Brent's Blog / / Theme Park News, Orlando News, Real Estate News

Real estate firm Ten-X's winter market report based on current and forecasted housing fundamentals lists Orlando as the hottest market for single-family homes. Palm Beach county, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa together with Dallas join Orlando in the Top 5 Metros.

"The Orlando housing market continues to make substantial strides in its recovery. Metro employment is up 4.1 percent year-over-year, supported in large part by its booming leisure/hospitality sector that comprises over 21 percent of local employment. Payrolls are at an all-time high, some 27 percent above their prior peak. Home prices jumped 4.4 percent this past quarter, eclipsing $200,000 for the first time since 2008. Up 11.2 percent year-over-year, home prices have outpaced US annual growth for 20 straight quarters, with room for additional growth as prices remain 17.3 percent below their prior peak. Population growth has exceeded two percent for four consecutive years, and Orlando's economic outlook is among the best in the nation."
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on January 11th, 2017 9:42 AM
Article as appears in the Orlando Sentinel January 6, 2017

Orlando real estate can post some of 2017's hottest gains, reports say

Less than two years after metro Orlando led the nation in foreclosures, it's now expected to post some of the hottest real estate gains in the United States during 2017, two new reports show.

Home values throughout Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties are expected to increase 5.7 percent during the next year — the highest rate among the country's top 100 metro areas, according to real estate analytics firm Zillow.

"It's actually a thriving market in the sense where people can find employment and buy a house," said Svenja Gudell, chief economist for the company. Wages are still among the nation's lowest, but analysts see that unemployment remains low and wages have begun to improve in recent months.

If predictions hold true, Orlando home-price growth this year would exceed the 4.6 increase in home prices expected nationally. The forecasts factor in projected increases in mortgage interest rates.

Analysts say the price increases are unlikely to lead to a bubble in the near term because mortgages are not easy to get and Orlando home values remain below their peak from a decade ago.

On Thursday, Krystal Little and her husband Jason saw a townhouse hit the market in the Winter Park school district. Within hours, they signed a contract to buy it for cash with intentions to flip it.

"Everything is moving in hours now," said Little, who also is chairwoman of the Orange County chapter of the Central Florida Realty Investors nonprofit.

The Littles plan to paint and make modest improvements to their new townhome before selling it within a few weeks of closing. They plan to reap at least a 15 percent return on their investment.

Even though investor activity won't lead to a long-term housing recovery, that group has helped rehab the region's inventory of foreclosures. Little said they are finding buyers more easily now.

"Two or three years ago, investors had to go all out improving properties," she said. "It had to be pristine. We don't see that now. It's mostly cosmetic improvements."

Limited supply, rising home values, ample jobs and income growth elevated Orlando to the nation's top market position among the 50 largest metro areas for the current quarter, according to real estate analyst Ten-X. Three other Florida metropolitan areas trailed directly behind Orlando in the ranking: Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa — all also among the hardest hit nationally during the recession.

"The top 20 cities in our report include many that were devastated during the foreclosure crisis — especially in states like Florida — and as home prices continue to recover, they still represent buying opportunities for homeowners and investors alike," Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga said.

Orlando's outlook for the coming year follows two years of booming price increases for a region that suffered during the housing bust. In the core Orlando market of Orange and Seminole counties, median prices have more than doubled from a bottom of $94,900 in January 2011, according to Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

But there is room for more price growth in the Orlando area, in part because home prices are 17 percent below their 2007 peak, said Sharga.

Ten-X reported Thursday that Orlando jumped from fourth to first during the last two quarters to overtake Fort Lauderdale as the country's top market, when all factors are considered.

Orlando had the highest expected home appreciation for 2017, Zillow ranked it as the fourth-hottest market overall — as other factors such as unemployment or income growth kept it behind Nashville, Tenn.; Seattle; and Provo, Utah.

Zillow's Gudell said that Orlando still has not recovered fully from the bust. About 11 percent of houses are upside down with values below the mortgage owed on them — four times more than normal for a market but far less than five years ago when about half of mortgages in the region were underwater.

Little said she sees few foreclosure deals and momentum continuing into the new year.

"We've been watching prices steadily increase. Even in the holidays, we were watching it increase," she said. "Normally you see a dip at that time of year, but it's holding steady. That was surprising to me, and it's a sign of a good, strong market."
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on January 11th, 2017 9:35 AM
Encore Resort Homes at Reunion brings the "wow factor" to vacation homes. Check out the following special priced inventory and contact me at 407.506.7857 or for more information. FREE Buyer Representation.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on January 10th, 2017 4:22 PM
Osceola County Sales Tax Increases From 7% to 7.5%

Effective January 1, 2017, the combined state and local sales and use tax rate for Osceola County is 7.5%.

The combined rate is composed of the 6% state sales tax plus the 1% local government infrastructure surtax and newly added 0.5% school capital outlay surtax.

The school surtax is effective January 1, 2017, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2036.

The Osceola County School Board approved a special resolution to add a referendum to the November ballot. The half-cent sales tax increase passed during the November 8th General Election. Osceola County residents voted 57.82% in favor of the surtax which is estimated to bring in $25 million dollars annually for the next 20 years. The surtax revenue can only be used to support capital projects for schools in Osceola County. Prioritized projects have been identified for 30 schools to include facilities maintenance such as HVAC, flooring, and paint as well as technology and security upgrades. The School District of Osceola County Facilities and Maintenance Departments have already initiated numerous improvements.

More information about the tax, updates, and school-by-school information can be found at
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on January 4th, 2017 12:36 PM
Christmas at Gaylord Palms: November 18, 2016 – January 1, 2017

The majestic Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee just outside the gates of Disney is an attraction unto itself. The hotel’s one-of-a-kind atrium is a treat to explore complete with alligators and turtles cared for by Gatorland and a variety of signature dining experiences including the top rated Villa de Flora (Orlando Sentinel’s Foodie Awards Critic’s Choice for Best Buffet), Old Hickory Steakhouse, seafood focused MOOR, and
Wreckers Sports Bar featuring a 37 ft. sports screen and over 50 HDTVs.

Now through New Year’s Day there are even more reasons to visit.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms returns November 18, 2016 through January 1, 2017.

This year's theme for ICE! is A Charlie Brown Christmas. Members of the late Charles Schulz' family were on hand to kick off the event during a special preview earlier tonight.

You’re going to love this year’s display! Click HERE to view my event and exhibit photos.

The classic Peanut’s story unfolds in ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas - a stunning walk-through holiday attraction hand-carved from 2 million pounds of ice.

Alpine Rush Snow Tubing returns. Children and adults of all ages can zoom down a super fun eight-lane snow tubing hill.

This year’s event adds Santa's Snow Throw. Test your aim by throwing real snow balls!

Also debuting in 2016 is a brand new 60 foot Christmas tree and A Christmas Wish Light Show. Catch it and a revised Cirque Dreams UnWrapped Stage Show in the Emerald Plaza within the St. Augustine Atrium. Neil Goldberg brings back his famed Cirque Dreams brand for a second year in a row with this uniquely inspiring theatrical performance. Both shows are FREE with times as follows.

A Christmas Wish Light Show (~ 6 minutes)
Sun.-Thurs. at 6:15pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm and 9:15pm
Fri. & Sat. at 6:15pm, 8:45pm and 9:15pm

Cirque Dreams UnWrapped Stage Show (~ 25 minutes)
Sun.-Thurs. at 1:00pm and 6:30pm
Fri. at 6:30pm and 8:00pm
Sat. at 1:00pm, 6:30pm and 8:00pm
No shows Thanksgiving Day

Whether it’s your first time or a yearly tradition, a visit to Christmas at Gaylord Palms is sure to help get you into the spirit of the holidays. Check it out! View pictures of this year's event.

ICE!, Alpine Rush Snow Tubing, Santa's Snow Throw, The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt, the all new Mrs. Claus Christmas Traditions and Story Time Sing-a-long, Gingerbread Decorating Corner, Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends, and Build-A-Bear Workshop are fee based opportunities. Various entry prices, combo tickets, and passes are available. Event self-parking is $20.00 plus tax. Valet parking is $27.00 plus tax. Parking validated with minimum dining spend.

Learn more and get tickets at #CAGP16

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on November 17th, 2016 10:55 PM
Multi-day tickets which include Universal's new water theme park, Volcano Bay, are now available on the official Universal Orlando Resort website valid for visits starting June 1, 2017 (a rough indication of the water park Opening Date).

3-Park 3-Day tickets and a 3-Park 4-Day ticket have begun selling.

The 3-Day ticket is priced at $244.99 (one park per day) or $294.99 (with Park-to-Park). The Park-to-Park feature allows you to visit all 3 parks any time, each day, and is required if wishing to ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.

The 3-Park 4-Day ticket costs $304.99 and allows Park-to-Park access.

Child tickets are $10 less.

The 3 or 4 days may be used within a 7 day window which starts at first entry.

It is not yet known if, when, or how much a 1-Day Volcano Bay only ticket might be.
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on November 15th, 2016 8:08 AM
November 9, 2016 Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Press Release


ORLANDO, FL. - The 2015-2016 fiscal year was very successful for Orlando International Airport. September marked another record for the airport with a rolling 12-month total of 41.5 million passengers or a 10 percent increase over last year.

“The fiscal year report of over 41 million annual travelers at Orlando International certainly confirms the demand to continue our capital improvement program to meet our current and future transportation obligations to this community, our business partners and our passengers for years to come,” says Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

“To maintain a high-level of customer service during our growth, we are incorporating new technology, clarifying signage/wayfinding and employing multi-lingual ambassadors to assist with passengers from all over the world,” says Phil Brown, Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “These steps have helped make us the fourth best airport in the nation for overall customer service according to J.D. Power & Associates most recent survey.”

Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Statistical Data:

  • International traffic climbed 14.75 percent to 5,585,234 passengers
  • Domestic traffic was up 9.22 percent with a total of 35,980,154 passengers
  • Combined overall passenger traffic rose 9.9 percent to 41,565,388

September 2016 Statistical Data:

  • International traffic saw an increase of 8.18 percent with 418,491 total passengers
  • Domestic traffic climbed 9.72 percent with a total of 2,523,710 passengers
  • Combined overall traffic was up 9.5 percent with 2,942,201 travelers
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on November 10th, 2016 10:56 AM
As Hurricane Matthew approaches Florida, following are a few key sources to help you stay updated.


National Hurricane Center -
National Weather Service Melbourne, FL Office -

Local TV:

ABC affiliate -
CBS affiliate -
FOX affiliate -
NBC affiliate -

Theme Parks:

Disney -
Universal -
SeaWorld -

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on October 6th, 2016 9:06 AM
Measuring based on four main factors - employment growth, population growth, increase in home values, and years to pay off property - evaluated 61 of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. to determine the best and worst cities to own investment property.

Number one on the list. Orlando, FL.

Earlier this year, Forbes also ranked Orlando on their Where To Invest In Housing In 2016 list.

In addition to strong employment growth, population growth, and increase in home values which were citied in the study, consider that Orlando is the most visited destination in the U.S with over 66 million people in 2015. Not only can you buy an affordable property located just minutes from the attractions which you can use whenever you want, but also, if you purchase in a short term rental approved community, you can take advantage of our year-long rental season and let some of those 66 million visitors help you pay for it!

I have specialized in vacation home sales in the Orlando area for over a decade. Contact me today at 407.506.7857 or to learn more about investment opportunities.
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on September 30th, 2016 8:54 AM
Using a statistical model based on regional unemployment rates, affordability, net migration, housing starts, the percentage of delinquent mortgages, and other factors, Arch Mortgage Insurance Company publishes their Arch MI Risk Index which estimates the probability house prices will be lower in a specific statistical area or state within two years.

Their Fall 2016 Housing and Mortgage Market Review shows the likelihood of home price declines across the United States over the next two years is at a very low 4% and on the decline.

The outlook for Florida is even better - only 2% which matches the risk ranking for the Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford area where their analysis also shows a 12 month home price increase of 7.7%.

If you are moving to or within the Orlando area, or if you would like to explore vacation home buying opportunities, drop me a line at or give me a call at 407.506.7857.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on September 29th, 2016 8:38 AM


My Favorite Blogs:

Sites That Link to This Blog: