Real Estate

Fort Pierce Gold Hammer Awards nominations now open

Fort Pierce Gold Hammer Awards nominations now open

Mayor Linda Hudson is now accepting nominations for Gold Hammer Awards. The award recognizes the efforts of residents and business owners in the Fort Pierce community that have significantly improved their homes or businesses through new construction or rehabilitation efforts.

The Gold Hammer Awards will be announced at the Coffee with the Mayor on Friday, April 21st at 8:00 AM at the Fort Pierce Yacht Club.  Deadline for nominations is Friday, March 31, 2023, and should be submitted to the Office of the City Clerk, 100 N US Highway 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34954, or via email to [email protected].

The form can be found at


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Mar. 15, 2023|

Sea Oaks Beach and Tennis Club names new GM/COO

Sea Oaks Beach and Tennis Club names new GM/COO

Kevin Sibbring

Kevin Sibbring is the new general manager/chief operating officer of Sea Oaks Beach and Tennis Club in Vero Beach. Kevin will be filling this role soon as successor to the club’s long-time, highly regarded General Manager Pamela Dawson who will be retiring after thirty-seven years of leadership service to SOBTC. The Club  partnered with executive search firm, Kopplin Kuebler & Wallace, and conducted an extensive search and recruitment effort culminating in a unanimous selection of Kevin to lead the club forward.

Kevin, a Vanderbilt University graduate with a BA in Economics and Business Administration, spent much of his career in the Dublin (Columbus), Ohio area.  For over ten years, he was the Corporate VP of Marketing for Sterling Commerce, a telecommunications support company that sold to AT&T.  Following that role, he became the President/CEO of the Lakeside Association in nearby Lakeside, Ohio, where he oversaw 1,100 homes, fully-amenitized community, serving as the primary ‘face’ and voice of that community and leading the strategic planning and all operational efforts within it.

Kevin’s most recent role was GM/COO at the Timber Pines Community Association in Timber Pines, Florida, just north of Tampa in Hernando County.  There he led a large scale, 50+ neighborhood community, culminating in it being named a Great Place to Work ® in 2022.

Kevin has been identified and referenced for his especially strong skills in leading from the front, having strong financial acuity and results, being innovative with member and event programming and for being “highly engaged and interactive with his membership.”

“I am very pleased to welcome Kevin to Sea Oaks!  We look forward to his proven leadership as we consider a number of initiatives to make Sea Oaks an even more desirable place to live,” said Michael Furlong, Sea Oaks President.

Sea Oaks Beach & Tennis Club, located on a beautiful Florida barrier island, is a member-owned community that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian River. Over the years Sea Oaks has been recognized in publications for the special charm of its landscaping and ambiance, the energetic and creative lifestyle of its members, as well as its exceptional tennis program.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Mar. 9, 2023|

City of Fort Pierce partners with Florida Rural Legal Services monthly housing workshops

City of Fort Pierce partners with Florida Rural Legal Services monthly housing workshops

The City of Fort Pierce Grants Administration Division is partnering with Florida Rural Legal Services to present Housing Workshops and continue the Housing Workshop Series. Housing workshops will be held  at the Riverwalk Center at 5:30 PM. The workshop is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

“FRLS is excited to collaborate with the City of Ft. Pierce to provide critical services to residents during this critical time, focusing on housing protection through our comprehensive community outreach and education and holistic service model,” said Jaffe Pickett, Esq., executive director of Florida Rural Legal Services. “We are certain that this partnership will provide an avenue for residents to avoid homelessness and receive critical education and information on the comprehensive services we provide to aid in homelessness prevention and consumer protection and defense to aid Ft. Pierce residents as they navigate recovery from shortfalls, due to the Covid pandemic, impacting housing stability barriers impacting low-income individuals and vulnerable populations.”

The City of Fort Pierce recognizes the need for community education and outreach on eviction prevention, including landlord-tenant rights and comprehensive legal services. Starting in February, housing workshops will be tailored to a specific topic and will feature helpful information, training, and opportunities to speak to specialists in the field.

The dates for the 2023 Housing Workshops are as follows:

  • Thursday, March 16, 2023, @5:30pm – Mobile Home Rental Rights 
  • Thursday, April 13th, 2023, @5:30pm – Eviction – What the Landlord Must Do Before They Can Make You Move 

“FRLS is thankful for the partnership with the City of Ft. Pierce and commissioners who have made our comprehensive legal services, including strategic community education outreach as well as legal assistance at no cost to residents available to residents to avoid homelessness during this period of needed critical services.”

FRLS is certain that our efforts to collaborate with valued partners and funders to bridge the gap in access to free civil legal services will fill the services needed most during these critical times.

For more information on the Housing Workshops, please call 772-467-3161 or email [email protected].


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Feb. 23, 2023|

Island of possibilities

Island of possibilities

Bob and Sharon Lowe of Lowe’s International Realty Plus

Bob and Sharon Lowe of Lowe’s International Realty Plus have lived on North Hutchinson Island for 45 years. ANTHONY INSWASTY

Bob Lowe sold on North Hutchinson Island as longtime resident and successful broker


The Lowes enjoy giving a miniature LED flashlight

The Lowes enjoy giving a miniature LED flashlight with their business name to each client and visitor to their office, which led to Bob Lowe being known as ”The Flashlight Guy” around the Treasure Coast. JOE DESALVO

Most folks in their 80s living on North Hutchinson Island are well into retirement, enjoying natural amenities found on the beautiful stretch of the barrier island between the Indian River County line and Fort Pierce Inlet State Park. 

Retirement? At age 84, Bob Lowe chooses to remain active by selling this Treasure Coast gem to out-of-towners looking to relocate, especially from the East Coast, North Florida and South Florida. 

Lowe, you see, is president of Lowe’s International Realty Plus, located at 2901 N. Highway A1A. It’s the single-story tan building with the barrel tile roof that stands alone on the 9.5-acre lot at the corner of A1A and Marina Drive. 

Despite complications from hip surgery in 2017 that has him using a walking aid, Lowe refuses to slow down, working seven days a week from the office or home. 

Wife, Sharon, company vice president and licensed Realtor, has been her husband’s rock of support for 45 years. 

“It is hard to keep up with him at 84 and I’m 71,” said Sharon, who retired five years ago from Indian River State College after 42 years. “He just won’t quit. I often say to him, ‘Let’s just quit and let’s enjoy traveling’ and all that. He says, ‘I’ve got to stay busy.’ 

“This [their business] keeps his mind going and active,” she said. “He’s so active in the community. He’s not going to quit. No quitting.”


Lowe will have none of that when it comes to professional and community involvement. In addition to having served on state and area Realtor boards, he was elected chairman of the St. Lucie County Planning and Zoning Board in January and just served as chairman of the St. Lucie County Board of Adjustment. 

Lowe has also served on several community boards, including New Horizons, a drug, alcohol and mental-illness facility on the Treasure Coast. He’s also on the board of directors of the St. Lucie County Hundred Club. The organization provides direct financial help for spouses and dependents of law-enforcement officers and firefighters who have lost their lives or become disabled in the line of duty.

It was supporting the American Cancer Society years ago that enabled Lowe and Sharon to meet in the mid-1970s when the Chicago native was general manager of Nash Pontiac Cadillac on South U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce. 

Sharon, who came to Florida from Minnesota, likes to tell the story:

“I was doing a bike-a-thon for the Cancer Society and I stopped at Nash Pontiac Cadillac because I knew some of the salesmen,” Sharon said. “I said, ‘Would you sponsor me for this bike-a-thon,’ and they said, ‘No, we’re not going to do it, but our boss will.’

“So, they sent me in to meet Bob Lowe,” Sharon said. “He sponsored me for the bike-a-thon and when I walked out, he said to his sales people, ‘I might try to marry that girl.’ And, about a year and a half later, we got married [in 1977]. So, pretty crazy.”

There’s nothing crazy for what happened next for Lowe. 

It was after Lowe discovered that the dealership was being sold that he became a licensed broker in 1984. It was the start of a successful career that spanned three offices — Lowe Realty in the plaza at U.S. 1 and the North Causeway, and then Century 21 Lowe Realty offices in Sebastian and Vero Beach. 

Lowe sold those offices and opened Lowe Realty in the former strip center that stood behind the current office. It was in 2010 that Bob completed the build-out of a planned office for a project that fell through, and established Lowe’s International Realty.

Debra Madden is office and rental manager

Debra Madden is office and rental manager as well as a broker sales associate for Lowe’s International Realty Plus. DEBRA MADDEN


The Lowes are quite familiar with the island, having lived in Queen’s Cove and The Sands before moving to Breakers Landing 30 years ago. They saw the potential growth in their business by opening an office on it.

“No. 1, we lived on the island; we loved the island,” Lowe said. “We loved what the possibilities of the island could be when developed. 

“Our beaches are beautiful; we have fishing; we have a new bridge coming in; we have an airport with Customs; and plenty of golf courses [in the area],” he said.

First-year sales provided an omen of what was to come for the company.

“We did pretty well, but there wasn’t any competition on the island,” Lowe said.

Some refer to Lowe as “Mr. North Beach.” His reaction: “Sounds good. I’ve been here forever.”

Sharon calls North Hutchinson Island “a diamond in the rough, because people don’t realize it’s still so pristine and it’s going to stay that way.

“I think the values are just going to go up, that’s what our total belief is, especially when you see what Vero gets opposed to us,” she said. “I think there’s no place to go but up.” 

According to, the median listing price in North Hutchinson Island in December was $649,000, compared to $2.4 million in The Moorings community located north of the St. Lucie/Indian River county line on A1A. 

When it comes to addressing their clients’ residential, rental, waterfront and commercial property needs, the Lowes have a talented six-member staff. The team did $30 million in sales last year, mostly on the island … and mostly cash deals, according to Lowe.

As for 2023, “I think it’s going to be good; I really do,” Lowe predicted. “There’s still a shortage of homes. The prices dropped a little bit because of the financing [rising interest rates]. Now the interest rates are starting to go back down. And I think that the market is going to be good. The last half of the year is really going to be strong.”

Bob Lowe sold this 11.8-acre lot

Bob Lowe sold this 11.8-acre lot – zoned for a hotel, commercial and commercial hotel – to a Vero Beach-based investor. JOE DESALVO


As for commercial real estate, one has to trust Lowe’s track record.

“My real success in life has been as a commercial broker,” said Lowe, who also owns and operates Lowe Realty Corp. “I know what I know and that is commercial — hotels, casinos and the international business.

“The island has only one problem — there’s no place to open a business right now,” he said. “This is it [the 9.5-acre mixed-used lot on which his office stands] and the hotel site.”

Both properties were casualties of the destructive winds of hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in September 2004. 

Lowe has sold the property three times, but has yet to see it developed. It even comes with access to the Intracoastal Waterway via a canal in the back of it.

Designs for the property have already been approved by the county, according to Lowe. “Plans for the three-story complex include 70 units with shops below the front condos.”

“We’re hungry for it here,” Sharon said. “We’ve met a lot of people who are interested.” 

“It will sell because there’s nothing left,” Lowe added. 

It’s on the market for $7 million.

As for the former Holiday Inn site nearby at the northeast corner of A1A and Shorewinds Drive, Lowe sold it a year ago in December to an investor in Vero Beach. It’s 11.8 acres with 500 feet on the beach. 

“He wants $50 million for it,” Lowe said. “It’s zoned for 36 units an acre for a hotel, commercial, and commercial hotel. You can build condos, but they have to be part of the hotel. You can make a Marriott Residence and sell some as condos to make your money back. Then they control the rental of it.”


private residential community of Bear Creek in Linville, North Carolina.

The Lowes’ latest project is selling the 35 lots they bought in the private residential community of Bear Creek in Linville, North Carolina. They have already sold eight since the Dec. 28 closing. ANTHONY INSWASTY

What should be a game-changer for those aforementioned sites and residential property values on the island is the North Causeway Bridge replacement project that has been approved by the Florida Department of Transportation. 

The existing two-lane 2,100-foot-long bridge, constructed in 1963 and including a double bascule over the Intracoastal Waterway’s main channel, is being replaced with a high-level 4,152.5-foot-long fixed bridge crossing over the FEC Railroad tracks, Old Dixie Highway and the Intracoastal Waterway.

First approved five years ago, preliminary work has finally begun after several delays. It should be completed by the end of 2025.

“It will increase the [real estate] prices,” Lowe said.

Debra Madden, who has been with the Lowes for six years and serves as office and rental manager as well as being a broker sales associate, agreed.

“It will be the second largest [bridge to island, the other being the 17th Street bridge in Vero Beach],” Madden said of the bridge’s impact on the island’s real estate market. “It’ll be a destination. People will want to go over it.”

In the meantime, the Lowes have taken on a new project. They closed in December on 35 lots in Bear Creek in Linville, North Carolina. It’s a private, prestige residential community near Blowing Rock, Boone and Banner Elk.

“We did our honeymoon in Banner Elk and Beech Mountain, and that’s where we fell in love with North Carolina,” Sharon said. “So, we’ve had numerous homes up there and now we’re buying this project and trying to sell these lots.” 

“I think we’ll have all the lots sold in 18 months,” Sharon said. “That’s our goal and we already have sold eight since the Dec. 28 closing.”

Lowe is quick to share his principles of selling real estate so effectively and in Bear Creek’s case, so swiftly.

“Honesty. Integrity. And, satisfying the customer,” he said. “We’re very firm on that.”

Not to mention, visitors and clients can count on receiving the Lowe’s International Realty Plus LED mini flashlight from the Lowes.

“He’s known as the ‘Flashlight Guy’ all over Vero and Fort Pierce,” Sharon said with a smile.

With that said, Lowe is possibly shedding light on retirement plans?

“I’ve been blessed. We’ve both been blessed,” Lowe said. “I thank God every day. We talked about that this morning. I’m going to retire someday — I think sooner than later.”

Lowe’s International 

Realty Plus Inc.

Robert J. Lowe Sr., Broker/President

2901 N. Highway A1A

Hutchinson Island, FL 34949

Office Phone: 772.467.6500

Cell Phone: 772.559.1676


Bear Creek at Linville, 

North Carolina

Robert J. Lowe Sr., Broker

Office phone: 828.742.0000

Cell Phone: 772.559.1676


See the original article in print publication

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Feb. 20, 2023|

City of Fort Pierce and Fort Pierce Redevelopment Agency (FPRA) list surplus property for sale   

City of Fort Pierce and Fort Pierce Redevelopment Agency (FPRA) list surplus property for sale   

The restoration of Fort Pierce’s neighborhoods is a key strategy in revitalizing the Fort Pierce Redevelopment Area (FPRA) and the City of Fort Pierce as a whole. One way to accomplish this goal is to dispose of surplus property owned by the City/FPRA. Once the property has been declared as surplus by the City Commission/FPRA Board, the property shall be offered for sale to the public with a Request for Proposals (RFP).

The properties listed below will be offered for sale with a Request for Proposals in the month of February:

o               424 Douglas Court AND 426 Douglas Court

o               612 N 25th St

o               706 N 20th Street

o               604 S 6th Street

o               515 Douglas Court

o               1204 Avenue E

o               1620 Avenue E

o               Avenue D - 2409-603-0055-000-2 (City Commercial C-2)

o               N 25th St – Lot 1 2408-501-0066-000-6 (City Commercial C-3) AND
N 25th St – Lot 2 2408-501-0067-000-3 (City Commercial C-3)

You can sign up to receive notifications regarding the Bid Postings. Click on the Notify Me link below to register.  Notify Me • Fort Pierce, FL • CivicEngage (

For more information about the properties, please visit    our website  Bid Postings • Fort Pierce, FL • CivicEngage (  or email  [email protected]


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]


Feb. 9, 2023|

Crosstown Parkway Sale

Crosstown Parkway Sale

NAI Southcoast has announced the sale of a 1.84-acre commercial site in the highly desirable Tradition area in St. Lucie County.

The fastest growing town on the Treasure Coast, Tradition is a family-oriented community that also boasts a robust and active senior population.

With an approved site plan for 13,725 square feet of retail and restaurant space, the parcel benefits from location on a major east/west thoroughfare one mile easy of I95. It is also located in near proximity to the upscale PGA Verano community.

The Seller and buyer were represented by NAI Southcoast. The property had a short marketing period with multiple offers, ultimately the sellers decision came down to timing and terms of the final offer.

“Despite rising interest rates, demand for well-positioned properties in the heart of continued population growth remains strong. The transaction closed in line with original pricing guidance, a tribute to strong tenant demand for the proposed space. Our team was able to secure letters of interest to lease space during the buyers’ short due diligence and closing time,” said Nikolaus M. Schroth, Principal of NAI Southcoast.


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]



Dec. 23, 2022|

Modern-day land rush

Modern-day land rush

Food service distributor Cheney Brothers

High demand has led to record prices for land on which to build huge warehouses and distribution centers in the Treasure Coast. At Legacy Park in Port St. Lucie, more than 5 million square feet are developed, or soon will be, eventually employing more than 3,000. Food service distributor Cheney Brothers held a groundbreaking in April for its distribution center and food-service warehouse. CITY OF PORT ST. LUCIE

Region experiencing a boom in industrial land development


There is a land rush like no one has ever seen for large plots ripe for industrial development on the Treasure Coast.

Jeff Chamberlin is one of the most active real estate professionals who deal in the large parcels in high demand mostly west of the heavily populated areas.

Chamberlin thinks of the 1920s political pitch promising a “chicken in every pot” as a sign of prosperity when he thinks of this industrial boom.

“Here on the Treasure Coast, we’re going to get a million-square-foot warehouse at every I-95 interchange,” Chamberlin, president of SLC Commercial, said.

Chamberlin’s firm brokered the land sale for the Amazon distribution warehouse, which Amazon calls a fulfillment center, on 110 acres at Midway Business Park on West Midway Road near Interstate 95. 

Midway and I-95 is just one of the areas being developed for industrial sites. Others include the Kings Highway corridor near the Orange Avenue [State Road 68] interchange with I-95 and Legacy Park at Tradition in Port St. Lucie at Becker Road and I-95.

There is also a booming area for industry between the Treasure Coast International Airport and Kings Highway, where 37 acres recently sold for $5.2 million in a deal brokered by Coldwell Banker Commercial Paradise.


One of the major companies at Legacy Park is FedEx

One of the major companies at Legacy Park is FedEx. The company’s distribution center is shown under construction in October 2021. Amazon is at Legacy, too. Legacy Park developer Sansone Group said it is a two-hour drive from 8 million people and a four-hour drive from 20 million people. CITY OF PORT ST. LUCIE

Lifelong St. Lucie County resident Hoyt C. Murphy Jr., a Realtor with the firm, said the promise of an industrial land boom is not new. It’s been around since the late 1980s when I-95 was completed from Miami to the Georgia state line. The completion of the interstate along with the confluence of it and Florida’s Turnpike in Fort Pierce made the area logistically alluring to industrial developers.

When his firm did the site sale for the Walmart Distribution Center on Jenkins Road in Fort Pierce nearly two decades ago, Murphy said he figured that a wave of similar sales was in the offing, but that didn’t happen.

“Then, in the past three years, it’s gone crazy,” Murphy said. “… well over 10 million square feet of industrial facilities are under construction or in the permitting process” in St. Lucie County.

The $5.2-million sale Murphy’s firm brokered was at an average of $140,000 an acre. Five years ago, a generous estimate of the value would have been $40,000 per acre, Murphy said.

Chamberlin says land values for large parcels good for industrial development are $150,000 to $200,000 per acre, up from $90,000 and less several years ago.

It’s the location, land price and the access to major highways that lures big companies from Amazon to FedEx to build in the region.

“You can reach 65% of the population in Florida within two to three hours” of St. Lucie County, said Pete Tesch, president of the St. Lucie Economic Development Center, which has been instrumental in the process of developing the large land parcels.

Tesch said the county and the Treasure Coast benefits by the growth of the overall Florida economy, which he says would be the 15th or 16th largest in the world if it were its own country.

industrial real estate developers, map

A half-dozen industrial real estate developers, all with multistate footprints, are working on seven St. Lucie County sites. Higher prices and fewer large parcels south of the Treasure Coast has pushed developers to Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties. ST. LUCIE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL


There are precious few large parcels of land still open to industrial development in the more populated counties south of the Treasure Coast: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Those are also the three most heavily populated counties in the state to make up its largest consumer market.

When there are such parcels in the largest counties south of the Treasure Coast, the prices are much higher, said Chris Dzadovsky, St. Lucie County commissioner.

As the consumer market shifts to delivery-to-home purchases, there is more demand for massive warehouses and distribution centers, Chamberlin said.

 “This is all new territory for us,” Chamberlin said. “It’s the advent of distribution being the new retail. Delivery to your home.”

W. Lee Dobbins, a land-use attorney in St. Lucie County, said that rather than put a distribution warehouse in South Florida or Central Florida, it makes sense to locate on the Treasure Coast in order to serve both of those big markets. 

When city and county and economic development officials work to land large industrial facilities, they use code words to help identify them but keep their details secret until sales are closed.

Elijah Wooten Jr., business navigator for Port St. Lucie, said a Project Green and a Project Apron both call for 1-million-square-foot buildings north of the under-construction Amazon 1.1-million-square-foot distribution center in the Midway Business Center.


Industrial land development is progressing on a smaller scale but is active in Indian River and Martin counties.

Phil Matson, community development director for Indian River County, said that there are about 9,000 acres of land for potential development in Fellsmere west of I-95 and north of State Road 60. And there is a 99-acre parcel ripe for development on Oslo Road and I-95 that was the former site of a state youthful offender prison.

There is major potential for industrial development on Oslo Road, in the southern part of the county, particularly once a new interchange at Oslo and I-95 opens in three years, Matson said. There is also a plan to improve Oslo Road from 58th Avenue to west of the interstate.

In northern Indian River County, an existing industrial park that is home to Triton Submarines has parcels available for development, Matson said.

In Fellsmere, there are several large land owners that have flirted with sales of large tracts, and some projects are in the planning stages, said Fellsmere City Manager Mark D. Mathes. Some of the acreage now devoted to citrus farming may become available, he said.

Land values are likely to continue to rise, and Fellsmere is located to take advantage of relatively low land prices and development expenses in an area close to growing Central Florida.

“If you want to get in, this is the time to get in. It’s about ready to take off,” Mathes said.

Chandler Bats

Not all companies coming to the Treasure Coast need huge warehouses. Chandler Bats, which makes wooden baseball bats for Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees as well as other Major League Baseball players, moved its headquarters and manufacturing plant from Pennsylvania to Port St. Lucie.


Martin County Administrator Don Donaldson said that while there is industrial activity in the county, there are no 1-million-square-foot mega-warehouses going up or in the planning process. For now, the largest parcels are zoned for agriculture and do not allow for industrial development.

But Chamberlin says it’s a matter of time that pressure will build to create those huge buildings along I-95 in Martin County. It may take longer than in St. Lucie County, but Chamberlin says he still sees a million-square-foot warehouse at every I-95 interchange from the Palm Beach County line to Sebastian.

Frannie Hutchinson, St. Lucie County commissioner and lifelong resident of the county, said she has sought to bring smart development to the county in her 20 years as commissioner. 

She said that there was considerable interest in the county’s industrial land until the recession around 2008 quelled it for a decade or so.

“We have been discovered,” Hutchinson said. 

The type of industrial development happening will help keep taxes down for homeowners and create jobs.

“These huge buildings are going to generate a lot of taxes and they are not going to add to the traffic in town,” Chamberlin said.

However, Dzadovsky is aware of the burden that the growth might cause homeowners.

“We have tried to focus on taking the pressure off the homeowners and diversify our tax base,” he explained. “When you are too reliant on residential rooftops to pay for your infrastructure, it puts too much of a strain on homeowners.” 


See the original article in the print publication

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Oct. 12, 2022|

Scarcity of homes could cool off real estate market

High construction costs, lack of affordable land and housing could send buyers looking elsewhere
Jul. 9, 2021|

Bad economic times are a good time to revisit your business plans

TEAM members safe and healthy. We also hope this issue finds your business open and persevering through this challenging market. We continue to be inspired by resilient regional business owners who have innovated their organizations through 2020.
Feb. 22, 2021|


The real estate market on the Treasure Coast

The real estate market on the Treasure Coast for the first quarter showed fewer sales but higher prices, and Realtors say the market is becoming more balanced. CITY OF PORT ST. LUCIE

Consumer confidence and low mortgage rates point to continued strength


Home sales on the Treasure Coast fell in the first quarter of 2019, but rising prices and expectations that the economy will remain strong point to a robust real estate market for the rest of the year, local and state industry leaders report.

Florida Realtors showed that single-family home sales in the metro area, including Martin and St. Lucie counties, fell 6.8 percent, while median prices rose 3.3 percent. For the same period and area, condo and townhouse sales fell 11 percent and median prices for those sales rose 8.6 percent.

For Indian River County, single-family home sales fell 6 percent and median prices rose 4 percent. Condo and townhouse sales rose 7.5 percent and values rose 21.7 percent, according to Florida Realtors.
Median price is the point at which half of sales are lower and half are higher.

Jarrod Lowe, a Realtor in Jensen Beach and the president-elect of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches, covering Martin and St. Lucie counties as well as the much-larger Broward and Palm Beach counties, says the first-quarter decline in sales is nothing to worry about. The market has already strengthened in April and May, he said, in part because of continuing low mortgage rates and consumer confidence that the economy will stay strong.

The recovery from the recession a decade ago was slow. It took about five years for the market to return to good health, Realtors told Treasure Coast Business. If a significant economic slowdown strikes, the real estate and housing markets are likely to be quicker to recover, as the last recession was largely caused by a housing price bubble and loan crisis, which is not expected to recur.

“We have more of a competitive, balanced market, where before we were definitively in a buyers’ market for a long period of time,” Lowe says. “We are close to 10 years of sustained growth in the real estate market. We’re balancing and evening out, and it’s a healthy market which is fair for both buyers and sellers.”



Andrew Harper, president of the Realtor Association of Indian River County, says the average price for home sales rose 8.3 percent, well more than the median because of the outsized value of homes on the barrier islands. Beach area homes in the quarter averaged sale prices of $1.05 million. They made up 40 percent of the county’s transactional dollar volume in the first quarter while making up only 13 percent of all county sales.

In Okeechobee County, volume of sales is much less than its Treasure Coast neighbors, but it may be the hottest market among the four right now.

Cristie Schmidt, president of the Okeechobee County Board of Realtors, says, “We’ve got a real healthy market right now.” She says homes that were reaching contract in a month now often take only one or two weeks.
Buyers still come to the Treasure Coast from up north, but many are now relocating from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, Realtors say, particularly to Port St. Lucie.

Realty group figures show that Martin’s market narrowly favors buyers, while Indian River and St. Lucie are still sellers’ markets, but much less so than a year ago.

A factor that may have contributed to the Treasure Coast’s drop in first quarter 2019 sales volume is that early 2018 sales may have been boosted by sales postponed from late 2017 when the area was recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma. Also, mortgage rates rose above 4 percent in the first quarter and have since fallen below that point, according to area Realtors.

Statewide, Orlando-based Florida Realtors showed a 1.2 percent drop in home sales in the first quarter as median sale prices rose 2 percent.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jul. 2, 2019|