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What’s News – JAX Residential Real Estate: Companies Adding More Realtors, Agents

March 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

The Jacksonville Business Journal reported March 21 on the uptick in hiring by Northeast Florida real estate companies in response to increased sales in the residential real estate market.

Christy Budnick, executive vice president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty, said her agency added roughly 90 new Realtors to its staff over the past year.

The article listed Watson Realty Corp. and Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty as other top area firms that have increased staffing amid a market in which pending sales for February were 14 percent higher than February 2013.


The message that the area’s general economy and housing market are improving was confirmed by PNC Financial Service Group economist Augustine “Gus” Fauscher while visiting Jacksonville on March 20.

According to a Jacksonville Business Journal Q&A with Fauscher, the economist said it’s “steeper of a climb” for Jacksonville compared to other parts of the nation, but Jacksonville will see overall growth in 2014.

“(The housing market’s) been recovering for a few years,” Fauscher said. “I think there is pent-up demand, credit is easier to obtain, and people are feeling more confident to buy first-time homes or move up into new homes.”


Dr. Richard Jackson, Chair of Environmental Health at the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA, told a large crowd at Florida’s Urban Land Institute North Florida District Council event March 26 that Jacksonville has much potential – but also much work to do – to gear the community’s infrastructure toward a healthier lifestyle.

Amid daylong meetings with community stakeholders, Jacksonville told a luncheon crowd at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront he considered the Downtown Riverwalk one asset that encouraged healthy lifestyles.

But Jacksonville and many other cities could do a better job with public transportation, bike and walking paths and getting employers to encourage employees to live in more active and healthy ways.

On that note, former St. Joe Co. CEO Peter Rummell – also once a top Disney Co. development executive – told the Financial News & Daily Record for its March 26 edition he wants to create what he calls a “Healthy Town.”

It would be a residential community for all ages that focused on health of mind, body and spirit — from offering a “base camp” of health and wellness guidance to focusing on designs that encourage activity to offering gardens that renters and owners could plant and reap for fresh produce.

“Health is going to do to (real estate) value what golf did 40 years ago,” Rummell said, referring to the start and proliferation of golf-course communities.

Rummell had designed “Healthy Town” for the 30-acre Southbank JEA site, but he won’t stand in the way of a potential Deutsche Bank consolidation on the property.


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