Hertz Relocation Employees Visit Estero

Hertz RelocationHertz employees are in Southwest Florida today to tour neighborhoods where they may live, see schools where their children may study and visit  beaches where they may relax after a day’s work at the Fortune 500 company’s new headquarters.

About 40 people — 20 employees and their spouses — are here for a three-day visit, the first of up to 150 people in the initial wave of employees. Hertz is offering the opportunity to make an orientation trip here to decide if they want to move as part of the company’s headquarters relocation here.

Hertz expects to employ 700 people earning an average of $102,000 at a new, $50 million headquarters in Estero.

“We have offered everybody who has the opportunity to relocate there the chance to visit the area and see it in person,” said Richard Broome, executive vice president of corporate affairs and communications for Hertz. “We would never ask them to make a decision like that sight unseen.”

The first group of employees will be asked to decide if they wish to relocate to Estero Florida in mid-August, Broome said.  Search Estero Real Estate.

Hertz announced May 7 that it would relocate its world headquarters to the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Williams Road. Construction is expected to begin this fall. This month, Hertz announced it would open a temporary headquarters, starting in October, at the Fifth Third Center at Vanderbilt Beach Road and U.S. 41 in North Naples.

Florida Home Prices Surge

Fort Myers BeachSingle-family home sales across Florida rose 18.7 percent in May compared to a year earlier, Florida Realtors reported Thursday. The Realtors recorded closing 22,375 single-family home sales in May, the highest May total in Florida since 2005, when 24,523 sales were completed with the median price of $232,000.

Sales of existing single-family homes in Lee County(Fort Myers Area) in May increased by 9.3 percent compared to May 2012: up from 1,148 to 1,255, according to Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach statistics released today.

The median price of existing homes sold in Lee during May rose 25.1 percent to $176,333 from May 2012 when it was $141,000. Month to month, the median price declined 3.1 percent from $182,000 in April, the association’s report states.

In Collier County, single-family sales rose to 566 in May from 549 a year earlier, according to the Naples Area Board of Realtors.

The median price increased 25.6 percent, from $254,000 to $319,000.

The statistics cover only homes sold with the assistance of a Realtor.

Things were also looking up nationwide. U.S. sales of previously occupied homes surpassed the 5 million mark in May, the first time that’s happened in 3 ½ years. The gain shows the housing recovery is strengthening.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that home re-sales rose 4.2 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.18 million. That’s up from April’s pace of 4.97 million.

Sales last exceeded 5 million in November 2009. During that month and October 2009, a home-buying tax credit briefly inflated the sales pace. Prior to that, sales hadn’t been above 5 million since July 2007.

Florida Realtors President Dean Asher said the sales numbers are helping to attract more people to list their homes for sale.

“Statewide, new listings for single-family homes increased 10.2 percent in May, while new townhome-condo listings rose 7.1 percent,” Asher said in a release.

The median price of sales statewide this past month was $171,000, up 15.9 percent from May 2012 and the highest mark for May since 2008, when the median price was $203,800. May 2008 also marked the lowest overall number of home sales for a May in the past decade, when 12,044 sales were completed.

Regionally top sales performers last month included a 35.5 percent jump in the Fort Walton Beach-Destin region, 32.2 percent in Jacksonville, and 46.3 percent in Tallahassee.

The national report showed that a critical part of the market remains weak. First-time buyers represented only 28 percent of buyers in May. That’s down from 34 percent a year ago and significantly below more normal levels above 40 percent. The decline in first-time buyers suggests many younger Americas are unable to get financing.


Sales of Existing Homes Rise 4.2%

HomesExisting-home sales rose a solid 4.2 percent in May to an annual sales rate of 5.18 million, the highest level since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economists had expected existing-home sales to hit 5 million.

The median price of an existing-home jumped $16,200, or 8.4 percent, for the month and was up $27,700, or 15.4 percent, from May 2012.

The inventory of homes for sale rose to 2.22 million from 2.15 million in April, translating to a 5.1 month supply compared with April’s 5.2 month supply.

The average price of a new home increased $24,500 in May to $269,600, the highest level since May 2008, when it was $278,400. It remained below the record $292,200 in June 2007. Year-over-year, the May average was up $29,600 (10.0 percent), the strongest percentage gain since the 10.6 percent gain from June 2001 to June 2002 and the largest dollar gain since August 2005, when the average price was $37,000 higher than one year earlier.

Bill would allow Canadian snowbirds longer stays in Florida

SnowbirdsFlorida already is the top destination for Canadian snowbirds, and more could flock to the Sunshine State very soon.

Tucked into the massive immigration reform bill being debated by the United States Senate is a provision that would allow retirees from Canada to stay up to eight months in the United States — two months longer than current law allows.

Realtors, tourism officials and lawmakers say the change could provide a tremendous boost to the Florida economy still recovering from the Great Recession.

“That’s a 30 percent increase in the potential amount that Canadians could spend on everything from accommodations to dining and grocery stores,” said Will Seccombe, president and CEO for VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation. “When you get a long length of stay, it has exponential impacts in spending throughout the entire community.”

In 2012, Canadians made nearly 4 million visits to Florida and spent about $4.4 billion, according to the Canadian embassy in Washington. Canadian visitors represent about a third of all foreign tourists to Florida, Seccombe said. View Homes and Condos in the greater Fort Myers area.

The immigration provision, sponsored by New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, would allow retired Canadians 55 or older to get a Canadian Retiree Visa allowing them to stay in the United States up to eight months if they own a second home in the U.S. or they have a rental agreement or hotel reservation.

More than 500,000 Canadians own property in Florida, according to the Canadian Snowbird Association. Tens of thousands more rent.

Of those Canadians that own in the Sunshine State, the largest concentration was in the Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice area (17 percent), followed by Orlando-Kissimmee (13 percent), Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Palm Beach (13 percent), Cape Coral-Fort Myers (9 percent), Tampa-St. Petersburg (9 percent) and Naples-Marco Island (9 percent), according to Toronto-based BMO Financial Group.

Like the Beach? Check our Fort Myers Beach Real Estate MLS Search.

Lee County Home Permits Up

New Construction Homes and Condos in Fort MyersGood news for Lee County's construction industry.  Lee County Home  Permits are up. Contractors pulled 80-permits to build single family homes in May. That's up from 66 in April.

The Lee County Builders Industry Association says this will create many more jobs in Southwest Florida. They expected the growth after commissioners decided to reduce impact fees for new construction by 80-percent.

Heather Mazuikiewicz says, "It means jobs and that is the one that that we really needed as a boost in the biggest industry that we have here in Lee County. The construction industry; we are the backbone of the economy here."

The Lee County Builders Industry Association and realtors also say, new homes are greatly needed because the available inventory can't keep up with the high demand of home buyers. Article courtesy of Wink News.