Month: March 2018

Rentcafe report: Orlando tops Florida for rising apartment rates – Orlando Business Journal

Apartment renters may be seeing sticker shock when they see the rates in Orlando compared to a year ago.

That’s according to RENTCafe’s February 2018 Apartment Market Report, which showed the Orlando region saw the highest year-over-year increase in average rental rates among Florida metro areas, as well as the 11th highest increase among the 250 U.S. cities included in the study.

Orlando notched a 7.8 percent increase in average rents coming in at an average monthly rate of $1,332, the report showed.

See the photo gallery to see Florida cities ranked by one-year increase in average rents.

Apartment market statistics have a huge impact on the business community, since nearly 40 percent of Central Florida’s residents live in apartments — including lawyers, restaurant owners, hotel owners, bankers and their employees, experts previously told Orlando Business Journal. And the dominant demographic in the workforce — millennials — also lean towards apartment rentals, which means the market’s health means a lot to employers seeking top talent as well as the region’s economy as a whole.

But as expensive as renting an apartment seems in Orlando, our metro area ranked No. 93 among the the 250 cities when it comes to price. In fact, renters in Manhattan pay about three times as much at $4,063 per month, which was the nation’s highest average rent. That was followed by San Francisco at $3,428 and Boston at $3,221. When looking at percentage increase, however, two Texas cities, Odessa and Midland, had the biggest increase at 38.9 and 35.7 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, RENTCafe in a separate report ranked Florida as one of the least renter-friendly states in the country. RENTCafe determined the rankings by looking at laws related to 10 different aspects of renting, including rent increase notices, eviction policies and landlord’s access to properties.

Florida ranked 40th in the country for renter-friendly states, the report showed. Among the factors cited are a three-day termination notice for nonpayment of rent, a seven-day termination notice for lease violations, and the fact that there are no existing statutes regarding maximum security deposit or for rent increase notices for month-to-month renters.

Largest Construction Projects Underway

Ranked by Total square feet of project under way

Rank Total square feet of project under way Project 1 2.2 million Orlando International Airport South Terminal C Phase I 2 1.24 million Orange County Convention Center West Concourse roof replacement 3 925,000 JW Marriott at Bonnet Creek View This List

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Florida’s Tampa and Orlando Housing Markets Ranked First and Fourth Best U.S. Cities for First-time Buyers

Florida’s Tampa and Orlando Housing Markets Ranked First and Fourth Best U.S. Cities for First-time Buyers

According to Zillow’s 2018 Best Markets for First-Time Buyers Analysis, first-time buyers in the U.S. looking for an affordable home without much competition may have the best luck in the State of Florida, with both Tampa and Orlando ranked high in the Top 10 best cities for first-time home buyers in 2018. Texas also had 3 cities ranked high on the same list.

Zillow ranked the 35 largest U.S. housing markets based on where first-time buyers have the best chance to find an affordable home with little buyer competition and strong forecasted home value appreciation. First-time buyers make up 42 percent of all buyers, according to the 2017 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends.

The U.S. housing market is competitive for all buyers, as there are not enough homes for sale to meet today’s strong buyer demand. In January, inventory of the least expensive homes was down 17.1 percent annually, compared to a 9.7 percent decrease for all homes. In 2017, nearly a quarter of home sales were above the listed price. This puts first-time buyers at a disadvantage this home shopping season because they won’t have the capital from a previous home sale to help fund a down payment or keep up with bidding wars. Saving up for a down payment is the most commonly cited barrier to homeownership.

New buyers will have it easiest in the Southeast, especially Texas and Florida. Five of the top 10 markets for first-time buyers are in those two states. Homes in those markets require a smaller down payment, and buyers are more likely to encounter price cuts.

First-time buyers are likely to face the most difficulty in pricy West Coast markets, especially California metros. Not only are homes expensive, but inventory is especially limited, and it takes longer to break even on a home purchase.

Ten Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers in 2018

1. Tampa, FL
2. Indianapolis, IN
3. Houston, TX
4. Orlando, FL
5. San Antonio, TX
6. Saint Louis, MO
7. Philadelphia, PA
8. Atlanta, GA
9. Las Vegas, NV
10. Dallas, TX

"More and more millennials are reaching the point in their lives where they are ready to buy a home, but they are entering a highly competitive housing market that has been plagued by low inventory, especially among entry-level homes," said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. "Southeastern markets will be easiest for new buyers, where homes are more affordable and there’s less competition. People planning to buy for the first time in some of the tougher markets should be prepared to face a more competitive environment, but that doesn’t mean they should count out buying entirely."

Zillow’s list of the best markets for first-time buyers is based on five metrics:

Low median home value that requires a smaller down payment
Strong forecasted home value appreciation
High inventory-to-household ratio, to indicate available supply
Short Breakeven Horizon, which is the time it takes for buying to be financially advantageous compared to renting
High share of listings with a price cut

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A Bad Obama Labor Rule, Resurrected

The National Labor Relations Board dealt small businesses a blow on Monday when it brought back an Obama -era definition of what constitutes an employer. The reversal means that more companies will be classified as “joint employers” of their franchisees’ workers and contract staff, subjecting these businesses to greater risk and stricter regulations. Congress should end this bureaucratic meddling by passing the Save Local Businesses Act, which would provide clarity to small businesses by reinstating the old standard.

Before the Obama administration, the NLRB had long upheld a common-sense definition of who is an employer. For a “joint employer” relationship to exist, both companies needed to “meaningfully affect” the workers by participating in processes such as hiring, firing, discipline and supervision.

In 2015 an activist NLRB, dominated by President Obama’s appointees, overturned this precedent in its Browning-Ferris decision. This ruling expanded the definition of an employer to include entities with “indirect” control over job conditions. This broad standard threatened to upend the entire franchise business model, as well as all other forms of contracting.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

New NLRB members appointed by President Trump reversed this overreach last December with the Hy-Brand ruling. But two Democratic senators, Patty Murray and Elizabeth Warren, convinced the NLRB’s inspector general that the board member who cast the deciding vote had a conflict of interest, because he had previously worked at the law firm that represented the defendant in Browning-Ferris. So now the Obama-era standard prevails once more.

The definition of “employer” isn’t a mere semantic question. The NLRB’s decision to revert to the 2015 definition puts hundreds of thousands of small businesses and millions of jobs at risk. As the former chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, I saw firsthand how the franchise model empowers entrepreneurs, often from humble backgrounds, to achieve the American dream by becoming small-business owners.

I also saw how a broad joint-employer standard would disrupt this model by making franchisers liable for the countless managerial decisions their franchisees make each day. If a manager at one franchised McDonald’s location in Chattanooga commits a labor violation, the franchiser could be sued even though executives at McDonald’s headquarters don’t decide which workers mop the floors in each restaurant or how they’re compensated.

To protect themselves from lawsuits, franchisers would be forced to increase their control over every piddling labor decision. Franchisees would become owners in name only, unable to negotiate even their employees’ pay. Who would risk time and money investing in a business they were unable to manage? Discussing the Hy-Brand decision on Wednesday, White House budget director and former restaurant franchisee Mick Mulvaney noted “the joint-employer rule could be the . . . end of the franchising business as we know it.”

Left standing, this threat to the franchise system could also seriously damage the U.S. economy. A recent report by the International Franchise Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers states that as of 2016 franchise businesses helped produce 10.1% percent of all private nonfarm jobs and 7.4% of all private nonfarm gross domestic product. That’s huge.

The good news is that the Save Local Businesses Act would provide a legislative fix by pre-empting the NLRB. This is a bill that even today’s polarized Congress can pass; in fact, it passed the House last November. In the Senate, the bill’s job-creating potential should attract at least the nine Democratic votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

Although Americans often have little recourse to dispute a decision made by unelected bureaucrats, this harmful employment standard is one that lawmakers actually have a shot at fixing. Congress can protect small businesses and demonstrate its effectiveness in the process. But it must act fast before too many minds drift from policy to politics.

Mr. Puzder is a board member of the Job Creators Network and author of “The Capitalist Comeback: The Trump Boom and the Left’s Plot to Stop It,” forthcoming in April.

Appeared in the March 2, 2018, print edition.

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