2014 Tampa Bay's Real Estate Market in a Nutshell and Predictions for 2015 from Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor, Waterstone Mortgage and Hillsborough Title

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Andrew Duncan, Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor with guests Arnie Diaz from Waterstone Mortgage and Aaron Davies from Hillsborough Title, talk about the year end recap for 2014 Real Estate market and their predictions for 2015 on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA.

They talk about what they saw in 2014. They talk about how the market prices across Tampa Bay rose by about 10%. There were more home sales and less inventory which shows there is a healthier, more balanced real estate market. Interest rates are still considerably low. They are also seeing the trend moving away from the institutional investors back to the retail buyers. They are seeing gains in pretty much all price ranges - from low end to high end homes.

Andrew talks about how they grew about 50% in 2014 from the retail side of the business. They did a lot of hedge fund corporate transactions back in 2013 when it was hot in the market. Their business grew past that and grew past that and replaced them with regular retail buyers.

Aaron Davies talks about the title side of the business where they are seeing a lot of confidence in the market. Although hedge funds are still there, they were not as active as they were in the previous year. He also talks about how lot of title companies are merging or getting out of the business because the cost of doing the business is going up so much. There are other offices growing and others shrinking back. Lots of activity on their side to prepare for 2015.

Moving on to the lending side, Arnie Diaz says that in the last few years, there were lot of refinance activities but are slowly dwindling down in 2014 and even more in 2015 as rates continue to go up. In his opinion, this is probably best year in our lifetime for refinancing and it's just going to go up from here. So he advises that if you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, you'll totally miss out. Or if you have already done it and need to wait, hopefully your home will appreciate in value as they have seen the stats are doing, that way the consumer will be in the position to do a cash out refinancing as oppose to the equity out. Otherwise, refinancing is dying and will be like that in the short term.

The small player or the mortgage lending sector gained a lot of the market share from the big banks because of the overlay the banks have been doing wherein they change the terms and conditions the investors bought the loan for and make them restricted to protect themselves even more. This has opened the market to a lot of the small players like Waterstone Mortgage who are more flexible in terms of following the guidelines.

Mortgage loan origination is up considerably because they are seeing less of cash in the market as compared to a year or two ago. In effect, there are more mortgages being generated.

It's smarter to buy a home than rent.

See some of the predictions for 2015...

Andrew shares he saw an article from the CEO of Zillow wherein it says that growth in rents will outpace home values which means that rents are rising faster so it's time to buy.

Another point is that Millennials are going to replace Gen X as the largest home buying age group. This means there are more first time home buyers looking at the financial side of it and that it makes more sense to buy than to rent.

On the builder's segment, there will be focus on less expensive and smaller homes. There will be a lot of first time entry production from Lennar, D.R. Horton and all the big builders. There will be a huge trend where they will be going after that hard to find $200k new single family home market.

2015 will definitely be big for the first time home buyer market because of the above reasons. 

In addition, home values are still on the rise in Tampa Bay. People have more confidence in the market thus more and more people will be more willing to jump into the market because they are not as nervous.

Another thing that was pointed out was that gas prices as a direct effect on home ownership and home purchasing in Florida because people are more apt to travel and go see Orlando and Tampa Bay.

Because of the market crash in 2008 and 2009, it affected the psychology of the consumers in terms of buying. Now, people are starting to feel better about the economy, with one of the factors being the price of gas going down. The millennials actually had a fear of going into the market because of what their parents went through in '08 and '09. As the price of gas goes down, it gives consumers more purchasing power.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.

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