Thursday, April 30, 2009

Florida Homes

Florida’s consumer confidence jumps 6 points as housing improves

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – April 29, 2009 – Consumer confidence among Floridians surged six points to 71 in April amid indicators of flattening housing prices statewide and news that the economy has not worsened, a new University of Florida survey finds.

“The size of the increase comes as somewhat of a surprise,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “We had expected confidence among Florida’s consumers to move up and down in a fairly narrow window.”

“In balance, consumers seem to have absorbed most of the bad news and are at least not seeing things getting much worse,” McCarty says. “Perhaps we really have seen the bottom in terms of Florida consumer confidence, which was back in June of last year.” In that month, consumer confidence sunk to 59, its lowest level in the index’s 25-year history.

All five of the index’s components rose in April. The biggest jump was in perceptions of whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items, such as cars and appliances, which jumped 15 points to 77.

Perceptions of U.S. economic conditions over the next year climbed nine points to 69, while perceptions of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years rose three points to 82. Perceptions of personal finances a year from now increased five points to 85, while perceptions of personal finances now compared with a year ago rose two points to 44.

Despite these positive signs, there is still enormous uncertainty surrounding the economic recovery, McCarty said.

Massive interventions by the federal government, the Federal Reserve and governments around the world have had obvious effects, McCarty said. At the same time, stock markets around the world have rallied, and some economic pundits characterize it as the beginnings of a recovery, though bad news could still derail the process, McCarty says. If housing prices nationally begin to stabilize, it would help establish the value of some the toxic assets held by banks and indicate how deeply the recession has hurt the global economy.

“Consumers seem to characterize the economy by those events in their personal lives and in the news that are changing the most, whether those be good or bad,” McCarty says.

There has not been much news recently about very large bailouts, nor have there been many notable bankruptcies of very large companies, although there is a strong possibility that General Motors Corp. and Chrysler may end up having to declare bankruptcy, McCarty says. Were that to happen, it would likely cause at least a temporary drop in consumer confidence, even in Florida.

Barring something of that magnitude, consumer confidence may continue to improve as various sectors of the economy begin to recover, McCarty says.

“For Floridians, the next big news will probably be the Florida state budget and the effect it will have on taxpayers who stand to pay more in various fees, and those who depend on state revenue for their employment,” McCarty says. “The effects of this may not be known well into May.”

The research center conducts the Florida Consumer Attitude Survey monthly. Respondents are 18 or older and live in households telephoned randomly. The preliminary index for April was conducted from 406 responses. The index is benchmarked to 1966, so a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence for that year.


John Holbrook - Realtor

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Parade kicks off Shrimp Festival

The annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is scheduled for Friday through Sunday. The Shrimp Festival Pirate Parade kicks off festivities starting at 6 p.m. Thursday in downtown Fernandina Beach.

Memorial United Methodist Women will be serving spaghetti dinners Thursday in Maxwell Hall (behind the church) from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Meals are $7 for adults and $3 for children six and under. Take-out will be available.

Opening ceremonies, the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant, Invasion of the Pirates and fireworks display will take place from 6-10 p.m. Friday. Pageant contestants are Sherian Blue, Jenny Bridwell, Katie Burford, Sarah Byrne, Amber DeBrule, Courtney Holbrook, Morgan Lee, Evelyn Lloyd, Jadiz Marshall, Lilly McCloskey, Jessica McClure, Jessica McCrimmon, Kelsey McNett, Alexandra Medina, Alex Mills, Courtney Money, Emily Parker, Bryana Peterson, Jillian Spencer, Amanda Stein, Courtney Stuart and Rachel Taylor.

On Saturday, St. Peter's Episcopal Church will serve a full Southern breakfast buffet from 7-10:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall at Ninth Street and Atlantic Avenue. The cost is $6 per person and is "eat-in" or "take-out." For information or to place take-out orders, call 261-4293.

Also on Saturday, hundreds of artists will show and sell their creations, and the Patron Purchase Award Program gives everyone a chance to become judge and jury of the art show.

Patrons commit to purchasing a piece of artwork, pay the artist and award them with a green ribbon, and a huge name tag with your name on it (supplied free from the Island Art Association) will hang in the artist's booth during the show, giving you credit for being a patron of the arts. This program helps to bring more and better artists to the show.

To join this year's program, contact Melba Craven at the Island Art Association, 261-7020, or stop by the gallery at 18 N. Second St., Fernandina Beach, to sign up.

The committee of the 46th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival also invites you to participate in the Blessing of the Fleet and Best Decorated Boat Contest on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Fernandina Harbor Marina.

Participation is open to all shrimp boats, recreational motorboats, sailboats and commercial/charter boats. Prizes will be given for the Best Decorated Shrimp Boat including two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines, $750 cash, a $500 fuel allowance from Florida Petroleum Corp. and a commemorative plaque for first place.

The first 10 registered shrimp boats will receive a $100 to $300 fuel incentive based on distance traveled for participating. Prizes for the other Best Decorated Boat categories will be based on the amount of entry fees received at $20 per boat (shrimp boats are exempt from entry fee).

To register, download the application at under Contests/Best Decorated Boat and bring it and any fees to the Fernandina Harbor Marina Dock House between 9 and 10 a.m. on Sunday to pick up your number assignments for each boat.

Boaters will be asked to monitor Channel 72 throughout the event. For more information, contact Steve or Wanda Hair at 277-2086.

For a full list of Shrimp Festival events, visit

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Amelia Island April 4th

Amelia Island Market

Condo sales on Amelia Island & Fernandina Beach seem to have slowed down to a trickle as discretionary income and tougher financing become greater factors. There does appear to be some traffic looking for steep discounts on oceanfront units. However, our market is not in the fire sale mode. Premium condos are running $800k and up and houses along the ovean are still 1 million plus for the most part. I have seen some good buys at "The Surf". A project by the developers of Brylen Homes and Amelia Park. Brand new construction on multi-level townhouses and single family lots starting at $300k. However, these units are located on the west side of Fletcher. See a full inventory of property at

The off Island market in Yulee and Fernandina Beach is active with homes under $250k making up most of the sales. Builder close-outs are in their final phase as ICI Homes & Standard Pacific seem to making an effort to clear out the last of their nventory homes. Some of these houses have been vacant for over a year and are now priced to move. I just wrote a contract on a home at The North Hampton Golf Community that had been significantly reduced. These are quick move in options and lower prices seem to be the difference.

John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Florida

Prudential Chaplin Williams Realty

Amelia Park, Fernandina Beach

Amelia Park Lot for Sale Listed by Co-operating Broker

List Price: $49,000 Residential Lot
MLS #: 47466 Area: 4

This Information may contain errors and is not guaranteed

City: Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island
Lot Frontage: 40
Zoning: PUD , Flood Zone: X , Depth/Feet: 100
Lot Size: 40 x 100 , Restrict/Deed: Subdv: Amelia Park

Location: Corner, City , Usage: Residential , Improvement: Curb, Sidewalk, Character: Fast Growing, Financing: Cash Refinance, Conventional

Don't let the opportunity to own a building lot in Amelia Park at this fantastic price pass you by. Located in the heart of this neo-traditional neighborhood, this lot gets you everything Amelia Park has to offer, including YMCA access, town center and wonderful parks. Building packages available. Hold for investment or bring your builder.

Call John Holbrook - Realtor for info 904-415-0171

Friday, April 3, 2009

Brand new home with preservation views!

ICI home with water views on the golf course. For more information about this property visit, MLS #48944.