Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Fraud and litigation push Florida's home insurers into insolvency

Fraud and litigation push Florida’s home insurers into insolvency

Insurers protecting Florida’s homeowners are going under. And it’s not the state’s infamous storms dragging the firms down -- it’s a deluge of lawsuits and fraud. More companies may follow the two insurers declared insolvent in recent weeks, Tampa, Florida-based Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and St. Johns Insurance Co., based in Orlando, Florida. And lawmakers failed to pass a bill that could offer a potential remedy before the state’s legislative session wrapped up earlier this month. [Source: Bloomberg]

Real estate gone wild! Humble homes selling for huge sums in St. Augustine

Housing prices have been red-hot for a while, but the market in St. Augustine is redefining real estate thermodynamics. A 448 sq. ft., one bedroom, one bath home in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood is listed on Zillow at $349,000. That's $780 per square foot -- compared to the Florida average of about $250 (itself a 30 percent jump over last year). That's about twice the state average, and rivals pricing in cities like Boston and Seattle. [Source: First Coast News]

Real estate investors inject more money into South Florida

Real estate investors continue to flood South Florida with money and home purchases, according to a recent Redfin report. More than $2.15 billion in Miami home purchases were made by investors during the fourth quarter of 2021, the seventh-highest dollar amount of the 40 U.S. major metros measured by Redfin. Los Angeles was No. 1 at $6.7 billion, followed by Phoenix, New York, Atlanta and Anaheim. [Source: South Florida Agent]

Tampa condo the latest to sell as NFT as crypto real estate interest grows

Last month, real estate agent Taylor Parrino represented the buyer of a home in Gulfport that was listed as an a non-fungible token in a historic sale. Now, she’s preparing for another auction — a condominium in Tampa. Parrino has been helping prepare a small condo in Hyde Park ahead of the April 7 auction. Bids will start at $185,000 for the 600-square-foot, one-bedroom Tampa condo, according to Propy, a real estate transaction platform that advocates for the use of blockchains. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Miami metro residents most rent-burdened in U.S.; Census figures show county population drop

Despite reports of an influx of out-of-towners, Miami-Dade County lost population since the summer of 2020, according to new U.S. Census data. At the same time, a fresh report shows surging housing rental prices have caused Miami metropolitan area residents to become the most burdened by rent in the nation. [Source: Miami Herald]

$23 million
An oceanfront Florida Keys estate with four tiki huts is asking $23 million. The owners, Charene and Tim Murray, bought the roughly 6.5-acre property in 2015 for $13.125 million. [Source: Wall Street Journal]


› Jacksonville homebuyers feel pressures of competitive market, bidding wars with investors
Last year, investors bought nearly one in seven homes sold in America’s top metropolitan areas, the most in at least two decades, according to a recent Washington Post report. In the Jacksonville metro area, 22% of homes purchased were bought by investors. This is double the rate of the 11% of homes purchased by investors in 2015.

› How much did it cost to buy a home in Monroe County, Florida in the the last week?
The median price per square foot for a home in Monroe County increased in the past week to $760. Prior to this, the median price per square foot of a home sold in Monroe County was $699. In the last week, a 930 square foot home on Kestral Way in Key West sold for $707,000. The figures in this text are based on sales registered during the week of March 21st.  

› Tight real estate market in Sarasota, Bradenton gets tighter
Newly listed properties are barely making it through a workweek on the market before a contract is signed, a condition Realtors, clients and buyers have been experiencing for months. In the latest batch of residential real estate data released by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, the key figures driving the local market (and that of Florida, generally) are coming into sharp focus: more buyers than properties to buy.

› Before the glitzy high-rises, Sunny Isles was famed for its kitschy motel row
When it opened on New Year’s Day in 1950, the Ocean Palm motel signaled a new era for Sunny Isles, then known mainly as home to illegal casinos. Designed by the late and influential Miami Beach architect Norman Giller, the Ocean Palm was built to appeal to the nation’s booming fleet of motoring tourists and families — the “mo” in motel. It was notable as the country’s first two-story motel, a modern building with clean and graceful lines.