Insurance costs threaten Florida real-estate boom
Florida’s property-insurance market is headed toward a crisis, as mounting carrier losses and rising premiums threaten the state’s booming real-estate market, according to insurance executives and industry analysts. Longtime homeowners are getting socked with double-digit rate increases or notices that their policies won’t be renewed. Out-of-state home buyers who have flocked to Florida during the pandemic are experiencing sticker shock. Insurers that are swimming in red ink are cutting back coverage in certain geographic areas to shore up their finances. [Source: Wall Street Journal]
March home prices broke records across the state
As the hyper-low-inventory housing market continues to put a squeeze on supply, the rise in house prices in March broke records. The median price this March for all housing types hit $329,100 nationwide, a historic high, which also broke the record for its increase of 17.2 percent above March 2020 prices, according to numbers released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors. March marked the 109th straight month in which the median price was higher than the year before. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
High lumber prices contributing to rising cost of home construction
Experts say it’s tough buying a home right now. Like the big bad wolf searching for the three little pigs, no matter the huffing and puffing—some home prices aren’t going down. No matter how you measure things, the owner of Lanahan Lumber estimates that lumber prices are going to keep growing. “Our suppliers can only guarantee prices for one week, Friday to Friday, that’s it,” Michael Lanahan, owner of Lanahan Lumber said. Their prices have gone up since last summer. [Source: First Coast News]
Coronavirus spotlighted Florida’s eviction law. Are changes coming?
The coronavirus pandemic brought to the fore how aspects of Florida’s eviction law leave some tenants legally vulnerable. Month-to-month tenants were among the hundreds who have been evicted during the past year because they fell through a massive loophole in the Centers for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium, for example. The moratorium only protects renters being evicted explicitly for missed rent, not for terminations of leases. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida has become a top landing ground for retail investors looking for grocery-anchored deals. The recent sale of the Tiger Point Pavilion is a prime example. The 66,000-square-foot property traded hands for $19.9 million between MAB American and DRA Advisors and buyer ExchangeRight. The property is anchored by a Publix grocer, and is exemplary of the demand in throughout the state for similar investment opportunities. [Source: Globe St.]
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners has unanimously agreed to change the various zoning classifications on nearly 7,000 acres in the southeastern part of the county to assist a local nonprofit land conservation organization in its efforts to protect acreage across the county from development. [Source: Northwest Florida Daily News]
› Real estate firm buys Amazon warehouse for $108.74 million
Intercontinental Real Estate Corp.’s $108.74 million purchase of the Dragstrip Logistics Center, in Lakeland, earlier this month marks the latest in a line of investment interest in industrial properties within the Interstate 4 Corridor. The deal by the Boston-based firm — the largest industrial sale of the past year throughout the region — also represents continued demand for Amazon-leased properties, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
› Sadowski fund shift may hurt housing options for Floridians with disabilities
Florida lawmakers recently passed legislation to permanently redirect a chunk of the state’s Sadowski trust funds away from the very affordable housing projects the fund was designed to support. If signed into law by the governor as expected, Senate Bill 2512 will allocate some of the tax revenues coming into the state’s housing trust fund to wastewater grants and efforts to combat sea level rise. Housing advocates agree, those environmental projects are crucial for Florida to address – but not at the expense of the much-needed, often-harvested Sadowski funds.
› It seems like everyone is moving to South Florida, but other places are even hotter
South Florida’s boiling real estate market isn’t the hottest in the nation — far from it. Yes, prices are rising faster than they have in years. The median price for a home has grown by as much as 50% in some areas compared to the past year, and homebuyers fully expect a bidding war when they find a home. But on a national scale, South Florida trails many metro areas in terms of inbound residents, rising home values and the number of days a home sits on the market.
› Tough to buy in Collier County; Realtors say more buyers coming
The housing market is still booming in Southwest Florida, as the region is breaking real estate records — also making it tough to buy. The few homes on the market in the area are creating bidding wars among cash buyers. There are so few homes on the market presently, Realtors are telling people to take what you can get. Realtors told us their inventory is low because everything is selling, and buyers say prices have close to tripled.
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