Mortgage delinquencies decline in third quarter, but Florida is an outlier
The third quarter of 2020 brought good and bad news when it comes to who could afford to pay their mortgages on time as the coronavirus pandemic maintained its hold on the United States. Florida continued to rank high for its delinquency rate, with the fourth-largest increase from the same time last year: 5.02 percentage points, to arrive at 15.19 percent of loans past due. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Coronavirus relief aid for Florida renters, homeowners still available
Floridians recovering from pandemic-related income losses can still get help paying past-due rent and mortgage bills. “As long as folks can attest that they’ve lost income, they’ve lost employment, they’ve been negatively affected by the pandemic - then they’re likely to qualify,” said Trey Price, executive director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “Perhaps they’ve seen hospital or health care bills pile up.” Price says household earnings don’t factor into who qualifies for rental assistance. Homeowners, however, must earn below 140 % of the area median income to qualify. More from WJCT and WPTV.
Bad news for home buyers in South Florida and across nation: prices going up everywhere
While mortgage rates remain at record lows, home prices across South Florida and around the nation are rising in many areas. According to Zillow, an online real estate database company, the median price for a home in Miami-Dade County was $328,391 in 2020, and they projected prices to go up by 6.8% in the next year. In Broward County, the average price for a single-family home was $285,870, and they say prices will rise by 6.6% in 2021. [Source: CBS Miami]
Southwest Florida residential activity surges amid pandemic
Throughout the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked business and sent much of the commercial real estate industry reeling. But in Southwest Florida, overall real estate activity — as measured in deed transactions and permits — has increased considerably since the start of the health crisis in March. Permits pulled for residential buildings — from single-family homes to apartment complexes — are up 19.3% for the 12-month period ended Sept. 30 in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties. [Source: Business Observer]
As Florida homeowners recover from shocking cost increases for their next year of insurance coverage, pressure is mounting on state lawmakers to step in and stem the bleeding. Property owners have been waking up to premium hikes as high as 30% to 40% for their upcoming policy terms. Insurance insiders hope their anger will force the Florida Legislature to adopt reforms aimed at quelling runaway litigation costs during the 2021 legislative session that begins March 1. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
› Pre-pandemic evictions resume in Miami-Dade [The Real Deal]
Residential and commercial evictions filed before March 13 can resume in Miami-Dade County, the mayor’s office announced on Friday. On one of his last days in office, Mayor Carlos Gimenez directed the Miami-Dade Police Department to begin enforcing writs of possessions for all cases filed on or before March 12, when the mayor declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
› Gainesville to hold affordable housing town hall Monday [Gainesville Sun]
Creation of a community land trust, partnerships with employers to provide employee housing assistance and an inventory of land suitable for affordable housing are three main components of a new Gainesville plan that will be discussed Monday. The city will hold a telephone town hall at 7:15 p.m. to hear from the public about the proposals.
› Jacksonville sellers on the sidelines? [Florida Times-Union]
Homes continue to go under contract at lightning speed in the Jacksonville area, despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, according to new research by real estate website Zillow. Meanwhile, a separate Zillow survey finds that COVID-19 has River City sellers sitting on the sidelines as they wait for things to settle down and hold out for higher prices, despite surging demand from buyers that has created an inventory shortage.
› Driving away: Taxi magnate sells Palm Beach home for $6M [The Real Deal]
A Washington, D.C. taxi magnate sold a Palm Beach home for $6.3 million. Records show Gerald H. and Edith F. Schaeffer sold the home at 249 Seabreeze Avenue to Joseph G. and Elizabeth L. Berger. Gerald “Jerry” Schaeffer, owns taxi companies and taxi insurance companies throughout Washington, D.C. The Schaeffers bought the home on Seabreeze Avenue in 2009 for $3.3 million.