog!

I guess it is time to join the Wonderful World of Blogs, since it does seem to be an easy and convenient way to get timely information to you, our valued customers! In this blog we will not only post items of interest as it relates to Coral Gables Real Estate, but also information on local events and charitable opportunities that Slesnick and Associates supports. We hope you will make this page one of your favorites, and refer back to it often. Enjoy!