Florida led the nation last month with what one expert called an "astounding" rate of all-cash home sales: 66 percent, a new report shows. Investor groups, international buyers, landlords and those in the market for vacation homes are fueling a cash-only market that has virtually shut out entry-level homebuyers, who can't get approved for mortgages. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
» Snapshot: Spaceships in Florida -- NASA retired the shuttles and with it manned space flight from Florida, but over the next year, other space milestones are on the Canaveral schedule.
[Photo of JAX by Neil Rashba]
» Snapshot: Airlines in Florida -- The recession, airline mergers, rising fuel costs and an industry shift in favor of fuller, larger planes have taken a toll on domestic plane service to Florida cities.
Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that the state will spend $90 million to further hydrate the Everglades and help lessen water woes plaguing southwest Florida. According to Scott, the total cost of the bridging is about $180 million. The state of Florida will match federal funds for this project, up to $30 million a year over three years, or $90 million total. [Source: AP]
After its annual summer break, the Florida Supreme Court will get back into the routine this week. Justices are expected to resume their weekly ritual of releasing opinions at 11 a.m. Thursday. And in September, they are scheduled to again start setting aside one week each month to hear oral arguments. [Source: Naples Daily News]
Six U.S. regulatory agencies on Wednesday released a revamped proposal that requires lenders maintain a stake in the loans they bundle and sell as securities, part of efforts to limit the type of underwriting practices which fueled the housing bubble. But it also expanded the range of mortgages that would be exempt from the requirement. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Copter upgrade worth $34M to Lockheed unit [Orlando Sentinel]
The Navy has tapped Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control of Orlando for a contract worth $34 million to produce weapons-targeting systems for the U.S. Marine Corps' AH-1Z Cobra helicopter fleet.
› Unexpected twist to Miami population gain [Miami Today]
Miami-Dade's non-Hispanic white population grew at a faster rate than Hispanics from 2010 to 2012, according to a US Census Bureau July estimate. The county's total population grew by about 3.4%, from 2,504,614 to 2,591,035, in two years.
› Palm Beach County saw 5.47 million visitors in 2012 [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Palm Beach County tourism officials said they expect the county this year to meet or beat its all-time peak of about 6 million visitors reached in 2005, a prediction buoyed by growth in hotel occupancy and upswings in room rates.
› Gov. Scott promises action after schools summit ends [AP]
A three-day schools summit put together by Gov. Rick Scott is ending, although it's not yet clear what it means for students and teachers across the state. Scott called for the summit because he said the state's A-to-F grading system had reached a critical point.
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› Expressway buys land for Orlando-to-Miami train project [Orlando Sentinel]
Orlando's expressway authority agreed Wednesday to spend $12 million to buy 200 feet of land. The property would be used to lay tracks for All Aboard Florida, a $1.5 billion passenger train linking Orlando International Airport with South Florida.
»Snapshot: Local Rail in Florida
› Jack & Jill Children's Center launches Young Professionals group [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
It's a challenge for many South Florida nonprofits: How to engage young professionals and others in their 20s and 30s to give of their time, expertise and funds. That's why two Broward County women in their mid-20s — a lawyer and a financial adviser — are helping launch a new group.
› 20th Century Fox vision of Miami attraction [Miami Today]
Miami-Dade County has scheduled meetings with two companies, Dinosaur Park Miami Corp. and Miami Wilds LLC, that submitted proposals last month to develop an entertainment complex area at Zoo Miami.
› Ducks get the pink slip in Peabody Orlando sale to Hyatt Hotels [Orlando Sentinel]
The property, one of the original hotels to serve the Orange County Convention Center and one of Orlando's largest convention properties, has operated in the Orlando market under the Peabody brand for more than two decades.