Real Estate Takes Center Stage

by Lynda Weatherman

Regional news agencies reported that 1-out-of-158 homes in BrevardCountywas given a foreclosure notice in November, the highest rate of any county in the United States.  Upon further analysis of the 1,708 foreclosure filings, 973 were auction notices, 364 were default (pre-foreclosure) notices and 371 were bank repossessions.  It appears that Brevard’s increase of foreclosure notices was driven by the degree of variability in the process and by the discretion banks have in choosing when to file foreclosures, rather than a sudden decline of the economy or real estate market.  The degree of variability is evident when comparing November’s data to October where only 106 homes were given auction notices out of a total of 984 notices, and zero auction notices were given in September out of 574 total notices.

An in-depth analysis of foreclosure, real estate and economic data suggests the local housing market and economy is continuing to improve, irrespective of the one month jump in RealtyTrac rankings.  While the total number of foreclosures increased in 2012 compared to 2011, Brevard County Clerk of Courts’ data shows the greatest amount of foreclosures came in the first five months of 2012.  This increase was somewhat expected following the robo-signing controversy and federal settlement, indicating an accumulated backlog (a portion of the shadow-inventory) of foreclosures was released into the market.

Some Positive Indicators

The number of new construction permits issued in Brevard indicates a demand side improvement in real estate.  The number of permits issued through the first ten months of 2012 was eight percent greater than the number of permits issued for the entire 2011 calendar year.  Similarly, the latest real estate data from the Florida Association of Realtors indicates that transactional volumes in Brevard increased on a year-over-year basis by double digits for the last three months, through October 2011.

As the real estate market continues to improve, foreclosure levels may actually increase as banks potentially may seek to take advantage of improved market conditions to sell any accumulation of foreclosed properties.  However, in light of the improving economy, as the surplus diminishes, market conditions will eventually normalize, subsequently followed by price increases.

KEY MONTHLY INDICATORS
  CURRENT MONTH PREVIOUS MONTH YEAR AGO MONTHLY {099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}CHANGE ANNUAL {099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}CHANGE
  Oct2012 Sep2012 Oct2011 Sep 2012 to Oct 2012 Oct 2011 toOct 2012
Payroll Employment1 245,378 245,941 238,359 0.2{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 2.9{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}
Unemployment Rate1 8.7{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 9.1{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 11.1{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} -0.4{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} -1.6{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}
Home Sales2 664 579 506 14.6{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 1.6{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}
Median Sales Price2 $115,000 $117,000 $114,000 -1.7{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 0.5{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}
Revenue Passengers, Melbourne International Airport3*  31,425  36,066  28,709  -12.9{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}  9.5{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}
Cruise Passengers,Port Canaveral4 270,812 273,702 296,756 -1.1{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} -8.74{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}
Hotel Occupancy Rate5 52.5{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 52.5{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 50.7{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 0.0{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 1.8{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}
Sep2012 Aug2012 Sep2011 Aug 2012 to Sep 2012 Sep 2011 to Sep 2012
Taxable Sales6 $511.8m $519.9m $489.7m -1.6{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 4.5{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}
Index of Retail Activity6 125.6 123.5 120.5 -1.7{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} 4.2{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2}

Sources: 1Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Labor Market Information Center; 2Florida Association of Realtors; 3Melbourne Airport Authority; 4Canaveral Port Authority; 5Space Coast Office of Tourism; 6Florida Legislature, Office of Economic & Demographic Research. Numbers represent most recent data available at time of preparation.

*Latest Available Data forMLBAirport- Sept. 2012

By the Numbers is a monthly review of the Brevard economy, prepared by the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.  For the very latest on these and other indicators in the Brevard economy, visit www.SpaceCoastEDC.org/EDC/InvestorCenter/EconomicResources/EconomicIndicators.aspx