ORLANDO, Fla., May 21, 2020 – In April, economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in business shutdowns and subsequent rising unemployment rates impacted Florida’s housing market. The latest housing data from Florida Realtors® reported lower levels of closed sales, pending sales, new listings, and other metrics compared to a year ago – except for median sale price, which rose compared to April 2019.Read More »
Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic, Statewide Stay-at-Home Began in March
ORLANDO, Fla., May 12, 2020 – In the first quarter of 2020, Florida’s housing market reported higher median prices and more closed sales compared to a year ago, though the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the state’s economy and real estate markets began to emerge in mid-March, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.Read More »
DESTIN, Fla. – It’s always gratifying to see a previously homeless person no longer living on the streets, says Jackie Pilcher, a Realtor® with ResortQuest Real Estate in Destin.Read More »
ORLANDO, Fla., April 21, 2020 – In March, Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales and higher median prices year-over-year, but pending sales, new listings and pending inventory showed lower levels compared to March 2019, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 26,611 last month, 6.4% higher than March 2019.Read More »
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What’s happening in Florida’s housing market? Real estate is a vital part of the economy in the Sunshine State, and Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. In this Market Update, Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor keeps you up-to-date on the state’s latest housing statistics and provides insight into what the numbers really mean.
JUPITER, Fla. – Andrew Levy, an agent with Echo Fine Properties in Jupiter, knows it’s his job as a real estate professional to keep up with what’s going on in the community.
“I watch the local news, check local Facebook groups, and attend local government and community meetings,” says Levy.
But staying on top of what’s happening isn’t just for business purposes: He’s able to discover areas of need and help out, which is the part that Levy appreciates the most. For example, he found out about – and then paid off – almost $1,000 in lunch debts at two Jupiter schools.
He first heard about that need through a Facebook group.
“I’m a member of a few Jupiter Facebook groups, one of them is called Jupiter Mamas. Although I’m not a mama,” laughs Levy. “But they share a lot of valuable news and information. In fact, any update that comes out of that group goes straight to the top of my newsfeed.”
From that group, a post came up about how many of the local schools had lunch debt.
“I thought, ‘What does that even mean?’” says Levy. “And, I wondered how that would impact the kids. With all the pressures for children in school today, to have to worry about getting lunch is a horrible thought.”
Levy researched the issue, drove over to the food services management division for Palm Beach County schools and told them that he wanted to clear the debts.
“I took my checkbook out and wrote the check. At that time, it was about $944,” he said. He also discovered that lunches cost between $2 and $2.30 per child in elementary and middle schools. Students with lunch debt aren’t denied lunches at school but will get a sandwich instead of a regular entrée.
At the time Levy donated, Palm Beach County had more than $51,000 in lunch debt.
Since then, Levy has started a GoFundMe page called, A Child Can’t Learn Hungry. To date, he’s raised $4,248 and that money will go directly to Palm Beach County schools to pay off lunch debt.
Already, $4,000 has paid off lunch debts in nine Jupiter schools.
“I hope to continue this for years and grow it countywide – and, one day, statewide,” says Levy.
The story about Levy went viral and he got calls from national daytime shows as well as invites from reporters.
“I was on the front page of CNN online. The story was trending for over 48 hours. I even had a headline news special on me where I did a video chat with a reporter,” he says.
Levy has big plans for the future of A Child Can’t Learn Hungry.
“I like the grassroots side of this, which is the GoFundMe page, but I would also like to reach out to corporations to sponsor donations because we have a strong, tightknit community. I also think we can grow and expand by becoming a 501(c)(3) organization,” he says.
Levy adds, “I learned from my father the importance of proving a concept locally before expanding it, but I do have big plans. You can’t neglect what needs to be done in your community, and real estate agents are perfectly positioned to hear about those community needs.”
To donate to A Child Can’t Learn Hungry, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/childrencantlearnhungry
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ORLANDO, Fla., March 20, 2020 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and higher pending inventory in February 2020 compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 20,693 last month, up 9.1% from February 2019.Read More »
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Several years ago, Andrew Bell, broker-owner of NextHome Assurance Realty in Jacksonville, was asked to dress up as the Blues Brothers and perform with a friend at a Women’s Council of Realtors® event. “I thought, ‘well, I guess this works as my friend (Peter Gruenther) was tall and thin like Dan Aykroyd, and I resembled Jim Belushi (the original Blues Brothers),” says Bell. “We were such a hit that people started asking us to perform at other events.”
One event was for the Realtors® Political Action Committee. “It was at the Pink Flamingo Lounge, so we decided to dress in pink suits,” he says. “People were off their rocker; they loved us,” he says.
Bell decided that they should take advantage of the popularity and the pink suits to do something positive in the community.
“Obviously, the pink suit ties in with breast cancer,” he says.
Through his research, Bell met Jeri Millard, founder of In The Pink.
“It’s a store that provides things people need when they go through chemo and have cancer, like mastectomy bras, wigs, lotions and more. They also have head-shaving parties and yoga,” says Bell, who notes that In The Pink is not just for those with breast cancer, it’s for any type of cancer. “They not only provide physical support but emotional support as well. What I liked the most is that Jeri told me that no matter whether the person has insurance or not, they all get the same stuff. They were providing a service to people who didn’t have the money to get what those with insurance would be able to get easily.”
He says, “We’re in real estate. It’s all about the community. So, with In The Pink, all of the money raised stays in the community. In fact, for every dollar raised, a dollar goes toward helping local people with cancer.”
For Bell and Gruenther, it was the perfect fit.
“Wherever Jeri needs us and whenever Jeri needs us, we’re there to raise awareness and money,” Bell says. “For several years, we had a float in our local Beaches Parade. We’ll perform at a chili cookoff fundraiser, we’ll emcee events. With the last chili cookoff, more than $24,000 was raised. That wasn’t just from us. It’s a whole team that puts on this event.”
For Bell, participating in a charity that helps people in the community is vital.
He adds, “I believe local monies raised should stay in our community. Of course, I want to help everyone, but too often, with bigger charities, you’re sending a quarter of the money out of state. I want to make an impact where I live and work. Let’s go out and raise awareness. Let’s create a buzz. Let’s create some excitement and get people to dig deep into their pockets because the money that they’re spending is helping people here in our community.”
However, Bell says, “the true unsung heroes are the people who we’re helping raise awareness for, and that’s all that matters.”
For more information on In The Pink, go to https://jaxinthepink.com/location/jacksonville-beach/
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ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 21, 2020 – Florida’s housing market started the year off on a positive track, with more closed sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and higher pending inventory in January 2020 compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 18,298 last month, up 17.9% from January 2019.Read More »
TAMPA BAY, Fla., Feb. 14, 2020 – There’s a lot to love about Florida, and Florida Realtors® showcased some of the Sunshine State’s best qualities to a 74-plus member delegation of the Spanish International Realty Alliance® (SIRA) this week, just in time for Valentine’s Day.Read More »