December 1, 2023
Florida's battered orange growers are cashing in on a housing boom

Florida Trend Real Estate

Florida's battered orange growers are cashing in on a housing boom

| 10/16/2023

Florida’s battered orange growers are cashing in on a housing boom

Florida’s farmers have spent nearly two decades fending off plagues, freezes and storms that decimated their orange crops. A growing number of them have had enough. A booming real estate market has led many to conclude it would be more profitable to sell their land than to continue to cultivate the Sunshine State’s signature fruit. The number of acres dedicated to growing oranges in Florida has declined by more than half since 2000, to just over 300,000 this year. More from  Bloomberg News and Yahoo Finance

Will AI reinvent the real estate business?

Real estate is often behind the tech curve. But brokers, developers, landlords, and more have already started to implement artificial intelligence in their businesses. Residential brokerages like Serhant and top teams like Eklund-Gomes have already moved to bring AI tech into their agents’ toolboxes. And data analytics companies like Marketproof have begun rolling out AI assistants, while development companies have started latching onto tools that can optimize their investment and design processes. [Source: The Real Deal]

Opinion: As climate gentrification displaces poor residents, state should focus on affordable housing

As the Sunshine State grapples with the growing effects of climate change, another crisis is quietly unfolding in its midst: climate gentrification. This lesser-known consequence of rising sea levels, extreme weather events and increasing temperatures threatens to displace vulnerable communities across Florida, exacerbating the already critical need for low-income housing in the state. [Source: Miami Herald]

Lawmakers want to give more time to see how insurance changes are working

Lawmakers during a special session in December passed wide-ranging changes to try to shore up the market. For example, they tried to shield property insurers from costly lawsuits and took steps to help push policies from Citizens into the private market. At the time, lawmakers said the changes would likely take 12 to 18 months to filter through the system. Since December, property owners have continued to see increased rates and, in many cases, few choices for coverage. [Source: News Service of Florida]

‘It’s a crime.’ Mogul aims to demolish famed architect’s Coral Gables masterpiece home

One of the most celebrated modern houses ever built in Miami-Dade County, famed architect Alfred Browning Parker’s waterfront “Sea Aerie” home in Coral Gables, appears headed for eradication by a Texas construction mogul who paid $36 million for the masterpiece in August to tear it down. The richly appointed house, which commands majestic views of Biscayne Bay and the open Atlantic Ocean, has long been considered one of Parker’s most important and advanced designs. [Source: Miami Herald]

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$79 million
Jeff Bezos is adding a mansion in South Florida’s “Billionaire Bunker” to his real estate empire, months after buying the house next door. The Amazon founder, who is the world’s third-richest person, agreed to pay $79 million for a seven-bedroom mansion in Indian Creek. [Source: Seattle Times]


› Lee among Top 4 markets to watch; Collier one of 3 counties drawing wealthiest Americans
Coming off perhaps the strongest and most surprising real estate month in at least a year, this probably shouldn't come as a surprise. Southwest Florida is one of the America's hottest housing spots despite an overall slowdown nationally. "Buyer hesitancy has no place here in Southwest Florida," said Realtor Aprile Osborne, co-founder of Naples-based Call It Closed International Realty. "

› As Orlando housing market gets tighter, real estate agent experience (or lack thereof) matters more
It’s no secret -- housing market booms, like the one that took root coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic -- attract no shortage of newcomers to the profession of real estate agent. Now, however, a contracting market amid low inventory and high interest rates has many local agents concerned Central Florida’s housing market already has peaked.

› Tampa firm absorbs Farmers Insurance policies
Tens of thousands of Florida homeowners will get the chance to slide into new insurance policies with a Tampa-based company. Slide Insurance announced Friday it had acquired renewal rights for 86,000 Florida homeowners insurance policies from Farmers Insurance. The transaction does not include Farmers Insurance renters, auto or umbrella policies, Slide said in a news release.

› Looking for a lower insurance rate? In Miami, you have tough options. Here’s some advice
Shocked by the sharp increase in their premiums, many Florida homeowners might be considering finding an insurance company willing to give them a better rate. But there’s little chance of finding one, especially if they live in the southeastern part of the state. Half a dozen independent insurance agents consulted by the Miami Herald said that only a handful of insurance companies are willing to write new policies in the region, and new ones are focusing efforts on policies that are being handed over by the state-created Citizens Insurance.

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