REPORT: MEDIAN HOME PRICES LESS AFFORDABLE THAN HISTORIC AVERAGES
National home prices in the first quarter were at the least affordable level since the third quarter of 2008, according to the Q2 2018 U.S. Home Affordability Report by ATTOM Data Solutions. The report calculates an affordability index based on percentage of income needed to buy a median-priced home relative to historic averages, with an index above 100 indicating median home prices are more affordable than the historic average, and an index below 100 indicating median home prices are less affordable than the historic average. In Collier County, the Q2 2018 Affordability Index is 97, with a year-over-year annualized wage growth of 2.2 percent and a year-over-year median home price growth of 2.5 percent. Lee County received an affordability index of 76, with a year-over-year annualized age growth of 3.5 percent and year-over-year median home price growth of 13.2 percent. Charlotte County received an affordability index of 80, with a year-over-year annualized wage growth of 3.7 percent and year-over-year median home price growth of 8.3 percent. Nationwide, the 2018 second-quarter home affordability index of 95 was down from an index of 102 in the previous quarter and an index of 103 in Q2 2017 to the lowest level since Q3 2008, when the index was 86. For the full report, click here.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS OPEN FOR FLORIDA ARCHITECTURE
Floridians and the public at large can vote online for their favorite community buildings in the fifth annual People’s Choice Competition, launched by the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) and the Florida Foundation for Architecture. Voting is open now until July 20. The buildings on this year’s ballot were built in the past five years and contribute to the happiness and prosperity of Florida residents. A total of 39 buildings have been nominated this year. Last year’s contest garnered more than 5.6 million votes from the U.S. and 21 other countries around the world. The public can vote for their favorite buildings online at www.floridapeopleschoice.com. Buildings will be listed by the structure’s name and city. The results of the voting will be announced at AIA Florida’s Annual Convention on July 21 at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach. For a complete list of nominated buildings, click here.
WGCU WINS NATIONAL AWARD
WGCU FM has won a 2018 National Murrow Award for Breaking News reporting in 2017 for its coverage of Hurricane Irma by The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). As a member of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, WGCU is one of 13 public radio stations that reach 99 percent of Florida residents during statewide emergencies. In the days surrounding the storm’s landfall in September in Southwest Florida, WGCU-FM provided top-of-the-hour one-minute weather updates, from statewide reporters at various locations and its own local reporters stationed at the Collier and Lee Emergency Operations centers. During the storm, WGCU provided 24-hour “wall-to-wall” coverage. Accomplishing this required station-wide cooperation news among news staff, broadcast engineers and others. For plenty of staff members during Irma, this meant living at the WGCU studios, in many cases with family members and pets included. From more than 4,400 entries, the national RTDNA awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories.
SENIOR HOUSING SOLUTIONS CELEBRATES 10 YEARS
Senior Housing Solutions, the first locally owned senior housing placement company in Southwest Florida, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In the last year, the company has expanded its market base to cover both Collier and Lee counties. In addition, consumers have access to a free online Preferred Provider Network of services for seniors. The expansion resulted in 38 percent revenue increase in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same time frame in 2017. In addition to its free referral service, Senior Housing Solutions has also organized senior housing bus tours as a way for people to tour senior living properties in the area and produced educational seminars for many organizations, churches and civic groups. The firm engages with other senior-related organizations including the Leadership Coalition on Aging, CAMEO of Lee County and Naples Interagency Council. The Preferred Provider Network is available for free to the public at seniorhousingsolutions.net.
CHRISTENSEN REAPPOINTED TO CCWBA BOARD
Hahn Loeser & Parks attorney Allison B. Christensen has been sworn in for another year as member of the Collier County Women’s Bar Association’s (CCWBA) board of directors. In addition to being selected as a board member, Christensen will also serve another year as membership committee chair. The installation of officers ceremony was held on June 20 at Northern Trust Bank – Park Shore in Naples. The CCWBA encourages the study of law and the contributions of women within the legal profession and judiciary, promotes improvements of the administration of justice and judicial standards and works to improve the ongoing relations among members of the bar, judiciary and public. Christensen focuses her practice on litigation, including commercial litigation, real estate and construction contracts, business transactions, business torts, business disputes, will and trust contests, disputed estate and trust administrations, guardianship litigation and appeals. Christensen participated in the 2014 Growing Associates of Naples (GAIN) Program and is a mentor for the Florida Bar Association’s young lawyers division. Most recently, Christensen was selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers 2018 Florida Rising Stars list. Christensen received her juris doctor degree, cum laude, from Wayne State University Law School and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and criminal justice, with honors, from the University of Michigan.
SEAGATE CONTINUES TO EXPAND SWFL PRESENCE
Since its official formation in January 2015, Seagate Development Group LLC and its related entity, SW Management and Realty LLC, are now considered one of the region’s leading commercial and residential development and construction companies and providers of property management and leasing services, according to a press release. The firm’s portfolio of commercial properties under management now totals more than 1.5 million square feet with an estimated value of more than $200 million. Seagate Development Group has completed tenant and capital improvements projects worth $40 million in the past three-and-a-half years. Current commercial projects include the construction of a new, 96,077 square-foot Cube Smart storage facility in Fort Myers in partnership with Arbor Towne Investors. Seagate has also done $75 million in custom residential construction and remodeling revenues since January 2015. The firm is currently building custom residences for end users in the Renaissance community in Fort Myers, Windward Isle in North Naples, on Boca Grande, and at Quail West in North Naples. Remodeling projects are underway in Estuary at Grey Oaks in Naples, the Shadow Wood community in Bonita Springs, and on Boca Grande where Seagate is renovating the community’s Boca Grande Lighthouse United Methodist Church. For additional information, visit seagatedevelopmentgroup.com.
‘An Evening with Kevin Nealon’ comedy benefit raises funds for Hope Hospice
Comedian and Saturday Night Live alumnus Kevin Nealon entertained nearly 500 Hope supporters with a standup performance and raised $50,000 for Hope Hospice at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre earlier this month. Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare, said that Nealon has been a longtime friend of Hope Hospice. Nealon stars in CBS’s Man with a Plan and recently starred in Weeds on Showtime. He has appeared in several movies, including Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer. For more information about Hope Healthcare, call (239) 482-4673 or visit www.HopeHCS.org.
Youth Haven to host Party with a Purpose
Youth Haven will host its fourth annual Party with a Purpose from 7-10 p.m. on Sept. 14 at Silverspot Cinema. The fundraising event will feature drinks, light bites, silent auction, raffle prizes, music and more. The event will support Youth Haven. This year’s event committee includes Allison Murrell, co-chair; Catherine Chase, co-chair; Maureen Camacho; Cait Crockett; Jeremy Frantz; Ann Griffo; Charlie Miller; and Nicole Ryan. Party with a Purpose brings awareness to the programs and services offered by Youth Haven, including the emergency and residential shelter, counseling center, and the homeless teen and transitional living program. Tickets are $60 per person and available at www.youthhavenswfl.org. Ticket prices increase to $70 at the door. Youth Haven is currently seeking sponsors, silent auction and raffle donations. For more information, contact Katy Tomlinson at email@example.com or (239) 687-5162.