This week’s cold front is just about over. Temps were down into the low 40’s every night this week, but a warm weekend is in store before the next chill arrives on Tues. Elise & I are still wearing our flip-flops. Dave continues to shake his head & Lisa’s smart enough to stay out of the discussion. Even cooler, we are all very thankful to be living & working in SW Florida.
We had a few more showings this week, but only one sale was announced at our Association’s Realtor meeting yesterday. Price reductions & new listings continue to be the norm. Below are a couple of items that I found of interest this week. Some not the greatest news but all good things for us to know in trying to get real estate sold in our ever-changing marketplace.
Consumer Profile Shift
Interesting article by Jeremy Conaway published this week in the SW Realtor® magazine. Written to help real estate brokers drafting their annual marketing plans, it offers info on the dramatic shifts taking place in the real estate consumer demographic. Some of these stats were eye-opening to me. Here are some of the new sectors:
- One third of all homebuyers are single.
- Six million children in the U.S. are being raised by committed same-sex couples.
- Single childless women, in many major cities, now out earn their male counterparts.
- Nearly half of the baby boomers (age 50-60) are actively using social media.
- Only one of five new households in the U.S. in 2009 were non-Hispanic whites.
- There has been a 14% increase in the number of non-married households.
- Women within the 25-39 age range now make up 46% of those earning bachelor’s degrees in science & engineering.
- During the next six years the 82 million members of the millennial generation will hit their economic stride.
- Teen births are down to just 10% lower than births for women aged 35 & older.
- Four out of ten children are born to single mothers.
- In 2009, 16% of marriages were between non-Caucasian individuals of different ethic backgrounds.
- “As it relates to household buying power and influence, men are on their way out & women on their way in.”
Top 10 Cities With Most Underwater Homes in America
(compiled by Business Insider with data by Zillow). NOTE: this is an improved position for Fort Myers.
- Las Vegas, Nevada 80.2%
- Phoenix, Arizona 68.4%
- Reno, Nevada 64.4%
- Orlando, Florida 64.2%
- Stockton, California 57.5%
- El Centro, California 55.0%
- Modesto, California 53.9%
- Lakeland, Florida 53.7%
- Port St. Lucie, Florida 52.0%
- Fort Myers, Florida 51.6%
The Next Real Estate Boom
A recent article by Patrick C. Doherty & Christopher B. Leinberger gives this Realtor pause when considering how attractive Sanibel & Captiva Island will be in the years to come. The article reiterated that the Great Recession has highlighted a fundamental change in what consumers want: homes in central cities & closer-in suburbs where one can walk to stores & mass transit. These trends have been evident in many cities for a number of years. But the biggest factor is demographic. Baby boomers (those born between 1946 & 1964) & their children, the millennial generation, are looking for places to live & work that reflect their current desires & life needs. Boomers are downsizing as their children leave home while the millennials or generation Y, are setting out on their careers with far different housing needs & preferences. Both of these huge groups want something that the U.S. housing market is not currently providing: small one- to three-bedroom homes in walkable, transit-oriented, economically dynamic, & job-rich neighborhoods.
Florida Sues EPA to Block New Water Regulations
The Associated Press reported yesterday that Florida on Tues sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking to block new clean water regulations opposed by business & agriculture interests as well as some municipal utilities. The federal lawsuit alleges the rules, which apply only to FL, are unfair, arbitrary & lack scientific support. FL is the first state where EPA has imposed such regulations although 13 others have adopted similar rules of their own. The regulations are required by EPA’s settlement of an earlier federal lawsuit that five environmental groups filed in Tallahassee. The agency was accused of failing to control pollution from such sources as fertilizer runoff from farms & lawns & effluent from sewage treatment plants. The environmentalists say those nutrients cause algae blooms that are choking Florida waters to the detriment of tourism-related businesses, property values, the environment & public health. (We know all about that here on the islands.) The new lawsuit by the FL Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services rehashes issues raised in court arguments against the EPA settlement. The new rules set numeric criteria to replace the state’s vague descriptive regulations for determining when lakes, rivers, streams & other inland waters are polluted with nutrients. EPA announced the regulations in November but delayed implementation for 15 months. Under the settlement, EPA will adopt another set of numeric standards for coastal waters by August 2012. The environmentalists’ suit was filed by the Sierra Club, FL Wildlife Federation, Conservancy of Southwest FL, St. Johns Riverkeeper & Environmental Confederation of SW FL. Stay tuned on this important issue & be sure to renew your PURRE membership (www.purre.org).