Gov. DeSantis opens door to return of vacation rentals
Since late March, Florida hotels have been allowed to operate without state restrictions, while rental properties across the street or even in the same building have gathered dust. Gov. Ron DeSantis banned vacation rentals on March 27 in an executive order aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. The move, kept in place in subsequent edicts, sparked intense pushback from property owners, management companies and some local government officials, especially in the Panhandle. More from the Bradenton Herald, Florida Politics, and FOX 13 News.
Bay County real estate still in recovery from Hurricane Michael
In 2018, Hurricane Michael destroyed 60,000 homes and displaced between 10,000 and 20,000 people. A little more than a year and a half later, people are still waiting to get back into their houses. “We’re still trying to catch up from the homes that we lost,” Brian Hinton, Central Panhandle Association of Realtors president, said. “As a reason, I think we had a very strong marker with interest rates.” [Source: WMBB]
Florida Realtors optimistic market disruption from COVID-19 is temporary
The COVID-19 emergency’s economic fallout has disrupted Florida’s real estate market, with buyers hesitant to pull the trigger and uncertain owners delaying plans to sell. As a result, Florida home sales have declined between 30 percent to 40 percent statewide since mid-March, with new listings for single-family homes down 3.6 percent and condo-townhouse properties down 10.4 percent compared with a year ago, Florida Realtors said. [Source: The Apopka Voice]
Mortgage delinquencies rise in first quarter, with Florida a hotspot
The number of people who were unable to make payments on their mortgages during the first quarter of 2020 is up nationwide, according to a survey of about 38 million loans by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The mortgage delinquency rate rose by 0.59 percent — a spike reminiscent of the third quarter of 2017, after the country was bludgeoned by back-to-back hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the delinquency rate increased by 0.64 percent. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Virtual quiz shows, brokerage Oscars and oversized “Babyzilla” backgrounds on Zoom: Industry players are finding creative ways to make their audiences laugh during lockdown. Having a few laughs has been an aim for Cervera Real Estate. The Miami-based brokerage couldn’t hold its annual Top Producer Circle awards ceremony in person in April because of the lockdown. So it hosted the event on Zoom, turning it into a mini “Oscars ceremony,” said Omar De Windt, vice president of corporate communications. [Source: The Real Deal]
› Tripp Gulliford promoted to CBRE Florida director [Jacksonville Daily Record]
CBRE Group Inc. promoted North Florida Senior Managing Director William “Tripp” Gulliford to executive managing director of the commercial real estate company’s Florida region. The company said Gulliford will oversee the operations of the Los Angeles-based company’s eight Florida offices and drive the strategy to grow its advisory services lines.
› Miami projects are continuing despite pandemic [Miami Herald]
Measures to contain the spread of coronavirus are still shifting by the day — and so are responses by investors, developers, builders, banks and buyers. To track the impact in real-time, RE|source Miami is asking area real estate professionals in various sectors for on-the-ground reports.
› Billionaire Jeff Greene battles with WPB mayor over unfinished office building [The Real Deal]
Two weeks ago, billionaire developer Jeff Greene threatened to stop construction of a two-tower, 30-story mixed-use project in downtown West Palm Beach. Greene, who told the Palm Beach Post in late April that he would “leave the shell up” because the city was resistant to approve a zoning request, is changing his tune.
› Some push for pause on Alachua school land purchase [Gainesville Sun]
Since the Alachua County school board narrowly agreed last week to pursue buying a property in Jonesville for more than $3 million, some members of the public are hoping to pause the deal. Parents, educators and even some board members are looking to pump the brakes on the purchase, questioning the board’s choice to spend more than $3.68 million on the 37-acre property during a health pandemic that’s made the local economy’s future uncertain.