Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tampa Home Prices Plunge

Uh-oh, you say to yourself. the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, for August, shows that prices continue to drop in metro areas like Tampa. That's not good news if you are trying to sell there, but for buyers it is positive news. A second home that you wanted to buy in Tampa is now more than 10 % lower than it was a year ago. Shopping for a pied-a-terre in New York? Prices are down 3. 8 % since this time last year. Robert J. Shiller, Chief Economist at MacroMarkets LLC, sees "vanishing returns" most everywhere. Maybe buyers should wait another month?

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vacation Homes Focus of April Atlanta Expo

Property managers, rental specialists, investors, entrepreneurs and Web vacation real estate site owners -- put this on your 2008 calendar: the first Vacation Home Expo in Atlanta, to be held April 11-13, at the Cobb Galleria Convention Centre. Announcement says attendees will be able meet with property representatives for "first-hand destination information." Also: "show-only" discounts and travel package specials. According to the organizers, "practically every major hotel chain" with a "condominium/villa segment and will be represented." Three major industry associations are co-sponsors. Check out exhibitor and other details at Expo's Web site.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Second Home Slump? Not in NYC

While formerly hot second home markets like Miami Beach, Las Vegas and Fort Myers slump, New York City, especially Manhattan, soars. Example: A Time Warner Center 3,000+square foot 65-floor condo, sold by Ricky Martin last year for $9.75 million, is for sale again for almost double: $18.9 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Pop star paid about $6.8 in 2004 for 7-room pied-a-tierre in the sky.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Drop Price in Slow Real Estate Market? Yes!

A lesson from New Jersey -- bidding wars can erupt on a vacation home when you drop your price low enough.

Too many folks can't bear the thought of lowering their asking price. But a seller in Tenafly, NJ did. After a house did not sell for many months at $810,000, she told her broker to lower the price progressively. When it reached what she called "the sweet spot," $699,000, she suddenly got multiple offers, she told the Bergen Record.

Her broker was then able to set a deadline for best bids and got an extra $6,000 on the sale. Point of story? " it's about value....It's not affordability," according to the agent. It was not a vacation home, but idea is still valid in today's slowing environment.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

New "Luxury Tax" on Vacation Homes?

Beware Congress's plans for helping homeowners in foreclosure.

The House Ways and Means Committee last week approved what amounts to a hike on the sale of vacation homes. A section of the foreclosure relief bill would "make it harder for people who sell their second homes to exclude as much as $500,000 in profit from capital-gains taxes," Bloomberg News reported. The Democrats inserted it as a way to raise $2 billion in additional taxes that would be needed to offset measures designed to protect "mortgage borrowers from taxes on debt forgiven in a foreclosure." Rep. Sam Johnson (R. Texas) dubbed it "a luxury tax on retirement homes'' that will hurt coastal areas, mountain states and resort areas.

Of course, the foreclosure relief bill must still be passed by the full House and Senate before it becomes law.

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