Cape Coral Ends Construction Delays

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Buying a Home, Buying a Home SWFL, Cape Coral News, Cape Coral Permit News, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, Cape Coral Realtor, FL Real Estate Market Update, Lee County Homes, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News, Realtor, SWFL Market News, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

Road Work

News-PressBuilding industry cheers Cape Coral council

Cape Coral has ended delays to construction caused by the endangered smalltooth sawfish.

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday that updated an agreement between the city and the Army Corps of Engineers.

It once again gave the city the authority to approve Army Corps construction permits and expedited the process with some new restrictions.

The projects affected homes being built on the water. Seawalls, docks and boatlift construction was temporarily halted due to the endangered fish found in local waters.

A study of the sawfish’s habitat as well as other marine life conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service caused the Army Corps to review the city’s permits which were expiring.

Building PermitsThe agreement lasped in October that allowed the city to issue construction permits on behalf of the corps. Since then, permit applications had to go through the corps, which increased potential waits to an estimated 3 to 18 months from the previous 24 to 48 hours.

“This gives the city and any resident five years of stable permitting,” said Mike Ilczyszyn, city business manager.

Part of the new solution includes a 10-day consideration period in which NOAA Fisheries could comment on permit applications, said Tunis McElwain, with the Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Myers Regulatory Office. If the application meets the terms and conditions of the permit, it will get approved.

He called it a type of one-stop shop for permits and a more efficient way to operate.

“It is about jobs in our city,” said Councilman Kevin McGrail.

Members of the construction industry praised the collaboration as well as elected officials who supported the efforts.

“Thank you to city staff,” said Heather Mazurkiewicz, executive vice-president of the Building Industry Association. “You’ve been proactive. When the rug was pulled out from underneath…you came out ready to take on the issue.”

smalltooth sawfish

RV parks

Also addressed and approved this evening was an ordinance that established a land use classification for recreational vehicle parks. This opens the door for The Resort at Burnt Store Lakes, a multimillion dollar, upscale, RV Park planned off Burnt Store Road in northwest Cape Coral.

Cliff Repperger, vice president of Avalon Engineering, who is involved with the project of the upscale RV resort, complimented the result. Expectations were set for size of the property, appearance, boundaries and type of vehicles to be used by registered guests .

Robert Hancik, a nearby resident, commented on the project saying he had no issue with it except the name. He said many places nearby have similar names and it would confuse emergency workers if an incident arose.

Officials are considering a name change and have Tranquility Lakes as one of the options.

Finally, in a 7-1 vote, with Derrick Donnell dissenting, the city approved a resolution that supports the Cape Coral Municipal Charter School System receiving money from the Lee County School District to assist in balancing its budget. Donnell said the issue was one for the state, not the school district.

Lee Bush, administrator of the system presented at the meeting. He said they are not in a financial emergency but have needed to dip into its operating expenses to pay their full debt payment. They also have reserves.

“We’re only concerned about the money that Cape parents who attend our schools paid,” Bush said. “We need Lee County to give our parents’ tax money back to the schools.”

Click here to view original article.

Cape Coral FL

As a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. This blog is all about educating you and empowering you with all the industry news, information, tips and things to consider before buying or selling your home. If you found this article interesting and know someone else that might benefit from it please feel free to share!

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Sincerely,
Bob Ashworth
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider

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Utilities Refunds to Cape Coral Residents!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Business Growth, Cape Coral News, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL Market News, SWFL News

Cape Cora Refunds

Cape Coral to dole out $19 million in refunds

News-PressAbout 54,000 accounts will receive an average of $350 for 1990’s utilities expansion costs.

Federal tax refunds won’t be the only rebate checks many Cape Coral residents receive this year.

Thousands of property owners in nine assessment areas will receive a piece of $19 million the city is giving back to those who had water, sewer and irrigation lines installed as part of the utilities expansion project in the 1990s. About 54,000 accounts will see some of the money. Many residents have multiple accounts.

Three of the largest assessment areas finished paying off their 18-year assessments last year. Now that the accounts are closed, the surpluses will be paid back to the properties’ current owners.

Cape Coral RefundThe refund amounts won’t be determined until City Council approves the payments, which is expected to happen in April. The rebates will range from less than $10 to several hundred dollars per account. Some property owners could see more than $1,000 after rebates from sewer, water and irrigation are totaled. They should all be issued by mid-June.

The surpluses are a result of different methods of financing and completing the utilities projects in the 1990s, city spokeswoman Connie Barron said. Specific details weren’t available Tuesday.

“The bottom line is, the projects ended up costing less than what property owners paid by the time everything was said and done,” Barron said.

In 2001, the city refunded about $5 million — averaging about $400 per property owner — after it experienced better payment and delinquency rates than it expected.

In that case, those with delinquent accounts had what they owed subtracted from their rebate. It’s not yet clear how delinquent accounts will be handled this time.

Councilman Marty McClain said he’s looking forward to doling out the money and moving onto the next phase of the project. Construction in the Southwest 6 and 7 areas is set to begin as early as this summer.

McClain also said the $19 million cash infusion could result in a small boost to the local economy.

“I don’t think it’s going to be something we’re going to be able to track, but do I think people will spend it? Yeah I do,” he said.

Others, like Lamar Hertzog, who lives in the rebate area west of Del Prado Boulevard and south of Hancock Bridge Parkway, said he won’t be splurging on anything fancy. The extra cash will help him pay his monthly expenses, Hertzog said.

“If they’re willing to pay out money that’s due to us, I’ll take it,” he said.

See the rebate amounts each section will be receiving below.

  • Green Water & Irrigation $238,000
  • Blue Irrigation $120,000
  • Diplomat Water $302,000
  • Santa Barbara Water $44,000
  • Trafalgar North Water $40,000
  • Orange Irrigation $3,300,000
  • Striped Green Wastewater $407,000
  • Green Wastewater $4,990,000
  • Orange Water & Wastewater $9,800,000

Refund

As a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. This blog is all about educating you and empowering you with all the industry news, information, tips and things to consider before buying or selling your home. If you found this article interesting and know someone else that might benefit from it please feel free to share!

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Sincerely,
Bob Ashworth
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider

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Cape Coral Permits Update!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Cape Coral News, Cape Coral Permit News, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, Cape Coral Realtor, Real Estate News

Permit-Reissued-for-Cape-Coral-Seawalls-and-Docks

USA: Permit Reissued for Cape Coral Seawalls and Docks

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Jacksonville District reissued Programmatic General Permit (PGP) SAJ-91, authorizing the city of Cape Coral to process permits for the construction, maintenance, and repair of single-family docks and seawalls along the city shoreline.

The original five-year permit was issued in October 2007 and expired in October 2012 and has since been under review.

The Corps was unable to automatically reissue the PGP because in the interim, the Cape Coral waterways were designated as critical habitat for the endangered smalltooth sawfish, requiring consultation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

The Biological Opinion from NMFS, received in December 2012, stated that “work performed under the PGP would not jeopardize the continued existence of any threatened or endangered species, nor adversely modify critical habitat” and included new reporting requirements. The Corps then submitted the proposed permit to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which determined that the proposed PGP was consistent with the state’s federally approved coastal zone management program and qualified for a water quality certification. Following a Feb. 25 resolution by the city council, the city manager for the city of Cape Coral signed a Local Operating Agreement Feb. 28, accepting the responsibility for processing future single-family dock and seawall permits and the Corps issued the final permit Feb. 28.

Programmatic general permits streamline the permit process by avoiding duplication and reducing the need for separate approvals from the Corps and the state of Florida or local municipalities for minor work in waters of the United States, including navigable waters. Further, they reduce the costs associated with permit processing and increase efficiency for applicants seeking permits for similar activities in Florida’s waters.

“The goal of the Corps’ regulatory program is to ensure balance between human needs and protection of aquatic resources,” said Tunis McElwain, chief of the Fort Myers regulatory section. “Of course, we must meet the requirements of laws such as the Endangered Species Act, whether the Corps is authorizing activities in waters of the United States or delegating that authority to another entity. Along those lines, we have worked very closely with the city and regulatory agencies throughout this process, and we are confident that issuing the PGP to the city of Cape Coral will best serve the public’s interest, achieve our goal and benefit taxpayers.”

The current PGP will remain in effect for five years unless suspended or revoked prior to expiration.

Click here to view original article.

As a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. This blog is all about educating you and empowering you with all the industry news, information, tips and things to consider before buying or selling your home. If you found this article interesting and know someone else that might benefit from it please feel free to share!

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Sincerely,
Bob Ashworth
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider

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Westin Cape Coral Resort Opens!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Business Growth, Cape Coral News, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, Cape Coral Realtor, FL Real Estate Market Update, Florida Real Estate, Fort Myers Real Estate, Lee County Homes, Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL Market News, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village

I’m always on the lookout for what’s happening in Southwest Florida so I can share it with you. As a SWFL Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase or sale. Below is another article I want to share with you with some good news for our area! New growth always means new opportunities for employment and for local businesses!

Former marina hotel opens as new Westin Cape Coral Resort

The former Resort at Marina Village opened Thursday as the new Westin Cape Coral Resort – the first Westin property in Southwest Florida.

Over the past several months, the resort underwent a renovation that involved equipping the 263 rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Shower heads, along with replacing materials, like vanities and mirrors.

Westin Cape Coral“All of the kind of brand-standard elements of the Westin brand,” David Milus, vice president of operations for Starwood, the company that owns and operates the Westin hotel chain, said. “The signature Westin elements.”

Operating supplies and equipment, from hair dryers, to soap and shampoo, have also been brought up to Westin’s standards and requirements.

“We did keep the resort open during the transition period,” he said.

According to Milus, there are currently 192 Westin Starwood properties located throughout the United States, with a number under development. In about 100 countries across the globe, Starwood has about 1,100 hotels.

The company owns 45 hotels in Florida, of which 11 are Westins.

He noted that Starwood has been looking at Southwest Florida.

“We are a growth company, and we are always looking for opportunities to expand our footprint,” Milus said. “This location (the Cape facility) made sense to us and was a part of Florida that we wanted to continue to grow in.”

Also as part of the renovation, the fitness center was redone and furnished with state-of-the-art equipment for light fitness, cardio and strength. Within the next year, the 4,000-foot spa will be turned into a Westin Heavenly Spa.

“It’s going to be a very upscale resort spa,” he said.

It will include everything from massages and facials, to a hydrotherapy room and relaxations rooms. Among the available options will be co-ed treatments.

“I think that will be something that will be very unique,” Milus said.

The resort will offer not just the physical signature elements, but also Westin’s service attributes. Staffers at the hotel have undergone Westin training classes and will continue to do so over the next several weeks.

“We’ve retained the majority of the staff that was here,” he said.

Future plans for the property include expanding the meeting space and building out the ballroom over the next two years. Milus explained that the main reason is to attract large meetings, conferences and conventions.

The transition from an independent hotel to a large hotel-branded company will have an impact locally. It will provide the resort with more comprehensive reservation and travel agent distribution systems, bringing in more people.

“It should drive benefits for the community at large,” he said, adding that the change will increase tax revenue for the area and employment.

“So, we’re excited about that,” Milus said.

Audie Lewis, with the city’s Economic Development Office, agreed.

“Obviously, the Westin name is going to bring international attention to it,” he said. “That’s an extremely well respected luxury hotel line.”

“We fully expect that we’ll immediately have occupancy changes and a clientele change as well, because I think it brings in a world-class difference in who’s showing up,” Lewis said.

With the new faces will come investment and development opportunities.

“We fully expect the Westin name to really help us, to bump us up toward more of that side of Cape Coral being more like Naples and its attractions,” he said.

Click here to view original article.

Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village Main Pool

As a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. This blog is all about educating you and empowering you with all the industry news, information, tips and things to consider before buying or selling your home. If you found this article interesting and know someone else that might benefit from it please feel free to share!

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Like me on Facebook    Follow me on Twitter    View my profile on LinkedIn    Visit my blog

Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team

Bob Ashworth
Realtor, CBR, CDPE
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider
239-425-2503
2326 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com
www.BobAshworth.com
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Florida’s Housing Market Growing Stronger!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Business Growth, Buying a Condo, Buying a Home, Buying a Home SWFL, Cape Coral News, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, FL Real Estate Market Update, Florida Real Estate, Fort Myers Real Estate, Homes for Sale SWFL, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News, SWFL Market News, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

SWFL Real Estate Trends

Top economists: Fla.’s housing market growing stronger, U.S. on same trend

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s residential real estate market will continue its upward trend into 2013, though the pace of recovery may be slower than the U.S. as a whole, according to leading U.S. economists speaking today at Florida Realtors® 2013 Real Estate and Economic Forecast Conference in Orlando.

2013 Florida Housing Market“Florida’s housing market is back, with great possibilities for the future – but those possibilities are only beginning to be realized,” said Dr. John Tuccillo, chief economist for Florida Realtors.

Along with Tuccillo, conference speakers included Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae; Leslie Appleton-Young, vice president and chief economist for the California Association of Realtors (CAR); and Pat Reass, a state-certified residential real estate appraiser at Appraisal Group MidFlorida LLC in Winter Haven.

Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said, “We believe the housing market is on firm footing. … Most of the improvement we’ve seen has come from the supply side of housing. Distressed properties are coming down from about 5 million to more like 3 million.”

Mortgage rates should remain low and not change much in 2013, he added, while banks likely will continue to maintain high lending standards and a tight credit environment.

Housing Market Florida“The trend has been established for the housing recovery, but robust growth awaits more jobs and a stronger economy,” Duncan said. “Three years into the recovery, the current economic expansion is the weakest since World War II. Just over half of the jobs lost in the Great Recession have been recovered.”

The real estate market “bottomed out in late 2008,” Tuccillo said, according to Florida Realtors’ market data, data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and other market research sources.

“Since the beginning of 2009, we’ve clearly seen a regrouping and a recovery underway,” he said.

Median sales prices are consistently rising for both existing single-family homes and condo-townhome units across Florida. However, he noted the state’s active distressed property (foreclosures and short sales) market is putting pressure on prices, resulting in smaller gains and a slower rate than what is being seen in California and the U.S. as a whole.

Real Estate TrendsOther signs of Florida’s steadily improving residential market, according to Tuccillo: 

  • Months’ supply of single-family homes is below 6 months
  • Latest data (October 2012) shows 44 percent of closed sales were paid in cash, signifying strong demand from investors
  • Foreign buyers make up 19 percent of closed sales in Florida (October 2012)
  • Traditional (non-distressed) sales now make up over 50 percent of Florida’s closed sales
  • Closed sales include fewer REOs (real estate-owned) and more short sales
  • Shadow inventory has been declining since 2009, though it remains a key factor in the state’s housing market going forward since Florida is a judicial foreclosure state (meaning foreclosures go through a court process)

Comparing Florida’s residential market to California’s and to the U.S. as a whole, CAR Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young agreed that the nationwide housing market is back.

“The latest NAR data shows very strong closed sales and rising prices,” she said. “Low inventory is currently a challenge for the nation, for California and also for Florida in many areas. There’s just not enough property for sale, particularly with investors buying properties for cash (29 percent of the market in California; 25 percent of the U.S. market). For California, we’re calling 2012 the return of the traditional seller to the marketplace – in October 2012, 63.4 percent of our total sales were from equity or traditional sales.”

In California, the current months’ supply of existing single-family homes is 3.1 months, Appleton-Young noted. While the state is still dealing with lender issues such as tight credit, problems are being resolved at a faster pace, she said, and home prices are rising as a result.

Looking ahead to 2013, Appleton-Young said, “There is a tremendous amount of pent-up demand for housing. The number of new units is improving, but it’s still low and isn’t enough to meet pent-up demand. The housing recovery is gaining strength, but the long-term viability of the market and its recovery depends on jobs.”

Rising Market SWFLWhere will Florida be in 2013? Assuming that the national fiscal problems are not resolved but are “postponed,” Tuccillo said he expects employment in the state to grow by 10 percent in 2013; residential sales to increase by 10 percent; prices (same sales index) to rise by 5 percent; commercial activity to revive; and inventory to grow as the market improves.

“I think the improvement in the market and rising prices will bring more potential sellers back into the market,” he said. “Signs point to a better year in 2013.”

Click here to read original article.

As a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. This blog is all about educating you and empowering you with all the industry news, information, tips and things to consider before buying or selling your home. If you found this article interesting and know someone else that might benefit from it please feel free to share!

SWFL Real Estate

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Like me on Facebook    Follow me on Twitter    View my profile on LinkedIn    Visit my blog

Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team

Bob Ashworth
Realtor, CBR, CDPE
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider
239-425-2503
2326 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com
www.BobAshworth.com
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Happy Easter!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, Cape Coral Realtor, Happy Holidays, SWFL Real Estate

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from Bob Ashworth.com!

Today is the perfect day to send best wishes filled with blessings and joy your way for not only this day but every day to come. We hope that this beautiful Easter Sunday is a memorable and blessed one for you and yours!

Our goal is to always be your #1 Real Estate Solutions Provider in Southwest Florida and beyond! Thank you for allowing us to serve you over the years. We appreciate your preference and your friendship!

Wishing you a beautiful day filled with family fun, laughter, good food and good times from our family to yours!

Best Wishes,

Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team

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Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team

Bob Ashworth
Realtor, CBR, CDPE
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider
239-425-2503
2326 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com
www.BobAshworth.com
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Cape Coral Gets Employment Boost!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Business Growth, Cape Coral News, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, Fort Myers Real Estate, Job Growth, Jobs SWFL, Lee County Homes, Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate News, SWFL Home Sales, SWFL Market News, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

Downtown, Fort Myers, Florida, USA,

Where The Jobs Will (And Won’t) Be In 2013

Though Florida is still recovering from the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 and the state unemployment rate sits at 8.5%, almost a point higher than the national rate of 7.7%, some pockets of the state are experiencing strong job growth. In fact employers in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area are projecting a net job increase of 23%, the highest in the nation, according to the latest employment outlook survey by the giant employment services firm, Manpower Group. One other Florida metropolitan area, Lakeland-Winter Haven, also landed in the top 15 cities for job growth, according to Manpower.

surveyTo gauge companies’ hiring plans, Manpower surveyed more than 18,000 employers in 100 metro areas. It used a research firm that questioned hiring managers and human resource professionals by phone and email. Over the first two weeks in October, the firm asked four questions about companies’ plans for the first quarter of 2013: do you plan to add to your staff, do you plan to reduce your staff, keep your staff at the same level, or are you unsure. Then Manpower crunched the numbers and came up with a “net employment outlook.” The survey is by definition a rough measure, since it doesn’t count the number of jobs employers plan to add or subtract, but simply asks whether they plan to hire or fire.

 Nationwide, 17% of employers said they expected to add to their workforces next quarter, while 8% forecast a decrease. Seventy-two percent expected no change while 3% were undecided. That results in a net employment outlook of 9%, but when seasonally adjusted, the number climbs to 12%, the best first-quarter showing in Manpower’s survey since 2008, and significantly stronger than the weakest in the history of the survey, 4% in the first quarter of 2010.

Cape Coral NewsIn Cape Coral, employment has gotten a boost from the recovering housing market and the fact that the city has a low density rate, at 45%, so there is plenty of room to grow. As home construction has revived, property values have climbed, going up 18%-20% since the trough, says Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce President Mike Quaintance. Housing growth has also fueled growth in restaurants and retail chains, including 7-11, Dollar Stores and Dollar Tree. Cape Coral is getting a new Wal-Mart and a Sam’s Club store. Jobs at those budget retailers don’t tend to pay well, concedes Quaintance. But the housing recovery is also funding better-paying construction-related jobs and home-based businesses like landscaping.

In neighboring Fort Myers, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Colleen DePasquale says job growth may in part be seasonal, because the population always swells in the winter months, and two baseball teams, the Twins and the Red Sox, go to Fort Myers for spring training. At the same time, clothing chain Chico’s is based in Fort Myers and doing well, and the city just opened a new waterfront development, with plans for a hotel and other businesses.

business growthSecond on Manpower’s list after Cape Coral-Fort Myers: two Arizona metro areas in a tie, Phoenix Mesa-Scottsdale, and Tucson, with a net employment outlook of 20%. Frank Armendariz, a regional director in Mapower’s Phoenix office, says he’s seen an increase in hiring at call centers, in the solar power business and across the board in professional services. Next on the list: San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont with a net hiring outlook of 19%. That’s a turnaround for the Bay Area. A year ago, for the first quarter of 2012, it had a net hiring outlook of -2%. Next on the list: Salt Lake City, with a net hiring outlook of 18%. After that come two spots in Texas: Austin-Round Rock, and El Paso, both with a net hiring outlook of 25%.

At the other end of the spectrum, St. Louis has the worst employment outlook in the country at -5%. The next-worse is Portland, Me., at -2%, followed by Wichita, at -1%. Just a year ago, Wichita was one of the best cities for jobs, with a net hiring outlook of 12%. Spokane ranks fourth-worst, with a net hiring outlook of 0. That’s an improvement from the first quarter of 2012, when Spokane tied with two other cities as the worst place for jobs, with a net hiring outlook of -4%.Three cities are tied for fifth-worse, Jacksonville, Fla., New York City and Jacksonville, Fla. at 1% net employment outlook.

Melanie Holmes, a vice president at Manpower, explains that the net employment outlook tends to track the unemployment numbers put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, though the surveys count employment in different ways. While the BLS numbers look back in time, the Manpower numbers are based on employers’ plans for the future. Like the nationwide unemployment rate, which has inched steadily downward from 8.6% last November to 7.7% this November (there was a blip in April when the rate fell to 8.1%,then inched up to 8.3% in August before falling again), the Manpower employment outlook numbers have been steadily climbing. “The improvements have been very slow but steady,” says Holmes. “It’s neither fabulous nor horrible, but it’s slowly improving.”

Click here to view original article.

As a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. This blog is all about educating you and empowering you with all the industry news, information, tips and things to consider before buying or selling your home. If you found this article interesting and know someone else that might benefit from it please feel free to share!

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

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Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team

Bob Ashworth
Realtor, CBR, CDPE
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider
239-425-2503
2326 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com
www.BobAshworth.com
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Happy Holidays, SWFL Real Estate

Happy St Pattys Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Bob Ashworth.com!

Today is the perfect day to send good luck wishes your way for not only this day but every day from this moment forward. We understand how lucky we are to have good friends, connections and clients like yourself that remember us time and again for all your real estate needs!

Buying the perfect home has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with who’s on your side – looking out for you and making sure your needs are met! Our goal is to always be your #1 Real Estate Solutions Provider in Southwest Florida and beyond! Thank you for allowing us to serve you over the years. We appreciate your preference and your friendship!

Wishing you a beautiful day filled with luck, laughter and good times from our family to yours!

Best Wishes,

Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team

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Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team

Bob Ashworth
Realtor, CBR, CDPE
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider
239-425-2503
2326 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com
www.BobAshworth.com
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Markets are looking good!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Buying a Home SWFL, Cape Coral News, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, Cape Coral Realtor, Florida Real Estate, Fort Myers Real Estate, Home Selling tips, Homes for Sale SWFL, Lee County Homes, Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate News, Realtor, SWFL Home Sales, SWFL Home Selling Advice, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

SWFL Real Estate News

Improving markets surge 60% in Dec.

WASHINGTON – Dec. 7, 2012 – The number of housing markets considered “improving” in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) surged by 76 – to a total of 201 metros – in December. The number of states (plus the District of Columbia) represented by at least one metro increased from 38 to 44.

For the index to consider a city “improving” for the index, it must have shown growth from its respective trough in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months.

While the list grew by 76, a total of 84 new metros were added. The number was offset by eight cities that dropped off the list, though none were in Florida.

Housing Market Trends“The big gain in improving markets this December indicates that key measures of housing and economic strength have now been holding steady or improving in metros across the country for six months or more, which is an important signal of stability amidst the slowly emerging recovery,” says NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “The main thing that’s limiting progress … is difficulty that potential buyers continue to experience with overly tight mortgage qualifying standards.”

The index has improved for four consecutive months, and over half the cities are now “improving.”

“In general, we expect the overall housing recovery to continue expanding in 2013,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, that is absent a major policy change of the kind that some policymakers have been discussing with regard to the mortgage interest deduction.”

The IMI measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The three indicators are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. An MSA must improve in all three measures before it’s included on the improving markets list.

Click here to see original article.

As a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. This blog is all about educating you and empowering you with all the industry news, information, tips and things to consider before buying or selling your home. If you found this article interesting and know someone else that might benefit from it please feel free to share!

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Sincerely,
Bob Ashworth
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider

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SWFL News

Posted in Bob Ashworth Realtor, Cape Coral News, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, Cape Coral Realtor, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

cape coral seawalls

City, ACE reach permit agreement on sawfish

Local builders cautiously optimistic

The city and the Army Corp of Engineers are a step closer to extending permitting for construction on canals or docks in areas sensitive to the endangered smalltooth sawfish.

However, builders’ optimism has been more cautious, not knowing what the new conditions will entail and what it will mean in developing a timeline to completion.

But while there will be a longer delay in the permitting process than before, it shouldn’t be anywhere near the six months or longer contractors faced without the agreement, which would have ground home construction and the building of seawalls to a virtual halt.

cape-coral-canal“It’s virtually the same thing. Permits will go through quickly. There are some things we never liked, but they are what they are,” said Mo Beneke, executive director of the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association. “We are a resilient organization and at least we know where we’re going.”

The ACE in October denied an extension of a blanket permit to allow the city to continue to issue building permits in areas sensitive to the fish.

Tunis McElwain, section chief of the agency’s regional office in Fort Myers, said the denial was made because there was no existing biological opinion, a requirement of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

That opinion came down the line this week, which essentially gave the green light to resume permitting.

“There are some conditions we’re going to have to work out with the city, but we’re working with everyone involved,” McElwain said. “We have a working agreement with the city, and we’ll have to revise that, and some additional reporting requirements the fishery is requesting.”

David Mulicka of HONC Marine Construction said the opinion is but a small step in the process.

“All that’s happened is that the NMFS has issued a biological opinion, which is just a scientific study that allows the ACE to review and consider issuing a new permit,” Mulicka said.

Among the biggest changes is the reporting requirement, McElwain said, in which the city will send the NMFS an e-mail, and if the city doesn’t hear back from them in 10 days, the permit can move forward, provided it complies with other terms and conditions.

“If there’s a problem, the fishery will let us know,” McElwain said. “Otherwise, time will simply expire and the permit can go through for individual projects like docks or seawalls.”

Mulicka said that he doesn’t know the nuances of what the restrictions may or may not be, or if they will be too onerous, as to make building on canals prohibitive.

“My hope is that there will be some middle ground on some of the restrictions they’ve considered issuing,” Mulicka said. “I don’t want to speculate on what might be restricted, but I’m certain it will be more difficult than before.”

Mulicka did say he heard rumors of no-build zones for certain times of the year, and that if property has eroded over the original platted edge, the ACE wants the seawall built over the existing median sea line.

This could condemn the property or violate setback rules, and prevent the building of a house because the setbacks don’t match anymore.

McElwain said there were some areas the NMFS identified as having concerns for sound impacts, but only for projects driving piles in certain areas outside what’s covered by the blanket permit.

McElwain said there would be a longer turnaround time with the 10-day confirmation period. But it beats the alternative.

“If we didn’t have this consultation in place, we’d have to consult on every project,” McElwain said, which would have taken six months to a year on some projects.

Still, Mulicka said you never know when you’ll hear from the NMFS or what their problems are, or how long it will take to address them.

“The city used to make those decisions on behalf of the ACE. Who’s to say what they pick and choose. It takes the predictability out of the market,” Mulicka said. “You can’t make a decision if you don’t know what the information is.”

The deal also is contingent on getting permission from the state on water quality certification and coastal zone consistency, which the ACE plans to do this week, McElwain said. That would take about 60 days.

If all goes according to plan, SAJ-91, the blanket permit, will be put in place by the end of March, McElwain said.

“It is a step in the right direction and the industry and the city are working to make sure we get the most fair and balanced permit outcome we can,” Mulicka said.

“I can’t see where they would find anything to nitpick on and won’t pass it through,” Beneke said. “We’re looking for that common truth.”

The smalltooth sawfish is a species found in shallow tropical and subtropical waters in coastal parts of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Locally, it swims in the shallow canals.

Click here to view original article.

cape Coral Real Estate News

As a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent it’s my job to educate my clients and help them get exactly what they want and make sure their best interest are being considered in every detail of the purchase. This blog is all about educating you and empowering you with all the industry news, information, tips and things to consider before buying or selling your home. If you found this article interesting and know someone else that might benefit from it please feel free to share!

We invite you to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and connect with us on linkedin. We hope that you find our website to be a great source of information and visit often. Whether you are looking for Homes for SaleMoving Resources, or even Mortgage Information everything you need is right here.

We will always be available for personal service by phone or email, so feel free to contact us with questions any time! My offices are located on 2326 Del Prado Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33990. You can reach me at 239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com and you can visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

Sincerely,
Bob Ashworth
Like me on Facebook    Follow me on Twitter    View my profile on LinkedIn    Visit my blog