Featured Speaker Kenneth Endelson of Kenco Communities discusses his parcel in Arden and coming soon Avenir at the South Florida 2019 Realtor Revolution Conference

Kenneth Endelson, discusses why his estate homes are differentiated because the luxury standard feature, large lots, lake views and excellent schools at Arden. Held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, the conference featured a key panel that focused on region’s latest housing trends.

According to state economists, the population of Florida will continue to boom as more than 330,000 people, or an estimated 900 people each day, move to the Sunshine State. Ultimately, by the year 2024, Florida’s population will increase to 22.8 million residents. Akel outlined that the shrinking availability of land for new homes, combined with the massive influx of people, will inevitably lead developers and public sector decision-makers to implement innovative ways to enable developers to build more housing.

Ken also gave mention of his new project just announced. “We are building in Palm Beach Gardens next in a community called Avenir.”

The Realtor® Revolution Conference’s Developer Panel represented a who’s who of South Florida experts. In addition to Akel, they included Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences Founder Dilip Barot, Cavache Properties Managing Partner Adam Adache, Kenco Communities Chairman Kenneth Endelson, and Label & Co. President Harry Posin. The moderator was Florida Realtors® 2019 President Eric Sain.

realtor revolution conference

Realtor Revolution Conference

OCT 10 | 10AM – 2PM

Learn More About The Realtor Revolution Conference

Join the Realtor® Revolution! In the ever-changing world of real estate, it’s vital to stay steps ahead of buyers, sellers and the competition. This fall, we’re bringing our Realtor® Revolution Conference back to give you the edge you need to continue to be amazing, relevant and revolutionary!

@ PALM BEACH COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER

NEW THIS YEAR!

BUILDING SOUTH FLORIDA – DEVELOPER PANEL
South Florida’s booming with development! Learn more about our area and what’s in store for the future when you take a stroll through the Developers Showcase on our Expo Floor. Plus, hear it directly from our groundbreaking Developers Panel as they share exclusive information about housing trends and urban hot spots!

 

As “Agrihoods” Go Mainstream, South Florida’s Arden Sets the Nationwide Standard for Healthier, More Sustainable Master-Planned Communities

Business Insider – View Article

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.Sept. 4, 2019

Arden – South Florida’s first “Agrihood” – was recently honored with the 2019 Grand Aurora “Master-Planned Community of the Year” Award, placing the extraordinary community at the epicenter of what the Urban Land Institute (ULI) has found to be a nationwide trend. Developed by industry leader Freehold Communities, Arden has set the standard for healthier, sustainable living-focused amenities with its lush, sprawling farm and stunning centrally located barn.

Arden’s innovative expansive farm is developed and maintained by two experienced, full-time farm directors. An amenity for the whole family, Arden’s residents all share in the harvest of farm-fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs grown year-round. Residents can also take classes in the barn and volunteer to help plant and tend the community’s crops. The farm and garden offer families the opportunity to learn about the full spectrum of food production and healthy living.

“After being selected as the 2019 Grand Aurora ‘Master-Planned Community of the Year’ recently, we understand, more than ever before, that Arden is the community of the future with its centrally-located barn and unmatched farm-to-table living,” said Andrew Smith, Division President of Freehold Communities. “South Florida’s first ‘Agrihood,” Arden is setting the standard for master-planned communities in the state and across the country with innovative amenities focused on health, wellness and sustainability.”

Arden was honored with the prestigious “Master-Planned Community of the Year” award at the Southeast Building Conference’s (SEBC) 40th Annual Aurora Awards, a premier design competition that recognizes the region’s finest residential and commercial industry companies. Affiliated directly with the respected National Association of Homebuilders, SEBC’s Aurora Awards are hosted by the Florida Homebuilders Association.

Boasting over 20 miles of carefully-mapped scenic walking, hiking and biking trails nestled around sparkling Arden Lake, Arden also offers a large, gorgeous Lakehouse with resort-style pools, a spacious fitness center, an on-demand Wellbeats exercise studio, and other state-of-the-art equipment.

Arden provides the ultimate in Florida living for its residents with nearly every homesite backing up to a park, greenway or nature trail. Located in the heart of popular Palm Beach County, FL, Arden is close to the state’s renowned white sand beaches, major thoroughfares, including Florida’s Turnpike and I-95, and world-class restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues.

For more information, please visit https://www.ArdenFL.com or call (561) 461-5501.

About Arden

Master-planned by the visionary development team of Freehold Communities, Arden was brought to life by an impressive collection of top-quality homebuilders, including Ryan Homes, Lennar, and Kenco Communities. It features more than 20 innovative floor plans in a wide range of sizes, styles, and designs. Located at 660 Arden Lake Way, Wellington, FL 33470, Arden is just minutes from A-rated schools, top hospitals, five-star restaurants, and the state’s leading equestrian sports venues. To learn more about Arden’s award-winning community, homes, and amenities, visit https://www.ArdenFL.com.

About Freehold Communities

Freehold Communities, headquartered in Boston, MA, is currently developing approximately 10,000 residential lots in TexasTennesseeNorth CarolinaFlorida and California. Freehold creates Vital Communities™ that embrace healthy living, engagement, connectivity, stewardship and distinctive home design. As it evaluates opportunities, the company focuses on the right planning, the right properties and the right partners. Beginning with comprehensive research to gain insight into the unique needs, trends and preferences in the local market, Freehold carefully considers each property to determine how to best maintain its beauty and character to create a Vital Community™ by partnering with quality, creative builders who share Freehold’s philosophy of offering niche solutions and unique, timeless designs.

 

SOURCE Freehold Communities

Meet The Farm-Based Neighborhoods Changing The Face Of Master-Planned Communities

Forbes VIEW ARTICLE

Sep 12, 2019

Forget the pristine landscaping, five-star golf courses and resort-style amenities that master-planned communities have become known for. Thanks to a handful of developers and their more sustainable approach to planning, a new vision of the American neighborhood has emerged—and it’s called the “agrihood.”

Rather than lap pools and community centers, these neighborhoods boast organic farms, herb gardens and edible nature trails. They have weekend farmer’s markets, cooking classes and employ full-time farm directors and artists-in-residence. Some even have camps and children’s programs to help foster healthy, sustainable living in the next generation.

According to the Urban Land Institute, “Agrihoods offer proven financial, health, and environmental benefits—to the stakeholders involved in their implementation, to surrounding communities and to the planet.”

One of the foremost examples of this trend? That’d be Serenbe. The Georgia agrihood offers residents a 25-acre organic farm, regular farmer’s markets and an annual plant sale. Blueberry bushes are planted along all the community’s crosswalks for “seasonal snacking,” according to the neighborhood’s VP of Marketing Monica Olsen.

The neighborhood also conserves water via landscaping and uses naturally treated wastewater for irrigation.

There’s also Willowsford, a Virginia community boasting a public farm stand and weekly produce subscriptions, and Arden, an agrihood located in Palm Beach County, Fla.

Arden is home to a five-acre farm, run by a pair of full-time farm directors. Residents can take their pick of fruits, vegetables and herbs all grown right in the neighborhood. There’s also a general store and plenty of opportunities to help out around the farm.

Brenda Helman and her husband were the 15th buyers to secure their spot in the Arden community.

“It provides a lifestyle that seems to have been left behind in bygone times,” Helman said. “The homes have front porches, you know your neighbors here, and there are children always playing in the fresh outdoors. This community brings hometown values, fresh-grown vegetables and neighbors knowing neighbors back to us.”

There’s currently an agrihood in at least 27 of the country’s 50 states, but a report from the Urban Land Institute says the trend is growing.

It’s no wonder why, either. The communities don’t just benefit those who live there. According to ULI, there are big benefits for developers, too.

“By including a working farm as a central project feature, developers can unlock special advantages, ranging from reduced amenity costs, increased project marketability and faster sales for residential properties to opportunities for enhanced community social ties and access to land for current and would-be farmers,” ULI reported.

There’s a price premium, too. According to Brad Leibov, homes in the agrihood he helped develop in Grayslake, Illinois, are going for 30% more than homes in comparable neighborhoods.

Throw in that agrihoods are also typically clustered, with homes located on densely concentrated, smaller lots, and developers can often make more with less in these communities. In Serenbe, for example, founder Steven Nygren was able to use clustering to add 20% more residential units than traditional planning would allow.

Still, profitability isn’t the only thing to be gained from this new practice. Developers also have the chance to make a difference—both on the world and those who inhabit it.

As ULI explains, “By building agrihoods, real estate decision-makers—including developers, investors, owners and property managers—can leverage a focus on food production in development to create value, promote equitable economic development, enhance environmental sustainability and improve public health.”

An ‘Agrihood’ In Wellington Looks To Bring Suburbanites Closer To The Source Of Their Food

WLRN – Miami | South Florida

  AUG 21, 2019

Palm Beach County has its share of spacious, suburban houses – especially in the areas west of the coastline, where land is cheaper and more plentiful.

It also has plenty of farms, producing crops that range from Florida’s famous sugarcane to sweet corn, lettuce and tropical fruits.

A planned community in Wellington is hoping to find success by combining the two. Arden bills itself as an “agrihood,” a master-planned community of 2,000 homes centered around a five-acre farm and barn.

That area is managed by two farmers, who are responsible for providing that link between residents and the food grown in their community farm.

“One of the key components to our position – beyond production – is weaving the farm into people’s lifestyle,” said Carmen Franz, who co-manages the farm with her husband, Tripp Eldridge. “How do we engage with the community, what kinds of educational opportunities are we going to provide?”

It resembles other gated communities in the area – like golf-centered planned suburbs in Jupiter or Palm Beach Gardens, but with pigeon peas and mango trees instead of 18 holes.

For their homeowners’ association fees, residents get monthly food deliveries of 5-8 items from the community farm share – a bunch of carrots or a half pound of okra counting as one item.

“Our system is not meant to keep you from going to the grocery store ever again,” Eldridge said.

The farm does have its own general store on site, where it sells locally grown products from neighboring farms as well as its own. It also features crafts that some of the residents make themselves – like greeting cards, felted wool dryer balls and wooden cutting boards.

“We hope to use the general store as a means to introduce people to other local growers,” Eldridge said, “so if they want to continue that relationship and have a more intimate connection with local growers, they totally can.”

As their own farm has been getting off the ground, Eldridge and Franz have filled in the gaps by promoting local growers. Though the farm has 32 mango trees, they weren’t ready to bear fruit this year, so the farmers subbed in mangoes from Erickson Farm in Canal Point. They also point residents toward local providers of the things they don’t intend to produce, like eggs and meat.

Eldridge and Franz are the first to admit the “agrihood” concept isn’t new to South Florida. They point to West Palm Beach’s Westgate neighborhood and the Dania Beach Patch as places that have already built community farms into the fabric of more urban neighborhoods.

“The ‘agrihood’ concept fits into multiple contexts,” said Eldridge. “What we’re trying to create at Arden fits here.”

Eldridge and Franz both have organic farming backgrounds. Franz grew up around gardens, then picked up a minor in organic farming in college. After a stint in Panama with the Peace Corps, she returned to the states and held different farm-related jobs, including working with Florida Organic Growers to certify organic growing practices.

Eldridge was introduced to community-supported agriculture his senior year of college, and says he “completely fell in love.” He also traveled with the Peace Corps, to Tanzania. After getting a masters in public health that focused on community food systems, he bounced around some farm-management jobs and other agricultural roles.

As for any Florida farmers, the grower-friendly climate is both a benefit and a hindrance for Eldridge and Franz. They can grow produce year-round, with different fruits and vegetables cycling in and out of season. But without an annual freeze, there’s no winter kill-off of pests and diseases.

Franz says they work around that by rotating crops, and have spent much of the last year growing “cover crops” that they can feed into the soil to build up nutrients.

Eldridge and Franz say they’ve found community among farmers and businesses in western Palm Beach County’s more heavily agricultural areas, from mutual agreements to share crops and products to tips on organic farming methods that work well in the area’s sandy soil.

The Arden community, like its five-acre farm, is still in the early growing stage. About 200 families have moved in, and homes are still being built. Eldridge and Franz offer farm tours on the second Saturday of every month, and say they get a good mix of residents and outsiders.

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Arden Wins Aurora Awards named “Masterplanned Community of the Year”

Builder View Article

August 13, 2019

 

Freehold Communities has announced that its two South Florida communities have won three of the top awards – the Grand Awards – from the annual Aurora competition sponsored by the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) and the Southeast Building Conference (SEBC).

Arden, the “agrihood” in Palm Beach County, was named “Masterplanned Community of the Year,” while its themed recreation center, The Barn, was named “Best Recreational Facility or Amenity.”

Shearwater in St. Augustine was named “Best Community Site Plan.” Arden also received the Silver Award for” Best Single Family Detached Model Home – 3,000 to 3,499 square feet,” and “Best Site Plan.”

The Aurora competition honors the best design trends in the Southeast U.S. The 2019 Aurora Awards included entries in 54 categories for attached and detached housing designs, including interior design, detailing, custom and re-use and renovation work. Also honored are diverse commercial, recreational and specialty buildings, as well as land planning achievements.

Headquartered in Boston, and founded in 2013, Freehold is currently developing eight master plans throughout the United States.

“The Aurora Awards signify the very best in planning, design and development, qualities we continually strive to achieve in our communities,” said Freehold Southeast Division president Andy Smith. “The recognition by these respected industry leaders tops a year of successes and milestones for both Arden and Shearwater. We are extremely honored that they were recognized as the very best from Aurora judges.”

Set on 1,209 acres, Arden includes a mile-long central lake, 20 miles of trails, and 500 acres of parks and open space. The heart of Arden is its community farm, which has received national recognition. Under the direction of two experienced Farm Directors, the Arden Farm celebrates Florida’s agricultural abundance through year-round production, while it brings the community together for healthful events such as tropical fruit tastings, farm-to-table cooking demonstrations, tree planting events and resident volunteer days on the farm.

Earlier this year, Arden unveiled its 4,000-square-foot Barn, which won Aurora’s Grand Award for Best Recreational Facility or Amenity. The Barn is where residents gather for seasonal themed events and workshops on topics from organic gardening to flower arranging. The Barn includes Arden General Store, providing residents a unique experience offering Florida-made goods that prioritize community and environmental impact. These include local and organic vegetables, fruits, coffees, teas, honey, popsicles, ceramics, and natural body care products.

Shearwater is a 1,524-acre, 2,600-lot community with 13 miles of walking trails through 600 acres of preserved habitat, parks, fields, lakes and canoe/kayak access to Trout Creek. Like Arden, Shearwater combines abundant recreational amenities with a wealth of social spaces.

Shearwater’s many recreational amenities – central to its award-winning land plan – include natural open spaces: trails, parks and preserved habitat, including Trout Creek with kayak and canoe access. At the heart of this nature-themed community is the Kayak Club, the inviting hub for all residents. Its many recreational amenities include a resort-style pool with three-story waterslide, a Junior Olympic competition lap pool, and a lazy river, all set within lush landscaping and spacious lounge areas.

Even Shearwater’s homes connect indoors and outdoors. Some floor plans feature multi-slide doors flooding the room with natural light. Other homes offer doors that collapse to create a seamless transition from living room to the spacious outdoors.

 

Homebuying power is on the verge of a 20-year-high

And according to First American, likely lower mortgage rates and rising incomes could mean homebuying power reaching its highest level in almost 20 years.

“The first Fed rate cut since December 2008 will trigger industry and media speculation about mortgage rates declining further,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American. “While changes to the federal funds rate don’t directly influence mortgage rates, a rate cut will indicate concern about possible economic weakness and that may increase demand for long-term Treasury bonds, which mortgage rates follow closely.”

He added that if the mortgage rate declines from its current July 2019 level of 3.8% to the expected level of 3.7% in the third quarter of 2019, assuming a 5% down payment, and the July 2019 average household income of $65,800, house-buying power increases a modest 0.1%, from $410,000 to $414,000.

“In this hypothetical 3.7 percent mortgage rate environment, consumer-house buying power would be 13.3% higher than it was in July 2018, when the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate was 4.5%. In fact, it would be the highest house-buying power in the history of the series, which dates to the year 2000,” said Fleming.

Real House Price Index

First American’s Real House Price Index for May showed a decline of 0.7% month-over-month and declined 3.7% year-over-year.

The RHPI measures the price changes of single-family properties throughout the US, adjusted for the impact of income and interest rate changes on consumer house-buying power over time at national, state and metropolitan area levels.

Based on changes in income and interest rates, homebuying power increased 1.3% between April and May and increased 9.3% year-over-year.

“Our estimate of average household income, based on Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data, is at the highest level since 2000. Average nominal household incomes are nearly 57% higher today than in January 2000,” said Fleming. “Record income levels combined with mortgage rates near historic lows mean consumer house-buying power is more than 150% greater today than it was in January 2000. While rates are expected to remain low, the fate of the labor market will determine the direction of the other half of the house-buying power equation and, ultimately, affordability.”

 

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