Growing number of businesses in Florida and nationwide struggle to pay rent
As 2020 wound down, a new report highlighted what could remain a glaring issue in 2021: the difficulties small businesses face in paying rent, stemming from the pandemic and COVID-19 related shutdowns. One of the more startling findings in the report, from small businesses data analytics firm Alignable, is with restaurants, where 61% of survey respondents report not being able to pay rent in December. That’s up from 42% in November. Beauty salons, at 46%, and travel/hospitality businesses, at 43%, round out the top three most-affected businesses. [Source: Business Observer]
South Florida’s biggest real estate stories of 2020
With far fewer tourists and far more remote work, it’s no surprise that South Florida hotels, offices, retailers and restaurants were among the hardest-hit sectors in 2020. But there were bright spots in the South Florida real estate market this year — because of and not despite the pandemic. Demand remained strong for industrial properties due to the surge in e-commerce, and wealthy out-of-state buyers scooped up multimillion-dollar waterfront homes for some very pricey privacy. [Source: The Real Deal]
A stretch of pristine land in Florida sees real estate boom amid Covid-19 pandemic
Tucked away in Florida's panhandle, Walton County is one of the fastest growing regions in the country, home to the best beach in the United States and some of the last pristine undeveloped land in the Sunshine State. One developer already has a lock on it. St Joe Co, a real estate firm in northwest Florida, has seen its stock more than double since the end of September as the Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled a migration from the densely populated cities of the Northeast to Florida's sand and surf. [Source: Business Times]
Southwest Florida sees median home prices soar
Florida Gulf Coast University’s Regional Economic Research Institute put together economic indicators and found single-family home sales in the region improved 43% in November 2020 over November 2019. In Charlotte County, they are up 39%, Lee County up 36% and Collier County up 66%. Median prices for single-family homes in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties increased by 12% to 26% in November 2020 compared to November 2019. [Source: WINK News]
Some Brevard renters may have breathed a sigh of relief Sunday night when President Donald Trump signed a COVID-19 relief bill that included an extension of federal eviction protections. But Brevard can't hide forever from the coming wave of evictions, leaders of local aid organizations say. As long as tenants fail to pay their rent, evictions will come sooner or later — and many tenants are falling too far behind to catch up. [Source: Florida Today]
› South Florida’s biggest residential sales of 2020 [The Real Deal]
South Florida’s ultra-luxury home market boomed in 2020, setting new records throughout the pandemic. Buyers from high tax markets in the Northeast and California flocked to Palm Beach, Miami Beach and nearby towns, absorbing nearly all of the waterfront luxury home inventory. As people transitioned to working from home, they headed south in big numbers, looking to Florida and its lack of state income tax. That residential migration has included finance and tech executives, who are also opening up offices in the Magic City.
› Sarasota realtor earns national pricing strategy advisor certification [Sarasota Magazine]
Michelle Crabtree, a realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty’s Lakewood Ranch office, has earned the Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) certification from the National Association of Realtors. Crabtree is a third-generation Sarasotan and has been a licensed Florida real estate broker since 1982.
› Woman defrauded hundreds of immigrants and plowed the money into real estate [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Her real estate portfolio was built on lies. The 16 Palm Beach rental properties that Laura Luz Maria Torres purchased over the past decade were bought with over $2 million charged to mostly undocumented immigrants whom the 66-year-old woman promised to help, court documents show. Instead, Torres, of Lake Worth Beach, filed fraudulent asylum applications on behalf of approximately 1,000 people, prosecutors say
› Working from home: Palm Beach County's real estate market takes advantage [Palm Beach Post]
Gary Fainshtein had been thinking about relocating from Queens to South Florida for some time. Then the coronavirus struck. Like so many New Yorkers, he had been working remotely for months, and realized that he could do that just as easily from South Florida. In December, he closed on an eight-year-old, five-bedroom, 5,000-square foot home at The Bridges, a GL Homes development west of Delray Beach.