Home Bidding Wars Seen Ebbing


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 21st, 2013 – The bidding wars between individual home buyers and property investors which have developed recently may be showing signs of diminishing, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports. The current regime of rising mortgage rates appears to have grown unprofitable for investors, and individual home buyers need not be overly concerned on being elbowed out of the market, the full service realty firm says.

The company notes that this development can be gleaned from the recent quarterly results of the largest U.S. homebuilder D.R. Horton which reported a gain of 12% in new orders, which was far below analysts’ forecast of a 28% increase. Commenting on this market miss in relation to the rising mortgage rates, D.R. Horton CEO Donald Tomnitz said a lot of potential buyers were disturbed, counting on as they were on picking the low in the interest rates and the low in the pricing.

Bottom-fishers hurt

price trend graphic

Sarasota Bay Real Estate echoes one observation that these buyers alienated by the high interest rates were actually “bottom-fishing buyers” who were pinning hopes on flipping their property purchases with the continuing rise in home prices. In other words, the full service real estate firm says that it is speculative demand more than real demand which is being dampened by the higher interest rates.

It is for this same apparent reason, it added, that homebuilders’ confidence continues to remain high as per the latest reading of the National Association of Homebuilders Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). In August, the HMI for newly built, single-family homes rose to 59, a three-point monthly increase that brings its level to the highest in almost eight years.

Added drivers on builders’ confidence

Besides recent gains in employment, homebuilders are also encouraged by the increasing prices and high market demand amid low inventories of both new and existing homes in most local markets. The chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, earlier estimated that rising demand and lack of supply propelled the median price higher by 14% in June, the biggest year-over-year gain since the record 17% posted in October 2005.

Homebuilders, however, are experiencing some headwinds which restrain full acceleration of their growth momentum. These factors include the low supplies of developed lots and shortage of skilled labor, according to the chief economist of NAHB, David Crowe.

Where to avoid wait-listing

As a result, many of the big homebuilders have been experiencing substantial increases in their backlogs. For instance, a 36% gain in sales order backlog to 9,911 homes during the company’s fiscal third quarter was recently reported at D.R. Horton.

Buyers eyeing Sarasota homes for sale in D.R. Horton communities in Florida, however, need not find themselves in the waiting list as a result of such building backlogs. In one of these homebuilders’ neighborhoods, Oak Vista, several homes priced in the $300s are currently listed in the MLS, featuring four bedrooms in their floor areas measuring about 2,400 square feet. Alternatives with floor plans under 2,200 square feet are likewise available at asking prices in the high $200s.