New Home Industry is Looking Up!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Business Growth, Buying a Home in SWFL, 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, Job Growth, Jobs SWFL, Lee County Homes, New Home Construction, Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News, Realtor, Selling your Home, SWFL Home Sales, SWFL Home Selling Advice, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL Market News, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

new-home-construction

New home industry really coming back?

wink-logoFORT MYERS, FL–New numbers paint a dramatic picture for the home building industry. Local home builders say sales are better than they have been in years.

BeckyNordan recently built a brand new home in Cape Coral. Her realtor, Craig Young, says building new is now a big trend.

“Essentially we have a shortage of supply and people are looking for a new product,” said young.

SWFL New Home ConstructionThe numbers seem to back that up. For the first time in seven years, more home builders say sales are good, not poor.

“We are seeing very good traffic count in our model centers and people are buying homes,” said Jonathon Pentecost of DR Horton Homes.

DR Horton is just one builder who is doing extremely well in southwest Florida. Right now they have 371 homes under construction and that’s triple the number at the same time last year.

“We are seeing a lot of confidence from the buyers, we are seeing good sales numbers month over month and our homes are selling,” said Pentecost.

From January to May in Lee County there have been 347 single family home building permits issued. Last year during that time, the number was just under 200.

“We are still cautiously optimistic, but we are really happy about what we are seeing on the horizon right now,” said Heather Mazurkiewicz with Lee Building Industry Association.

Cape Coral New Home ConstructionWith all the construction comes new jobs. Stats say for every one home built, three jobs are created.

“That is a significant amount of jobs that the industry is creating right now,” said Mazurkiewicz.

“The current market right now that is really booming is $150,000-$250,000 on the off water pool homes,” said Young.

Nordan says building new actually saved her money.

“We thought it was a better bargain than some of the re-sales we looked at,” she said.

Some of the smaller home builders also said conditions have dramatically changed, but say if interest rates spike again, the recent success could come to an end. 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!

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.

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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 Growing Fast!

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

Cape-Coral-Real-Estate Growth

Report: Cape Coral one of Fla.’s fastest growing cities

Searching SWFL MarketI’m always on the lookout for what’s happening in Southwest Florida so I can share it with you in this space. 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 Cape Coral area! New growth always means new opportunities for employment and for local businesses!

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- A new report says Cape Coral is one of Florida’s fastest growing cities. Over the past two years, the city’s population increased by 5,879.

The inaugural State of the Cities report says that grow was the fifth largest in the Sunshine State. The report, issued by the Florida League of Cities, says economic incentives for businesses helped attract new employers. Click here for original news report.

Cape Coral Real Estate

With over 355 days of sunshine per year and an average temperature of 85 degrees, Cape Coral’s tropical climate is inviting to not only vacationers, but individuals looking to relocate from northern states. Cape Coral’s location on the Gulf of Mexico and proximity to Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel & Captiva Islands, and Naples also make it a popular spot to purchase Lee County, Florida real estate.

business growthWe recently posted other articles about Market Growth in Florida click on the links below to view:

Florida Market on Fire!

Home Sales on the Rise!

Florida’s Housing Market Growing Stronger!

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.

Sincerely,
Bob Ashworth
Your Real Estate Solutions Provider

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Is it cheaper to Rent or Buy?

Posted in Bob Ashworth Realtor, Buying a Condo, Buying a Home, Buying a Home in SWFL, Buying a Home SWFL, Buying Questions, FL Real Estate Market Update, Florida Real Estate, Fort Myers Real Estate, Homes for Sale SWFL, Lee County Homes, Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News, Realtor, Rent Vs. Buy, Sell Your Home Now, Selling your Home, SWFL Home Sales, SWFL Home Selling Advice, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL Market News, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate, SWFL Rentals

rent-vs-buy

Cheaper to own than rent regardless of mortgage rate

Trulia’s Winter 2013 Rent vs. Buy Report looked at homes for sale and for rent on Trulia between Dec. 1, 2012, and Feb. 28, 2013, and compared the costs, factoring in transaction costs, taxes and opportunity costs. For home-ownership costs, study authors assumed a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, 20 percent down, itemizing tax deductions at the 25% bracket and a stay of seven years in the home.

Overall, buying a home is 44 percent cheaper than renting nationwide – down just slightly from 46 percent in 2012. In each of the 100 largest metros, buying is more affordable than renting, though it ranges significantly – from 70 percent cheaper to buy than rent in Detroit to only 19 percent cheaper in San Francisco.

Florida Real EstateIn the 10 Florida markets checked by Trulia, savings ranged from 40 percent to 60 percent. The include: 

  • Miami: 43% cheaper to buy
  • Fort Lauderdale: 53% cheaper to buy
  • West Palm Beach: 56% cheaper to buy
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers: 45% cheaper to buy
  • North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota: 51% cheaper to buy
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven: 55% cheaper to buy
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville: 50% cheaper to buy
  • Orlando: 51% cheaper to buy
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg: 55% cheaper to buy
  • Jacksonville: 54% cheaper to buy 

Individual own-versus-rent savings will vary depending on details, but Trulia posed an adjustable map on its website.

Visitors can change the map to suit their circumstance by choosing the mortgage rate they expect to pay (3.5%, 4.5% or 5.5%), their IRS tax bracket (none, 15%, 25%, 35%) and the length of time they expect to be in the house. The map then changes its buy-versus-rent estimates based on input.

For example, changing a Miami buy-versus-rent decision to a three-year stay, 15 percent tax bracket and 5.5 percent mortgage interest rate makes it wiser to rent for a 1 percent savings.

“People who didn’t buy a home last year may have missed the bottom of the market, but they haven’t completely missed the boat,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “Buying remains cheaper than renting in all 100 large metros. Even buyers who can’t get today’s lowest mortgage rates will still find that buying makes more financial sense than renting in nearly all local markets – so long as they can get a mortgage in the first place.”

Rent vs Buy

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!

Bob Ashworth Realtor SWFL

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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Florida Market on Fire!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Business Growth, Cape Coral News, Cape Coral Real Estate, Cape Coral Real Estate Market, FL Real Estate Market Update, Florida Real Estate, Fort Myers Real Estate, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News, Realtor, SWFL Home Sales, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL Market News, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

Market Growth SWFL

Forget ‘improving’ or ‘rebound’ – Fla. is ‘on fire’

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Lesley Deutch, senior vice president at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, said the “Florida market is on fire” in her latest update on the state’s housing market.

Deutch says she traveled the state recently and visited more than 20 communities. While recovery reports differ between Florida cities and urban areas, she reports five major trends:

  1. Land prices. While the price of land continues to rise quickly statewide, Orlando feels the most pressure. Deutch says she saw some submarkets where “land and finished lot prices have now surpassed peak levels.” In Orlando, she sees developers buying raw land “just to gain a position and market share.”
  2. Home prices. Some communities, such as Orlando and Naples, are seeing 1- to 2-percent new-home price increases monthly, Deutch says. The hallmarks of a seller’s market have also returned, such as lotteries. She expects a 2013 price increase of at least 10 percent in many Florida markets. 
  3. 55-plus market. Deutch reports a 20- to 25-percent jump in potential buyers interested in active adult living, according to builders in Southwest Florida. She also notes a boost in customer traffic in second- and third-tier markets. 
  4. Foreign buyers. It’s more than Miami, Deutch says. While in Orlando, she visited a sales office that had three active buyers: One from Brazil, one from Germany and one from China. 
  5. Foreclosures. While the state has a notoriously long foreclosure process, Deutch says banks are slowly releasing foreclosures. But investors continue to buy new foreclosures shortly after they hit the market.

Fort Myers 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!

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
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Visit our blog  Find us on Yelp

SWFL Home Prices on the Rise!

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, 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, Lee County Homes, Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Market, Real Estate News, Realtor, SWFL Home Sales, SWFL Home Selling Advice, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL Market News, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

SWFL Real Estate News

I’m always on the lookout for what’s happening in the Southwest Florida Real Estate Market so I can share it with you in this space. You don’t have to dig through newspapers or surf the net to find out what’s happening and what direction you should take.  Just subscribe to my blog and give me a call for FREE advice!

Will area real estate prices climb to boom time peak?

Real Estae News

If the housing market continues at its current rate of appreciation — a combination of strong demand from buyers and dwindling supply of homes for sale — prices could be back to their boom-time peak within seven years, according to a new analysis of data by the Herald-Tribune.

Herald TribuneWith the price of residential real estate quickly rising, a sequel to the days when Southwest Florida’s home values reached historic heights may not be that far away.

If the housing market continues at its current rate of appreciation — a combination of strong demand from buyers and dwindling supply of homes for sale — prices could be back to their boom-time peak within seven years, according to a new analysis of data by the Herald-Tribune.

But market watchers are split about whether the volatile market — now driven by baby boomers and institutional investors snapping up foreclosures — can sustain its current trajectory.

“Prices are definitely going up everywhere right now,” said Shannon Moore, broker and owner of Green Lion Realty in North Port, who represents foreclosure investors. “I see that continuing for at least the next three years.”

This rise in values has been fanned by sales that in February rose to a pace of 983 existing single-family homes in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

That was a 9 percent increase from January and an 11 percent jump from the same month a year ago.

The recent experience in the market has allowed sellers to raise the price tags on their listings and banks to leave their foreclosure auctions with stronger returns.

Surges and dips

In Sarasota County alone, median home prices grew an average of $22,767 during the past three months when compared with the same period last year.

At that pace, the county’s median sales price of $184,500 in February would climb back to its level in eight years ago by 2020, according to a Herald-Tribune review of Realtor data.

In Manatee, the $180,000 February median would pass its boom-time values by 2021, using the same equation to project values.

Charlotte County, hit hardest by the crash and slower to recover, would not see its $116,000 February median reach boom-time levels until after 2022, the Herald-Tribune analysis shows.

To be sure, it is unlikely that the market will continue growing at this exact pace. There will be surges and dips that are bound to detour growth.

The Herald-Tribune’s methodology also is limited, too, because not all real estate sales in a given month include similar properties.

But anything approaching such a recovery in pricing is one that most in the industry would have scoffed at just a year ago.

“We still have a long way to go to get back to these numbers,” said Peter Crowley, broker and co-owner of Re/Max Alliance Group in Sarasota and Manatee. “We will continue to see moderate appreciation for the foreseeable future, but it will be a sustainable pace that’s healthier for real estate markets.”

Distressed inventory 

Several speed bumps stand in the way.

The first is an estimated shadow inventory of 11,102 foreclosures expected to hit Southwest Florida’s housing market during the next few years, according to RealtyTrac Inc., which tracks the distressed property phenomenon.

Along with a sharp uptick in new home building activity, many experts expect those foreclosure properties to ease the tight supply before housing prices get out of control.

If prices do hold up long enough to restore equity to pre-boom-time values — or even come close — it could trigger a rush of new listings from borrowers who had been stuck in an underwater home for nearly a decade, other market experts predict.

Just as a tight market has bolstered pricing, too large a supply could push them lower.

To some, there also are questions about how long the market’s ferocious demand can last.

“We still have a lot of distressed inventory, and furthermore, at some point the national economy has to begin wrestling with the debt service,” said Dennis Black, a real estate consultant in Port Charlotte. “The price increase we have been seeing, particularly from the Wall Street funds, is speculation at its highest level.”

Investor-driven 

At the heart of the price increases is a demand for real estate in Southwest Florida only rivaled by the boom years of 2003 to 2005.

The more recent buying surge has been led largely by baby boomers, who had put their Southwest Florida retirement on ice for several years to wait out the Great Recession.

They are again trekking to Florida, feeling empowered to buy through gains made on Wall Street and improved values for the northern homes they have finally been able to sell for a reasonable return.

But by far the biggest driver of Southwest Florida’s recent real estate appreciation has been institutional investors — like New York powerhouse Blackstone Group and Colony Financial — which have been buying foreclosures by the score for use as rentals.

Because those companies are paying as much as 45 percent more for their purchases than the homes are worth — as determined by appraisers through comparable properties in those neighborhoods — these recent foreclosure-buying sprees are forcing some smaller investors and other homeowners to overpay for their purchases.

Those inflated purchases will now become the new standard for real estate “comparables” used by appraisers — leaving values that are much higher than market conditions would otherwise merit, said Jack McCabe, a real estate consultant in Deerfield Beach.

“We’re going to go through the whole thing we did last decade all over again,” McCabe said. “Except, while last time it was the flippers and speculators pushing the market up, now it’s these hedge funds.”

McCabe said he expects the institutional investors will continue to artificially boost prices in Southwest Florida for three more years, at which point he predicts the Federal Reserve will begin to loosen the cap on interest rates, prompting those companies to then sell off their rental homes.

By that point, prices will be so high, buyers could be once again forced to take out an adjustable rate mortgage for their deals, McCabe said.

In that worst-case scenario there could be the makings of another foreclosure crisis, McCabe contends, with buyers overextending themselves to grab a piece of the real estate frenzy. If his vision holds true, prices would then fall.

But others are more sanguine about the industry’s future, noting that lending requirements are still extremely tight and many buyers are still coming to the closing table with cash.

“Prices are creeping up a little everywhere, but it’s not at an alarming rate,” said Ron Cornette, Wagner Realty’s marketing director. “Short sales and foreclosures are still easing things a little, and I just don’t think we’re going to get back to 2004 or 2005 anytime soon.”

SWFL map

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

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

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.

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
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Visit our blog  Find us on Yelp

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

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

Featured Listings Feb. 2013

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Buying a Home, Buying a Home SWFL, Cape Coral Real Estate, Featured Listings, Florida Real Estate, Fort Myers Real Estate, SWFL Home Sales

Featured Listings

Today we bring you some of our featured listings. Please click on the image for more details and photos. Remember you can always reach me at  239-425-2503 or email me at Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com with any specific questions or needs and I invite you to visit my website at www.BobAshworth.com.

 NW 18 Terrace

4/3/2, built 2005. 3080 SqFt: click here for more details.

Welcome to this David Weekley Homes, Foxton model built-in 2005 on beautiful Pelican Lake with views to die for. This home has been lovingly maintained and features an owners retreat, larger than some homes. This will make a great home for a large family or vacation rental with 3 full bathrooms, 2 on the first floor and one more on the 2nd floor. In addition to the first floor owner’s retreat, there are 2 other spacious bedrooms, with the fourth being on the second floor which could also be used as a recreation room. This is an LCEC Good Sense energy-efficient home that is move in ready.

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4/3/2, 2156 SqFt Fort Myers. – click here for more details.

This is one of the largest homes in Brookshire. 4 bed, 3 full baths and over 2100 Sq Ft of living in what is arguably the best location in SW Florida. Close to everything yet tucked in a quiet neighborhood. This home is situated on a corner lot and features an over sized screened lanai, island kitchen, family room as well as a formal living room. The home is bright and airy, and enjoys a split bedroom floor plan. Call for your private showing today.

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4/4/2 Duplex in Cape – click here for more details.

Income producing duplex in SE Cape Coral. This property has been very well maintained and features a new roof and A/C in 2005. This duplex has a sprawling floor plan with both sides currently utilizing the space as 3 bedroom homes. Screened lanai, 1 car garages and laundry hook ups make this a very desirable rental. On city water and sewer with all assessments paid too. Call today before this one is sold.

Bob Ashworth

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.

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Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team

Bob Ashworth
Realtor, CBR, CDPE
Bob Ashworth Remax Realty Team
239-425-2503
2326 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Bob.Ashworth@gmail.com
www.BobAshworth.com
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Can Real Estate Help Pay for Your Retirement?

Posted in Bob Ashworth, Bob Ashworth Realtor, Buying a Condo, Buying a Home, Buying a Home SWFL, Florida Real Estate, Fort Myers Real Estate, Lee County Homes, Real Estate Advice, Real Estate Investment, Realtor, Selling your Home, SWFL Home Sales, SWFL Home Selling Advice, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

real-estate-investment

Let Real Estate Help Pay for Retirement 

With rock-bottom interest rates and post-housing bubble prices, the idea of buying a second home as a rental property may appeal to baby boomers looking to fortify their retirement finances.

Investors, however, need to do their homework and thoroughly think through the decision to buy a second home, which may be less lucrative than it might seem at first blush and, like any investment, is not without risk.Rental housing certainly promises a potentially better return than savings accounts and other fixed-income assets, and an alternative for those weary, or wary, of the stock market.

Real Estate Investments SWFL“Buying a second home for income is not for everyone. It’s the epitome of ‘undiversified.’ There are many risks and to the uneducated investor, it’s probably best to avoid the lure of high returns,” said certified financial planner Rick Kahler, president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D.

If the goal is supplementing cash flow, the house should be “free and clear” of any mortgage — unless the investors plan to eventually live there themselves — as there is rarely any cash flow from a mortgaged home, according to Kahler, who has been buying investment properties himself for 30 years.

“If one is to take the plunge, be sure to get some education in the business of buying and renting houses. Yes, it is a business. There is nothing passive about managing real estate,” he said. “I have seen more disasters of people who have gone into the rental business without proper preparation.”

Financial planners and real estate agents are seeing, at least anecdotally, notable interest in real estate now, given low fixed-income yields and a decline in housing prices as much as 50 percent from pre-recession peaks in some areas. A feeling that the economy is stabilizing may be giving buyers a push as well.

Mortgage Rates SWFLMortgage applications for second homes and investment properties, however, have held fairly steady for the past four years at 6 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, according to Mike Fratantoni, vice president of research at the Mortgage Bankers Association and executive director of MBA’s Research Institute for Housing America.

He noted, though, that those statistics relate only to mortgage applications and may not fully reflect what’s happening in the market, since a quarter of existing home sales are paid with cash.

Home prices nationally are down some 20 percent from their peaks and are starting to rise now, so for those considering buying a second home, he said, this might be a good time, especially since “mortgage rates are about as low as they’ve ever been.”

Certified financial planner Greg Plechner, principal and wealth manager at Modera Wealth Management in Westwood, N.J., has seen more client interest lately in investing in rental property. (Read more: Structuring you portfolio.)

short sale informationThe broad market is offering investors a chance to buy low and sell high, he said, noting that stocks and bonds have risen dramatically since 2007, while one could argue that real estate remains on sale.“I think that there are good values to be found. That’s not to say that we’re at the bottom of the housing market,” but clients see rental property as an attractive source of investment yield, given the low rates of return on safe bonds, certificates of deposit and cash, Plechner said.

Financial planners warn, however, that many investors don’t take into account the expenses, burdens and potential pitfalls of owning investment real estate.

While Kahler and some of his clients own investment properties, he said he generally discourages people from buying them. Investors won’t get income from a mortgaged investment property, especially, a single-family home, he said; people should figure that expenses will eat up 50 percent of the rent.

The scenario may be different for those who plan to move into that second home someday, or to use the house for six months a year. In that case, Kahler said, “to buy that home and rent it out is a great thing to do because obviously the tenant is paying the mortgage for you.”

As for expenses, investment homeowners may need to replace the water heater, roof, gutters and underground oil tank, repaint the house and resurface the driveway. They’ll have a second set of utility, tax and insurance bills. (Read More: Is Your House Underinsured?)

“An investment property has as many demands as your residence does,” Plechner said, adding that renters won’t take as good care of it as the owner would.

Investors will either have to hire a property management company to respond to tenants’ calls, or will have to devote significant time acting as landlord and handling problems themselves.

Investors also need to be careful about not overestimating rental income. When people run the numbers, they often figure the home will be occupied all the time, but there may be many months without tenants, Kahler and Plechner noted. People expecting a 6 percent to 8 percent yield may really see only 4 percent, Plechner said.

Kahler estimates that real estate comprises half of his own net worth. He just paid off his real estate investments in August, meeting his goal of being clear of the mortgages in the year he turned 57½.

In Kahler’s part of the country, typical rental income is about 6 percent of the property’s value, but expenses can cut that yield to 3 percent.

“You’ve got to do the numbers and say, ‘Does this make sense?’” Kahler said.

A real estate investment trust, on the other hand, can provide investors with a 6.5 percent yield, without all the expenses and personal time involved in a single investment property.

“For most people,” Kahler said, “they would be better off buying a REIT than they would be a specific home.”

— Dinah Wisenberg Brin

My pledge to you as a home, land or condo buyer is to work with you to identify your wants and needs, and then work to fit those within your budget. I will never try to sell you a property, I will help you buy one; the one that is right for you and your budget.

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

Cape Coral and Fort Myers Growing Fast!

Posted in 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, Homes for Sale SWFL, Lee County Homes, SWFL Home Sales, SWFL Home Selling Advice, SWFL Housing Update, SWFL News, SWFL Real Estate

Fort Myers Growth

Cape Coral-Fort Myers listed as 22nd fastest growing metro area

News-Press

Written by Dick Hogan

Cape Coral-Fort Myers will be the 22nd fastest growing major metro area in the country, growing at a brisk 1.2 percent annually over the next five years.

But that’s still down from the frantic pace of 3.8 percent that prevailed from 2000-2010, when this area ranked seventh nationally for increase in households.

That’s according to statistics released Tuesday by Stamford, Conn.-based Pitney Bowes Software.

Randy Thibaut, owner of Land Solutions Inc. in Fort Myers, said his research shows the same for this area.

Cape Coral Area Growth“I would say they’re right on top of it,” said Thibaut, who’s making a presentation on Southwest Florida’s real estate market at the Lee Building Industry Association’s second annual Market Trends on Friday.

Indications are that as the market recovers, national builders are targeting this area and some others as places where growth is likely to occur, he said.

“Where they’re putting their money is Naples and Fort Myers as well as a few others: they’re looking at Phoenix, they’re looking at California, they’re looking at some locations in Texas.”

According to the Pitney Bowes data, part of the company’s inaugural Metro Magnet Index, Cape Coral-Fort Myers has 262,941 households now and will grow to 278,347 by 2017, a total increase of 5.9 percent.

No. 1 on the survey’s list of fast-growing areas is Provo, Utah, with a total 7.4 percent increase.

Naples-Marco Island was 14th for its growth from 2000 to 2010, but it did not make the top 50 for growth in the next five years.

Detroit and Charleston, W. Va., are the only major metropolitan areas that can expect to see a decline in the number of households over the next five years, the report said.

Connect with this reporter: @DickHogan (Twitter) or emaildhogan@news-press.com.

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