Home sales finished strong in December, helping make 2016 the best year for U.S. home sales since the recession, according to the January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report, an analysis of MLS data from 53 metro areas. In fact, home sales in 2016 were the highest in the housing report’s eight-year history. Here are key points from January’s report:

1. Homes are still selling fast

In December, homes spent an average of 62 days on the market. That’s the shortest time of any December in the report’s history.

2. Prices are rising

The median sales price of a home sold in December was $216,000. That was nearly 5 percent higher than the median sales price in December 2015.

3. Inventory continues to shrink

The inventory of homes for sale dropped nearly 18 percent between last December and December 2015, continuing a year-long streak of double-digit declines. Given the current pace of home sales, the inventory equals 4.2 months of sales. To put that in context, a supply of six months is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers. In December, 47 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a supply of less than 6.0 months. That’s usually considered a seller’s market.

4. Slightly fewer transactions occurred

The overall average number of home sales fell 1.8 percent compared to December 2015. However, almost half of the 53 metro areas showed an increase in sales year-over-year. Growth in markets across the country was in the double digits. Home sales in the Wilmington/Dover, Delaware market shot up by about 21 percent. Sales in Honolulu, Hawaii grew by 19.7 percent and sales in Augusta, Maine, rose by about 16 percent.

What’s the upshot of all this research? “Much like 2015, we saw a mostly healthy housing market in 2016 that posted steady growth in sales and prices,” said and co-founder. “We’re back to pre-recession levels in many markets, with 2017 forecast to be another solid year. We’ll have to wait and see what impact rising interest rates will have.” In December, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for only the second time since 2006.

Dig into the details of the January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report in the infographic below. You can also read more on the RE/MAX Newsroom.

RE/MAX Housing Blog

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Above: The RE/MAX Magazine

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs kicked off 2017 with the fifth annual Orange County Economic Summit. The Summit presents a gauge of the current economic climate and forecast.

Dr. Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Institute for Economic Competitiveness and chair of the Orlando EDC’s Orlando Economic Forum, presented a forecast for the local, state and national economy in 2017.

“In Central Florida, there’s growth in all sectors. The pace of growth, compared to the state-wide averages, is much stronger,” Snaith said during his presentation. “We’re growing faster than the state, than the national economy and not by a little bit, but by a great amount.”As Orlando’s economy grows, the need for a diverse and highly educated workforce becomes increasingly critical for the region. In a panel focused on workforce development, key regional leaders discussed programs and initiatives to meet the present and future demand for a qualified labor force in Central Florida. The panelists included Barbara Jenkins, Ed.D., superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, Thad Seymour, Ph.D., vice provost for UCF Downtown, Sanford “Sandy” Shugart, Ph.D., president of Valencia College and Crystal Sircy, executive vice president of the Orlando Economic Development Commission. Pam Nabors, president and CEO of CareerSource Central Florida moderated the panel.

“Workforce, hands down, is the most important factor of economic development,” Crystal Sircy said. “CEOs repeatedly tell us that workforce development and the talent pool today, and in the future, is vital to their success.” Sircy added that businesses are attracted to a diverse workforce and a ready talent pipeline.

Dr. Sugart discussed Valencia Colleges’ expansion of technical certifications to meet the need for both job seekers and employers looking for specifically technical proficiency. Dr. Jenkins shared Orange County Public Schools’ commitment to preparing students for post higher education and future careers through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

Dr. Seymour discussed the strategic advantage that Orlando’s higher education community has over other regions nationwide. The region’s cohesive community allows organizations to strategically foster the required talent needed by growing industry sectors.

“Thanks to changing technologies and emerging industries, we really need to create a pipeline of workers who are skilled in a wide variety of specialty and high-tech areas. From under-employed workers seeking new skills to high-school-aged and entry-level workers, we are committed to helping everyone gain access to job training, in order to develop a marketable workforce skill.” Mayor Jacobs said.

Following the 2017 Economic Summit, Orange County hosted the second Florida TechMatch, an invitation-only event that gives local technology companies the chance to build relationships with national industry leaders.

andos-commitment-to-workforce-developm” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Orlando Economic Development Commission Newsroom

anda-roche” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Thank You: Amanda Roche

Demolishing your seventies kitchen and upgrading to stainless steel and granite can produce all kinds of happy feelings. It can also produce piles of materials you might not be sure what to do with. Here are a few ways to remove all those building byproducts.

1. Donate

If your stuff’s in half-decent condition, there’s probably a drop-off donation center willing to take it. Habitat for Humanity has a national network of home improvement stores stocked by donations. They take everything from light fixtures and appliances to counter tops and windows.

2. Reclaim, reuse, recycle

Roll up old carpet and use the Carpet America Recovery Effort website to find a company near you that will reclaim, recycle or reuse it. Check with your municipality to find out if they recycle any other types of construction material. The Construction and Demolition Recycling Association can help you locate local companies that will take materials such as asphalt shingles, gypsum drywall and concrete.

3. Options for paint

PaintCare is an organization that works on behalf of paint manufacturers in states with paint stewardship laws to set up places to safely recycle and dispose of unwanted paint. Many municipalities have drop-off days for oil-based paint, which is considered household hazardous waste.

RE/MAX Housing Blog

KPMG LLC announced its plans today to build a 55-acre learning, development, and innovation facility in Lake Nona located in the City of Orlando. KPMG expects to create 80 high-wage jobs in Orlando and make a more than $400 million capital investment. Construction on the new, state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to begin in spring 2017 and be completed in late 2019. This will be the largest capital investment project that the Orlando EDC has worked on in the last 10 years.

This brand-new facility represents KPMG’s progressive vision to create an energetic forum for learning for its employees, further enhancing its world-class training capabilities. The premier meeting space will include an Innovation Center, a museum, as well as 800 guest rooms, fitness and outdoor recreational facilities, and multiple food and beverage venues.

“Our center will be the cornerstone of our learning and development strategy, which will continue to blend in-person training and virtual options,” said P. Scott Ozanus, Deputy Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, KPMG LLP. “It will give our partners and professionals the benefits of alternating between classroom and field-like training environments for an experience that is interactive, innovative, and collaborative.”

The vision of KPMG’s new facility matched perfectly with Lake Nona’s focus on inspiring human performance – one of the many reasons why KPMG choose Orlando for its global training facility. Additional reasons included Orlando’s direct flights to 90% of KPMG’s office locations, world-class infrastructure, community partner engagement, competitive business climate, and (of course) year-round, sunny skies.

“KPMG now joins other high-caliber companies – USTA, ADP, Deloitte, Verizon – all global companies who have chosen to invest in the Orlando region because they now know the ‘other half’ of Orlando’s story,” said Robert Utsey, chair of the Orlando Economic Development Commission.

KPMG’s new campus will help us further the regional branding message, “Orlando. You don’t know the half of it,” with professionals from all over the world experiencing Orlando, first-hand, from a business perspective.

ando” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Orlando Economic Development Commission Newsroom



IRVINE, California Jan. 10, 2017 Among the 50 largest U.S. markets, the top five (in order) were Orlando, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Dallas, according to Ten-X, an online marketplace. Each metro area had “a vigorous combination of consistently strong demand, home price appreciation, and economic and demographic growth.”

While Florida metros again dominated the rankings, Ten-X said there was movement within the top five slots: Orlando jumped from fourth to first to overtake Fort Lauderdale; Fort Lauderdale dropped to third; Palm Beach County remained unchanged in second; and Tampa slipped from third place to fourth.

“While most of the cities at the top of the list share common traits like job growth, population growth and economic expansion, many of the cities showing the greatest potential were among those hardest hit during the Great Recession,” says Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “The top 20 cities in our report include many that were devastated during the foreclosure crisis – especially in states like Florida – and as home prices continue to recover, they still represent buying opportunities for homeowners and investors alike.”

Healthy economic and demographic trends are fueling demand throughout much of the Sunshine State, keeping sales elevated and enabling significant price growth. Dallas, for its part, is benefiting from a more diversified economy than most other Texas metros, allowing it to withstand pressures from low oil prices. Las Vegas, still a leader in terms of housing demand, sales and job growth, now ranks ninth.

“The recovery – and future outlook – continue to be very regional. Like Florida, the Southwest, Coastal California and Pacific Northwest are all showing great promise, while the Midwest and Northeast are still struggling,” Sharga says.

Top five markets at a glance

Market – home price growth year over year – home sales growth year over year

  • Orlando – 11.2% – 0.2%
  • Palm Beach County – 12.1% – -0.6%
  • Fort Lauderdale – 8.8% – -0.9%
  • Tampa – 10.7% – -0.4%
  • Dallas – 9.9% – -0.3%

Ten-X analysis of the top five markets

The Orlando housing market continues to make substantial strides in its recovery. Metro employment is up 4.1 percent year-over-year, supported in large part by its booming leisure/hospitality sector that comprises over 21 percent of local employment. Payrolls are at an all-time high, some 27 percent above their prior peak. Home prices jumped 4.4 percent this past quarter, eclipsing $200,000 for the first time since 2008. Up 11.2 percent year-over-year, home prices have outpaced US annual growth for 20 straight quarters, with room for additional growth as prices remain 17.3 percent below their prior peak. Population growth has exceeded two percent for four consecutive years, and Orlando’s economic outlook is among the best in the nation.

Palm Beach County
Palm Beach is seeing healthy progress in its housing recovery, though economic growth has markedly decelerated in 2016. Year-over-year employment growth is at 1.5 percent, the lowest annual rate since 2011 and down from the three to five percent growth the metro has enjoyed for most of the recovery. Home sales are at a high level, however, some 24 percent below their bubble peak, indicating plenty of room for further growth. Seasonally adjusted prices are approaching $270,000 and are at their highest level since 2007, though they remain 11.6 percent below their prior peak. This suggests room for further growth. Single-family homes in the metro offer great affordability and are cheaper than local apartment rentals, which should preserve demand for buying and allow for additional price gains. With permit activity still hovering at a low level, overbuilding is far from a concern and Palm Beach’s housing market remains solid.

Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale’s housing market continues to thrive in its lengthy recovery from the housing bust. With metro employment up 3.4 percent year-over-year, the local manufacturing and transportation/utilities sectors sustained vigorous growth throughout 2016. Leisure/hospitality jobs, a mainstay of the local economy, continue to reach new heights. Home sales are still some 26 percent below their pre-bust peak, largely seeing choppy progress despite contracting this past quarter, and home prices have risen 8.8 percent over the past year to a cyclical high of nearly $245,000. Though annual home price growth has outpaced the US since 2011, prices remain 16.2 percent below their prior peak, leaving additional room for gains. Fort Lauderdale’s population growth doubled that of the U.S. at 1.4 percent in 2015, and continued growth should support the housing market’s ongoing recovery.

Tampa’s housing market is marching ahead on its road to recovery, thanks to an economy that continues to enjoy strong job growth and strengthening demographics. Despite cooling over the past few months, total employment stands 2.6 percent higher than its year-ago level, with job gains in 32 of the past 34 months. Tampa’s largest sector, professional/business services, has seen its explosive growth slow in the past year, though payrolls are up 4.6 percent year-over-year. Home prices reached a cyclical high of almost $180,000 and are up 10.7 percent year-over-year, continuing the torrid pace that has outstripped US annual growth since late 2011. Meanwhile, prices are very affordable in the metro at 12.3 percent below their prior peak, suggesting further room for gains. Accelerating population growth combined with a robust economy should fuel Tampa’s housing market going forward.

Dallas continues to see vigorous growth, notwithstanding the drop in oil prices that are threatening some other Texas metros. Driven largely by the professional/business services sector, payrolls are up 3.8 percent from last year and the city has added jobs in 44 of the last 45 months. Recent job losses in the manufacturing sector have been slight compared to the rest of the state, keeping unemployment at a low 3.6 percent. Single-family prices are up 9.9 percent from a year ago, reaching an all-time high of more than $215,000. Though prices have risen for 19 consecutive quarters and are well above their prior peak, single-family homes remain affordable in the metro, indicating that further price gains are sustainable. Dallas’ population growth in 2015 was almost triple the U.S. average, which bodes well for the future.

According to Zillow, The total value of Orlando homes is on the rise, reaching $187.5 billion at the end of 2016, up 8.5 percent, or $14.6 billion, from the prior year.

The local median home value in 2016 was almost a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

Check out Zillow’s 10 top metro Orlando areas that had the fastest appreciating home values, shown here with the median home value, followed by year-over-year growth:

  1. Pine Hills: $107,700; 23.7 percent

  2. Lockhart: $138,400; 16.8 percent

  3. Altoona: $135,600; 16.1 percent

  4. Paisley $143,000; 15.8 percent

  5. Fairview Shores: $174,600; 15.6 percent

  6. Tangelo Park: $82,900; 14.5 percent

  7. Wedgefield: $275,500; 14.3 percent

  8. Orlovista: $93,100; 14.2 percent

  9. Kissimmee: $158,700; 14.0 percent

  10. Sky Lake: $136,600; 13.3 percent

Among the list of major U.S. cities with the highest housing stock toward the end of 2016, Orlando ranks 26th out of the 35. “Orlando is a relatively strong job market and is affordable. It’s still a great place for entry-level homebuyers and continues to grow,” said ando market is still well below the peak, meaning there are deals to be found in comparison to other major cities that are above that peak.

What does this mean for 2017? Zillow forecasts the housing market in metro Orlando “to appreciate 5.7 percent over the next year. The U.S. as a whole is forecasted to appreciate 3 percent over the next year,” Terrazas said.

Zillow predicts that metro Orlando’s median home value for 2017 will be $209,400, which is roughly $11,000 more than what it is now at $198,100.

ando-areas-with-the-highest” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Orlando Business Journal Article

Winter Park, FL  January 2017 – RE/MAX Town & Country Realty announced today that Mike Kintz has joined the growing real estate franchise making the move from Exit Results Realty.

“I believe accessibility and integrity are two of the most important characteristics people need to help get them through the home buying and selling process the right way,” Mike said. “RE/MAX Town & Country has the reputation and structure in place to help my team and I deliver on that promise to our clients.”

Mike and his wife Katie have 21 total years of experience teaching and coaching high school football and basketball in Central Florida, so they have a vested interest in the community they call home with their two sons.

For more information about RE/MAX Town & Country Realty, please visit MetroOrlandoProperties.com or contact Rob Breese, Sales Manager at (321) 436-8813.

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About RE/MAX Town & Country Realty and RE/MAX 200 Realty:
RE/MAX 200 is a family business in constant operation for nearly 40 years through all types of real estate markets in Winter Park, Florida.  Founded by Ron Acker in 1975 the company has grown into one of the most respected, largest, independently owned and operated real estate brokerages in the area.  RE/MAX Town & Country Realty is the Winter Springs branch office of RE/MAX 200 Realty and has been serving Seminole County from the same location on Tuskawilla Road for over 20 years.

About RE/MAX:
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 100,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of nearly 100 countries. When measured by residential transaction sides, nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX.  With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $150 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities.

Peter Nadler, Marketing Director
(407) 629-6330 x518, peter.nadler@rmxmail.com