ORLANDO, Fla., March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- From the Panhandle to Central Florida to the Keys, Realtors® across the Sunshine State are getting ready for Florida Open House Weekend, March 26-27, 2011 – a prime opportunity for buyers to visit many homes for sale in a single weekend.
"Florida Realtors® is once again sponsoring the statewide Open House Weekend to help buyers find their Florida dream home," says 2011 Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart. "Homeownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens our communities, creates jobs and is vital to Florida's economy."
According to research conducted for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), every time a house is built, bought or sold, jobs are created. NAR found:
- Home sales in the U.S. generate more than 2.5 million private-sector jobs in an average year. For every two homes sold, a job is created.
- In Florida*, 7.5 percent of the state's workers in 2009 were employed in the construction (392,900) and real estate (155,000) sectors.
- Each home sale touches 80 different occupations.
- Every home purchased pumps up to $60,000 into the economy for furniture, home improvements, and related items.
- Housing accounts for more than 15 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it a key driver in the national economy.
- In Florida*, the real estate sector (excluding rental and leasing services) comprised 16.7 percent of Florida's GDP in 2007 (the most recent year for which a categorical breakdown of real estate vs. rental and leasing services is available.)
Fitzgerald adds, "Over the long-term, owning a home is one of the best ways to build financial security, but our homes mean so much more than just the place where we live. Our homes hold our memories, our hopes and our dreams for the future."
Social benefits of homeownership include improved childhood education, greater civic and community involvement, increased neighborhood stability and reduced crime rates.
During the inaugural Florida Open House Weekend last April, Realtors across the state worked with sellers to host more than 15,000 open houses. This year's statewide open house, the largest event of its kind, is the culmination of Welcome Home Week, March 21-27 – a celebration of the benefits of homeownership. To learn more about Welcome Home Week, go to http://floridarealtors.org/WelcomeHomeWeek. For more on Florida Open House Weekend, go to http://floridarealtors.org/openhouse.
Florida Realtors President Fitzgerald notes that conditions remain favorable for buyers across the state, which promises to make the 2011 Florida Open House Weekend even more successful.
"Mortgage rates remain near historic lows and buyers can find a variety of housing options at affordable prices," she says. "To learn more, you should consult a Realtor in your area about options, qualification criteria and opportunities in your local housing market – and get ready for Florida Open House Weekend on March 26 and 27!"
To find participating open houses, buyers should look for blue balloons featuring the distinctive Realtor "R" logo in white. Florida Realtors distributed 50,000 of those balloons, which will be on display simultaneously at open houses in communities throughout the state as part of the Florida Open House Weekend. To search for open houses during Florida Open House Weekend, consumers should check with the Realtor boards and associations in their area – many local Realtor organizations are offering information about participating open houses on their association websites.
To find a local Realtor, consumers can go to the Florida Living Network, www.fl.living.net, a consumer-oriented website offered by Florida Realtors. It has a search function for Realtors by name, by city and/or by specialty.
*Source for Florida data, "Effect of Policy Changes on Homeownership, Focus: Florida," prepared for Florida Realtors® by NAR.
Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members in 64 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.
SOURCE Florida Realtors