No summer slump for real estate here
Homes sales were on fire this summer in Sun City Center and Kings Point, even with a large amount of visitors "trying out" the community as renters. David Floyd, a member of the SCC Community Association, tracks housing and demographic data as it relates to the town. "We are seeing a good movement of homes in the community evidenced by the fact that, through July, we sold as many homes as we thought we would sell for the year," Floyd said. He said 235 homes were sold in Sun City Center through this past July. That's just five homes shy of the 240 the CA board had anticipated being sold for all of 2012.The SCC CA collects a fee of $1,500 which goes to the capital fund from new home transactions. The fee, which was once called a transfer fee, helps fund future construction and renovations projects. Floyd also tracks the age of people moving to SCC to determine whether or not the town is capturing its share of the baby boomer market. "We are seeing folks moving into the community who are running between 60 and 65 in age," Floyd said. "From what we see on a monthly basis, 50 percent of new members are 65 or below, which is nice to see. People are still retiring early and still looking for a place to be." At the present time, the CA has about 10,500 members. Within the town, there are about 200 empty or unoccupied homes. Meanwhile, home builders have about 500 or so lots left for new construction. Floyd said he expects SCC to be built out in another five to seven years. By that time, CA membership should range from 11,600 to 12,200, depending if Sun Towers and Freedom Plaza are permitted to join. Brenda White, a Realtor with Sun City Living Realty of Florida housed in the Sun City Center Plaza, said she does not expect sales to slow down as the town is built out. In fact, there may be quite a few "shadow" prospective buyers who are currently renting but may buy in the future. White said business has been good for her due to the hot rental market, in part fueled by the national housing crisis. "We have not slowed down because we also manage 100 rental properties in SCC," she said. "It's wonderful. The rentals are a hot commodity because all the people are going into foreclosure and they had to have somewhere to move to." She said most people pay $800 to $1,000 a month for one-year rental contracts. Seasonal rentals go for around $2,000 a month. "The reason I got into the rental business is because they turn into buyers," White said. "They rent first and test the area out and see if they are going to like it and then they buy." She said some people rent furnished properties for three months; others rent for a year and then buy. "I can see where prices of homes are stabilizing and starting to inch up," White said. "More people are buying now because the prices are down and interest rates are down." White said most buyers, whether they pay cash or get a mortgage, are gravitating toward the lower price points around $100,000 or below. "A lot are snatching up the small little condos in Kings Point," she said. "Once in a while, you get someone who wants a big one. They are baby boomers coming from all over."
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