LAKELAND — Both the state and local housing markets carried their momentum from 2015 into the start of the new year with home sales on the Rise

The latest report from Florida Realtors revealed year-to-year increases in closed sales and median prices for single-family homes. Statewide, there were 16,259 closed sales for existing single-family homes in January, which is a 2.7 percent increase from last year. The $199,000 median sale price for those homes also represented a 13.7 percent increase from a year ago.

“Florida’s housing market remains on a steady path,” said Matey Veissi, president of Florida Realtors, in a press release. “While inventory levels are tight, the month's supply of homes for sale remains stable and distressed…

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An effective way to predict the behavior of renters is through examining rental-related collection records, according to a new analysis from TransUnion.

According to TransUnion, involuntary turnover (which includes defaults as well as evictions for other reasons) costs property managers about $3,500 per unit in court costs, lost revenue, and other types of expenses.

“Rental evictions and collections records offer a unique, insightful look into a resident’s current record,” said Mike Doherty, SVP of TransUnion's rental screening solutions group. “Rental-related collection records may be timelier than eviction public records—which can take weeks or months to process through the system—and the combination of the two helps property managers make…

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Not everyone thinks the economy is as bad off as doomsayers have been saying lately. In fact, William Dudley, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, says the expansion we’ve experienced for the past seven years has put American homeowners in a much better position to withstand any pending trouble.

Dudley spoke at a recent press briefing at the New York Fed to address the state of an economy that has been, despite what it might seem, steadily getting better since mid-2009. But because the expansion has been going for so long, Dudley said, many are starting to “whether this expansion has already entered its twilight years.”

But such fears are not based in real evidence, particularly in a strong housing market, he said. Dudley said…

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the first employment summary of 2016 on Friday, February 5 (technically, it’s the second employment summary released this year, but the first one that covers part of 2016 since the last one covered December). Employment growth for October through December was solid, averaging job gains of 284,000 per month for the three months.

The recent job growth was the final piece of the economic puzzle the Fed needed in order to raise the short-term interest rates in December. In early January, the BLS reported that 292,000 jobs were added in December 2015.

“The bright spot in recent economic reports has been the labor market,” Freddie Mac stated in its January 2016 Insights & Outlook report released on Friday.…

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