What’s Up In The Real Estate Market

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Palm Beach County single-family housing inventory slow to increase

The single family housing market in Palm Beach County continues to reflect a seller’s market as inventory has been slow to increase, according to April’s Florida Realtors® Monthly Market Detail.

Active inventory rose only a mere 0.5 percent in comparison to last year, ending April with 5.1 months of supply.

The median sale price for single family homes is up 6.5 percent to $327,000.

“Single family housing numbers are continuing to point to a seller’s market,” Jeffrey Levine, President-Elect of the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches (RAPB) said.  “Now is a great time for prospective sellers to sell, and buyers have to prioritize what they are seeking as it is becoming more difficult to find the ‘perfect’ home.”

Visit www.rapb.com/market-updates for more information

Delray Beach Housing Authority debuts into its permanent office space

It has been more than ten years since Hurricane Wilma destroyed the Delray Beach Housing Authority’s (DBHA) administrative office space, located on the grounds of the Authority’s Public Housing complex, which was also destroyed.

Since that time the agency has moved twice to rental space within the city.

Last month, the authority celebrated the grand opening of its new permanent office building with a ribbon cutting ceremony. More than 75 people attended.

The new mixed-use building (office on the first floor, residential on the second floor) is located within the West Settlers Historic District, 82 NW 5th Ave. The facility is the first new construction project in Palm Beach County certified by the Green Building Initiative for Resource Efficiency & Reduction of Environmental Impacts.

The design has focused on minimizing water usage through installation of water saving shower heads, water closets and exterior vegetation requiring minimal irrigation; incorporated energy saving light sensors throughout the space, along with a significant number of windows optimizing day lighting.

“Our city is in positive transition on many fronts, and with change comes a need for patience and vision to understand how we can, in an ever-changing environment, best serve our residents.,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said. “To that end, while we welcome our Housing Agency to their new home, I also challenge them and other like-minded thinkers in our community to not rely solely on government to solve our housing problems; to rise to the occasion, moving beyond traditional roles and help us formulate innovative affordable housing solutions. We know our Housing Authority cannot solve this alone, but we also know we cannot solve this without you.”

The Delray Beach Housing Authority provides housing assistance to very low-income families.

“To city officials, city and community leaders and residents of this great city, you have something special within this organization called DBHA,” Board Chairman Guarn Sims said. “There’s nothing better than having a strong component within your city which delivers positive results continuously while impacting the lives of some of the neediest within our communities by providing quality affordable housing and other services.”

Delray-based Currie Sowards Aguila architects selected to design Monroe County Courthouse and Detention Center

Delray Beach-based Currie Sowards Aguila Architects has been selected to design the Monroe County Courthouse and Detention Center in Plantation Key.

This $20 million, 47,000-square-foot project is one of several municipal buildings that the 48-year-old Delray Beach firm has designed in the Florida Keys. The modern courthouse will reflect the character and influence of its locale while providing top security measures.  The project is expected to break ground in the summer of 2018 and open in mid-2020.

“We are honored to have been selected for this project,” Bob Currie said. “This is an exciting and challenging design as we are working within a small site that requires both the critical functionality of a courthouse and detention center, while also demanding an aesthetic that is respectful and contextual with the surrounding residential community.”

With most Florida buildings, glass areas are maximized to bring in natural light and views; however, courtrooms and detention facilities which require maximum security rendered that a challenge. CSA’s innovative solution was to create an interior courtyard that opens to the sky, bringing light and vegetation to the center of the building.

The firm also had to create a way to keep the general public away from detainees as well as consider the tropical weather while designing the facade.

“Through creative design, color schemes, and vegetation, we will create an atmosphere that blends and is integrated with this residential community,” Currie said. “Weather issues are also a factor as design in the tropics needs to account for heavy rains, high winds, and heat. These considerations were addressed through the creation of window louvers for shade that will also provide scale considerations for the articulation of the façade. The design element also creates an illusion that makes the scale of the building appear less massive and highlights the complex’s entry point.”

WeBocaTV to launch new original series on Boca builders

A new original series “Boca Builders and Beyond” will debut this fall on WeBocaTV.com,

The show will air at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and be available “on demand.”

The series will be hosted by multi-million dollar waterfront real estate developer Mary Widmer of JMW Florida Properties. She is currently developing a $10 million dollar waterfront masterpiece located at 899 Enfield Street.

Each week will take you behind the scenes of the project and show what it takes to develop and design a new waterfront home form the ground up.

From purchasing the lot, tearing down it down to showcasing the most luxurious decor from the best furnishings, fabricators and manufacturers in South Florida.

The series will also showcase some of Widmer’s previously built homes, her designs and her passion for building homes as well as her hunt for next new million dollar waterfront luxury project to develop.

Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches merges with Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors

A member vote to merge the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors® passed forming the third largest local Realtor® association in the nation.

With a 99 percent passing rate as well as the highest voter participation of the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches in its history, the group will be known as Realtors® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), this is the first local association merger of 2017.

“With a 99 percent  passing rate, as well as the highest voter participation in the history of the RAPB, our members turned out in record numbers to vote in support of the merger,” Dionna Hall, Chief Executive Officer of RAPB said.

Hall will be installed as the CEO of the merged Association and MLS.

“We are very excited to bring our members together in being the voice of real estate for more than a 100 mile span. After seeing our members overwhelming support, I’m confident that we made the right decision for our Association and our local real estate market.” President of RAPB John Slivon said.

Association members will have more opportunity with leadership involvement and the ability to bring forth ideas and issues that are very localized with Regional Boards in Western Broward County, Eastern Broward County, Southern Palm Beach County, Northern Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.

The merging of these two “mega boards” creates an opportunity for the Realtors® in Palm Beach, Broward and St. Lucie Counties to have the best in class representing over 25,000 Association members and 30,000 MLS subscribers.

The merged association’s multiple listing services will carry more than 40,000 on-market listings, totaling over $21 billion in inventory. This creates both a single source for homebuyers and greater exposure for sellers throughout the Southeast coast of Florida. The company will become one of the ten largest MLSs in the United States.

According to NAR, the national trend shows mergers and partnerships are becoming more popular among Boards and Associations for a variety of reasons including overlapping markets, similar services, geographic considerations, cost-savings, membership benefits and wider recognition in the marketplace.

NAR’s “core standards” have been a driving force in association mergers and dissolutions involving tens of thousands of Realtors®. The “core standards” mandate a minimum level of service from location associations.