Central Florida home sales up 8.8% in May

More and townhomes/condos sold and the median sale price increased in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area in May when compared to the year-ago period, according to the latest housing data released by Realtors. In May, 3,428 homes and 983 townhomes/condos sold in metro Orlando. The number of homes sold was up 8.8 percent from May 2016, while the number of townhomes/condos sold rose 17.6%.

Along with an increase in units sold in the Central Florida area, median sales prices also were up. Last month, the median home sale price in the area grew 7 percent to $240,788 and the median townhome/condo sale price increased 12.1 percent to $150,000.

These year over year increases are no surprise to President of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, Bruce Elliott. “Orlando has strong job growth and a great quality of life that makes this area a great place to live. There have been a lot of third-party sources, from Forbes magazine to WalletHub, showing a variety of different statistics about how good Orlando is.”

Along with higher numbers in metro Orlando, the state also saw an increase in the number of homes and townhomes/condos sold in last month when compared to May 2016.

“Closed sales of existing homes in the Sunshine State not only rebounded from a relatively flat April, they positively surged to record highs in May of 2017,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “To be more specific, May’s sale totals of 27,850 existing single-family homes and 11,538 existing condos and townhomes were the most ever recorded [by Florida Realtors] for a single month in either property type category. In both cases, these totals were also markedly higher than the very strong number of sales racked up in May of 2016.”

The median sale prices also rose when compared to last year. Last month, the median sale price for a home in Florida grew 7.7 percent to $239,000 and the median sale price for a townhome/condo rose 8.1 percent to $178,000 when compared to the year-ago period.

Sunbridge is a new, 24,000-acre master-planned community

Sunbridge is a new, 24,000-acre master-planned community in Central Florida
from Development Company that will include a diverse range of
neighborhoods, employment centers and commercial districts. Currently in
planning, the community is anticipated to begin construction in 2018.
Vision
A community focused on preservation and innovation, with diverse residential
neighborhoods and employment centers with miles of connected trails and
surrounded by thousands of acres of preserved conservation network.
Sunbridge will feature vibrant employment centers throughout the community
focused on innovation as an economic driver with a talent pool of residents that
attracts leading companies, bright minds, and innovative ideas.
With a philosophy rooted in responsible, long-term sustainable development,
conservation will play a central role in Tavistock’s development.
While still in the early planning stages, Sunbridge will incorporate best practices
and place-making principles from across Tavistock’s award-winning portfolio,
highlighted by the Lake Nona community, which ranks among the top-10, bestselling,
master-designed communities in America and was heralded
in Fortune magazine as “the future of cities.”
Size
Sunbridge spans 24,000 acres in both Orange and Osceola County.
• Total actual acreage: 23,898 acres
• Orange County acreage: 4,787 acres
• Osceola County acreage: 19,111 acres
Location
Sunbridge is located in the southeast quadrant of Central Florida in both Orange
and Osceola County. The region is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas
in the state. Sunbridge is in close proximity to key economic drivers like Orlando
International Airport, Port Canaveral, ICAMR, Lake Nona and the
University of Central Florida. Multi-modal transportation runs throughout the
development, including State Road 528 with future plans to accommodate
growth. A key element of the proposed road system includes a new north south
arterial roadway that will provide a new regional mobility corridor between
Orange and Osceola County.
2
Development Timeline
• Planning is currently underway with both Orange and Osceola County.
• On March 21, 2016, the developer filed a comprehensive plan amendment
with Orange County to begin the first phase of development.
• Construction is anticipated to begin in 2018.
• The development is a long-term project.
Proposed Development Program
The first phase of development in Orange County would include:
• 5,720
• 1,650 multi-family units
• 9 million square feet of commercial space
o 5,470,000 sf Office
o 2,900,000 sf Industrial
o 880,000 sf Retail
• 490 hotel rooms
Conservation
Nearly 13,000 acres will comprise preserved conservation space that includes
preserved wetlands and upland buffers.
• Total actual conservation acreage: 12,845 acres
• Orange County preserved acreage: 1,692 acres
• Osceola County preserved acreage: 11,153 acres
• Additionally, the development features: 1,100 acres of lakes
Ownership
Sunbridge is an independent development of the Tavistock Development
Company. Tavistock has a development agreement with landowner Suburban
Land Reserve (“SLR”) to serve as the master developer of the 24,000-acre
project. SLR is a national land investment company with holdings in various
regions of the U.S.

AMAZON SELECTS LAKE NONA FOR HIGH-TECH FULFILLMENT CENTER

Amazon today announced plans to open a new fulfillment center in Orlando, Fla. When the site opens in 2018, Amazon will create 1,500 new full-time jobs with benefits and opportunities to engage with Amazon Robotics in a highly technological workplace.

“We are excited to join the Orlando community, creating more than 1,500 full-time jobs at our new fulfillment center,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations. “We very much appreciate the state and local elected leaders who have supported Amazon’s arrival in Orlando and we look forward to bringing more jobs and investment to the state in the coming months.”

Amazon employees at the more than 850,000 square-foot fulfillment center located at Lake Nona will pick, pack and ship small items to customers like books, electronics or consumer goods.

The project is located at the intersection of Boggy Creek Road and Jeff Fuqua Boulevard just south of Orlando International Airport.

“We are bullish on attracting well-respected, global brands like KPMG and Amazon to Lake Nona,” said Jim Zboril, President of Development Company. “Lake Nona has positioned itself nationwide as an ideal location, offering a collaborative approach, innovative amenities, and infrastructure. We have a strong business development team that is out there every day competing against some of the nation’s top metropolitan markets. Lake Nona’s neo-urban location coupled with our innovative vision creates a compelling backdrop for companies looking for that next great place to call home.”

Since Tavistock’s initial acquisition of Lake Nona years ago, Tavistock has continued to partner with government to fast track the development of key infrastructure projects in Southeast Orlando/Orange County, from the construction of the Lake Nona Blvd/SR 417 interchange to the major expansion of Narcoossee Road, regional parks and more. In early 2017, Tavistock Development Company advanced plans with Orange County to expand Boggy Creek Road to accommodate this project. Tavistock Development Company will oversee the construction of these improvements.

Infrastructure work and roadway improvements (widen Boggy Creek from 2-4 lanes), which Tavistock Development is overseeing, already began last week.

“We have always said that Lake Nona is a long-term project for us – a marathon and not a sprint,” Zboril said. “Every step of our development is carefully contemplated and thoughtfully designed for the future – the future of cities perhaps. We are creating the ideal place that inspires human potential through innovative collaboration. This bold vision drives everything that we do, every day. We are tenacious.”

Home prices on the rise in metro Orlando

House . Real Estate Sign in Front of a House.

If you want to buy a home in metro Orlando, be prepared to spend more, according to a new Zillow report on affordability.

“Home values have soared in recent years, sending the national median as high as it’s ever been and forcing home buyers to pay more – even though their incomes do not always keep up,” Zillow’s Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said. “While low mortgage interest rates have helped keep the typically valued U.S. home affordable by historical standards, the real prices on actually available to buy is hurting affordability in many areas.”

In metro Orlando, the median list price of homes on the market was $259,900 in first-quarter 2017, which means mortgage payments would take up 23 percent of the area’s median income, compared with the 20.4 percent required between 1985-2000.

It’s also more than the 18.2 percent of the area’s median income currently required for mortgage payments for a median valued home (many of which are not for sale). Orlando’s median home value was $203,500 for first-quarter 2017, according to the report.

The median list price for a U.S. home in the first quarter was $246,900 – well above the $197,100 median home value, according to Zillow

Further, mortgage affordability in Orlando is forecast to reach between 20.7 percent to 25.6 percent of the median income, depending on if the mortgage interest rate rises to between 5 percent to 7 percent.

To see the full report, click here. (And see the slideshow for a look inside the mansion once owned by former NBA star Horace Grant, which now is back on the market.)

Kyle Swenson is a general assignment reporter.

Pending home sales drop 1.3% in April as spring housing market shows weakness

  • The spring continues to be plagued by a lack of
  • Home shoppers signed 1.3 percent fewer contracts to buy existing homes in April compared with March
  • That drop comes after a larger-than-expected drop in closed home sales in April.
  • Home for sale in Miami.

    Pending home sales down 1.3% in April  

    Home buyers pull back again in April, signing fewer contracts

    The spring housing market continues to be plagued by a lack of homes for sale. Home shoppers signed 1.3 percent fewer contracts to buy existing homes in April compared with March, according to a monthly index from the National Association of Realtors. March’s reading was also revised down. The index is 3.3 percent lower than April of 2016.

    “Much of the country for the second straight month saw a pullback in pending sales as the rate of new listings continues to lag the quicker pace of homes coming off the market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, adding that foot traffic is higher than a year ago.

    The drop comes after a larger-than-expected drop in closed home sales in April. More sellers listed their homes in April, but the number of listings was still 9 percent lower than a year ago. Tight supply continues to put upward pressure on home prices, which are now rising at three times the rate of incomes.

    “We know two things heading into the summer selling season. One, home prices continue to leap forward. Two, homebuyers continue to jump into the market.”-Nela Richardson, chief economist, Redfin

    “The unloading of single-family homes purchased by real estate investors during the downturn for rental purposes would also go a long way in helping relieve these inventory shortages,” said Yun. “To date, there are no indications investors are ready to sell.”

    Weaker sales are not due to a lack of potential buyers, especially this year, as millennials age into their home-buying years and confidence in the U.S. improves. Home buyer demand surged in April, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage. The number of clients requesting home tours jumped 12 percent.

    “We know two things heading into the summer selling season. One, home prices continue to leap forward. Two, homebuyers continue to jump into the market,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “A pop of new listings only encourages more homebuyers to barge their way into this crowded and competitive, low-inventory market in order to take advantage of still-low mortgage rates.”

    Regionally, pending home sales in the Northeast decreased 1.7 percent for the month and are 0.6 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index fell 4.7 percent for the month and 6.1 compared to a year ago. In the South, sales fell 2.7 for the month and are 2.3 percent below last April. The index in the West rose 5.8 percent in April but is still 4.2 percent below a year ago.

New York Real Estate

Tavistock preps plans for 2 new Lake Nona apartment projects

Tavistock Development Co. LLC has plans in the works to bring two new multifamily projects — including one it’s calling “micro apartments” — to southeast ’s booming Lake Nona community.

Early planning is underway for a second multifamily development in the Lake Nona Town Center, temporarily being called The Distillery, which would be 11 stories high and include a mix of uses within it, according to documents.

The most unique part about the project is the residential units themselves, which is something Tavistock plans to experiment with by making them about 10-15 percent smaller than what’s now available in Orlando, Vice President of Development Operations Ralph Ireland told Orlando Business Journal.

The plan is to test out six “truly micro” units, at about 375 square feet each, Ireland said. If that’s successful, Tavistock may try to do some in its next apartment project.

“Because we’re always trying to innovate, we want to do things in Lake Nona that haven’t been done elsewhere in Central Florida,” Ireland told OBJ. “Of course, we can’t just roll out 150 micro units because we don’t know how it’s going to work. But we’re trying to get something more efficient. And they will be well amenitized within the units and in the common areas.”

Tavistock already has secured a foundation permit for this project, and is seeking city staff approval on a final plat. is expected to start in May or June next year.

Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc. in Orlando is the civil engineer, the project architects are Silver Springs, Md.-based Torti Gallas & Partners Inc. and Columbus, Ohio-based M+A Architects, and the landscape architect is Dix.Hite + Partners LLC.

A Former Lehman Brothers Trader: I Bet My Reputation That This Bubble Will Pop In A Year

Summary

In 2000, we had the dot-com bubble.

In 2007, we had the housing bubble.

In 2017, we have the everything bubble.

It wasn’t always this way. We never used to get a giant, speculative bubble every 7–8 years. We really didn’t.

In 2000, we had the dot-com bubble.

In 2007, we had the housing bubble.

In 2017, we have the everything bubble.

Why do we call it the everything bubble? Well, there is a bubble in a bunch of asset classes simultaneously, like:

  1. Real estate in Canada, Australia, and Sweden
  2. Real estate in California
  3. Cryptocurrencies
  4. FANG, plus Tesla, and a few others
  5. Corporate credit
  6. EM sovereign credit
  7. Autos
  8. Indexing
  9. Dramatic television series
  10. Sports
  11. Animated movies

For the last few, I am just screwing around… though they are also bubbles.

I don’t like going around and calling things bubbles. It’s a good way to lose credibility (especially if you started in 2013).

I haven’t been exactly bullish over the last year. But I have refrained from calling it stupid, because it could always get stupider.

But now, I’m not sure how much more stupid things will get.

Bitcoin Pushed Me Over the Edge

First, let’s define what a bubble is. A bubble is not simply a matter of overvaluation. It has to be accompanied by an obsession or preoccupation with an asset class.

When you see people making haystacks of cash all out of proportion to their intelligence or work ethic?

Bubble!

That is kind of what is happening right now in cryptocurrencies.

Am I some kind of Luddite? No.

Do I see the potential of blockchain? Yes.

But when I see people behaving this way—literally throwing money at each other—you’re probably closer to the end than the beginning.

People are comparing Bitcoin to tulip bulbs. I think those comparisons are apt. But at least with tulips, you had something tangible—a plant.

What to Consider in a Remodel

The kitchen should reflect your lifestyle. It should accommodate your cooking needs, provide the type of space you need for dining and offer plenty of storage. Its décor should complement your home’s architecture and set the tone for gatherings that happen there. A lot of factors play into kitchen design, but the first step before choosing appliances or visiting a cabinet showroom is to set some goals for your space.
Start by reflecting on why you’re remodeling and what you really need to get out of it. A kitchen remodel is not an easy task, so why are you doing it? Download and complete the Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire and Kitchen Goals Worksheet. Your answers to these questions will help you create a remodeling checklist and budget.
When Deborah Pierce, principal, Pierce Lamb Architects, West Newton, Mass, works with clients, she works through an organic process that involves addressing each of these key variables:
  • Size of the space
  • Orientation of sunlight
  • Connection of kitchen to adjacent rooms
  • Homeowner’s lifestyle
  • Budget
  • Condition of the building

Kitchen Remodeling Considerations

As you start planning your remodel, consider these factors:
Size (Square Footage). “Every inch of space is important, especially in a small kitchen,” Pierce emphasizes. The size of your kitchen will dictate the layout: Is there room for an island? Does space allow for a prep sink? Where can you squeeze in extra storage?
Will you knock out a wall or extend the kitchen by adding on to your home? How much space can you conceivably add to your kitchen layout? These are questions to consider with a kitchen designer or architect, who can help you devise a solid plan.
Existing Layout. Don’t feel married to your kitchen’s existing footprint. “Windows and doors are seldom in the place you want them,” Pierce says. “They might be on the wrong wall, or in the wrong place entirely.” If you must maintain the windows/doors of your kitchen, you may be locked in to your layout—but there are always ways to modify. For instance, you can add a peninsula to an L-shaped kitchen and create a horseshoe layout that offers more counter space and efficiency. Learn about different kitchen layouts.
As you consider kitchen layout, take time to think about what you like about your current kitchen:
  • How do you move in the space?
  • Does the workflow accommodate your cooking routine?
  • Can you easily move from the range to the sink?
  • How effective is your kitchen when more than one person is cooking?
These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself as you begin to plan your kitchen remodel. To see a complete list of questions you’ll need to consider, download the Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire.
Infrastructure. Depending on the age of your kitchen, you might confront electrical or plumbing concerns as you remodel. Work with an architect-engineer team to ensure that the “guts” of your kitchen can accommodate the technology (appliances, lighting, etc.) you will install.
“In an older house, you may find yourself with sagging floors that need to be addressed or crooked walls that need to be straightened out,” Pierce says, pointing to a couple of budget busters that many homeowners do not plan for. “Keep an open mind at the start of the process,” she continues. “Understand your needs, but recognize the variables that a designer or builder might need to deal with during the process.”
Lifestyle. How will you use the kitchen? What type of cook are you? How do you entertain? Answer the questions in the Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire as you prioritize features for your new kitchen. Peterson likes to keep the conversation general when first identifying kitchen likes/dislikes, “identifying problems rather than solutions, and wishes rather than details,” she says. “This is because the design will evolve as all variables are considered, and locking on to a specific feature at the start may solve one problem but preclude a better design that solves five other problems.”
For example, choosing professional appliances that take up 80 percent of the space may not allow enough room for cabinetry storage or area to expand a window to let more light into the kitchen.
Budget. For a more detailed discussion, visit our Budgeting Your Project section. As Roberta Bauer-Kravette, LEED AP, AKBD and director of Nieuw Amsterdam Kitchens in New York, N.Y., says, “The fastest way to go over your budget is to change your mind on materials and finishes.”
Decide where to save and where to splurge. Set a realistic budget, figuring between 6 and 10 percent of your home value for a complete kitchen remodel. Brad Burgin, Burgin Construction Inc. in North Tustin, Calif., says his clients that spend about 10 percent of their overall home value realize a return on their investment at resale. View and download our budget worksheet to help you decide where to spend your budget.

GROWN RESTAURANT IS NOW OPEN IN LAKE NONA

Grown is now open for business. Grown Restaurant is own by former NBA Star Ray Allen and his Wife Shannon. Grown is located inside the Lake Nona Walmart in the Lake Nona Landing Shopping Center.

Open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. They’re currently in a Soft Opening phase with a Limited menu.
Grand Opening will be later this Summer.

Grown gives a facelift to fast food. Making it easier to eat healthy in Lake Nona.

Grown has real food, cooked slow, for fast people. When it comes to eating, busy people have been conditioned to accept compromise. At grown, food can finally be convenient, nutritious and affordable all at the same time, under one garden-topped roof, full of freshly grown ingredients.

Grown will be located in the new Lake Nona Walmart in Lake Nona Landings.