Florida Housing Prices Report

Florida’s housing market wrapped up 2014 with more closed sales, more new listings and higher median prices compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“In December and throughout 2014, we’ve seen positive signs that Florida’s housing sector is on a steady, sustainable path,” said 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. “Sales are moving at a steady, moderate pace and home prices are stabilizing. Florida’s economy continues to grow, more jobs are being created and mortgage interest rates remain at historically low levels, which will help drive the state’s housing market forward in 2015.”

December 2014
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 22,414 in December, up 15.8 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

New listings of single-family homes for sale last month reached 24,840, up 2.9 percent year-to-year. Meanwhile, the statewide median sales price for existing single-family homes in December was $185,000, up 6.9 percent from the previous year. December marked the 37th month in a row that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhome-condo properties rose year-over-year.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in November 2014 was $206,200, up 5.6 percent from the same month a year ago. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in November was $445,280; in Massachusetts, it was $330,000; in Maryland, it was $250,424; and in New York, it was $227,500. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 9,466 units sold statewide last month, up 11.3 percent compared to December 2013. Meanwhile, new listings of townhome-condos reached 12,438 last month, up 3.4 percent year-to-year. The statewide median for townhouse-condo properties was $149,000, up 8.4 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in November 2014 was $199,000.

“The December numbers are strongly positive for both the single-family and condo markets,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “We are seeing the steady and sustainable growth that has characterized the market the entire year continuing as the year ends. Of particular note is the inventory levels in the balanced market range: We’re keeping a close eye on the lack of inventory in the lower price ranges, but by and large, the market is in very good shape.”

Year-end 2014
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 244,543 in 2014, up 8.1 percent compared to the 2013 figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations.

New listings for existing single-family homes rose 7.4 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2014 was $178,000, up 5.3 percent from the previous year.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 108,354 units sold statewide in 2014, down slightly (-1.2 percent) from 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in 2014 compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 58.2 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 50.7 percent.

New listings for townhouse-condos for the year increased 2.2 percent compared to a year ago. The statewide median for townhouse-condo properties in 2014 was $140,000, up 9.8 percent over the previous year.

At the end of 2014 and also for December 2014, inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.2-months’ supply, while inventory for townhouse-condo properties was at a 5.9-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo said, “We close the books on 2014 on a very positive note. The year marks the transition of the Florida real estate market from a rapid recovery to a path of steady growth. Virtually all the metrics for the market are moving in the right direction at levels that can be sustained.”

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17 percent for 2014, up from the previous year’s average of 3.98 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org/ and look under Latest Releases, or download the December 2014 and the Year End 2014 data report PDFs under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 140,000 members in 58 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

SOURCE Florida Realtors

CONTACT: Marla Martin, Media Relations and Communications Manager, orJeff Zipper, Vice President of Communications; 407/438-1400, ext. 2326 or 2314

Small Business Owners-Look Here Before You Leap

Dr. Michael D. Ames, Professor of Management at California State University Fullerton and founder of University’s Small Business Institute, wrote a textbook twenty years ago that outlines some of the struggles that small business owners face when launching and managing their company. This textbook, “Small Business Management,” has been so influential that the Small Business Administration (SBA) cites it on their website.

The original list found on the SBA’s website consisted of 10 major reasons for small business failure, some of which include lack of experience, over-investment and poor inventory management.

While Dr. Ames says that list and his textbook still offer small business owners very valuable information, he “would overlay it with another list of 20 years or more of experience.”

In an exclusive interview with loans.org, Dr. Ames expanded on each of the 10 SBA-cited reasons for small business failure, providing further insight into what exactly it takes to be a “success” in today’s ever-changing economic climate.

One highlight of the interview points to Dr. Ames’ discussion of insufficient capital.

Dr. Ames said that many businesses spend huge amounts of money before they ever understand what their targeted demographic actually wants.

He said business owners end up “building what they want versus what the customer needs.” Then, when all is said and done (and often when it’s too late), the previously-hopeful entrepreneur looks back to see they’ve gone too far, fallen into too much debt and are at a point where they can’t recoup.

For Dr. Ames’ input on the remaining top 10 reasons why small businesses fail, please visit the full article at http://loans.org/business/articles/top-ten-reasons-small-company-fail.

For more articles, news, and frequently asked questions on entrepreneurship and commercial financing, please visit http://loans.org/business, a page dedicated to business-related information.

CONTACT: Alex Gomory, 909-784-2476, alex@loans.org


Exit Strategies for Small Business Owners

Figuring out how to exit a business usually brings up a lot of emotions for business owners. After all, they’ve poured their time, energy, heart, and soul into making it grow and helping it succeed. It’s been their livelihood and life. Of course the thought of exiting the business makes owners uncomfortable.

All the more reason, says Bill McBean, that they should approach this business decision just like any other: Make sure it’s well thought out and based on facts.

“Being in a position to dictate your own exit strategy should be the highlight of your career because it epitomizes the entrepreneurial dream: Go into business, be successful at it, and leave under your own terms,” says McBean, author of the new book The Facts of Business Life : What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t (Wiley, October 2012, ISBN: 978-1-1180949-6-9, $24.95, www.FactsOfBusinessLife.com). “Unfortunately, many owners are reluctant to make plans to walk away, and thus, they leave too many critical decisions to chance.”

The truth is, writes McBean, rarely do business owners talk openly about exit strategies for their businesses.

And that’s unfortunate for two reasons. First, if you don’t pick the time to exit, something or someone else will. And secondly, the best time to sell or enact a succession plan is when you don’t have to.

“Always keep in mind the one key difference between the decision to exit your business and every other business decision you’ve made as its owner: Now you need to take into account not just what’s best for the business but also what’s best for you,” says McBean. “Because for the first time since the company began, what’s best for the business and what’s best for you are not necessarily the same thing.”

Here are some things to consider:

Don’t allow leadership to suffer. You haven’t left your company yet, so you need to continue to proactively lead. Especially if you intend to sell the company or pass it to a successor, it needs to remain cutting-edge and competitive.

Be aware that you wear two hats. When creating an exit strategy, it’s important to make sure that you have detailed, accurate information about your company and your plans to exit it so that you can make sound decisions on both fronts.

Focus on your assets. Have an accurate grasp of your business’s assets. Remember, employees, processes, and procedures, as well as customers have value.

When making plans, play the long game. Whenever you can, make your exit plans as far out as possible. This includes three key factors:

  1. Identify who would be your best or targeted buyer.
  2. Assess the value of your business today and compare this to what you want to have when you exit.
  3. Consider when would be the optimal time to exit, business-wise and personally.

Be ready to market in a whole new way. If you decide to sell your company, in addition to marketing your product and business brand, you will need to successfully market your company. This entire process will require a new focus, because working toward an “end game” will alter some of your objectives and goals, which in turn requires a new business plan.

Strategize like a winner. The ultimate goal is to sell your business for its maximum value and have it structured to minimize the tax bite. Your battle strategy will include figuring out how to showcase your company, making it ready for sale, putting together the information buyers will need to evaluate your business, and much more.

Put your business knowledge to work. The more you know about the market, how competition works, maximizing your assets, etc., the more accurately you will be able to value your company and the easier it will be to justify the company’s overall worth.

“Ultimately, the more you educate yourself and the more you plan, the more likely the exit choice you make will be the right one,” concludes McBean. “Remember, your decisions and focus at this time will determine what your company’s and your own legacy will be. And I don’t believe that’s something you want to leave to chance.”

About the Author:

Bill McBean is the author of The Facts of Business Life : What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t (Wiley, October 2012, ISBN: 978-1-1180949-6-9, $24.95, www.FactsOfBusinessLife.com).

Dottie DeHart
DeHart & Company Public Relations

Web Site: http://www.FactsOfBusinessLife.com

Zillow Reveals Top Sellers and Buyers Markets


Zillow (Photo credit: damienvanachter)

Potential home sellers in many Western metro areas, including the Bay Area, Las Vegas and Phoenix, are well-positioned to take advantage of locally strong demand and are likely to have the upper hand in negotiations when selling their homes, according to the latest Zillow® ranking of national buyers’ and sellers’ markets.

For those looking to buy a home, Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic metros including Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia offer the most favorable conditions, with price discounts exceeding 5 percent in some areas and listings remaining active in some cases for 100 days or more.

Zillow analyzed data on actual sales prices compared to asking prices, the number of days listings spent on Zillow and the percentage of homes on the market with a price cut, and ranked the 30 largest metro areas in the country to determine whether buyers or sellers have more negotiating power in a given market. In this analysis, a sellers’ market is not necessarily one where home values are rising, but rather one in which homes are on the market for a shorter time, price cuts occur less frequently and homes are sold at prices very close to (or greater than) their last listing price. In buyers’ markets, homes for sale stay on the market longer, price cuts occur more frequently and homes are sold for less relative to their listing price, giving buyers more negotiating power.

“As most housing markets continue to improve nationwide, the relative position of buyers and sellers continues to vary considerably by geography,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “In some markets, buyers are finding themselves in strong bargaining positions relative to sellers, confidently offering less than the asking price on a home they had months to consider. In other areas, it’s sellers that are squarely in the driver’s seat with their homes selling within days of listing, often after bidding wars that increase the sale price above the asking price.”

“Many of the strongest sellers’ markets are in areas that were hardest hit by the housing bust, places like California, Nevada and Arizona, which may seem counter-intuitive. But much of that strength is driven by investor interest, as many distressed and non-distressed homes are purchased and transformed into rentals. This investor activity is contributing to very low inventory levels, which increases demand and helps drive up prices, particularly for less expensive homes in these markets.”

Top 10 Sellers’ Markets Top  10 Buyers’ Markets
1. San Jose, Calif. 1. Chicago, Ill.
2. San Francisco, Calif. 2. Cleveland, Ohio
3. Sacramento, Calif. 3. Philadelphia, Pa.
4. Las Vegas, Nev. 4. Cincinnati, Ohio
5. Phoenix, Ariz. 5. New York, N.Y.
6. Riverside, Calif. 6. Pittsburgh, Pa.
7. Los Angeles, Calif. 7. Baltimore, Md.
8. San Diego, Calif. 8. St. Louis, Mo.
9. Seattle, Wash. 9. Columbus, Ohio
10. Washington, DC 10. Charlotte, N.C.

For a full ranking of metro areas, of the cities within a particular metro or for the data that went into the buyer/seller rankings, please see the full research brief or contact press@zillow.com.

About Zillow:
Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace,  Zillow Rentals, Zillow Mobile, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™ and Mortech™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Postlets and Diverse solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio and Mortech are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

CONTACT: Cory Hopkins, Zillow, +1-206-757-2701 or press@zillow.com

Web Site: http://www.zillow.com

Foreclosure Assistance Just a Phone Call Away

To increase awareness of the Making Home Affordable® Program’s free resources and assistance for struggling homeowners, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Ad Council today unveiled the third and final phase of their Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Public Service Advertising (PSA) Campaign. To view the campaign materials, click here.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/59445-ad-council-new-making-home-affordable-psas

Data shows that nearly one in 14 U.S. homeowners has fallen behind on his or her mortgage payments. The new phase of the campaign seeks to identify with those homeowners and raise awareness of free government resources designed to help avoid foreclosure. As announced earlier this year, the Making Home Affordable® Program has been extended through December 2013 and the eligibility criteria have been broadened. Now, homeowners with rental properties and additional homeowners facing a negative change in their finances may be eligible for assistance.

“While communities across the country are beginning to recover from an unprecedented housing crisis, too many families are still struggling with their mortgage payments and are unsure of where to turn for help,” said Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Mary Miller. “Millions of homeowners have gotten help to avoid foreclosure since 2009. We want to make sure struggling homeowners know today that there are free government resources available to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.”

Ad Council research shows that many struggling homeowners delay conversations about their mortgage concerns because they feel confused about where to turn for help and about whom to trust. With that in mind, Chicago-based advertising agency Schafer Condon Carter created the new print, radio, outdoor and web PSAs to strongly encourage homeowners not to give up hope and remind them that there are free resources available to help.

The PSAs, which are available in English and Spanish, direct homeowners to call 888-995-HOPE (4673) for free access to HUD-approved housing experts who are available to speak one-on-one about solutions based on each family’s individual circumstances, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the campaign drives homeowners to the website, MakingHomeAffordable.gov, which hosts robust online resources where homeowners can learn how to address their mortgage concerns.

“Even as the housing market continues to strengthen and stabilize, it is more important than ever that we provide the one-on-one counseling services HUD-approved housing agencies give to families who are still struggling to make ends meet and are in danger of losing their homes,” said FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante. “Thanks to the Ad Council’s efforts, more families will be able to take advantage of this free service and receive unbiased advice from trained experts who will help them better understand their options.”

“We know that there are still millions of families across the nation facing the threat of home foreclosure,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We hope to be able to reach these Americans with a message of hope and inspire them to get the help they need.”

“All of us at SCC feel honored to be working with the Ad Council, Treasury, and HUD on this campaign, which is providing real assistance to struggling homeowners,” said David Selby, president and Managing Partner of Schafer Condon Carter, whose team created the ads pro bono. “At its core, the campaign attempts to capture the inertia and intense mental paralysis homeowners feel when faced with the prospect of losing their homes. Our hope is that this advertising will speak directly and powerfully to those most in need of help and cause them to take immediate action.”

Per the Ad Council model, all PSAs will be aired and run in time and space donated by media organizations.  Since the campaign was launched in 2010, media outlets have donated $68.7 million in air time and space. The new ads are being distributed ahead of the month of January – a time when historically many families struggle with their bills and are at increased risk of foreclosure.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a 70-year history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. For more information, please visit www.adcouncil.org. You can also visit www.facebook.com/adcouncil or follow the Ad Council on Twitter @AdCouncil.

Schafer Condon Carter
Schafer Condon Carter is widely recognized as one of the top independent advertising agencies in the United States. SCC has built its success by challenging conventional approaches to marketing and delivering a tightly orchestrated, fully integrated brand vision for its clients across an infinite set of consumer touch points. A simple mission drives the agency’s entrepreneurial spirit and aggressive, growth-oriented culture: “Think Again.” SCC’s client roster includes: Allen Edmonds, Beam Global Spirits, Campbell Soup Co., Chicago Cubs, ConAgra Foods, Giordano’s, John Morrell Food Group, Land O’Lakes, National Pork Board, Procter & Gamble, Rotary International, Solo Cup and Terlato. The agency’s wholly owned network includes SCC|Public Relations and SCC|Digital.  For more information, visit sccadv.com.

CONTACT: Lisa Cullen, Ad Council, +1-202-331-5052, lcullen@adcouncil.org; Andrea Risotto, Treasury Public Affairs, +1-202-927-8726, Andrea.Risotto@treasury.gov; George Gonzalez, HUD Public Affairs, +1-202-402-6054, George.I.Gonzalez@hud.gov; Mike Grossman, SCC Public Relations, +1-312-222-7478, mgrossman@sccadv.com

Web Site: http://www.adcouncil.org

Forex Markets Face Huge Volitility in 2013

FOREX.com, the retail division of GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GCAP), a global provider of online trading services, today released its Q1 2013 Market Outlook report. FOREX.com analysts predict that the New Year could see a large pick-up in volatility if the US goes over the fiscal cliff edge. This would have major implications for global financial markets as risk sentiment deteriorates and the US economy faces a sharp recession.

2013 is set to be the fourth year of the sovereign debt crisis for Europe and rather than moving nearer to a resolution the crisis is expected to flare up again in the coming year. Stabilization in the Eurozone is likely to be undermined by concerns about Spain’s financial position. The fall-out from refinancing Spain has the potential to cause a major spike in market volatility and a drop in the euro. Political risk is also likely to increase during the first quarter of 2013 as the market prepares for a general election in Italy.

The dollar will be faced with two important events in Q1. The first is the outcome of fiscal cliff negotiations. The second event that is important for the dollar is the changing of the guard at the Federal Open Market Committee, which could see a dovish bias at the US central bank.

“If the US goes over the cliff edge then the dollar could attract safe haven flows and stocks may sell off like we saw during debt ceiling negotiations in the US in August 2011,” said Kathleen Brooks, Research Director, FOREX.com.

Ms. Brooks added: “After a period of intense risk aversion we could see markets start to recover in late Q1.  From a macro perspective, the US could join the Eurozone and Japan in falling back into recession, which may ignite a global decline. Without a bold solution to the European debt crisis and a deal in Washington we cannot envisage a significant pick-up in global sentiment in the first quarter.”

Expectations from the FOREX.com Q1 2013 Markets Outlook include:

  • The outlook for EURUSD is bleak and we may see some sharp declines over the quarter as sovereign concerns especially in Spain start to heat up;
  • There are signs Chinese growth is starting to pick up, this should fuel appreciation in the renminbi during the first quarter of 2013;
  • The AUD, CAD and NZD may remain subdued  as these commodity currencies are most sensitive to the bleak global growth outlook;
  • Gold and silver could have an adventurous quarter as two opposing forces, including sluggish global growth and fresh monetary stimulus, impact the precious metals space ;
  • The spread between UK and US oil could remain at elevated levels ($20-25) for the foreseeable future as long as bottlenecks in the supply of oil remain and tensions remain in the Middle East.

The FOREX.com Markets Outlook report highlights potential price ranges for key pairs, such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, EUR/GBP and USD/RUB.  Major foreign equity markets; key commodities including gold, silver, oil and agriculture are also covered.

The FOREX.com Markets Outlook report is prepared by Research Director Kathleen Brooks, Senior Technical Strategists Chris Tevere, CMT, Eric Viloria, CMT, and Research Analyst Chris Tedder.

The full FOREX.com Q1 2013 Markets Outlook Report is now available at www.forex.com under “Research”.

Foreign Exchange and other leveraged products involve significant risk of loss and are not suitable for all investors. Increasing leverage increases risk. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange and other leveraged products, you should carefully consider your financial objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. Spot Gold and Silver contracts are not subject to regulation under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are not available for US residents.

GAIN Capital and its affiliates are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US; the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK; the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan; the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in HK; the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC); and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia

The opinions and information in this report are for general information use and are not intended as an offer or solicitation to any product offered.

About GAIN Capital

GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GCAP) is a global provider of online trading services. GAIN’s innovative trading technology provides market access and highly automated trade execution services across multiple asset classes, including foreign exchange (forex or FX), contracts for difference (CFDs) and exchange-based products, to a diverse client base of retail and institutional investors.

Through our retail brand, FOREX.com, we provide retail traders around the world with access to a variety of global OTC financial markets, including forex, precious metals and CFDs on commodities and indices.  A market leader for over a decade, FOREX.com supports clients from over 140 countries and our products and services are available in multiple languages, including English, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Arabic.

GAIN Capital also operates GTX, a fully independent FX ECN for hedge funds and institutions; Open eCry, an innovative online futures broker; and GAIN Securities, Inc. (member FINRA/SIPC) a licensed U.S. broker-dealer.

GAIN Capital and its affiliates have offices in New York City; Bedminster, New Jersey; London; Sydney; Hong Kong; Tokyo; Singapore; Beijing and Seoul.

For company information, visit www.gaincapital.com.

CONTACT: In North America, Chris Mittendorf, +1-212-704-8134 or Samantha Nelson, +1-212-704-4589, both of Edelman, pr@gaincapital.com or In EMEA, Sorrel Beynon, +44 (0) 20 3047 2365 or Laura Crooks, +44 (0) 20 3047 2366, both of Edelman, gain@edelman.com

Web Site: http://www.gaincapital.com

Flintridge Partners is pleased to announce that construction of its new senior living community Crestavilla is slated to begin in early 2013. Unparalleled amongst senior living communities in the area, the resort-style community brings together a stunning location, beautiful architectural designs and the highest standards in services and amenities. It’s a place where enriching the health and well-being of seniors is apparent from literally the ground up and is scheduled to open in 2014.

Crestavilla represents a new brand of retirement living community, comparable to a five-star resort. Living at Crestavilla will provide residents with “inspired coastal living,” from the warmth and authenticity of its Spanish Colonial architecture reminiscent of the early days of California to the programs and activities fostering a healthy physical and emotional well-being.

“Crestavilla has been designed with seniors in mind, and to take advantage of the scenic vistas of its location, not to mention the unmet need for a retirement community of this caliber,” said Marlon Fenton of Flintridge Partners.

Crestavilla will offer independent living, assisted living as well as memory care for residents in one location. Situated on 11.5 lushly landscaped acres in Laguna Niguel, Crestavilla features timeless architecture, functional floor plans and elegant design, not to mention five-star amenities and services to complete the resort style living including restaurants, a spa, theaters and a spiritual resource center. Crestavilla is located near major transportation corridors, shopping centers, medical, cultural, and recreational venues.

At the heart of Crestavilla is over 80,000 square feet of indoor amenities. Spacious residences feature a custom selection of fine interior finishes to match the elegance of the entire community and will be available in studio, one, and two bedrooms ranging up to 1,190 square feet. Crestavilla is located near the intersection of Niguel Road and Crown Valley Parkway in Laguna Niguel, California.

About Flintridge Partners
Flintridge Partners, LLC, is a real estate development company focusing on a number of specialty markets. Irvine, California based Flintridge Partners is led by an experienced group of professionals who together combine their diverse and complementary skills to manage every aspect of the company’s real estate development projects.  For more information visit http://www.flintridge.us.

CONTACT: Stacia Kirby, +1-206-363-1492, stacia@speakeasy.net

Web Site: http://www.flintridge.us

Small Business Best Bets for 2013 and Beyond

Entrepreneur Magazine - September 2010 Cover

Small Business(Photo credit: Rob La Fave)

For those with fingers on the pulse of the business world, Entrepreneur magazine reveals the biggest trends of 2013 and the directions they’ll take various industries in the future. These movements reflect the wants and needs of a changing demographic in the United States and what’s necessary for entrepreneurs to keep in mind when considering consumers, employees and how business is getting done around them.

“Whether you’re running an established company or hope to start in the new year, it’s crucial to stay in-the-know with what’s happening in business right now to stay competitive—and more importantly, what to expect next,” says Amy Cosper, VP and editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine. “Being savvy about modern expectations and consumer tendencies can make or break a business, and we’ve got a great look at what 2013 has in store.”

The list looks at the booming trends that will help anchor a business moving forward and thinking ahead:

  1. Big Data – Numbers-based insights
  2. Domestic Production – The comeback of “Made in the USA”
  3. Reimagined Workspace – The office of the future
  4. Fun Company Culture – Adding playfulness to the workplace
  5. Personal-Care Products – Desire for skin enhancement
  6. Spicy Flavor – Turning to food with a bite
  7. Fake Energy – Products giving a boost
  8. Transparency – Building brand trust and loyalty
  9. Creative Financing – Alternative financing methods
  10. Vending Machines – Access to unique products instantly
  11. Digital Doctors – Technology on call

A common thread among the 11 trends to watch in 2013 is that they aren’t fads with short-lived popularity. Instead, they may be seen as business movements built to last even beyond next year. Each trend reveals a synthesis of factors leading to their tipping points, such as changing demographics, widespread availability of certain technologies, shifting workplace and productivity ideologies, and consumer desires.

For example, increased exposure to international cuisines, combined with the growing desire to innovate in the kitchen, have contributed to a population eager to consume—and create—spicy condiments. The popularity of food with a kick has spiked the small hot sauce segment into a billion-dollar industry, signaling the impact that an appreciation for diversity can have in business. Another trend stems from economic influencers and is good news for capital-seekers. While entrepreneurship has become a near-mainstream movement, lending is still tight with banks, leading to demand for financing. So borrowers and lenders are getting creative, and alternative financing methods such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending sites and collateral-free loans are becoming more of the norm.

To read the complete feature on the top entrepreneurial trends, pick up a copy of the December issue on sale at newsstands now.

About Entrepreneur Media Inc.
Entrepreneur Media Inc. is the premier content provider for and about entrepreneurs. Our products engage and inspire every day with the advice, solutions and resources that fuel the bold and independent way entrepreneurs think.

After 35 years, nobody reaches more growing businesses. As the original magazine for the small and midsize business community, Entrepreneur continues to be the definitive guide to all the diverse challenges of business ownership. Entrepreneur.com is the most widely used website by entrepreneurs and emerging businesses worldwide. Entrepreneur Press publishes the books that turn entrepreneurial skills into business success.

To learn more, visit entrepreneur.com.
To advertise, please contact us at entrepreneur.com/mediakit.
Follow us on Twitter at @EntMagazine, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/entmagazine.

CONTACT: Lisa Murray, Entrepreneur Media Inc., lmurray@entrepreneur.com, +1-949-622-5220

Web Site: http://www.entrepreneur.com

Investment conditions have improved modestly across all property sectors, while property values remain flat and transaction volumes have decreased. These results were released today by CCIM Institute (www.ccim.com), one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world, following a national third-quarter survey of CCIM members conducted by Real Estate Research Corp. (RERC).

Slow economic growth, high unemployment and anticipated federal tax increases are factors that continue to negatively impact the commercial investment environment, based on the report. The climate remains challenging for commercial real estate investors, who struggle to find viable opportunities in a slow-growth environment. A small silver lining – commercial real estate remains a reasonable and sturdy investment choice for investors seeking realistic returns and minimal volatility, according to CCIM members.

“Returns on investment income from commercial real estate can still be achieved over time for those with patience. There are plenty of investors seeking to avoid the volatility of the stock market, and who require higher yields than those offered by bonds and cash investments,” said Kenneth P. Riggs Jr., CCIM, CRE, MAI, chief real estate economist for the CCIM Institute and chairman and president of Real Estate Research Corp. “Commercial real estate is a good alternative for such investors, particularly those who are looking for income in a slow economy.”

Investment Conditions Improve
Investment condition ratings for all property types – office, industrial, retail, apartments and hotel – improved during third-quarter 2012, with the apartment sector receiving the highest score, at 7.6 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highest. The hotel and industrial sectors’ ratings rose to 5.9 and 5.6, respectively, followed by the 5.4 rating for the retail sector. The office sector investment rating rose to 4.8.

CCIM members said that the best investment strategies in this environment include buying low, keeping cash on hand for future opportunities and investing in foreclosed or distressed properties. Members also suggest looking long term and advise patience when investing.

Return vs. Risk and Value vs. Price Ratings Rise
CCIM members raised the return-versus-risk ratings and value-versus-price ratings for all property types and for commercial real estate overall during third-quarter 2012.

Specifically, the overall return-versus-risk rating for commercial real estate increased to 5.5 during third-quarter 2012, according to CCIM members. Likewise, the return-versus-risk ratings for all of the property types increased. At 7.2, the apartment sector earned the highest rating. The industrial sector rating, at 5.7, pulled away from the hotel sector rating of 5.6. The rating for the retail sector increased to 5.3, while the office sector rating remained the lowest, at 4.9, during third quarter.

CCIM members noted that the value-versus-price for commercial real estate increased during third-quarter 2012, with the overall value-versus-price rating increasing to 5.6. Although the overall value of commercial real estate improved only slightly, the value-versus-price ratings also increased for every property sector. The industrial sector rating increased to 5.6, and retained the highest rating among the property sectors. Similarly, while the retail sector’s rating rose to 5.3, the ratings for the office and apartment sectors each increased to 5.2. At 5.1, the hotel sector rating also increased, although the rating remained the lowest compared to the other property types.

Property Values Remain Flat
While commercial real estate seems to be holding its own with respect to income performance, property values remain flat and transaction volume declined in third-quarter 2012.

On a 12-month basis, transaction volume for all property types decreased with the exception of the industrial sector volume, which increased slightly. More specifically:

  • Hotel sector volume fell 25 percent.
  • Office and retail sectors volume declined approximately 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
  • Apartment sector volume decreased about 5 percent from the previous quarter.

“Get used to it, as this is the ‘new normal’ for the economy and we should expect this investment environment for the foreseeable future. The low-hanging fruit has been picked, and investors are adapting to the challenges we face. Risk-adjusted returns for commercial real estate are down from what we have seen, but fundamentals are steady and even improving slightly,” added Riggs. “With volume and prices for commercial properties flat or down on average (except for apartments) during third quarter, plus assurance from Bernanke that interest rates will be low until mid-2015, opportunities with reasonable prices may be found in increasing numbers of secondary and tertiary locations.”

Property Sector Highlights
Continuing a positive trend, the national vacancy rate for all property types continued to decline during third quarter 2012. Only the retail sector vacancy rate remained unchanged.

Other property sector highlights gleaned from the survey of CCIM members include:

  • The apartment sector remained the safest and best investment compared to the other property types during third-quarter 2012.
  • Compared to other property types, distressed and foreclosed office properties sold the best during third-quarter 2012.
  • Industrial properties are currently underpriced. Members suggest that investors should buy low, lease at market value and hold. There is not much demand for industrial properties in the East region due to oversupply.

The complete survey findings can be found at http://www.ccim.com/resources/itq-fourth-quarter-2012-rercccim-investment-trends-quarterly

About the Survey Methodology
The analysis provided in the RERC/CCIM Investment Trends Quarterly is conducted by Real Estate Research Corp. (RERC). The information is gathered in raw form from surveys sent to CCIM designees and candidates, and from sales transactions collected from various sources, including CCIM members, various key commercial information exchange organizations (CIEs), the media, assessors’ offices, RERC contacts in the marketplace, and other reliable public and private resources. All sales transactions are aggregated, analyzed, and reported on by RERC. The RERC/CCIM Investment Trends Quarterly report provides timely insight into transaction volume, pricing, and capitalization rates for the core income-producing properties.

About the CCIM Institute
Since 1969, the Chicago-based CCIM Institute has conferred the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation to commercial real estate and allied professionals through an extensive curriculum of 200 classroom hours and professional experiential requirements. The core curriculum addresses financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, investment analysis, and negotiation—the cornerstones of commercial investment real estate.

An affiliate of the National Association of Realtors®, the CCIM Institute also offers powerful technology tools such as the Site To Do Business, an online site analysis and demographics resource, and CCIMREDEX, a single-entry listing and data exchange. Currently, there are nearly 10,000 CCIMs in 1,000 markets in the U.S. and 31 additional countries, with another 6,000 practitioners pursuing the designation, making the institute the governing body of one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world. Visit www.ccim.com, www.stdbonline.com, and www.ccimredex.com for more information.

CONTACT: Amie DeLuca, +1-630-315-2962, amie@hensonconsulting.com

New Apartment Complex Goes Up in Texas

English: Site preparation and construction of ...

Apartment Complex(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TDI  announced today that it has purchased 6.65 acres of prime real estate in Las Colinas for a $50 million residential development. The new development will have 386 apartments in multi-story buildings and will be the closest in walking distance to the recently opened DART Orange line station just across Northwest Highway from the Irving Convention Center. Construction is expected to begin in March 2013.

“This high profile location, which will include a landmark 6 story tower at Northwest Highway and Las Colinas Boulevard, is the ideal setting to create the next generation of multi-family product,” said Brad Taylor, Executive Vice President and Investment Partner for TDI.  “These homes will have extraordinary highway access as well as the available DART light rail system that provides easy access to Plano, Richardson and Downtown Dallas, and will reach D/FW airport by 2014.”

The design will feature urban connectivity between the streetscape and community. The clubhouse spills out onto a retail-style urban patio area that interacts with the streets. Brownstone walkup style apartments at street level will interconnect the streets with the community in a seamless manner.

“This design created a community,” said Taylor. “Offering residents access to five serene landscaped courtyards as well as an active courtyard with a resort style pool.  The interiors of the apartment homes will include 10 foot ceilings, separate showers in select units and islands in every kitchen.”

“The Las Colinas residential submarket has a 96 percent occupancy rate,” said Taylor. “We will be offering the newest and one of the most unique products in that submarket.  More than 100,000 people work in Las Colinas, which is home to the global corporate headquarters of five Fortune 500 companies and regional headquarters for 100 other corporations.”

TDI currently has 1,406 units under construction in Texas, California and Arizona and has asset management responsibilities over 4,900 units nationwide.  In addition, TDI has plans to develop an additional 2,320 units over the next 12 months that are in various stages of planning and predevelopment and is currently raising capital to complement their venture platforms in order to fund their expansion and business plan.

The firm offers investment management, pre-development, underwriting, marketing and asset management services as well as construction, financial and administrative services.

CONTACT: David Margulies, +1-214-368-0909

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