POSTS - Churchill Real Estate

Downtown Fort Myers Revitalization Continues

January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

The continued revitalization of Downtown Fort Myers took another step forward with the unveiling of the City’s latest venture on 7th December 2012. Completion of the $5.3 million river project has changed the face of Downtown Fort Myers. The project has extended the Caloosahatchee River and brought it inwards and upwards to Bay Street, forming 2 large basins. This newly constructed waterfront area is ripe for further investor development. Diversity of the Downtown area and entertainment options have been key in the vision of the development. The City is hoping to attract a hotel, restaurants and private sector offices to build along the newly created waterfront. Randy Henderson, the Mayor of Fort Myers, said “What the city wants to do is create the opportunity for people to come in and experience what they want. We’re getting there, and we’re getting there a little bit at a time.”

The riverfront project was conceived around 4 years ago. City leaders had a vision of attracting people who would spend money in the Downtown district at the many shops, restaurants and various specialized businesses. The City is further hoping that by developing the Downtown and riverfront, it will get back into the convention business which can be lucrative for the area. The City already has the Harborside Center so has a building suitable for conventions. Plus the Harborside is cheaper to rent than other comparable locations and is within walking distance of the riverfront area. The issue is the City does not have a hotel big enough to hold delegates so they can compete and advertise for convention business. Currently the only hotel Downtown is the Indigo Hotel. This is a boutique hotel so not big enough to cope with a convention type event. By creating a beautiful waterfront ready for expansion, Downtown Fort Myers is hoping to attract a developer that will build a hotel with at least 200 rooms with the ability to further expand if demand required it.

Experts in long term city development agree that the master plan for the City of Fort Myers should be based on a 24/7 city model where those who work downtown also live and play downtown. How the City does this is subject of much debate. Some commercial brokers suggest the best way to do this is ensure there is suitable housing for those who work downtown. During the housing boom, prices in Downtown Fort Myers increased so dramatically that people who worked there could not afford to live there. This has now changed and affordable homes, particularly newly built condos, are plentiful and attracting a whole new range of buyers from all over the world. There is much talk of the city developing an ‘economic spine’ so to create high paying jobs which in turn will attract new residents who gravitate towards urban living. One way to do this may be by the city becoming attractive to technology start up companies and has been raised as a possible avenue to explore. What ever the City of Fort Myers decides to do, the general feeling is the city should make a fairly swift decision on its’ direction. The completed riverfront basin project is an ideal first step

Keely Smith is a Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker primarily serving the Southwest Florida coast. Keely specializes in the Cape Coral fl Real Estate market and also in the Fort Myers Fl Real Estate market. Her expertise is in helping out of state and overseas clients wishing to purchase a second home either for personal usage or as investment vacation property with income potential.

PUBLISHING RIGHTS: You may republish this article in your website, newsletter, or book, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author’s signature, and all links completely intact.

Market Watch from Lee Building Industry Association

January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

During November 2012 the Lee Building Industry Association held their second annual Market Trends symposium. One of the key speakers, Randy Thibaut of Land Solutions, stated “The stars are aligning for pent-up demand to rejuvenate Southwest Florida’s home-building market”. This was an observation many local builders and businesses wanted to hear. Randy went on to point out that we are on track to have an expected 4,000 single-family-home permits issued by the end of this year in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. After nearly 5 years of new construction being in the doldrums as the real estate boom turned to a bust, the continued rise in new permits being issued for new construction suggests the industry is now in recovery mode. Randy went on to observe that a steady recovery to a sustainable level of about 10,000 houses a year is possible as various factors kick into gear to stimulate demand.

When studying the price of new construction versus an existing home, it is now apparent that the price of building a new home is a compelling option and competitive with existing home prices. This is the first time this has happened since the 2006 decline of real estate prices which left an oversupply of new construction homes at boom prices. Buyers entering the market are taking note of this change and driving the double-digit increase were are seeing in key residential areas for single family home permits. This is being further stimulated by the ever declining inventory of homes for sale which means less buyer choice. If building new is comparable to an existing home, why not build and have exactly what you want?

Another fundamental change in the market is the decline in large tracts of land available to purchase at fire sale prices. Randy Thibaut specializes in brokering large property sales. He announced to the attendees “The major builders basically have bought up all the distressed properties at distressed property prices. They’ve got that in their hip pockets. The new builders are going to have to pay retail.” He further strengthened his observations by adding in the numbers. He spoke of a wave of major land purchases recently by builders including $3 million for the 240-acre Paradise Preserve project in North Fort Myers (the old Lochmoor Country Club) by Bradenburg Properties of Florida in March 2012.

In closing his talk to the group, Randy said he felt it was optimistic to look for 5,000 issued single family permits for 2013, up for the 4,000 for 2012. The general feeling of the local building industry is if we can keep gradually and steadily improving, a market where we issue 10,000 single family permits a year is felt to be a good stable number in a balanced real estate market.

Keely Smith is a Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker primarily serving the Southwest Florida coast. Keely specializes in the Cape Coral fl Real Estate market and also in the Fort Myers Fl Real Estate market. Her expertise is in helping out of state and overseas clients wishing to purchase a second home either for personal usage or as investment vacation property with income potential.

PUBLISHING RIGHTS: You may republish this article in your website, newsletter, or book, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author’s signature, and all links completely intact.

Latest released data for October 2012 by The National Association of Realtors

December 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Latest released data for October 2012 by The National Association of Realtors (NAR) show sales of previously owned homes in the US rose more than originally projected. Market watchers have suggested these positive figures are a further sign that confidence is returning to the housing market and the national economy.
Sales rose by 2.1% on the previous month’s sales to 4.79 million previously-owned homes sold within the month. When comparing with the like for like market figures against October 2011, the sales increase jumped by 11%.
A survey of house builder confidence from the National Association of Homebuilders and Wells Fargo also indicated that confidence in the market amongst US home builders is at a 6 year high. The growing demand and limited inventory in many parts of the country is starting to put upward pressure on home pricing according to the NAR economist, Lawrence Yun.
Economists and market analysts have suggested the steadily improving job market and historically low interest rates are continuing to revive the housing market.

 

Keely Smith is a Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker primarily serving the Southwest Florida coast.   Keely specializes in the Cape Coral fl Real Estate market and also in the Fort Myers Fl Real Estate market. Her expertise is in helping out of state and overseas clients wishing to purchase a second home either for personal usage or as investment vacation property with income potential.

PUBLISHING RIGHTS: You may republish this article in your website, newsletter, or book, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author’s signature, and all links completely intact.

 

Video 1

November 11, 2012 in Personal, Uncategorized

Video 1

November 11, 2012 in Personal, Uncategorized