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NO. 2

SUMMER 2018

ORLANDO OBSERVER

HOUSING MARKET UPDATE

ORLANDO SUMMER SOIREE 2018

DRIVE SHACK IN FULL SWING

New Listings are on the UP!!!

July 18th at Morton's Steakhouse - Benefiting ASGO

Ultimate Golfers Entertainment Complex off to a good start!


PUBLISHER | Jay Shapiro: jay@orlandoobserver.org

Co-Publisher | Jennifer Welsh jennifer@orlandooberserver.org

Fashion Editor | Phillip Madison phillipmadisonclothing@gmail.com

Travel Editor | Frankie Blankenship

Business Editor | Cindy Ragan

Real Estate Editor | Angela McCloskey

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Allen Kopelman, Frank LoRe Jr., Christopher Ramey, Alex Daoud, Roger Stone, Ross Mandell, Eirini Kalaitzopoulou

SOCIAL MEDIA

Susan Smith

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Phillip Madison Rutz Roberts Productions

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Florida's housing market reported more sales, higher median prices and more new listings from owners ready to sell, according to the latest housing data released by Florida RealtorsÂŽ.

"Strong demand from buyers, coupled with a lack of for-sale inventory, continues to have an impact on rising median prices in many local housing markets," said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. "Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes in May received 96.7 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 95.1 percent (median percentage).

"However, it appears that our tight inventory may be easing slightly: New listings for single-family homes in May rose 4.8 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings increased 6 percent. If the trend continues, that could mean good news for buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines."

Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 28,071 last month, up 0.8 percent compared to May 2017. Meanwhile, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $255,000, up 6.7 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in May was $188,688, up 6 percent over the year-ago figure.

May was the 77th consecutive month that the statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of RealtorsÂŽ (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in April 2018 was $259,900, up 5.5 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $242,500. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in April was $584,460; in Massachusetts, it was $385,000; in Maryland, it was $307,440; and in New York, it was $260,000.

Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 12,012 last month, up 4.1 percent compared to a year ago. Closed sales data reflected dwindling short sales and foreclosures in May: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties dropped 43.2 percent and foreclosures fell 43.7 percent year-to-year; while short sales for single-family homes declined 43.5 percent and foreclosures fell 47.4 percent year-to-year. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

"Florida's resale market for existing homes continues ahead of last year's pace, with median sale prices and the number of sales checking in at levels above where they were at this time in 2017," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O'Connor. "Price growth for both single-family homes and for condo and townhouse properties was slightly more modest than the year-over-year increases we observed in previous months of 2018, but not by much.

"Year-over-year sales growth was a bit slower in May than in April. Overall, there were about 200 more closed sales of single-family homes across the state this May than in May of last year – a rise of less than 1 percent. Condo and townhouse sales, on the other hand, were up more substantially by a little over 4 percent."


Luxury Chamber Orlando - Inaugural Mixer

Luxury Chamber held an informal cocktail mixer at Truck Stop Restaurant on Monday April 23rd 2018. Truck Stop is a unique artistic event venue designed in the spirit of gourmet food trucks and with a different chef every night of the week; oftentimes food truck chefs interested in working in a restaurant for a night. The event was fairly well attended for a rainy Monday night.  About 30 guests enjoyed complimentary cocktails and a dozen bottles of Lamborghini Brand Champagne (*Prosecco) which was flown in from Italy compliments of Ronald Goldberg.  Our celebrity guest of the evening was Mrs. Khalilah Camacho-Ali who happens to be in Orlando filming a movie.  The Chamber's founding  member Angela McCloskey interviewed Khalilah on the microphone and was also awared a bottle of Lamborghini to celebrate joining the chamber.


Little Known Theme Park Experiences 1.

Get a Haircut at Disney

Visit Magic Kingdom's Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street, USA for a once-in-a-lifetime trim or even a whole new look. Welcoming all ages, the shop also offers a special First Haircut experience for little ones, complete with commemorative Mickey Ears and a certificate. 2.

Grab a Cold One with the Simpsons

Grab a glass of Homer Simpson's favorite beverage, with three varieties of Duff Beer available only at Universal Studios. Despite the running joke on the show that all three are the same beer, the real-life versions include Duff (a lager), Duff Lite (a light beer), and Duff Dry (a stout). 3.

Become Your Very Own AVATAR

Create a personalized AVATAR as the ultimate souvenir at Disney's Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Animal Kingdom. Guests can have their faces mapped and printed onto a Na'vi action figure, complete with blue skin and traditional garb, just like the aliens in the film. 4.

Pet (and Feed!) Sting Rays

While the popular marine mammals like dolphins and sea lions may be more well-known, one of the most unusual animal encounters is feeding and touching the stingrays at SeaWorld Orlando. Guests of all ages - even tiny tots - can dip their hands directly into the pool, feel the velvety texture of the rays, and delight as the gentle creatures suck fish from their hands at lightning fast speed. (Don't worry, the stingray barbs are trimmed, just like human fingernails.) 5.

Perform "Real" Magic

Spell it out with the wave of a wand at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Objects suddenly move, water spouts and secrets reveal themselves throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade when visitors use one of the Interactive Wands available at Ollivander's Wand Shop. 6.

Meet The Pets That Went from Shelters to Stars

Many people don't know that SeaWorld also provides a home and second chance at life for dogs and cats rescued from animal shelters. Considered by many to be untrainable due to their high energy, these adopted animals now steal the stage and fans' hearts - as stars in the parks' Pets Ahoy, a funny, fast-paced animal training show that also imparts a meaningful message to support local animal shelters. The cast of talented rescued animals includes dogs, cats and even ducks, and guests can personally meet some of these amazing "animal ambassadors" along with their trainers after the show. 7.

Dine with Princesses in Epcot, Too

Join Disney princesses for Storybook Dining at the Norway pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase. While many visitors flock to Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle for princess dining, this lesser-known option includes a meal with several of the mostloved princesses in another, equally beautiful medieval castle. 8.

Send A Letter from Hogsmeade

Send a real letter from Hogsmeade's Owl Post at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Special postage, a Hogsmeade postmark and even unique wizardly stationary makes for a one-of-a-kind love letter, pen pal or postcard. 9.

Make Friends with Rescued Manatees

Step behind-the-scenes and catch a glimpse of SeaWorld Orlando's working manatee rescue and rehabilitation facility to learn more about the plight of these vulnerable animals that have been rescued from illness or injury in the wild. Guests can get a closer look at some of the water's most gentle creatures - including calves, "teens" and adult manatees - all of which have been rescued and are undergoing treatment with the goal of successfully returning them back to the wild.

10. Play I-Spy with Mickey Embark on a scavenger hunt for hidden mickeys, a famous "secret" of the Disney Parks. Everything from rides to dĂŠcor and even walking paths at Disney properties feature subtle Mickey shapes, some easier to spot than others. While books have been published to help guests find them all, half the fun is in the discovery.


James Savina Named General Counsel For Wyndham Destinations Appointment Strengthens Leadership Team Preparing for Launch of New Company Upon Planned Separation of Wyndham Worldwide into Two Independent, Publicly Traded Companies. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the world's largest vacation ownership company and member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE: WYN), has named James "Jim" Savina as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Wyndham Destinations. Wyndham Destinations is the vacation ownership, exchange and rental business that will be created as one of two independent, publicly traded companies to be established upon the planned separation of Wyndham Worldwide.

Savina will become a member of the Wyndham Destinations executive leadership team. In his capacity as General Counsel, he will oversee all aspects of the company's legal services. Savina will also serve as corporate secretary and chief ethics and compliance officer for the company. "Jim has a broad and diverse background, with expertise in guiding large companies through extraordinary change while building and strengthening legal, compliance and governance functions," said Michael D. Brown, president and CEO for Wyndham Vacation Ownership. "I'm confident that Jim's capabilities will strengthen our leadership team and the vision we share for the success of Wyndham Destinations." Prior to joining Wyndham Destinations, Savina served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at The Kraft Heinz Company, where he played a central role in the merger of Kraft Foods Group and H. J. Heinz Company and led the combined company's legal department. Previously, Savina served as Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer for Kraft Foods Group. His prior experience includes roles as Executive Director, Global Legal Investigations & Legal Operations for Avon Products; Senior Counsel and Director of Claims and Legal Administration for Energy Future Holdings; and Associate for Jones Day. Savina earned his Juris Doctor degree cum laude from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.


Orlando Chapter Launch Charter Memberships Now Available 1.5 years for the investment of one year www.luxurychamber.org


The Vintage Soirée 2018 at The Alfond Inn - Winter Park, FL Monday August 13th  

Please join Winter Park Polite Society, Lamborghini Champagne, Luxury Chamber of Commerce and Orlando Observer Magazine for the summer event...

The Vintage Soirée 2018 at The Alfond Inn - Winter Park, FL Monday August 13th  

Please join Winter Park Polite Society, Lamborghini Champagne, Luxury Chamber of Commerce and Orlando Observer Magazine for the summer event...

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