Real Estate, Community News & More from My Desk to Yours

Monday, March 31, 2014

MIA Named One of the Best Airports by Skytrax

 Skytrax 2014 World Airport Awards, held at the Passenger Terminal EXPO in Barcelona, Spain. According to Skytrax, the World Airport Awards are voted by customers from more than 160 countries in the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey, covering 410 airports worldwide.
On Wednesday, March 23, 2014, Miami International Airport (MIA) was voted one of the world’s best airports serving 40-50 million passengers at the

“This is a tremendous honor for Miami-Dade County’s leading economic engine and is proof-positive that the hard work and dedication of our Aviation Department and our airport business partners is resonating with our customers,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “The entire MIA community should be very proud.”

The 2014 World Airport Awards are based on 12.85 million survey questionnaires completed by 110 different nationalities of airline customers during the survey period in 2013 and 2014 (completed February 2014). Established in 1999, the World Airport Awards is renowned as the leading global airport passenger satisfaction study. The survey is totally independent and evaluates traveler experiences across 39 different airport service and product key performance indicators - from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration through to departure at the gate. For more information, go to

MIA ranked eighth among airports serving 40-50 million passengers, behind Incheon, Kuala Lumpur, San Francisco, Shanghai Pudong, Charlotte/Douglas, Las Vegas McCarran and Phoenix Sky Harbor.

“MIA’s ranking in the 2014 World Airport Awards is especially meaningful because it is based solely on the feedback from our passengers,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. Gonz├ílez. “As we continue to pursue new and innovative customer service enhancements, my goal is that MIA will improve its position among the world’s elite airports.”

Press Release provided by Greg Chin.

Majority of Florida Home Sales Done in Cash

According to an article on,  Florida led the nation in cash sales for residential real estate in February 2014. All eight markets in the state that are in the Top 100 markets nationwide exceeded 50% cash sale deals.

Percentage of Home Sales Done in Cash
1. Cape Coral/Fort Myers 76.1%
2. Miami 71.3%
3. Tampa Bay 65.9%
4. Sarasota/Venice 69.4%
5. Palm Bay/Melbourne/Titusville 68%
6. Orlando 62.3%
7. Jacksonville 54.9%
8. Lakeland logged 62.7%

Read the full article.

Three Florida Metro Areas Among Fastest Growing In Nation

From an article by, Miami continues to lead the real estate cash deals market as an indicator of growth. The Villages, in Sumter County, and the Cape Coral/Fort Myers area are the second and third fastest growing areas in the nation.

The South Florida area, made up of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, ranked as the eighth most populous metropolitan area (5.8 million residents).

Read the CBS Local article.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Florida's Robust Recovery Outpaces Nation

After being hit early and hard by the Great Recession, Florida rebounded in 2013 to lead the nation in economic growth, fueled by an increased demand for housing.  Better housing prices, in turn, have boosted consumer confidence among Floridians to its highest level since the recession began in 2007.

"Looking forward, Florida will extend its lead over the national economy over the next several years," said University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith, in a newly released "Florida & Metro Forecast 2014-2017."
Snaith predicts that housing and construction will continue to propel the state's economy for the next few years.
Consumer confidence among Floridians, meanwhile, rose three points in March to 81, according to a University of Florida survey. That puts the index at the high end of a year-long plateau.
The state's consumer confidence index is now "as high as we have achieved since before the recession began in December 2007," said Chris McCarty, director of the university's Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
[W]hen the national recovery officially began in June 2009, Florida was slow to start and for several years lagged behind the nation as a whole, he added. But now the momentum has swung in the opposite direction.
Low inventories of homes for sale, coupled with rising house prices, have triggered a surge in home construction, [according to Snaith].  The median price for an existing Florida single-family home hit $165,000 in February, a 10% increase from a year ago.

Read more at . . .

70% of Baby Boomers Say The Home They Retire In Will be the Best They've Ever Owned

According to a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, baby boomers (ages 49-67) are generally optimistic about living outside planned retirement communities. The survey found that 57% plan to move out of their current home, and 70% believe the house they retire in will be the best home they’ve ever owned.

“With approximately 77 million boomers in the U.S., it’s quite significant for our industry to see that this population has so much positive anticipation for the home in which they will be retiring – and for the majority, their aspirations involve making a move,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

Among boomers who feel more confident about achieving their ideal retirement lifestyle compared to five years ago, the top factor is having a retirement lifestyle plan (49%).

“This generation is actively planning a comprehensive lifestyle plan, taking into account the type of home and community they want to live in, as well as the option of continuing to work or taking advantage of travel and entertainment opportunities,” says Chris.

Approximately 1 out of 4 boomers surveyed is likely to buy a second home to use during retirement. On the selling side, 31% of boomers are more likely to want to sell their home now than they were five years ago, suggesting a renewed confidence in the real estate market.

Read the full article at

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Home Prices to Rise 5-7%

According to NAR, in Florida expect prices to rise 5-7% in the next 12 months.

In an article on, they said "Florida is one of four states where practitioners predict the biggest increases – 5 to 7 percent – along with California, Alaska and Hawaii. Tight inventories have helped to lift home values in these areas, according to the [ Realtors Confidence Index monthly] survey." Read more . . .

That's good news for Sellers!  If you want to sell your home at the best possible price, give us a call:  Jeannett Slesnick 305-975-8158  or Ginger Jochem 305-494-6422. We know home values. Or, if you're buying, we can also guide you to get the best value for your money.

We specialize in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Pinecrest, and surrounding areas. With over 40 years combined experience, Ginger and I can find you that perfect home you're looking for, like this 3-story modern beauty near the water in Coconut Grove . . .

3520 Crystal View Court

Friday, March 21, 2014

South Florida home prices keep rising, but sales growth is slowing

"South Florida existing home and condo prices rose again in February from a year earlier, but a slowing pace of sales amid rising inventory signals the housing market is cooling.

In Miami-Dade County, the median price of an existing single-family home rose 17% in February from a year earlier to $227,000, and was a hair above January’s level of $225,000, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.
The median price of a Miami-Dade condo rose 7.3% to $177,000 in February from a year earlier, but was down 4.8% from January.
Single-family home sales in Miami-Dade totaled 860 in February, up 1.3% from a year earlier, but down 4.9% from January.
Condo sales in Miami-Dade fell 4.1% in February from a year ago and were off 7.3% from January, as resales face intense competition from the rapidly growing selection of pre-construction condos on the market."  

Monday, March 17, 2014

4 million homeowners climb out of negative equity

"Thanks to rising prices and equity levels, about 4 million owners around the country last year were able to climb out of the financial tar pit of the housing bust — negative equity.

Negative equity gums up people's lives and the real estate marketplace as a whole. It makes it difficult or impossible for many owners to refinance out of a higher-cost mortgage into a more affordable one. It makes it painful to sell — you've got to bring cash to the table to pay off what you still owe to the bank. Plus almost no one wants to lend you money, at least not at reasonable interest rates secured by your real estate, when you're deeply underwater. So you're likely to spend less and invest less, and you're probably not going to buy another house. Nor will potential new buyers be able to purchase yours.

So when 4 million owners manage to transition out of negative equity into positive territory, that's significant news not just for them personally, but for the economy overall."

Read more: 

Quoted from The L.A. Ti