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Citrus County Florida Cities/Towns ----Beverly Hills, Black Diamond, Citrus Hills, Citrus Springs, Crystal River, Floral City, Hernando, Homosassa Springs, Homosassa, Inverness, Lecanto, Pine Ridge, Sugarmill Woods

History

Citrus County was created in 1887. It was named for the county's citrus trees. Citrus production declined dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894-1895.

Approximately mid-state, bordering the Gulf of Mexico, about 70 miles north of Tampa and 60 miles northwest of Orlando.

Lakes: Countless small lakes and ponds, plus these named lakes with boat launches:

• Big Lake Henderson  • Little Lake Henderson  • Lake Holathlikaha  • Lake Rousseau

• Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes     • Lake Hernando

Rivers: Seven Outstanding Florida Waterways run through the county:

• Crystal River • Homosassa River • Halls River • Chassahowitzka River • Withlacoochee River (72 miles of navigable water running through 7 counties) • Salt River • St Martins River

Springs: 

The county is home to dozens of springs, from beautiful King Spring, Homosassa Spring, Chassahowitzka Spring and Three Sisters Springs.

Gentle Manatee Giants

Citrus County’s relatively warm, spring-fed waters attract North America’s largest manatee gathering each winter. The largest concentration can be found in the Crystal River but they are also found in the Homosassa River. A thousand-pound manatee in the wild, often with a baby or two alongside, is unforgettable. They react to the close-at-hand presence of swimmers, divers and waders with characteristic good nature. Citrus County is the only place in North America where nature lovers can legally swim and snorkel with these docile giants.

Bountiful Birding

Birding in Citrus County can include anything from a flock of whooping cranes following an ultralight aircraft to soaring eagles to nesting sandhill cranes. Of course there are red birds and blue birds and every other color of the rainbow. Many Citrus County public parks and preserves have huge avian populations. The Great Florida Birding Trail has 445 official sites and 23 of them are in Citrus County. Get started on this story at the official website, FloridaBirdingTrail.com.

Looking For A Seafood Supper

Citrus County bay scallops can be found in the shallow Gulf Waters of off the coast during the recreational scalloping season that runs from late June through late September. The meat from a bay scallop is small, white and tender. Local guides help visitors find and collect scallops and tell them what the harvesting limits and regulations are. Once you’ve got your limit, take your bounty to one of the county’s local eateries where you eat your catch – can’t get any fresher than that! Story possibilities include the usual W’s plus recipes and beachfront cookouts.

Florida’s Fishing Grounds

Salt or fresh…amateur or professional…Citrus County is a fisherman’s dream. Folks who want to trailer their own boats find excellent launch ramps and an assortment of waterside restaurants, fuel stops and boatyards. It’s only a short run to the open Gulf and as much adventure as you like. On your own it’s a great experience, but there’s nothing like a charter with an experienced guide to ensure a great day and a great catch.

Anglers seeking freshwater adventure have a very good chance of landing a bass that will look like a whale in the photograph if you hold it in front of your body at arm’s length. The Tsala Apopka chain of lakes near Inverness is a great place to begin.

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Real Estate News

Latest Realty News from NAR

October 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.88 percent this October, up 18.7 percent compared to 4.11 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in October moving the index down 9.7 percent from 162.7 to 146.9. The median sales price for a single family home sold in October in the US was $257,900 up 4.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 77 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).
  • The payment as a percentage of income was unchanged from last month at 17 percent this October but up from 15.4 percent from a year ago. Regionally, the West has the highest payment at 23.7 percent of income. The South had the second highest payment at 16.5 percent followed by the Northeast at 16.1 percent. The Midwest had the lowest payment as a percentage of income at 13.5 percent.

  • Regionally, the South recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 3.6 percent. The Northeast had an increase of 3.0 percent while the West had a gain of 2.5 percent. The Midwest had the smallest growth in price of 1.4 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Midwest had the biggest drop in affordability of 9.6 percent. The South had a decline of 9.1 percent followed by the Northeast that fell 9.0 percent. The West had the smallest drop of 7.5 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in three of the four regions. The Northeast region had the only gain of 1.7 percent. Both the Midwest and the West shared a decline of 0.6 percent. The South had the smallest dip in affordability of 0.1 percent.

  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 185.0. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.3. For comparison, the index was 151.6 in the South, and 154.9 in the Northeast.
  • Mortgage applications are currently up. Mortgage rates continue to rise and home price growth is slowing down to catch up with incomes. Single-family homes are still moving at a face pace however tend to slow down during fall and winter season. Inventory of homes are currently up, which is a welcoming sign for potential homebuyers. Home prices are up 4.3 percent, median family incomes that are growing 3.1 percent helping reduce the pressure of home price growth.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

Property Values By State from 2005-2018

Home price appreciation is an important topic in today’s economy. Using data from the American Community Survey (ACS), we can analyze the gains and losses of property values over time. I estimated the median property values by state in 2018 using the FHFA index and the median property values from the (ACS). I then calculated the growth rate from 2005 -2018. [1]

The states with the highest estimated median property values in 2018 are The District of Columbia ($677,473), Hawaii ($649,272), California ($566,311), Massachusetts ($428,161) and Washington ($384,740).

The states with the lowest estimated median property values in 2018 are Alabama ($148,827), Oklahoma ($139,385), Arkansas ($135,733), Mississippi ($123,586) and West Virginia ($120,720).

On a regional level, the estimated price growth appears to be the strongest in the South, West, and Midwest. Price growth is weakest in the Northeast states. Overall, all regions are displaying strong to moderate growth in property values. Below is a breakdown of the Census four regions by state.

 

  • In the South, which typically leads all regions in sales, The District of Columbia led the region with 76 percent estimated price growth from 2005 to 2018. Maryland experienced 1 percent annual price growth and since 2005, home prices have grown 21 percent.

  • In the West, the least affordable region[2], Montana led all states with 88 percent price growth from 2005 to 2018. Despite the strong price growth in California since 2012, prices have only increased by 19 percent since 2005. Nevada shows a 9 percent price change over this time turning around any previous loss in value.

  • In the Midwest where affordability is most favorable, North Dakota led all states with 115 percent price growth from 2005 to 2018. Illinois, while having the smallest growth in the region had an estimated 12 percent price growth over this time.

  • In the Northeast where sales and price growth is typically slow, Pennsylvania lead the region with a 48 percent price growth from 2005 to 2018. Rhode Island, while having the smallest gain of all states, increased 6 percent price change over this time. Rhode Island is one of two states that turned around a negative property value over this time compared to 2017.


[1] I used the FHFA expanded data set not seasonally adjusted data.

[2] Based on NAR housing affordability index

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