Hertz moving into Estero FL Headquarters

Hertz Corporation has started moving into its new world headquarters building in Estero.
But the bulk of the workforce will be moving over the next few weeks.
“We have all the permits in place, the building has been constructed, the infrastructure has been temporary sealed,” said Thomas McLean, a vice president with Hole Montes Inc., the Fort Myers  engineering firm working on the project.
“We have people moving in as you speak,” McLean said.
The Estero Planning and Zoning Board voted Tuesday night to recommend Village Council approval of a final plat plan, signifying that the buildings were built in accordance with the development order issued before the start of construction.
The  plan represents the specific placement of the buildings and lot lines indicating subdivisions of the Hertz propert., and was prepared to make sure that lot lines and buildings are in the correct place.
Hertz has said the bulk of the move will take place over a series of weekends beginning around Oct. 27.
The headquarters building include about  300,000 square feet of space.  Locally, Hertz has occupied temporary space in Bonita Springs and Naples while preparing to transfer its home office work force from Park Ridge, N.J. Courtesy of News-Press.

Lee County Homes Prices Rise with Homes Available Dropping

Home prices rise, inventory lower in Lee County Florida

Homes in Lee County can sell for significantly more than this time last year, according to  data released by Florida Realtors Association

The median sale price to get a single family home over the month of August has been $205, 000. That is greater than a 12 percent increase coming from August 2014, where the particular median sale price has been $182, 500. Single family homes are also staying out there for a much shorter duration than duration last year: 32 days in August 2015 in comparison with 42 days in 2014.

The month’s availability of inventory dropped nearly 25 % since August 2014 to be able to 3. 7 months to get a single family home.

Nearly all single family properties were sold in a very traditional sale (83. 6 percent). Foreclosures are as a result of 14 percent with short sales taking up only two percent associated with sales.

Fort Myers Beach Real Estate saw the best positive change in sealed sales – up 62 percent in August year-over-year. you might Want to think of purchasing Fort Myers Real Estate quickly.

Rent or Buy in Fort Myers, FL

In a tight Fort Myers Florida rental market, landlords have raised rents sharply, shocking even some loyal tenants, and making the idea of buying a home look more attractive.
Rents jumped by $200 or $300 per month or more in some cases with landlords taking advantage of high demand and recouping losses from lower rents charged in the wake of the Great Recession, property managers said.
“At this point the existing multifamily or apartment rental units have the ability to increase the rent simply because the demand has allowed for it,” said David G. Malt, president and owner of Malt Realty & Development, a rental property management and real estate company in Fort Myers.
That has hit many tenants hard, especially when their wages haven’t kept up with price increases.
Rents in South Florida and other places in Florida have exceeded growth in income over the past two years,” said Ralph McLaughlin, a housing economist with Trulia, which tracks real estate listings nationwide.
Last fall, Maria Sanchez’s rent increased from $515 to $700 at Gulfstream Isles Apartments in Fort Myers, and units like hers are now starting at $865. She had been accustomed to past raises in the $30 range.
“While my salary’s staying the same, everything around me’s going up,” said Ms. Sanchez, who is 53. “It’s hard.”
She has rented there for five years and likes the complex itself and the location near work; other family, including her brother Roberto Encarnacion and mother Yolanda, also live in Gulfstream and struggle with higher rents. On her salary, with school loans after going back to be a paralegal, a car payment, and her husband struggling to find steady work, $700 is a limit and $900 seems out of sight.
She searched similar complexes and found prices aren’t much better; although unlike Gulfstream, some have updated accessories such as kitchen countertops and carpets. Gulfstream also recently required all residents to purchase liability insurance, which adds about $10 per month to the bill, telling her most places recently started doing the same.
That may be because the owners of the complex, a national company called Waterton Residential that manages more than 19,000 units, get a discount on its own insurance by requiring it, said Alice Vickers, an attorney and director of the nonprofit Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection. The property manager at Gulfstream didn’t respond to messages requesting information about how rents and insurance costs are calculated.

The big jumps in price aren’t unique to Gulfstream.
Steve Hollister, who runs Twisted Vine Bistro in downtown Fort Myers, has lived at the Oasis condo building with his wife for four years. The rent increased at $50 or $100 increments, then jumped $300 to $2,050 for a threebedroom unit.
“It seems like the rent has gone up and the amenities are going down every year,” he said.
Chris Andruskiewicz has lived at the Franklin Arms Court building in downtown Fort Myers the last six years. A few years ago, her rent increased from $650 to $900, then last year to $950 for her one-bedroom with a den. Her lease is up soon.
“I’m scared to find out how much it’s going to go up,” said Ms. Andruskiewicz, a graphic designer at Florida Weekly. Another co-worker, arts writer Nancy Stetson, recently sought a new rental after prices forced her out of an old one. She found that costs for pets have increased as well.
“Places seem to think that everyone wants a luxury apartment complex,” she wrote in an email, “such as expensive stainless steel appliances and granite countertops... My priorities were: cost, size, location, safety.”
She added, “People keep saying this is paradise, so you should be willing to pay more. But you cannot pay your rent with sunshine.”
For rents in the $900 range, Ms. Sanchez says, she’ll think about buying a house instead. Realtors have jumped on this as a selling point.
“They could own a $200,000 home for what they’re paying in rent,” in some cases, said Ellen C. O’Day, managing broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Punta Gorda.
In South Florida metro areas, Trulia found, buying a home may be up to 55 percent cheaper than renting, a higher percent than anywhere else in the country. That assumes you have excellent credit and stay in the home for at least seven years, among other factors.
High rents may be a factor keeping young people from buying a home, said Trulia economist Mr. McLaughlin.
“In Florida and also places like San Francisco and Los Angeles where rents are high that’s an even larger hurdle to save for a down payment,” he said.
Little relief
Rental prices are determined by a “comprehensive analysis” including operating costs, repairs and market rates, Mr. Malt of Malt Realty explained. The steep increases demanded of some renters are in part a reflection of prices having fallen just as much after the housing crisis in the late 2000s. He believes rents will continue to rise in the next few years.
“I don’t see much change with anticipating some increase, not dramatic, but some increase to rental rates as opposed to decrease or even leveling off,” he said.
After the housing market crashed and construction came to a halt, the rental market surged in the late 2000s, said Randy Thibaut, owner of Land Solutions, a regional real estate company based in Fort Myers.
In addition, young people in their 20s and 30s are holding off on buying a home for various reasons such as going back to school and starting families later or souring on the idea of real estate as an investment.
“It’s clear that a lot of millennials are not buying homes as early or as often,” Mr. Thibaut said.
Now new apartment construction is starting to catch up with demand. Land Solutions has tracked 15 multi-family projects in Lee and Collier County in different stages of development from late to 2014 to March 2015 totaling more than 3,800 units.
But instead of increasing supply and lowering prices it could actually raise rents instead, Mr. Thibaut believes, at least at first, because renters will be covering the cost of new construction. But with housing prices compared to rents becoming favorable, Mr. Thibaut thinks rent prices will start to level off.
“I don’t think you’ll see price level increases,” he said, “Because very clearly people can only afford so much.”
Demand for rentals is still larger than supply, said Michael Depaola, operations manager for Premier Property Management in Naples.
“Rental rates in the last two to three years have gone up about 30 percent,” he said.
Mr. Depaola advises that an average moving cost is around $2,000, so if the increase is say up to $150 a month, consider staying at least one more lease cycle.
“I always tell people if you’re happy where you are now, you know what’s going on, at least you have a year to prepare,” he said.
In some cases, tenants interviewed for this story said they were able to strike a deal with landlords to pay what they can afford at least for a while, but that’s more likely to be successful with a mom-and-pop rental than a multi-family complex where rent policies are less flexible.
“The likelihood of being successful if you’re dealing with a management company with an onsite manager, it’s going to be harder to get them to back off a price,” said Ms. Vickers, the consumer rights attorney. “But there’s certainly no harm in trying.”
And there is no restriction on how much landlords can raise the rent.
“Obviously when you see rises in prices on residential rentals, that means the market is tight and they know they can charge tenets a lot,” she said, adding that Florida is “pretty much a landlord state in terms of our laws. They certainly have the upper hand.” ¦
2015 Rental Housing Wage
>> The hourly wage that a household must earn (working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year) in order to afford the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom rental unit ($1,012 in Florida), without paying more than 30 percent of their income.
>> Florida: $19.47 >> Charlotte County: $16.42 >> Collier County: $19.04 >> Lee County: $17.23 >> Palm Beach County: $23.19
>> A minimum wage worker in Florida would need to work 77 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom at Fair Market Rent.
— Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition


Tropical Storm Erika is forecast to approach South Florida as a Category 1 hurricane sometime early on Monday, August 31st. However, it is still too early to say whether it will brush, hit or bypass the region. The big question remains just how strong Erika will be when it reaches this vicinity. Some models predict it will fall apart before getting this far and others call for a robust hurricane (see cone below).

Here is the 5:00 PM update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC):
TS Erika still reaching Hurricane force but the center has shifted more to the East so the center of the storm is off the coast of Florida.  Having said that we all know how unpredictable storms can be, so please see below and prepare for this potential storm.  Attached for your review please find the Hurricane Plan and Procedures.
Please remove all furniture from balconies, front screen enclosures, and your lanais: potted plants, tables, chairs and anything affixed to the walls during a hurricane “WATCH”.  If you are not going to be in the residence please make arrangements to secure these items now.  In the event any damages are caused due to any flying object coming from your home, the unit owner will be solely responsible for any cost incurred.
Nothing herein is to be construed as a guarantee that Management or Association personnel will be available to handle any preparations on behalf of individual owners, as first priority must be given to preparation of the common properties of the Association.

We encourage neighbors to reach out to one another and offer a helping hand, especially for your elderly neighbors or those unable to prepare and secure their hurricane shutters, should they be needed.  Safety for all is our number #1 concern.
As a reminder, in cases of exponential amounts of rain and flooding, not only will yards incur slow drainage and changes in landscape schedules, low areas in the roads and construction zones have additional obstacles.  They are required to screen what enters the sewers and block construction debris, therefore they do not drain as quickly as other areas.  You will also see increases in water levels of the lakes, and although they have a drainage system set in place just like the streets, the cannot drain as quickly as the amount of rain coming down.  Please drive carefully throughout all of Southwest Florida during these storms.

Estero Fl Property Values

The median home sold price of homes in Estero Fl so far in 2015 is $340,000. Last year the median sold price was $293,868. The median sold price has increased 15.7%. I may be a good time to buy some real estate!
The number of Estero Fl homes for sale at end of July was 187, up from the previous month’s 186. In July of 2014, there were 180 homes for sale.
64 homes were sold in July 2015. In July 2014 57 homes were sold. 59 homes were sold in June 2015.
New listings for homes coming on the market in July 2015 – 71, compared to last year’s July figure of 61. The previous month 67 homes came onto the market.
The graph below shows the median sold price for homes by year from 2004 to 2015.
real estate

(The median sold price is the middle price, where half of the sales are of lower value and half are of higher value.)
Median sold price for July was $322,500. The median sold price decreased $27,500 over the previous month’s median sold price of $350,000 or 7.8%.
Median sold price for single-family homes increased 4.0% in the year over year comparison (July 2014 to July 2015) from $350,000 to $322,500.
The median sold price percentage increase is more than in 2015 than 2014. During calendar year 2014 the median sold price for a home in Estero increased 6.9% from 2013. In 2013 the sold prices increased 16.5% over 2012. So far, in 2015, the median sold price increase has been 15.7%.
Single-family home prices bottomed in 2011 when the median sold price was $210,000. As noted above, in 2015 the median sold price has been $340,000. This represents an increase of 61.9% since the bottom of the market.
Estero homes for sale are 3.3 months of inventory to be sold. (Sellers’ market exists when months of inventory are less than 6 months. Buyers’ market occurs when months of inventory exceed 6 months.) The previous month had an inventory of 3.4 months. Last year the months of inventory to be sold was 3.5 months.
The table below shows the number of homes for sale and months of inventory by price range. Red indicates a seller market, yellow represents a neutral market, and green represents a buyers market by price range. Homes classified as distressed properties (potential short sales and foreclosures) – 15 or 8.0% of the total market – 2 (1.1%) are potential short sales and 13 (6.9%) are foreclosed or REO (real estate owned) properties.

Home prices approach pre-crisis peak!

Home Prices

Home prices rising.

Black Knight’s latest Home Price Index report, based on May 2015 residential real estate transactions, showed that the U.S. HPI is now just 6.5% off the June 2006 peak of $268,000, and up over 25% from the market’s bottom.
Fort Myers Home Prices have been slowly climbing but not at this level.
The Black Knight HPI combines the company’s extensive property and loan-level databases to produce a repeat sales analysis of home prices as of their transaction dates every month for each of more than 18,500 U.S. ZIP codes.
The Black Knight HPI represents the price of non-distressed sales by taking into account price discounts for REO and short sales.
According to Black Knight’s report, the HPI now rests at $251,000, up 1.1% over the previous month and up 5.1% over the previous year.
New York led gains among the states, seeing a 1.8% in month-over-month appreciation.
Among the metro areas tracked by Black Knight’s report, Janesville, Wisconsin saw the greatest monthly appreciation at 3%. That is unusual

Latest home price index shows shrinking gap between 2006 and 2015

Real Estate Bidding Wars Return

NEW YORK – July 21, 2015 – Bidding wars are returning to U.S. real estate markets with too few homes for sale.
A number of events led to the current lack of homes for-sale inventory, including an unexpectedly sluggish rebound in home construction. At the same time, millions of homeowners aren't listing their home because they don't believe they'll qualify for a new mortgage, or that they cannot afford the costs associated with a sale.
As of May 31, there were 2.3 million existing U.S. houses on the selling block – enough inventory to last 5.1 months at the current sales pace but shy of the six to seven months of supply that typically signals a balanced market.
But in more than 33 percent of the 300 biggest metro areas tracked by Realtor.com, listings have been on the market a median of less than two months, indicating a rapid turnover as demand for residential properties exceeds supply. Those include such large markets as Dallas and San Francisco along with smaller markets like Vallejo, California, and Kennewick, Washington.

Even in the face of a tight home listing inventory, some economists hope renters will add demand to the sector as rent increases continue, prompting many to pursue ownership. Apartment rents have climbed almost 16 percent in the United States since 2010, calculates Reis Inc. Article courtesy of florida realtors.