Single-family home sales slumped in April and May because of COVID-19, but there are already signs of a rebound in June.
LAKELAND — COVID-19 struck Century 21 Myers Realty like lightning.
“We as a company lost 12 sales overnight after COVID-19 hit,” said Jack Myers, the owner and a real estate broker.
The lost clients in early March ranged from investors in short-term rentals to families that experienced job losses, he said.
But Myers and Dawna Stone, the owner and broker of the Property Shoppe of Central Florida Inc., a Lakeland company specializing in home sales, said the Polk real estate market may already be on the rebound.
“I think at the end of this year, we’re going to see a gangbusters market on housing,” Stone said. “I would say (conditions) are definitely favorable. The affordability index with mortgages so low is better than it has been in a great number of years.”
Property Shoppe closed a recent single-family home sale at a 2.75% interest rate, she said. Nationwide mortgage rates are at historic lows, according to recent news reports.
“I feel here the phones are ringing more,” said Myers, who has offices in Auburndale, Winter Haven and Haines City. “Our agents are still on the phone dialing for dollars and keeping in contact with customers.”
Statistics from the Stellar MLS (multiple listing service), a Central Florida real estate market data firm based in Orlando, show the impact of COVID-19 since the first case in the state was reported on March 1.
The Lakeland area saw monthly single-family home sales increase from 8% to 26% in the first three months of this year compared to the same months in 2019, according to a Stellar report. That changed rapidly in April, which saw a 26% decline, followed by a 25% decline in May.
The East Polk area was hit even harder.
Monthly single-family home sales increased from 3% to 32% in this year’s first quarter, followed by a 26% decline in April and a 39% crash in April, Stellar reported.
Those numbers reflect sales reported by Stellar member companies located in the Lakeland and East Polk areas and could include properties outside their areas, said Stone, a Stellar member.
But a large majority of sales traditionally come from the company’s home area, she said.
About 98% of the Property Shoppe’s sales involve Polk County properties, Stone said.
The April-May slump did not represent the overall health of the local real estate market, Stone argued.
Despite the slump, year-to-date growth in single-family home sales was still positive, up 1.5% for the four months ending in April and it fell just 4.4% for the five months through May compared to the same periods in 2019.
In East Polk, the year-to-date growth was essentially flat, down just 0.45% for the first four months and off 10.6% for the five months through May.
Property Shoppe is already feeling a recovery, Stone said.
For the year up to Friday, the company sold 49 single-family homes, the same number it sold through the identical period last year, she said. But the value of those home rose from $8.7 million in 2019 compared to $11.6 million this year, a 33% increase.
Actually the recovery in Lakeland may have already begun, according to Myers, citing up-to-date Stellar data.
The Lakeland area sold 810 single-family homes in June through Friday, a 5% increase from 771 sales in the same period last year, Myers said. And the value of sales rose from $136.7 million to 146.2 million, a 7% increase.
In East Polk, June sales were still 9% lower than a year ago, he said, but the average home value rose from $189,000 to $193,000.
A shortage of homes on the market is keeping values high, acting as a drag on the market, he said.
A lot of sellers dropped out of the market when COVID-19 hit and have not yet returned, Myers said.
“Sales will increase if we have more listings,” or homes available, he said. “If we have more listings, we can sell them.”
Demand remains strong, particularly in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, for homes in Florida, Myers said.
While low mortgage interest rates normally spur growth, lenders have also increased restrictions for getting the loans, another drag on future growth, Stone and Myers agreed.
Since the pandemic, lenders have increased the minimum credit score to qualify for a loan and are looking more closely at the kind of jobs borrowers have and how likely they would face a layoff, they said.
Some lenders are asking for letters of assurance the borrower doesn’t face a layoff, Stone said.
“It’s eliminated some borrowers, but if you get them with a good lender, they can do some credit repair,” Myers said.
Kevin Bouffard can be reached at [email protected] or at 863-802-7591.
Housing grant from TD bank aimed to help families displaced by pandemic
GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A quarter-million dollars is on the way to help give families across the Greenville area the assistance they need to get back on their feet.
On Thursday, the Greenville Housing Fund received a $250-thousand dollar grant from TD Bank, which will go towards the “Home Again Partnership” — a joint venture between the Greenville Housing Fund and United Housing Connections.
Both organizations work to put displaced families back in stable housing.
“It’s impacting livelihoods, jobs, income, health,” President and CEO of the Greenville Housing Fund, Bryan Brown said. “It’s having significant and serious impacts on our community and this is a symptom of that.”
Brown said prior to the pandemic, they were aware of two hotel/motel communities where families were living, now there’s ten.
“That’s the impact that COVID has had on this community,” Brown said. “This growing insecurity, housing instability has led to families living in ten hotel motels in our community. “
The “Home Again Partnership” works to identify families with school aged children living in hotels to provide them with resources like housing and financial assistance, all aimed promoting self sufficiency.
“When you have families in hotels, you have a child doing homework off the edge of a bed and then eating off a hot plate, that’s not a family environment,” said CEO of United Housing Connections, Lorain Crowl.
Crowl said the first step is connecting students with a McKinney-Vento liaison.
“Which is a liaison that works in all Greenville County schools,” Crowl said. “Every school has one that is tasked with engaging homeless and families who are experiencing homelessness with children.”
And then the work begins.
“We start with the very basics,” Crowl said. “‘Where are you now?’ And then we carry you through with rent stabilization. That means we may come alongside you with some grant money.”
Or other resources like case management, credit repair, etc.
“We carry folks through a program, through a two-year program to help them develop a savings account, tools to be on their own and eventually they’re in their own housing,” said Crowl.
Both organizations say they have resources readily available.
“There are all kinds of programs and networks that we can really plug families into and then help them along to get to know those folks and be sure that they’re served,” said Crowl.
If you’re a Greenville family in need of assistance, Crowl said to contact your school counselor. Every school counselor in Greenville County is connected to a liaison who can connect you to the partnership.
Crowl said since the pandemic began, the partnership has served 375 households, with $2.1 million dollars put into the community from all resources to help families remain stabily housed.
From Real Estate To Financial Freedom Courses, Melik Monal Is A Businessman Who Has Really Done It All
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / March 4, 2021 / Many people in the business world started with a big leg up on life. They had parents in the business world or were well off enough to try different things before they found their stride and were able to succeed. Not Melik Monal. He had very few role models in life that he could base his business off of. Instead, he followed his own desires to become successful.
“What if you were born in poverty? And a Wealthy mindset was nonexistent not because you didn’t want it but because Financial literacy wasn’t taught Growing up. My name is Melik Monal ( Mr. blueberry) himself with a unique story on how I went from picking blueberries to running several multimillion-dollar companies. Growing up, I had no role model to emulate from a business perspective. I wanted to become successful, and the only way to do so was to become a professional athlete or business owner. Ownership is the key to success. Watching my parents struggle to provide for our family was enough motivation,” Melik recounts.
Melik’s journey into business was not an easy one. He faced many challenges when beginning his first steps, including the loss of his parents. However, this never deterred him from continuing on.
“My biggest obstacle I have had to overcome was losing my parents, but that has only made me stronger and wiser and more determined to be great. Despite this, entrepreneurship has always been a passion of mine. I aspire to help others become financially free, and being of service to other people is definitely the new wave,” Melik explains.
Now, Melik runs not only one business but multiple businesses. From real estate to author, Melik really does do it all. He has been working hard to pursue his interests and create businesses to help others while gaining financial freedom.
“I run a real estate investor business, Financial freedom Hacks course, a do-it-yourself credit repair ebook, and am author of the Financial Freedom book. In addition, I run A chain of financial institutions: Easy and Direct tax, Tax max professionals, Platinum tax pros, Supreme tax pros, and Texas tax pros,” Melik says.
After being so successful, Melik has some advice to those who wish to start their own businesses. Amongst the most important things, Melik says that mindset is crucial when beginning a business.
“Mindset is the key to becoming successful and starting your business. Without the right mindset, you’re setting yourself up for failure. In addition, commit – Becoming successful starts with your mindset, with the belief that you really can accumulate wealth. Assets and liabilities – know the difference, increase your income and reduce your expenses. Live Below Your Means – stay broke, save to invest, don’t save to save,” Melik advises.
Melik has no plans on slowing down now. In fact, he has many plans for the future as 2021 begins. He is growing his businesses and doing much more.
“My plans for 2021 are creating the financial freedom Hacks course. I’ll be teaching: how to invest in real estate, how to build business and personal credit, how to build a seven-figure tax office, how to build a successful e-commerce store, and how to build a seven-figure restaurant,” Melik states.
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SOURCE: Monal Capital
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Angela Marie Kovacs Educates Clients on Smart Money Habits for Better Living
VAN BUREN TWP, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES, March 4, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Angela Marie Kovacs, an experienced personal finance expert is using her knowledge to inspire her clients to imbibe smart money habits that will improve their lives. From 2005-2011, she worked in the real estate and property industry, helping clients build credit to get approval for new rental properties. She also used the same knowledge to help her clients when she became a personal trainer.
While promoting physical wellness, she realized how important personal connection and communication are with clients. That’s where she got the inspiration to start her company Credit Repair Gal™ in 2019, dedicating her life to helping clients build good credits so they can live their best lives.
According to Angela Marie Kovacs, smart money habits are one of the most important things to help people build good credit and increase wealth. However, this habit is a lifelong effort that requires commitment and personal sacrifice. She also believes that to build a strong financial lifestyle, people must commit to daily money management habits.
She believes smart money habits include always having a budget for any expenses. Budgets help people plan and stick to it, thereby avoiding unnecessary or lavish spending that may negatively impact their credit score. She also believes people must find ways to avoid or eliminate debts. Having too much debt can hurt credit scores and make it impossible or difficult to take advantage of many growth opportunities.
Major purchases are inevitable for most people. Angela Marie Kovacs advises that people should take the responsibility to pre-fund these purchases to avoid going into debt when ready to buy. Setting up an emergency fund will also help solve serious financial challenges. Most people will be financially okay unless they face an unexpected emergency problem, especially relating to health. Pulling cash from an emergency fund at such a period will help reduce the negative impact that may damage their credit score.
Savings automation, using banking alerts, and acquiring financial and money knowledge can also increase opportunities. There are also huge opportunities in investing when done properly. Angela encourages her clients to seek advice on smart investment opportunities that will yield results.
Getting a good credit score is possible but people must be ready to put in the work. Most of these habits mentioned above may not be easy to adhere to but they are necessary for success in this journey of financial freedom. Practice makes perfect. Angela Marie Kovacs states people must practice these smart money habits every day until they get used to them.
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