Star Power Systems was founded by Howard Brinton, a top agent in real estate sales in Colorado, and the premier education provider for real estate professionals everywhere.

The Star Power Conference will be held July 19-22 in New York City at the Marriott Marquis hotel.  Howard began a series of audiotape interviews with top producing brokers and agents around the country, and "STARS" were born. Since then, he has conducted more than 18,000 hours of research and one-on-one interviews with more than 300 leading producers.

Brett Ellis will be presenting in Thursday morning’s general keynote session entitled "Road Warrior Technology."  Brett will be presenting among other things his extensive use of Blogging through a company called Real Estate Blogsites.  Real Estate Blogsites is a recommended supplier for Star Power’s attendees because it helps them get their message out, and attain top search engine rankings.

Brett is a regular speaker for Star Power Systems.  "I like meeting with other Top Agents in the industry."  It invogorates us, we always come back pumped up, and we’re glad to share top secrets with other top agents.  Star Power has done wonders for our career, and we always enjoy giving back to other agents, just as others have done for us.  Go Star Power!  Together, we all win!

The numbers just may not work for developer WCI Communinites to develop downtown Ft. Myers.  It’s frustrating to a developer when the city keeps changing the rules, it may be more in keeping with what the community wants and what will ultimately make downtown thrive and prosper.

Downtown Fort Myers needs an infusion of progress sooner rather than later though, so it would be a setback if WCI does indeed pullout. 

Hank Fishkind, a noted Florida economist predicts good things for SW Florida due to several factors. The regional airport, Florida Gulf Coast University, and others. 

Hank does see a housing bubble though due to high inventory of homes and condos.  Hank predicts a 2-3 year  wait for prices to really rise again as we work through all the new inventory.  Others believe the inventory will be absorbed much quicker than what Hank believes, including us.

We’re seeing sales picking up again, and that stats are proving it.  We look for sales to gradually increase in the 2nd half of 2006, which will be a reverse from the 2nd half ofd 2005 where sales decreased in the second half.  Sales in Fort Myers have been strobger than in Cape Coral. 

Each market in SW Florida real estate has a sub market, and it’s important to know how each sub market is performing when bringing a home to market, or when purchasing.

WCI Communities announced it is laying off employees nationwide due to a slowdown in home building.  While official numbers were not released, it is speculated that approximately 400 employees will be laid off, and perhaps 40 or so in the Fort Myers arrea.

WCI Communities is known for building communities such as Gateway, Gulf Harbour, Pelican Landing, Pelican Bay, Pelican Sound,  and Wildcat Run.  Current communities include Tiburon, Tuscany Reserve, The Colony, The Seasons, and others.

Company forecasts are for a slower year for new home sales.  Only 3 towers will be released for sale instead of the anticipated 11.

We’ve been working hard on our State of the Market Report mid year edition.  Because the market has changed so dramatically, we’ve decided to update this report mid year instead of the annual production.

We’ll be covering trends in real estate throught SW Florida, including Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Ft. Myers Beach, Pine Island, Lehigh Acres, Estero, and Bonita Springs.

We’ll look at inventory levels, number of agents, sales levels today compared to past years, and offer commentary on where the market may be headed.  We’ll cover What’s Hot and What’s Not, and we’ll dispell some myths.

We’re not ready to announce the actual release date yet, so check back here often.  You may even wish to subscribe to our RSS feeds so you’ll be the first to know the release date.

Also, be sure to tune into "The Future of Real Estate" Staurday mornings at 11:00 on AM 1240 in Lee County and AM 1270 in Naples.

Lee County’s real estate market inproved slightly over May, further confirming that the market has leveled out.  For 4 straight months the median prices has remained around $280,000 for single family homes, and this month it grew to $286,500.

Here are some other interesting statistics:

 Lee County Florida Current Market Statistics.

Active Pending Months Supply of Inventory
Single Family 11,838 1,426 12.74
Condo 7,414 644 14.22


Number of single family home sales are down 24% from last years numbers, but they are up 8.41% over May’s numbers.  Each month builds on the next, indicating a market that has bottomed and leveled out.  Single family home prices in SW Florida are up 5% over last year, and up 2.14% over last months figures.

The median price has stabilized, however the mean average price could still change as some sellers are reacting to market conditions and correcting their price to compete against other sellers.

What’s changed is the short term investor is out of this market.  Buyers no longer compete with investors to buy homes, so there is less upward pressure and more selection.  With rates below 7%, buyers will look back on May and June of 2006 as the best time to buy.

Given the improving news, we don’t see a lot of upward pressure on prices.  The wild cards in this market are increasing interest rates, and increasing insurance rates.  Both bite into home buyers purchasing power, which limits how much more they can afford to spend on a monthly payments.  Some home buyers can’t afford to live here.

Because Florida is a destination state, we have no shortage of buyers.  We do have a shortage of workers, which does impact the quality of life eventually.  With ample supply of people buying here, roads, restaurants, hotels, etc. will be more crowded and serviced less.

Highlights of meeting minutes from 5/15/06:

ACC Report. Report submitted to the Board on May 15, 2006. There is one concern regarding a resident that turned their garage into a living area. This was not submitted for ACC approval. General discussion followed. Board asked Hayden to act on it.

S & W Comm- Budget/Picnic. F Palmer provided a brief update about the community picnic to be held on June 3, 2006. The committee is requesting $200.00 from the BOD to fund the event–approved. There was also a request to have one “teen night” per month to be held at the clubhouse from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. -Approved–as long as there will be adult supervision and no-one in the pool after dusk nor any bikes/skateboards on the Clubhouse painted decking areas.

Building & Grounds– report provided for the month. Landscaping improvements were requested regarding the entry boulevard trees. K. Hayden suggested the committee meet w/Greenscapes to look at the master plan that is already being worked on for that area. Approval was given to the committee to maintain the 2 planters outside the front doors of clubhouse.

New member Kristin Mikovich was welcomed as she will now be part of the B&G Committee.

Mulch quote was rev’d from Greenscapes- determined to be high…questions were brought up if it was taken into consideration that the Blvd was already complete & there is already a separate quote provided for tot-lot. Also, B. Wilson asked if getting the mulch in bulk would be cheaper than the bags. Hayden to find answers for these questions as well as get two other quotes from vendors so there is something to compare to. Bench in place, drain in place, deadbolt on hall door in place. Power wash quotes reviewed for regular maintenance of pool deck, pool furniture, clubhouse decking & general maintenance of Clubhouse to include soffit/fascia…two more quotes coming.

Vandalism– F. Palmer reported on the recent damage and what was being done.

Berry’s Barbell Quote. K. Hayden was requested to obtain quotes for leasing equipment as opposed to purchase. He will report back to BOD before next meeting.

Downed Trees. K. Hayden provided a quote of $75.00 & a Board member provided a quote of $60.00 per tree. K. Hayden to contact Genesis Tree Removal ASAP at 823-5363 to set up time to stake trees. BOD would like completed before next meeting.

Entrance Sign– B. Condon provided a brief update. The sign should be completed by May 23, 2006.

Roundabout Update– K. Hayden is working w/ Greenscapes to get a plan and cost as well as a credit on what was spent.

Fountain Update– K. Oliver met with the contractor and is working on a resolution. She provided a brief update and cost on quarterly maintenance. For the 3 fountains only it would be around $1400 yr…does not include the bubblers that will be looked at separately & will not be replaced. The 2 in Westchester will be pulled to check the motors. To replace the fountains totally if needed will be around $8k each to include lights.

We finally rec’d all blueprints from Beazer for the entire Community so we are aware of the landscape plan as well as the irrigation setup.

Financial Review– there seems to be several residents that are well over $200.00 in delinquent dues and not at the attorney for collections. The Board asked what the process was once referred to atty and how long it takes to get into a lien.

Property Management Report. See attached reports for March & April submitted.

The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 12, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.

Developers are pacing themselves now as the market has cooled a bit, however they know they must keep buying land and building for the future.  This is why developers keep building.  A smart developer knows how much to pay for land depending on market conditions, and how much absorption there is in the market.  Absorption rates determine how much to build at a given time.

Because land and development takes time, builders and developers cannot rest as they would be caught short without property as many were the last housing boom.

Many predict the second half of 2006 and 2007 to be very good in real estate, and builders want to have available properties to build when it does get good again.  This takes planning and foresight.

Naples Florida is the most overpriced market in the US according to National City Mortgage.  I found this article in Money Magazine, which covers most major markets across the country.

What’s their forecast for the rest of SW Florida real estate?  They predict Cape Coral – Fort Myers homes to appreciate 9.3% from June 2006 to June 2007.  This is in line with what the Ellis Team has been predicting.  Statistically we think the market has hit bottom and now is the time for buyers to buy in earnest as their is good selection and still relatively low interest rates.