All full-time employees at Stuart-based Seacoast Banking Corp. now make at least $14 an hour, the company said Thursday.
The venerable bank — which has operated in Florida since the Great Depression — announced the pay hike during a quarterly earnings call. A sixth of Seacoast’s employees were affected by the raise, said Seacoast CEO Denny Hudson.
Other comments from Hudson:
“The financial impact to Seacoast is minimal, only $250,000. But the impact on our brand and commitment to our communities and to our associates is enormous. As the result of this strong affirmative step, we will be better able to attract and retain qualified associates who are committed to building a career in financial services, and who can deliver the highly customized service that our business model will increasingly require. It is with some pride that I note that Seacoast implemented this program on April 15, two months before J. P. Morgan’s well-publicized similar initiative.”
The last time the U.S. homeownership rate was this low, LBJ was president and The Beatles’ “Help!” was the nation’s No. 1 song.
Just 62.9 percent of Americans owned homes in the second quarter of 2016, matching a nadir last seen in 1965, the Department of Commerce said Thursday. The declining homeownership rate is a cloudy spot in an otherwise sunny housing picture: U.S. home prices hit another all-time high in June, and mortgage rates are near record lows.
Some were sanguine about the drop. Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia, says the homeownership rate dropped mainly because millennials are finally moving out of their parents’ homes and forming households.
“If the decline is real, it is more likely due to a large increase in the number of renter households than any real decline in the number of homeowner households,” he said.
The homeownership rate for 18- to 34-year-olds fell to 34.1 percent in the second quarter.
Forget fast-appreciating Denver and stratospheric San Francisco. Palm Beach County has elbowed its way into the top spot on real estate firm Ten-X‘s list of the nation’s hottest housing markets.
“Palm Beach County’s housing market is scorching. Seasonally adjusted home prices are up 16.8 percent year-over-year, the highest pace in the country, while quarterly gains have exceeded 3 percent in each of the past seven quarters. Prices are at a cyclical high after eclipsing $260,000 this quarter but still 14 percent below their pre-recession peak, suggesting additional room to run. Employment is also at an all-time high, with jobs up 2.4 percent from a year ago thanks to strong performances in key sectors like financial services, education, healthcare, and leisure & hospitality. As rents continue to rise for local apartments amid accelerating population growth (1.7 percent in 2015), the affordability of single-family homes should continue to fuel demand and the local housing market will continue to prosper.”
Florida markets swept the top four spots in Ten-X’s ranking of 50 U.S. metro areas.
Five other stats that jump out from the monthly look at Palm Beach County’s housing market:
Total sales volume fell a bit: House sales in June totaled $918 million, the highest monthly total since June 2015’s $941 million.
Mansion sellers play the waiting game: The typical house spent 43 days on the market before going under contract. For homes priced at under $50,000, median time to contract was just 15 days. But for mansions priced at $1 million or more, the typical marketing time was 140 days.
In the condo market, cash is king: Fully 58 percent of condos and townhouses sold last month went to buyers without mortgages. For houses, just 32 percent of sales were for cash.
Condo prices cooled: The median condo price was $161,500 in June, down from $165,500 in May.
More leverage for condo buyers: Condos sold last month for 93.0 percent of list price, the lowest level in at least a year. Houses, on the other hand, fetched 94.9 percent of the asking price.