Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Hot housing market puts pressure on appraisers in Northwest Florida
According to national data, over the past 12 months, the median sales price of existing homes climbed 16%, going from $270,400 to $313,000. "It's a perfect storm for sellers,” said Sandy Blanton, a broker at Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc. "Low-interest rates, COVID kept people at home, fewer people wanting to sell their home for a long period of time, and population growth. Inventory levels are down 40-50 percent where they were a year ago." More from the WEAR.
Florida Senate passes overhaul of auto insurance. Here’s what that could mean for drivers.
State lawmakers are poised to pass the most sweeping changes to the state’s automobile insurance laws in nearly 50 years, assigning fault in accidents and requiring every motorist to carry bodily injury coverage. By Jan. 1, 2022, nearly every motorist in Florida would have a new insurance policy. Whether those policies would be cheaper than they are today is unclear, though. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
A look at Florida prohibiting so-called vaccine passports at businesses
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order that prohibits businesses from requiring so-called vaccine passports. “The idea that you should have to show that to be able to participate in normal activity like going to a football game or movie theater or any of that — certainly for a government to force you — that’s something that is not acceptable,” DeSantis said publicly. More from WINK.
Central Florida counties would pay millions annually for SunRail as part of transition to local funds
As part of an April 13 presentation to the Seminole County Commission, Deputy County Attorney Paul Chipok said the county is projected to pay roughly $12 million-$14.5 million per year for its share of the operating cost. Other local funding partners are Volusia, Orange and Osceola counties as well as the city of Orlando. Osceola County's estimated share would be $8 million-$10 million, spokeswoman Krystal Diaz told Orlando Business Journal. More from the Orlando Business Journal.
Q1 Palm Beach real estate sales shatter records, reports show
Brokers and agents may be running out of adjectives to precisely describe Palm Beach’s real estate market these days. Familiar words such as “active,” “busy” and even “bustling” just don’t seem to catch the spirit of the barreling price escalation and on-steroids sales activity that has even seasoned real estate observers, well, agog. And that situation is backed up by a new round of sales reports — documenting the first quarter of the year — from real estate agencies that do business on the island. More from the Palm Beach Post.
Piney Point pollution will linger in Tampa Bay for months, scientists say
Powerful, sustained winds are rare this time of year in Florida, and that means the polluted water that spilled from the Piney Point phosphate plant last month is likely to linger in Tampa Bay for months, a USF ocean physicist said Wednesday. “Every time the tide sloshes to the north or to the south, this plume is going to spread a little bit more to the north and to the south,” said Bob Weisberg, a professor of physical oceanography at the College of Marine Science at USF
» More from WUSF.
Arts & Culture
A sneak peek of Fairgrounds St. Pete, an art experience opening late spring
Progress is being made at Fairgrounds St. Pete, the art-meets-technology immersive experience that celebrates “weird, wacky and wonderful Florida” and will open in late spring in a 15,000-square-foot space in the Warehouse Arts District. The project, co-founded by Liz Dimmitt and Mikhail Mansion, hired artists last year to create installations in the space that is part of the Factory St. Pete, an arts-nonprofit-creative business.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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