The Old Northeast is a historic neighborhood adjacent to downtown St Petersburg on the north. It runs from 4th St to Tampa Bay and from 5th Ave N to 30th Ave N. The oldest homes date back to the 1910s and are a blend of bungalows, Prarie style, Colonials, ranch, Williamsburg and Mediterranean styles. The newest homes were built in the 2000s, often to replicate the old homes. Families often have multiple generations living in the neighborhood. Characterized by sidewalks and front porches, it’s a neighbor-friendly area since the garages are detached and in the back on the homes, with alley access. There are many brick streets and hexagonal block sidewalks. There are many trees throughout and waterfront parks line the area. Lots are generally small and if there’s a pool it’s often at the expense of any yard. Though mostly single family homes there are some condominiums and apartments, totaling some 5,000 residential properties. Homes range from the $200,000s to $5,000,000.
For today’s final installment in the Old Northeast Market Analysis series, we’re looking at the quadrant that contains Historic Granada Terrace, from 22nd Avenue N north to 30th Avenue N and from 1st Street east to Coffee Pot Bayou. It’s a very small sample, to be sure, and very distinctive in style. Many of the homes are of the Mediterranean style, and historic guidelines ensure that new homes and additions/remodels stay true to the character of the neighborhood. The eastern border of the quadrant has sidewalks running alongside the water, ideal for jogging, walking and just enjoying the views, including lots of birds and sometimes a manatee.
In addition to being a very small data sample, there’s also a big disparity in the homes – you’ll find some blocks with the large, distinctive Spanish homes we referenced above, and some blocks with small 1950’s block homes. This makes the data very hard to interpret, especially averages. For example, in 2008, the average price of 4 closed sales was $701,250, compared with the average price of 2 closed sales in 2009 at $192,500. There are only a few clear pictures we can glean.
The total number of sales in 2011 and 2012 were the highest by far, showing when the inventory started to move. Length of time from listing to contract is at an extreme low of 50 days, reflective of the lack of inventory. There are too few sales to interpret trends in cash versus financing, but we did find it interesting that in five and a half years, there hasn’t been a single FHA loan used to purchase in this quadrant!
So, as we wrap up our analysis of the Old Northeast for the week, it’s clear that “the bottom” is long gone, and the neighborhood is experiencing a continued, but reasonable, appreciation. Supply is low and demand is high, so those homes that come on the market priced well, in good condition and in good locations can expect to have lots of showing activity and offers that result in a contract quickly.
We’ve enjoyed sharing this information with you, and hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it! If you have questions, would like more information, or are interested in discussing selling your home, please contact us.
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Continuing with our week-long series of analyzing the last five and a half years of housing data for the Old Northeast neighborhood, today we’re focusing on the section that is often overlooked, from 22nd Avenue N north to 30th Avenue N, and from 4th Street N east to 1st Street N. Despite that fact that many don’t consider it to be part of the Old Northeast, it has many of the same characteristics, including brick streets lined by shady trees, charming architecture and a very walkable feel. Although it’s not as close to the parks along North Shore Drive, it is extremely close to Coffee Pot Bayou, with sidewalks along the water, a lovely park and playground, and a public boat launch. And although it’s a little further from downtown St. Petersburg, it’s very close to grocery and shopping centers.
This segment is smaller and has far fewer homes than the neighborhood south of 22nd Avenue N, so it’s important to remember that as we look at the data. Many of the lots here are larger than those in the southwestern quadrant, so the additional land value impacts price per square foot ($/sq ft). As in the other parts of the neighborhood, 2011 seems to have been the turning point in the market, with a marked increase in total number of sales. The most significant difference between this and the other quadrants is that average sale price is still nearly $100,000 lower than in 2008 (currently $287,929 versus $383,500 in 2008). Oddly though, the average number of sales and $/sq ft is nearly identical to 2008 which would indicate that fewer of the larger homes in this quadrant have sold recently.
True to what you’re hearing about lack of inventory in desirable neighborhoods, the average length of time from listing to contract has reached a staggering low of 24 days, from 143 days in 2008 and a high of 163 days in 2011. Low supply is surely a key factor here! Another interesting observation is that this segment has had a greater variety of financing types than the others. FHA and VA loans have played more of a role here, perhaps because of the lower average sale price. Cash buyers have been major players in three of the last five years, but as of the first week of August, 71% of purchases year-to-date have had some sort of financing.
We’ve made note of cash versus financed purchases in each quadrant, and you may be wondering why. Well, the influence of mortgages is a factor in keeping prices from skyrocketing the way they did in the boom years. Given the lack of supply, you might think that sellers could demand unreasonably high prices – not so, if the home must appraise in order to get financing. Yesterday we referenced the impact of rising interest rates on buyers’ purchasing power – this too offers a check and balance to the overall housing market. Like most, we’re pleased to see recovery and improvement, but we also don’t want to see a return to the madness that caused the collapse!
Look for our last installation in the Old Northeast series tomorrow. As always, if you have questions or would like more information, feel free to contact us.
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For today’s look at the Old Northeast market activity over the last five years plus 2013 year-to-date, we’re focusing on the quadrant that most people consider the “true” Old Northeast – from 1st Street east to Beach Drive NE, and from 5th Avenue N north to 22nd Avenue N. It has the largest number of homes in our analysis. We’ve purposely left out the North Shore area east of Beach Drive because it has a completely different dynamic. Now, to be sure, some folks will say that the character of the neighborhood changes south of 12th or 13th Avenue, but there has to be a limit to how much we slice and dice the data!
Just like the rest of the neighborhood, it’s clear that 2011 was the turning point for recovery. Average sale price hit bottom at $365,148, average price per square foot ($/sq ft) hit a low of $165, and from then on, both of those figures have increased continually. For the current year-to-date, average sale price is up to $531,437, and $/sq ft is at $230, both figures being higher than 2008.
Total number of sales spiked in 2012, an indication of the recovery as buyers burned through the inventory. Sales for 2013 are on a healthy pace, already 84% of last year’s total and only 7 full months into the year. Much like the rest of the neighborhood, average days on market has fallen, from a high in 2010 of 247 days, to the current 101 days. This is reflective of the low inventory and high demand (there’s currently only a 2 month supply of homes in this quadrant). Interestingly, though, the segment with the fastest time to contract in the last 19 months has been those homes priced between $800,000 and $1,000,000, at 96 days on the market.
Buyers using financing have remained in the majority since 2008, currently representing 63% of the sales closed so far in 2013. Cash buyers were most active in 2011 and 2012, but currently comprising only 37% of the purchases year-to-date. In every segment of the market except the lowest-priced homes (those under $250,000), the majority of buyers have utilized financing – perhaps taking advantage of the low interest rates to best leverage their portfolios. As a matter of fact, the two sales over $1,000,000 in the last 19 months have both utilized financing of some sort!
As an aside, our friend Nathan Lindley at Envoy Mortgage provided us with some interesting fodder about interest rates over the last several years. He shared that the current 2013 rate of 4.5% equals $506.69 per $100,000 borrowed. In 2008, the average rate of 6.0% equaled $599.55 per $100,000 borrowed, or 18.33% more expensive than currently! So if you had any question about whether rising interest rates would impact home purchases, there it is in black and white.
So that’s today’s look at the Old Northeast. Still up for the remainder of the week are the two remaining quadrants – the oft-forgotten area from 1st Street west to 4th Street N, from 22nd Avenue north to 30th Avenue, and then the area known as Historic Granada Terrace, from 1st Street east to Coffee Pot Bayou, and from 22nd Avenue north to 30th Avenue N. On Friday, we’ll do some wrap-up analyses, particularly focusing on the different price points in the neighborhood as a whole. As always, if you have questions or would like more information, please contact us!
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As we said in yesterday’s introductory post, the Old Northeast neighborhood has very distinct sections. To start with our individual analyses, we’re looking at the area from 4th Street N east to 1st Street N, and from 5th Avenue N north to 22nd Avenue N. It’s not the “sexiest” part of the neighborhood, but it’s often where you can get “more bang for your buck.”
The homes in this area tend to be a bit smaller, with a vast majority being the cute bungalow style. Particularly as you get closer to busy 4th Street, there are not as many homes that have been remodeled as in other parts of the neighborhood, which contributes to a lower average sale price (currently $327,359 for 2013 year-to-date, 29% lower than the Old Northeast as a whole, and 38% lower than the quadrant east of 1st Street). There is also a higher concentration of multi-family properties and rental apartments in this section, which tends to be unappealing to the single-family-home buyer.
True to the data as a whole, it’s clear that 2011 was the turning point in the market. Price per square foot ($/sq ft) hit a low of $135, and average sale price hit a low of $232,520. Interestingly, the total number of sales and $/sq ft are exactly the same today as they were in 2008, with average sale price just a hair lower. What has changed dramatically is length of time on the market.
In 2008, the average time to contract was 165 days. That figure reached a high in 2012 at 195 days, but for the current year-to-date has plummeted to 83 days! We feel that is a true reflection of lack of inventory in this historically more affordable quadrant of the neighborhood.
In 2011 when the inventory started to sell like gangbusters, the number of cash buyers overtook those using financing. In 2012, however, the pendulum swung drastically, with the number of financed purchases skyrocketing to 71%. For the current year-to-date, cash purchases are a slight majority at 53% of the closed sales. We feel as though this is a reflection of the greater appeal of this quadrant to investors, particularly those who intend to rent their properties. It’s also consistent with the statistics if you break the whole neighborhood into price bands – 64% of homes under $250,000 have been cash purchases in the last 19 months.
Throughout the rest of the week, we’ll share the data on the other quadrants of the Old Northeast neighborhood. If you’d like more detail, or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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The Old Northeast remains one of the most popular neighborhoods in St. Petersburg. Its charming homes, from small bungalows to grand showplaces, appeal to many who don’t care for cookie-cutter environments. Most of the neighborhood enjoys shady tree-lined streets, many of them paved in old brick, hexagon sidewalks, lovely landscaping and creative architectural styles. With the downtown waterfront park system running adjacent, it’s a place that invites its residents to get out and enjoy outdoor activities. Its proximity to downtown, bustling with entertainment and cultural activities, and its easy access to the interstate system, make it even more attractive.
Officially, the Old Northeast runs from 5th Avenue N to 30th Avenue N and from 4th Street east to the water. There are “purists” who insist that it runs only from 1st Street to the water, and stops at 22nd Ave N, often referred to as “Historic Old Northeast.” The area from 1st Street east to Coffee Pot Bayou and from 22nd Avenue to 30th Avenue has its own designation as Historic Granada Terrace, and the grid from 22nd Avenue to 30th Avenue between 1st and 4th Streets is often completely disregarded in the conversation.
We took a look at the last five years’ historical data, as well as the current year to date, to satisfy our curiosity about market trends. For the exercise, we broke the whole neighborhood into four grids as described above, and confirmed that they are very different animals indeed. We also looked at the area as a whole. Throughout this week, we’ll share what we found about the market activity. Today we’ll start with the bigger picture, and then we’ll look at each area individually.
It’s clear from the data that for the Old Northeast as a whole, the market hit bottom and began to rebound in 2011. The average sale price in 2011 was $311,312, with an average dollar per square foot ($/sq ft) price of $152. In comparison, as of last week, the average sale price for the current year-to-date had climbed to $461,126, with a $/sq ft average of $216. Both of those figures are the highest since prior to 2008.
You’ve probably read about the lack of inventory in the Tampa Bay marketplace, and the Old Northeast is no exception. There’s less than a 3 month supply of homes for sale currently. Average time for a listing to go under contract is at a five-year low of 89 days, and we believe that number is even artificially high as a result of overpriced, inferior listings that skew the average. Anecdotally, we know from experience that well-priced homes, in good locations, in good condition, are going under contract extremely quickly, often in a matter of just a few days.
You may also have heard about the frustration of many homebuyers in competition with investors offering all cash. We found it interesting that the number of cash purchases have never surpassed financed purchases in the Old Northeast as a whole since 2008. For the current year-to-date, in fact, 60% of the closed sales had some sort of financing, whether conventional (the lion’s share) or FHA or VA. If you break the sales into price bands, though, we’ve seen that those homes at the lowest end of the price spectrum have been the most likely to be cash sales (64% of homes under $250,000 year to date, for example).
The most important conclusion to be gained from our research is that real estate is hyper-local. The Old Northeast, given its desirability, performs quite differently than other neighborhoods. And as you’ll see over the next several days, even different sections of the same neighborhood perform differently. We hope you enjoy our analysis and report, and of course – if you have questions or would like more information, we invite you to contact us.
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February 22nd, 2012 Categories: Old Northeast
The Old Northeast in St Petersburg Florida has been named to the Best Old House Neighborhoods 2012: South by This Old Home. It is the only Florida neighborhood on the list of fifteen.
This Old Home is correct in pointing out the many benefits of the neighborhood:
- Eclectic mix of styles: Craftsman, Colonial, Mediterranean, Italian
- Tree lined streets, brick streets (and hexagonal block sidewalks that they didn’t mention)
- Annual events such as Easter Egg Hunts and Halloween festivities (and flags changing with the seasons)
- Waterfront parks
- Nearby restaurants, shops, museums, art and cultural events
It ranked among the best in various categories: waterfront, bungalows and cottages, South, family friendly, gardening, recreation and parks, lots to do, American Heritage and Editors’ Picks.
This Old Home was a bit off, though in saying neighborhood prices ranged from $90,000 to $400,000. The multiple listing shows single family homes ranging from $146,500 to $1,495,000. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the Old Northeast, please contact The Simms Team at ALVA International, Inc.
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Homes in St Petersburg and all around Florida often advertise a patio, porch, veranda or lanai. What’s the difference between them?
A patio is typically an outdoor space adjacent to a residence that is paved and does not have a roof. It may use pavers, brick, stone or concrete (if it’s made of wood, it would typically be called a deck). It’s used for relaxing, recreation or dining. In Spanish style homes it may refer to the interior courtyard. Many masonry homes in the St Petersburg area will have patios, especially smaller ones.
A porch is an extension to the exterior of a house, generally at the same level as the floor inside. It usually has a wood floor and generally has a roof. It may be on the front, back or side of the home and a home may have multiple porches. The sides may be open, screened, glassed or have lattice. It can be utilitarian, to protect you from the elements while you’re waiting to enter the home or a place to take off your boots or garden shoes; it can be the size of a room, with furniture for relaxing or dining. The materials and style are generally compatible with the house it’s attached to. Frame homes in older St Petersburg neighborhoods like the Old Northeast and Kenwood will typically have porches.
A veranda or verandah may be a large porch that’s a room for entertaining or it may be a gallery running along one or more sides of the home, roofed, perhaps with a railing. Often a verandah will wrap around a house – think Victorian or New Orleans style here – perhaps on the front and both sides. Verandas aren’t as common in St Petersburg but there are occasional Victorian style homes and some of the 1920s Mediterranean style homes will have them.
A lanai is less frequently defined, and often as a roofed porch or verandah. Actually it’s the Hawaiian word for patio or balcony. In Florida we wouldn’t use lanai for a balcony. A lanai is a typical term in a tropical climate and generally is furnished like a room. It may have removable panels of glass, screen or plastic and would usually have a hard surface floor, similar to a patio. Lanais are found in many St Petersburg neighborhoods – think of the masonry waterfront homes in Venetian Isles, Broadwater and Yacht Club Estates.
Like so many terms, these will mean different things in different parts of the country. Not only that, even in the same city you’ll find the terms aren’t used consistently. In St Petersburg real estate the terms patio, porch and lanai may be used to describe the same space, depending on who is doing the describing.
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January 24th, 2012 Categories: Old Northeast
The Old Northeast neighborhood in St Peterburg, Florida, is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Part of this is due to its location: it’s close to downtown, it’s close to the waterfront; it’s close to parks; and it’s not far from I-275. The Old Northeast is also popular because of its feel: shady streets with sidewalks. Many of the streets are brick and many of the sidewalks have hexagonal blocks. There is a variety of architectural styles: Colonial, Mediterranean and bungalow, to name some of the most popular. The size of the homes varies as well, from small homes with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath to expansive homes with several thousand square feet
The design of the Old Northeast encourages a neighborhood. The garages are generally in the back of the houses on an alley. Most of the homes have front porches. Communication flows easily between someone walking on the sidewalk and someone sitting on their front porch, so neighbors get to know one another. With the convenience of the Old Northeast and the variety of homes, often two or three generations of a family have homes in the area. The Old Northeast is known for holiday decorations, whether Christmas, Halloween or the Fourth of July.
The disadvantages? Generally the lots are small so you are very close to your neighbors. If you want a pool, it may take up the whole back yard. Most of the homes are older which means that in addition to character you get small closets, smaller and fewer bathrooms, and the garage may not accommodate your cars. You can renovate or perhaps add-on or, if you’re lucky, you might find one that’s already renovated to your taste.
For information on homes in the Old Northeast, call 727-898-2582 or email the Simms Team at ALVA International, Inc real estate.
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Many buyers today want to be able to walk to restaurants, shopping, museums, entertainment. They want to be able to go out in the evening and not have to drive home.
Are you aware of the iPhone app WALK SCORE? Bayfront Tower, for example, scores an 82. Parkshore Plaza scores an 83. Both are “very walkable”. A house on 16th Ave NE may have a score of 34 and one on Venetian Isles a score of 12.
You can also sort for specifics for an address (or have the app use your location) and the app will show you grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, hardware stores, etc. So - it’s useful for when you’re traveling as well as when you’re shopping for a home or condo.
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December 22nd, 2011 Categories: Old Northeast
Many of the visitors to our city fall in love with the Old Northeast neighborhood, which is right next to our downtown. The Old Northeast allows people to live in historic, single family homes, and the ability to walk to our shops and restaurants in minutes. While many of the updated homes on the water can sell for over a million dollars, there are also many cute, smaller homes that are much more affordable. I took a look at some of these homes, starting with houses have at least 2-bedrooms and 2-bathrooms.
In 2009, 6 homes sold below $290,000, and 2 of those were below $200,000. In 2010, we had 9 sales below $300,000 and 1 of those was below the $200,000 mark. And this year, in 2011,
we have had 18 sales below $300,000, with 3 of those below $200,000. So you can find the right property at the right price, but you have to move quickly. This year, the seven homes that sold below $236,000 were all purchased for cash and with the exception of the two which were short sales, all sold very quickly…three of them were under contract in less than a week.
If you came to me today, looking for one of these bargains, I would tell you that there is only 1 home (a 3-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house) on the market for less than $350,000 (I did not could two very small 2-bedroom, 1-bath homes). View these currently available homes in the Old Northeast. If you have any questions, feel free to call the Simms Team at 727-898-5892 or email The Simms Team at ALVA International, Inc.
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