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Members of the John R. Wood leadership team recently attended the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) Annual Conference Week in Las Vegas where President, Phil Wood, and Director, Relocations and Referrals, Ginny Alexander, were honored with the Awards of Excellence Outgoing Referral Production (RP) in the firm’s category.
The award recognizes companies that are best able to assist customers with their real estate needs around the world. Nearly 50 percent of John R. Wood agents, did in fact, assist customers by helping them locate a reputable real estate company in a non-Southwest Florida area.
“The Wood firm uses the extensive connections of Luxury Portfolio and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® to provide clients with reliable professionals in other areas of the globe, whether the customer needs to purchase or sell in that area. John R. Wood is deeply honored to receive the Outgoing Referral Production award, particularly because it is based on results by units among the best names in real estate and the world’s leading independent brokerages,” said Phil Wood, President of John R. Wood Properties.
With an elite audience of nearly 3,000 real estate professionals from 24 countries, six other members of LeadingRE were nominated for the Awards of Excellence; Michael Sanders and Company of Sarasota, Coach Real Estate Associates, Inc. of New York, Jack Conway and Company of Massachusetts, Lyon Real Estate of Sacrament, CA, and Shorewest, REALTORS®. According to Ginny Alexander, “The companies were measured for sending the most outgoing referrals per agents, and John R. Wood won the prestigious award for having the highest production percentage per agent.”
The conference was open only to brokers, managers and relocation professionals affiliated with LeadingRE, an invitation-only network of the highest quality independent real estate companies, and John R. Wood was nominated for multiple awards and honors. The Wood firm was also slated for Outgoing Sales Production (SPR), Equivalent Outgoing Sales Production, Crown of Excellence Award, and the Diamond Award.
The Wood firm also participated in a LeadingRE marketing contest and brought home two other accolades: 1) John R. Wood Properties was given an Honorable Mention for a consumer materials piece, and 2) Second Place for an internal video.
John R. Wood Properties is the SWFL representative of LeadingRE . With a global membership that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects more than 565 firms and 130,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions each year. As a member of LeadingRE, the Wood firm provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.
John R. Wood is the oldest real estate company in Southwest Florida with six decades of industry and market experience, the firm is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The firm currently has fourteen offices serving Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Ave Maria, and Sanibel/Captiva Islands, with over 500 agents and staff across Southwest Florida. For more information about John R. Wood Properties and our elite real estate agents, visit
The new year came with some big purchases for Naples home buyers.
Closed sales of luxury properties — homes above $1 million — increased 123 percent over closed luxury sales in January 2017, according to the January 2018 market report released by the Naples Area Board of Realtors.
“Thank goodness for the luxury properties for sale; they are driving the market,” said Bill Coffey, broker manager of Amerivest Realty Naples.
Pending sales of homes priced above $1 million also increased 67 percent in January compared with last January, Coffey said.
The monthly NABOR report tracks all sales made through the Southwest Florida MLS, excluding Marco Island.
Mike Hughes, vice president and general manager for Downing-Frye Realty Inc., believes the reason for the sudden spike in luxury home sales could have something to do with Hurricane Irma, which hit Southwest Florida in September.
“The storm blew in a lot of business,” Hughes said. “I believe that some buyers who would have purchased in the fourth quarter of 2017 delayed their decision until the first quarter of 2018. It looks like we are off to a good start this year with respect to sales.”
NABOR reported overall closed sales for January to be up 11 percent in Collier County compared to January 2017.
There were 671 single-family and condominium sales in January, up 11 percent from last January, according to NABOR data.
Overall market statistics show a 10 percent decrease in closed sales for homes $300,000 and under in January compared to last January.
There was a 23 percent decrease in the number of single-family homes sold in the under $300,000 range, and pending sales, or new contracts written, declined 24 percent year-over-year.
The number of sales in the $300,000-$500,00 price range declined to 156 in January, a 4 percent decrease over the same month last year.
Naples Beach area stood out to buyers in the single-family home market, with pending sales up 51 percent over last January.
Median closed prices throughout Naples were also up in January compared to last January.
For the entire market, the overall median closed price increased 19 percent to $375,000 in January. January’s median closed prices decreased 19 percent in the $2 million and above price category.
The median price is the price at which half of the homes sell for more and half for less.
“For a long time we saw double-digit increases in median closed prices for single-family homes in the $0 to $300,000 market,” said Cindy Carroll, SRA of Carroll & Carroll Appraisers and Consultants LLC. “But for January, the report showed only a 4 percent increase year over year.”
The January report showed the median closed price f or homes under $300,000 was $255,000. However, the median closed price of homes over $300,000 was $505,000.
While prices continued to increase, Collier County inventory showed a decrease of 5 percent. That translated to 258 fewer homes on the market compared to last January’s inventory.
“There’s an ongoing shortage of housing inventory in many markets across Florida,” said Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, brokerowner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. “January’s statewide home sales reflected the tight supply, and — when combined with rising median sales prices — it puts pressure on potential homebuyers.”
January was a hot month for condominium sales in Naples.
Closed sales of condominiums increased 23 percent in January compared to January 2017, while closed sales of single-family homes decreased 1 percent, according to NABOR reports.
“Lately, condo and townhouse sales growth has been outpacing that of single- family homes, and the reason is that the picture for condos and townhouses has been much more balanced. The single- family home market, by contrast, continues to be held back by inadequate levels of new construction,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor.
Reports reflected 150 closed sales of condominiums in North Naples in January, a 150 percent increase over January 2017. The median closed prices in North Naples increased 428 percent.
According to a NABOR release, 79 closings from a newly built luxury high rise condominium in North Naples impacted closed sales, median closed price and days on market figures for the month.
Those 79 condominiums sold between $1.8 million and $2.5 million, NABOR reported.
David Hoffmann oozes his love for — and faith in — Naples.
It’s why his company, Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, headquartered in Chicago, has become the city’s largest commercial property owner and landlord.
“We just think it’s one of the most wonderful places,” Hoffmann said.
In a little over two years, the real estate company has amassed a collection of more than 20 properties in the Naples area, valued at more than $300 million. Most of the buildings are clustered around Fifth Avenue South or Third Street South.
The buying spree isn’t over, with more properties under contract.
“We plan to have 30 buildings by the end of the year,” Hoffmann said.
Whether it’s day or night, Fifth Avenue South has shops, restaurants and some activities that would be great for a date. Lauren Kummer
That’s not all: David Hoffmann — founder and chairman of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate — and his son, Greg, the firm’s chief executive, have grander plans, including bringing more entertainment to downtown Naples.
The Hoffmanns are also buying up local businesses as they see the opportunity to grow them.
Their five-year vision for downtown Naples includes attracting a high-end movie theater and a quaint, six-lane bowling alley, as places for adults to hang out.
“We would love to see a high-end luxury women’s spa down here, and that’s because my wife wants one,” David Hoffmann said.
The Hoffmanns want another boutique hotel downtown, which they hope will happen with the redevelopment of the long-vacant Third Street Plaza, where owners Anne and Charles Camalier III have proposed building a 118-room hotel.
“It’s a great vision. We’ll help them in any way we can for that to happen,” David Hoffmann said.
Since 2015, the Hoffmanns have helped attract two high-end restaurants to their buildings: The French and Sails.
The company has kept most of the tenants that came along with its buildings, and there are few vacancies.
Rick Rinella recently joined Hoffmann’s team as president of restaurant development in Naples. He’s an experienced restaurant manager, who last worked at The French, which debuted on Fifth Avenue a little over a year ago.
“We will continue to attract high-end restaurateurs into our buildings in Naples when the space becomes available. We may buy interests here in restaurants that are in our buildings,” Rinella said.
As other tenants choose to leave, the Hoffmanns hope to bring in global luxury brands of the likes of Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
“That’s our biggest problem,” David Hoffmann said. “We don’t have any vacancy.”
The company has taken over and enhanced the executive suites that came with two of its buildings, with plans to expand the co-working concept on Fifth, to take it to Third Street — and to grow it nationally.
The real estate firm has hired Madelene Columbus to drive the expansion of the new venture, known as Hoffmann Executive Suites. She previously worked as an area manager for Regus, the world’s largest shared office provider, in Southwest Florida.
There are already executive suites at 649 Fifth Ave. S. and 405 Fifth Ave. S. In a few months they’ll open at 365 Fifth Ave. S. above The French restaurant.
“It can be individual offices,” Columbus said. “We can tailor-make the configuration to fit the business that’s coming in, and we also offer virtual offices, conference rooms and meeting rooms and administrative services.”
Her goal is to create a professional yet relaxed and inspiring atmosphere, offering high-end private and shared offices under monthly or long-term payment agreements.
For the Hoffmanns, the real estate purchases in Naples are long-term investments made for the family, including grandchildren.
“We are redevelopers and long-term holders of real estate,” David Hoffmann said.
Going forward the Hoffmanns won’t just expand their local reach through real estate investments. Since January they’ve purchased two local companies — and a third could soon be acquired.
The family bought Sunmaster of Naples, a 30-year-old company that designs and manufactures custom canvas awnings, metal gates and screens for storm protection and security. The purchase presented an opportunity to extend the “family’s mission to invest in solid and proven business models in the Naples community,” David Hoffmann said.
The acquisition will give Sunmaster the opportunity to expand nationally, while allowing the Hoffmanns to speed up improvements at their buildings.
The Hoffmanns have also added Adelheidi’s Organic Sweets of Naples to their holdings. The company sells gluten-free and organic food, including crunch mixes, pizzelle cookies and gelato.
David Hoffmann and his wife, Jerri, came across the Adelheidi’s store on Fifth Avenue South during a stroll, stepped inside and fell in love with the food. The Hoffmanns want to help founders Marion and Jens Schuppenhauer realize a dream to bring their food to the world market.
The investment from the Hoffmanns will enable the Schuppenhauers to pursue opportunities to franchise and to expand their reach to include grocery stores.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us, and we are really happy to join the Hoffmann family group,” Marion Schuppenhauer said. “It’s an exciting thing for us.”
The Hoffmann enterprises could have a few hundred employees in the Naples area by the end of the year if all of the planned business acquisitions happen.
Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate operates as a division of Osprey Capital LLC and has a diverse portfolio that includes dozens of properties in multiple states.
David Hoffmann founded Osprey Capital, a private equity firm, in 2002, with interests that range from executive search and real estate to aviation and wine-making. The company has a presence in 27 countries, with more than 100 locations that span the globe.
It has been about four years since David Hoffmann and his wife started coming to Naples regularly. How did they discover the city?
“You know we’re from Chicago,” Hoffmann said. “I think half of the population in Chicago has a place in Naples.”
Now a year-round Naples resident, he can be found driving and walking often on Fifth and Third, taking the pulse of what’s going on. He loves the restaurants, especially the fried bologna sandwich at The Bevy.
“I’ve gained 15 pounds,” he said. “I keep outgrowing my pants.”
The senior Hoffmann has no intentions of retiring or slowing down anytime soon.
“It’s just fun,” he said. “I love to work. I’m not a very good golfer. You can ask my friends.”
Since relocating to Naples in 2016, he and his wife have gotten involved in the community. They recently became trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation, which raises millions for needy children annually through its Naples Winter Wine Festival. He serves on the board for Artis—Naples, and she sits on the board of the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District.
The Hoffmann presence has been felt downtown. The company has improved on parking, upgraded its buildings inside and out, and added a statue walk on Fifth Avenue.
The statues on their property — roughly 10 and counting — have become popular spots for photos, which warms David Hoffmann’s heart.
“I love seeing people getting photos taken with our sculptures,” he said. “That’s just a hoot for me.”
“I’m all for improvements,” he said. “It’s wonderful the artwork that they’ve introduced to Fifth Avenue. It was at their cost.”
McCabe would love to see a bowling alley and a movie theater downtown, he said, as well as another upscale hotel, which have been talked about for years.
“Bring on the change,” he said. “I’m all for it, but I just want good change, quality change, change with good planning, good connectivity inour community.”
WASHINGTON – After nearly a decade of being all but invisible, inflation — or the fear of it — is back.
Tentative signs have emerged that prices could accelerate in coming months. Pay raises may be picking up a bit. Commodities such as oil and aluminum have grown more expensive. Cellphone plans are likely to appear costlier.
The specter of high inflation has spooked many investors, who worry it would force up interest rates, making it costlier f or consumers and businesses to borrow and weighing down corporate profits and ultimately the economy. Historically, fear of high inflation has led the Federal Reserve to step up its short-term interest rate increases.
It’s a big reason investors have dumped stocks and bonds in the past two weeks.
Yet for all the market turmoil, inflation for now remains quite low: Prices, excluding the volatile food and energy categories, have risen just 1.7 percent in the past year. That’s below the Fed’s target of 2 percent annual inflation.
Most economists expect inflation to edge up and end the year a few tenths of a percentage point above the Fed’s target. But, most foresee only minimal effect on the economy.
“I don’t think that’s a huge tragedy,” said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities.
Inflation, though, is hard to forecast. One widely followed gauge is the government’s monthly report on consumer price inflation. The January CPI report will come out Wednesday.
Here are some ways to track the direction of inflation in the coming months:
How much does your cellphone plan cost?
Roughly a year ago, major wireless carriers like Verizon and AT& T began offering unlimited wireless data plans. This enabled their customers to watch more video, stream more music and trade more photos. It also lowered inflation.
That’s because government statisticians don’t simply review price changes when they calculate inflation. They also try to measure what consumers actually receive for what they pay. Because unlimited data plans are a better deal, they in effect lowered the overall cost of wireless phone services. Many economists cited this as a reason inflation slowed last year even as the unemployment rate fell. Still, the cellphone plans were a one-time change. In March, their impact will pass from the government’s year-over-year inflation calculations. Most analysts expect this change to boost that month’s inflation estimate.
How much will paychecks rise?
There are tantalizing early signs that many employers, grappling with low unemployment and a shortage of workers, are finally raising pay to attract and keep more workers. Average hourly pay rose 2.9 percent in January from a year earlier, the sharpest year- over-year increase in eight years. A separate quarterly measure from the Labor Department showed that wages and salaries in the final three months of last year grew at the fastest pace in almost three years.
In theory, higher pay can lead to inflation: Companies raise prices to offset their higher wage bill.
But it doesn’t always work that way. Pay climbed at a 4 percent annual clip in the late 1990’s, for example, and yet core inflation barely rose. It edged up to about 2.6 percent from 2.3 percent.
Companies can choose to eat the extra cost and report lower profits. They could also use the proceeds from last year’s tax cut to pay higher wages even while keeping prices in check.
How plentiful are workers?
Another factor that may keep wages low and limit inflation is that plenty of workers are still available overseas. Companies could shift work abroad if pay gets too high.
And there may be more people in the United States available to fill jobs than the low 4.1 percent unemployment rate would suggest. The proportion of Americans who have jobs still hasn’t returned to its pre-recession peak.
Closed sales, newly pended sales, and average sales prices have remained stable over the past two years. At the end of 2016, inventory was trending toward an oversupply with increases in every price segment for both single family homes and condominiums and 7.3 months of supply in the overall market.
By the end of 2017, inventory had decreased by 5% while demand remained high, resulting in a more balanced market with 6.8 months of supply. My Southwest Florida market can sometimes shift quickly from a balanced state to one that favors the buyer or seller, depending upon the dynamics that change. If inventory continues to decrease, and buyer demand remains strong, it could shift to favor sellers and push prices higher.
Alternatively, if inventory remains stable or grows and buyer demand decreases, the shift could favor buyers. The outlook for 2018 is for the market to continue the stable trend of the past two years, with moderate price appreciation and an ample supply of product from which buyers can choose. Just recently I am seeing a slight downward pressure on asking prices, and adjustments by sellers.