GHOSTS OF THE DESERT tells the little-known story of Gertrude Bell, the “female Lawrence of Arabia” and a woman far ahead of her time.
Create a unique design on 4 pieces of glass stemware.
Energy Medicine for the Heart:
Rotary Arts & Crafts Show:
Feb. 14 & 15
Memphis 56 Dance Party:
Party and Paint: Colorful sips.:
Feb. 23, 24, 25
Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner:
The Mentalist Show:
Florida real estate sales, listing, prices up in 2014
ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 23, 2015 – 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. “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.”
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. 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.
“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.”
Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 244,543 in 2014, up 8.1 percent compared to the 2013 figure. New listings for existing single-family homes rose 7.4 percent in 2014 compared to 2013.
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: New listings for townhouse-condos for the year increased 2.2 percent compared to a year ago.
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.
Conservation Organization of the Year Award to SCCF
SCCF was awarded Conservation Organization of the Year by Florida Wildlife Federation at their 77th Annual Conservation Awards Banquet on June 21, 2014 at the Naples Hilton.
The Federation’s annual selection of conservation award winners is one of the oldest in the state. Award winners are chosen from nominations made to the Federation’s board of directors based on their accomplishments on behalf of Florida’s fish, wildlife and native habitats
The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) was selected to receive this award because of its outstanding accomplishments on water quality, land use policy, sea turtle monitoring, and conservation education, among other important issues.
Consumer confidence surges higher in January
NEW YORK – Jan. 27, 2015 – The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index hit an almost seven-year high in January, rising about 10 points from its December reading to 102.9. The index – which gauges Americans’ attitudes about the economy – is at its highest level since August 2007.
The index, which also rose in December from 93.1, is made up of two components and both rose. The Present Situation Index rose to 112.6 from 99.9, while the Expectations Index, which measures attitudes about personal economies six months from now, increased to 96.4 from 88.5.
“Consumer confidence rose sharply in January and is now at its highest level since August 2007,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “A more positive assessment of current business and labor market conditions contributed to the improvement in consumers’ view of the present situation. Consumers also expressed a considerably higher degree of optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market, as well as their earnings.”
Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions was considerably more favorable in January than in December. Those saying business conditions are “good” increased from 24.7 percent to 28.1 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased from 18.9 percent to 16.8 percent.
Consumers were also much more positive in their assessment of the job market. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased from 17.2 percent to 20.5 percent. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased from 27.3 percent to 25.7 percent.
Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook improved in January. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose from 17.8 percent to 18.4 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined from 9.9 percent to 7.7 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 14.6 percent to 16.7 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined from 16.5 percent to 15.0 percent.
The proportion of consumers expecting growth in their incomes improved from 16.2 percent to 20.0 percent. However, the proportion expecting a decrease increased marginally, from 10.2 percent to 11.3 percent.
Nielsen conducts the monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, for The Conference Board. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was Jan. 15.