Tampa Bay Single Family Lot Supply – A Race to Replace?

via Metrostudy Report

It seems odd to talk about replacing developed lots in the midst of the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression. But we are at a point in the market where builders and developers are beginning to do exactly that. As of the end of the third quarter of 2011, Tampa had 2,840 annual starts in 593 “active” detached single-family subdivisions spread between Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties. The activity over the last twelve months was divided as follows:

  • 39 subdivisions starting more than 24 homes
  • 42 subdivisions starting between 13 and 23 new homes
  • 43 subdivisions starting between 7 and 12 new homes
  • 96 subdivisions starting between 1 and 6 new homes
  • 373 subdivisions without a new home start over the last twelve months

The most active tier produced 1,422 new starts or 50.1% of all single family detached starts in the Tampa MSA. That is 6.6% of the subdivisions providing half of Tampa new housing production. This tier had 2,295 vacant developed lots remaining  at the end of 3Q 2011. Representing just a 19.4 month supply, the market equilibrium for Tampa is between an 18 to 24 months supply of developed lots. The good news is there are another 1,215 future lots within these subdivisions in the form of future phases. Builders in these top tier projects will be reliant upon these future phases within the next year and a half, or they will be looking for new subdivisions or repositioned existing lots upon which to build. This timeline grows shorter as the housing market continues to rebound, as these measures of supply are a by-product of near record low level of housing starts. Every 10% increase in starts reduces the SF months of supply of lots by nearly 2 months within these most active subdivisions.

The second most active tier produced 742 new starts or 26.1% of all SF detached starts over the last twelve months. Combined with tier 1, you have 13.7% of the subdivisions producing 76.2% of all new starts. This second tier does have 1,805 developed lots but carries no real future lots. So as tier one nears build-out on the existing lots you may see this tier gain market share just from the mere fact of available lots.

The wildcard is the zombie subdivisions that have not started a new home over the last twelve months and are continuing to reduce there standing inventory of homes built during the boom. A successful repositioning and marketing campaign could prove a valuable source of developed lots to the building industry. If these zombies remain in a coma, builders may be hard pressed to find a quality supply of lots by the end of 2013.

Posted on 10-28-2011 by Tony Polito


ULI Presents Recommendations to Vitalize Downtown Tampa

Coordinated by the City of Tampa and the Tampa Downtown Partnership, experts from the Urban Land Institute’s Advisory Services Panel examined the central business district and all or parts of Tampa Heights, Encore, Ybor City, Channel District, West Tampa, West Riverfront, Old West Tampa and North Hyde Park, last week.

According to ULI (per St Pete Times), to create a downtown with a soul, Tampa needs more urban housing, more pedestrians, better transit and less parking.

Recommendations include:

  • Put in better landscaping, especially at entry ways to downtown. Got an ugly, empty lot? Get creative. Bring in a farmers market.
  • Finish the Riverwalk, and allow food carts and restaurants near the Hillsborough River.
  • Steer new housing toward three areas: Tampa Heights, the area around the Marion Street Transit Station and a redevelopment of the North Boulevard Homes public housing complex.
  • Re-engineer roads like Ashley Drive to be less daunting to pedestrians. Think fewer lanes, more trees and lower speed limits.
  • Ban new private parking lots as well as parking lots on street corners, convert some existing lots to parks or housing and increase on-street parking.
  • Improve transit. Look at expanding the TECO trolley up to Tampa Heights and west of the Hillsborough River. Consider changes, like a fare-free zone, to make bus transit more attractive.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the report gives the city a “road map” for its next step: using a $1.18 million federal grant to create a master plan for downtown and areas like Ybor City, the Channel District and Tampa Heights.

Tampa’s future presented in less than a week… It appears Mayor Buckhorn is all in.

The slogan for Tampa 20 years ago was, America’s Next Great City.  Is now the time???   What do you think???


Poll: Americans still believe deeply in homeownership

WASHINGTON – March 18, 2011 – Despite a historic real estate market upheaval that sent foreclosure rates skyrocketing and home values plummeting, Americans still have a deep attachment to homeownership. Furthermore, they consider homeownership an integral part of an American Dream in which they still believe, according to poll results announced today by The Allstate Corporation and National Journal.

The eighth quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll revealed that nearly nine out of 10 homeowners say they would buy their homes again. That percentage held true even among homeowners who said their home values had declined. Seven of 10 Americans say they would advise a friend or family member to buy a home as a long-term asset. However, while homeownership is perceived as a good personal decision, there is much greater uncertainty about whether expanding homeownership should be a government priority.

Although only 35% of respondents expect their personal financial situations to improve over the next year, three-fourths of those surveyed said it is still possible for people like them to achieve the American Dream, which the poll defined as the ability to advance as far as their talents will take them and live better than their parents did. A total of 59% said they currently are living the American Dream. Respondents identified owning your own home as one of the most critical parts of the American Dream, second only to raising a family.

“Owning a home continues to be the bedrock of the American Dream – even as incomes are down, jobs are scarce and families struggle to make ends meet,” said Thomas J. Wilson, Allstate chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Homeownership is viewed positively by the vast majority of Americans as both a place to raise a family and a sound investment. As a result, financial institutions and the government must work together to ensure that those who can afford their homes stay in them and this opportunity remains a viable alternative for all Americans.”

Despite their positive statements about owning a home, only 42% of those polled said that government’s push to expand homeownership created more stable communities, while 51% said these policies made communities less stable because it “encouraged people to take on too much debt” and led to foreclosures. Those surveyed split exactly in half – 46% on each side – on the broad question of whether Washington should continue or scale back its efforts to promote homeownership through policies such as tax incentives for first-time buyers and the mortgage interest deduction.

“Homeownership retains a powerful, almost tidal, grip on the American imagination,” said Ronald Brownstein, editorial director of National Journal Group. “Even the economic experiences of the last several years don’t seem to have dimmed the yearning for ownership. But we do see that the public is much more ambivalent about whether the nation’s focus on expanding homeownership is a good thing for the country overall.”

Key findings from the eighth Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll include:

1) Americans still believe in homeownership as a sound investment. A solid majority (70%) of Americans would advise a family member or close friends to buy a home to build long-term assets.

* Just 27% disagree with this statement and say homeownership is too risky. This measure is essentially unchanged since the first Heartland survey in April 2009.

* Young Americans (aged 18-29) are less convinced, with 49% who agree that homeownership is a sound investment and 49% who say it is too risky.

* Asked to name the best investment, 24% of Americans say “buying a home,” which ranks behind “investing in retirement savings” (38%), but ahead of “saving money in the bank” (20%), and “investing in the stock market” (6%).

* Most Americans (63%) believe that the current housing crisis is temporary and will improve over the next several years.

* Surprisingly, 58% of those who believe the housing crisis will remain a serious problem would still recommend buying a home.

2) Most Americans (59%) say they are living the American Dream.

* Those most likely to disagree include groups that typically have less of a safety net in a struggling economy: low-income households (51% disagree), those with a high-school education or less (43%), African-Americans (46%), and single mothers (68%).

* Three-quarters of Americans believe the American Dream is still achievable for people like them.

* 58% of Americans believe that the ability to achieve the American Dream is affected more by their own skills and hard work than by the state of the economy. This belief in hard work cuts across every demographic and socioeconomic subgroup.

For more results or to download the poll, go here.

The poll was conducted March 4-8, 2011, among 800 adults via landline and 200 adults via cell phone.

Copyright © 2011 Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll.

Towering Success

Cheryl McCormick Brown & Steve McAuliffe on Towers of Channelside's Penthouse Balcony

We have been very fortunate over the past couple of weeks to receive excellent press surrounding our SUCCESS at Towers of Channelside.

Headlines in the St Petersburg Times (“Luxury condo project’s pricing strategy helps it emerge from bankruptcy”), Tampa Bay Business Journal (“Towers nearing sold out status”) and Gulf Coast Business Review (“Towering Success”) have led to very positive articles about the fact that our team has sold over 100 condominium homes in 10 months.  Here are some excerpts:

“We had to create a new story to go with it,” says Steve McAuliffe, a broker for St. Petersburg-based JMC Realty Inc., which was put in charge of marketing the Towers a year ago. He and colleague Cheryl McCormick Brown, sales director at the Towers, have sold 103 of the 257 total units and aim to completely sell out both buildings this spring.

Cheryl McCormick Brown and Steve McAuliffe urged the project’s current owners — four banks and a hedge fund — to slash prices. The owners agreed to an across the board 45 percent price cut; they took it a step further and paid homeowner association fees for vacant units so new buyers weren’t saddled with the costs.

McAuliffe and Brown have exceeded the owners’ goal of selling eight condos a month. “There is no room for negotiation, she said. “We’re reaching the right people.”  The sales success means that The Towers of Channelside is emerging from bankruptcy and will be turned over to the homeowners association.

Prices for the remaining units will not go lower, Brown said.  “There is no room for negotiation, she said. “We’re reaching the right people.”

The sales success means that The Towers of Channelside is emerging from bankruptcy and will be turned over to the homeowners association.

Holding the line on pricing, at roughly $200 per square foot, is a testament to the patience of the Towers’ current financial sponsors, McAuliffe says. The sponsors include four banks — Wachovia/Wells Fargo, Fifth Third, M&I and PNC — as well as the Madison Group, a hedge fund.

This shows that there are active homebuyers in the market… sellers just have to be realistic about their pricing.

To Buy or To Rent… You Decide

For the past decade or so, renting a home has typically been a better financial move than buying one. It’s been true in Southern California, San Francisco, Phoenix, Las Vegas and large parts of Florida, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast.

By renting you most likely had to put up with friends and relatives who believed that owning a home was almost always superior. But renting also would have typically saved you thousands of dollars a year.

Now, as David Leonhardt of the New York Times continues to point out, the situation is getting more complicated because the housing bust has been playing out unevenly across the country.

“In some once bubbly markets, prices have fallen so far that buying a home appears to be a bargain, based on a New York Times analysis of prices and rents in 54 metropolitan areas. In South Florida, Phoenix and Las Vegas, house prices — relative to rents — are as low as in places that never experienced a bubble, like Indianapolis and St. Louis.

But in a handful of other areas, including San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Ore., house prices remain significantly higher than they were before the bubble began. People who buy a home in these areas will face higher monthly costs than if they rented, even after taking tax deductions into account. As a result, buyers are effectively betting that prices will rise enough in future years to cover the difference.”

Below is an list of rent ratios — the price of a typical home divided by the annual cost of renting that home — for 55 metropolitan areas across the country.

According to Leonhardt, a good rule of thumb is that you should often buy when the ratio is below 15 and rent when the ratio is above 20. If it’s between 15 and 20, lean toward renting — unless you find a home you really like and expect to stay there for many years.

Metro area Ratio
East Bay, Calif. 35.9
Honolulu 34.4
San Jose, Calif. 32.7
San Francisco 27.9
Seattle 27.3
Charlotte, N.C. 27
Orange County, Calif. 27
New York (Manhattan) 26.7
Raleigh, N.C. 26.2
Portland, Ore. 25.9
North – Central New Jersey 25.2
Nashville 24
Denver 22.6
San Diego 22.1
Long Island, N.Y. 21.4
Milwaukee 21.4
Austin, Tex. 20.5
Norfolk, Va. 19.9
Richmond 19.7
Memphis 19.3
Bridgeport, Conn. 18.5
Hartford 18.4
Boston 18.4
Washington–N. Virginia-MD   18.3
Oklahoma City 18.2
Baltimore 17.6
Columbus, Ohio 17.6
Palm Beach County, Fla. 17.6
Salt Lake City 17.6
Sacramento 16.7
San Antonio 16.7
Chicago 16.6
New Orleans 16.2
Philadelphia 16.1
Houston 15.9
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 15.7
Miami 15.6
New York 15.4
Los Angeles 15.4
Kansas City, Kan. 15.3
Inland Empire, Calif. 15.1
**National Average for    metro areas 15.1
Indianapolis 15.1
Jacksonville, Fla. 15
Minneapolis 14.9
St. Louis 14.6
Las Vegas 14.3
Atlanta 14.3
Orlando, Fla. 14.1
Tampa, Fla. 14
Cincinnati 13.9
Dallas – Fort Worth 13.8
Phoenix 13.3
Detroit 12.4
Cleveland 11.7
Pittsburgh 11.4

 –Towers of Channelside Ratios ranged from 10 to 13, indicating that buying is better than renting if planning to stay in the home longer than 2 years.

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. The country has suffered through a terrible crash in home prices, yet buying a house remains an iffy proposition in many markets.

The data comes from Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics and covers the second quarter of this year.

Quiet Opening(?) At Towers of Channelside

The First 30-Days … Not So Quiet

WOW … for a non-promotional Quiet Opening over the past 30 days, we’ve had quite the fanfare.

Eager buyers have already snapped up 10 magnificent homes overlooking Tampa’s busy waterways and cityscapes — solely as a result of social media and verbal word-of-mouth.

The JMC Realty team is very grateful to our local Realtor partners, who immediately recognized and embraced the value of these homes as a result of the seller’s newly released prices — on average 40% to 45% below the original offering. That equates to $185 to $190 per square foot, with views that position The Towers of Channelside as the finest address in Tampa. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived in the area, you’ve never seen views like these before.
Tower One - Southern Orientation

I’ve been following recent media reports on the stabilization of pricing and how now is the best time to buy. If the media are reporting good news, you know we’ve reached the point where values are at their best. Even better news is that buyers who have been wanting to make a move for some time are realizing it, too.

Interest rates are still low, and there IS financing available at The Towers of Channelside. Two bedroom homes are available for under $200,000, and you can own a 3,000-square-foot penthouse for $500,000. Unheard of!

Other Progress: The JMC team has overseen the sprucing of the magnificent pool deck, with new sod, fresh paint, lush landscaping and handy gas grills.

Maybe you’d rather call it a Soft Opening … regardless, the results are Hardcore.

JMC Realty Awarded Sales and Marketing at Towers of Channelside

We are extremely honored to have been awarded the sales and marketing of the remaining homes at the Towers of Channelside in downtown Tampa’s exciting waterfront Channelside District.

In our 20+ years,   JMC Realty, Inc. has gained a reputation as a highly successful, respected and resourceful real estate sales organization.  It is our intention to provide an informative, relaxing and service-oriented atmosphere for all our visitors and homeowners, as we take residence in the on-site sales center over the next 12 months.

The landmark 28-story twin, curvilinear, Towers comprise 257 luxury residential condominiums, of which almost 50 percent have been sold.  The homes feature expansive balconies and panoramic views of the Hillsborough River, Tampa Bay, the Florida Aquarium, the St. Pete Times Forum and downtown Tampa.

Magnificent Waterfront and City Views

The centerpiece of the community is a resort-style amenities oasis on the fifth floor, with one of the largest swimming pools in the region. The deck, which rests above the four-level parking garage (each home comes with two parking spaces), connects the two towers. 

Five eager homebuyers have already purchased homes in the Towers in our first two weeks—guided by the professional hands of Cheryl McCormick Brown, sales and marketing director, and Stacey Borsik, sales consultant. Cheryl and Stacey work as a dynamic team, and are ready and eager to help.

Prices for the one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes have been reduced up to 45%.  Believe me, if you have been waiting for the right time to buy, this is it. Prices range from $160,000 for a one-bedroom to $395,000 for a three-bedroom home.  Penthouses start at $500,000.

The Towers of Channelside homes are within easy walking distance of an array of restaurants, numerous entertainment and cultural venues, and a variety of shops.  Not to mention the many cruise ships setting sail throughout the week.

Please stop by the sales center, call or begin your conversation on-line. We have lots of exciting information to share with you.