Pending Home Sales Leap 5.5% in February

WASHINGTON (March 29, 2017) — Pending home sales rebounded sharply in February to their highest level in nearly a year and second-highest level in over a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions saw a notable hike in contract activity last month.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* www.nar.realtor/topics/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, jumped 5.5 percent to 112.3 in February from 106.4 in January. Last month’s index reading is 2.6 percent above a year ago, is the highest since last April (113.6) and the second highest since May 2006 (112.5).

https://www.nar.realtor/news-releases/2017/03/pending-home-sales-leap-55-in-february  

Easter Weekend Open House Saturday 10-1pm…..Egg-Ceptional Value, under $100 per SQ FT

The good ole days……. so they thought

Like any frontier town, Cape Coral’s first businesses included a grocery, a bank, a newspaper and, well, like any Florida frontier town, a realty—aptly named Wonderland Realty, as most early buyers were wondering what they had gotten themselves into. They seemed to be abandoned in the middle of a strip-mining operation. In one direction, nothing but miles of white sand and raw canal banks; in the other, glittering water. They were marooned in “Wonderland.”  more

The Top 3 Hottest Real Estate Markets

Trulia recently published its list of the 10 hottest real estate markets to watch in 2017, and-no surprise-several coastal markets made the list. Trulia based its ranking of the 100 largest metro areas across the country on five criteria: a high search interest, a decreasing rate of vacancy, high affordability, a high rate of job growth, and a high population of people happy with the outcome of the presidential election.

The “hottest” markets vary depending on who you talk to-Zillow’s ranking of the hottest markets of the year looked very different. But if you’re looking for coastal real estate in an affordable city that has few people moving out of it, this list of the hottest coastal markets of 2017 might offer some suggestions. If you’re looking to capitalize on the recovering housing market and purchase your dream coastal escape, consider these hot markets:

1. JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

Number one overall and number one on the coastal list, Jacksonville has a high rate of job growth and high interest from out-of-towners looking to move there. Best of all, it’s more affordable than other, similar markets in the state.

2. CAPE CORAL-FORT MYERS, FLORIDA

Coming in at number two both overall and for coastal metro areas, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area on Florida’s Gulf Coast has the fourth-highest rate of job growth in the country and a falling vacancy rate as people flock to its sunny shores.

3. DELTONA-DAYTONA BEACH-ORMOND BEACH, FLORIDA

Number three for coastal areas and number three overall on Trulia’s list, this area on Florida’s Atlantic side has a rate of job growth to match the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area and a great ratio of people looking to move there vs. people looking to move away-not to mention its long, sunny days and high temperatures year-round.

4. TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG-CLEARWATER, FLORIDA

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area is on the Tampa Bay, on Florida’s Gulf side. It came in at five overall but is number four for coastal areas, with great job growth and affordability.

5. CHARLESTON-NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Charleston has been in the spotlight as a tourist hotspot so much lately that it’s not surprising that it’s also a great place to move. Ranked number seven overall and number five for coastal areas, this Lowcountry port city has a huge number of people looking to move there (while few are looking to move away), good affordability, and decent job growth-and an amazing culinary scene.

The next five coastal cities share the previous five’s high interest, good affordability, and job growth. Read on for the next best coastal areas to live:

6. NORTH PORT-SARASOTA-BRADENTON, FLORIDA

7. WEST PALM BEACH-BOCA RATON-DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA

8. FORT LAUDERDALE-POMPANO BEACH-DEERFIELD BEACH, FLORIDA

9. NEW ORLEANS-METAIRIE, LOUISIANA

10. SAN DIEGO-CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA

This article was originally published on CoastalLiving.com

Collier, Lee among Florida’s healthiest counties

Affluent St. Johns and Collier counties remain Florida’s healthiest communities, while the rural regions continue to suffer some of the highest rates of mental illness, substance abuse, and premature death, a new report finds.

Lee County ranks fairly high — now in 12th place in Florida — and is up from 20th place just two years ago, according to the 2017 County Health Rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The annual report assesses U.S. counties based on their economic health, crime, premature deaths, health insurance coverage, medical resources and a number of behavioral factors, such as smoking and drinking rates.

“We still have work to do in this community,” said Mary Andrews, who helps oversee community health initiatives for the Lee Health hospital system in Lee County. “But this type of information helps us design the types of plans that will be the most effective.”

Union County, home to about 16,000 residents and a maximum security prison, ranked last in Florida.

Some report highlights about Southwest Florida:

  • About 15 percent of Lee and Collier residents reported they were in “poor” or “fair” health. Florida’s overall rate is 17 percent.
  • Rates of obesity in Lee and Collier were 25 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Statewide, it’s 26 percent.
  • About 13 percent of Collier County adults smoke, and 16 percent do in Lee County. About 15 percent of all Florida adults still smoke.

The Healthy Lee initiative, a decade-old project to promote healthy living in Lee County, will produce its own report on the community’s health this summer.

While Lee County’s rankings have moved around year to year, Collier’s have consistently ranked high. It also earned the nation’s top spot in the Gallup-Healthways “well-being index.”

“It’s no surprise that Collier remains one of the healthiest counties to live in Florida,” said Stephanie Vick, administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Collier County, in a written statement. “We enjoy great weather year-round, have access to beautiful beaches and parks, have a robust health care system, opportunities to participate in community-wide health initiatives, enjoy low crime rates, and our children attend a healthy school system.”

Affluence is generally a good predictor of a community’s health ranking.  St. Johns and Collier counties have the highest median incomes in the state: $71,896 and $62,385, respectively.

While Union County’s median household income rate of $41,078 isn’t the lowest in Florida, it is below the state average.

But such lists can also overshadow a community’s deficiencies. For instance, about 26 percent of Collier County residents under 65 were uninsured in 2014 — the sixth highest rate in Florida.

“Sometimes a high-ranking county can kind of mask what’s going on,” said Kate Konkle, an associate researcher at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. “Not everyone in the county may be feeling like that’s an accurate picture of what they’re experiencing.”

This year, the report took a deeper look at deaths among people younger than 75. Drug overdoses, particularly among opioid abusers, are behind a “dramatic increase” in deaths among 15- to 44-year-olds in recent years, the report found.

Experts had assumed this was predominantly a problem in small, rural areas, Konkle said.

“And it certainly is, but what our researchers found was that, actually, the suburban counties went from the lowest rates of premature deaths due to overdoses to the highest within a decade,” she said. “I think many of us were surprised to see that.”

The highest rates of drug overdose deaths in Florida were in Dixie (31 per 100,000 residents) and Manatee (29 per 100,000 residents) counties. Lee and Collier’s rates were 13 and 12 per 100,000 residents, respectively.

Forty-six Florida counties saw overall improvements in premature death rates, including Lee and Collier. Two, Citrus and Gilchrist, saw worsening rates.

Look For Us In This Saturday’s News-Press!

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This Saturday’s Issue of The News-Press features TechVenture Real Estate and largest unit located in the luxurious Marina South at Cape Harbour!
click here for details!

Our Listing Featured On News-Press This Week

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This Cape Coral property, listed by TechVenture Real Estate, is featured this week on News-Press.com:
TechVenture Real Estate: Porto Vista Condo in Cape Coral

Click here to learn more about 1522 S.W. 50th St., #202 and view the photo gallery! Contact Brett Gowdy, TechVenture Real Estate, at 239-945-6675 to schedule a showing or any of your real estate needs.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers Leads In All-Cash Home Sales

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Cape Coral-Fort Myers leads the nation in all-cash home sales, according to statistics released today by Irvine, Calif.-based housing data company RealtyTrac.

Nationally, the share of all-cash sales reached a new high in the first quarter even as the share of institutional investor purchases dropped to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2012, said RealtyTrac’s Q12014 U.S. Institutional Investor & Cash Sales Report.

Among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 500,000, those with the top five highest percentages of cash sales were all in Florida: Cape Coral-Fort Myers (73.6 percent), Miami (67.1 percent), Sarasota, (65.1 percent), Palm Bay, (64.1 percent), and Lakeland, (61.8 percent).

“Strict lending standards combined with low inventory continue to give the advantage to investors and other cash buyers in this housing market,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a written release.

“The good news is that as institutional investors pull back their purchasing in many markets across the country, there is still strong demand from other cash buyers — including individual investors, second-home buyers and even owner-occupant buyers — to fill the vacuum of demand left by institutional investors,” Blomquist said.

15 percent of all-cash purchases in the first quarter were properties in the foreclosure process, and 10 percent were bank-owned properties.

Other findings in the report:

  • 11 percent of all-cash purchases in the first quarter were to institutional investors, investors buying at least 10 properties in a calendar year.
  • 52 percent of all-cash purchases in March (most recent month’s data only available for this metric) were sold to buyers with a different mailing address than the property address — indicating investors or second-home buyers. That compares to 34 percent of all sales — cash and financed — sold to investors or second-home buyers in March.

The average sales price of an all-cash purchase in the first quarter was $207,668 — 13 percent below the average estimated full market value of the properties that were purchased: $237,900.

Lee County Home Sales Jump In March

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TechVenture Real Estate is happy to inform you that Single-family-home sales jumped in March, according to statistics released today by the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach.

A total of 1,068 homes were sold in March, up 37.1 percent from 779 in February.
However, the March sales were down 7.1 percent from March 2013, when 1,150 were sold.
The median sales price was $185,000 in March, the same as February but up 8.8 percent from March 2013.

Median price for condominiums in March was $162,000, up 4.5 percent from $155,000 in February.
Single-family homes spent a median of 48 days on the market before coming under contract in March, and the average home sold for 93 percent of its listing price. In March 2013 those numbers were 54 days and 93.6 percent.

Monitor Your Smart Home While Away

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This year many snowbirds won’t need someone to watch their house while they spend the summer up North. They can watch it themselves, even from thousands of miles away. That’s just the beginning. If a repair person needs to fix something in their home or deliver some furniture they can simply let that person in with the push of a button. Then they can watch the repair or delivery people in their home and lock up after them.

It’s all part of the new smart homes that are loaded with the latest technology. Vitex of Naples is one of the largest installers locally of these systems that make life so automatic people don’t even have to get up to answer the front door.

“If someone rings the doorbell, they can see who it is on their TV and then they can open the door for them,” explained Everette Evangelista, a control programmer for Vitex. “Everything can be controlled with a remote, iPad or TV.”

The technology can be used for everything from security and lights, to music, fans and air conditioning. It can be hooked to the pool to set the heat and temperature. Residents coming down from the North can heat up their pool, roll up their shutters, light up their house and cool down the temperatures before arrival.

“You can walk in the house, sit down and have the home do what you want,” Evangelista said. “You can be sitting on the couch and you can turn on the pool waterfalls and the jets. It controls every light in the house and you can dim it to your preference. Once you get in bed for the night you don’t want to get up to turn off the lights or control the temperature.”

Marcia Savage of North Naples says the lighting feature is one of her favorites.

“The lighting is really nice, especially with a large home you can create scenes for entertaining,” Savage began. “When I go to bed at night I can just hit a good night switch and it turns everything off so I don’t have to go around turning off all the lights.”

While Savage can’t open her doors with her system, she can see the outside of her home on her iPhone and can control everything from her lighting and music to her security system and air conditioning.

“I have an app on my iPhone so I can access everything from my phone. So that’s nice,” she said. “It’s very cool.”

The Vitex system is customized to what the homeowner wants. It can be as simple as just controlling the lights to as complicated as controlling almost everything in the home. The system runs from about $1,500 for just the lights to more than $250,000 for the works.

“Everyone lives in their home differently,” Evangelista said.

He begins with a 30 day generic technology package and then customizes it for the client. The system can be installed in both new and existing homes.

Hidden switches in closets allow less clutter on the walls. The brain of the operation is hidden in a utility room or garage.

Mark Wilson has a Vitex system in his Gulf Shore Boulevard condo.

“The important thing for us was to be able to control any source in any room,” Wilson said. “If we are playing music we can transfer it to any room in the house. If I want to listen to one thing and my wife wants to listen to another we have that ability.”

Wilson’s system is mostly for music, lighting and visual feeds.

“On the TV I can play multiple things from many sources. If we are watching a movie in the family room we can transfer that movie to any room in the house. It is automatic. Everything in the house is controlled from one central point. It is for the ease of living.”

Ease of living is the key Evangelista stressed. It’s also the wave of the future and Evangelista says it just keeps getting better.

“If you are not home you can see the pool guy cleaning the pool or you can see the housekeeper. It gives you peace of mind,” Evangelista continued. “Why spend money on a house watch guy when you can just pick up your iPad and see it yourself? Remember the cartoon ‘The Jetsons?’ We are getting there and we are getting there quick.”