Nearly 1.7 million homes sit empty in Florida, more than anywhere else in the country
There are more empty homes in Florida than anywhere else, according to a new study of home vacancies across the United States. Overall, the study found more than 16 million houses sit empty across the country. Florida’s rank among proportion of home vacancies from the study is also high. The Sunshine State has the sixth largest percentage of vacant units in the U.S. Its 17.13% vacancy rate sits behind only five other states, spread across the North, South, Midwest and Alaska. More from WESH and WTVT.
Housing affordability crisis will be 'drag' on Florida's economy, expert says
While not entirely surprising, home prices across the United States have continued to increase, despite increased mortgage rates, according to the latest report from a real estate analytics firm. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices tracks home prices in some of the largest metro areas in the country. Despite mortgage rates that picked up in late December, the rate at which home prices increased has accelerated. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Want waterfront property with a $15,000 starting bid? Florida Keys lighthouses for sale
If you think the hot real estate market in South Florida is limited to houses and condos, you haven’t seen these three places for sale. OK, they may need some fixing up. And they aren’t exactly luxurious. But do they have a great water view. The federal government in February has put up for auction a trio of lighthouses, out of the original six, that dot the Florida Keys coral reef. That means if you come up with the right price and you’re not outbid, you could own one of the historic structures. [Source: Miami Herald]
Citizens Property Insurance cites growing underwriting losses, seeks 11% increase for policyholders
For those already owning a home in Florida, more and more are facing sticker shock on insurance premiums. Elizabeth Roach is a bit concerned. For a decade, she paid $800 a year for home insurance. In 2020, her premiums started going up. First, her premium went to $1,000 and then $1,500. "This year we received our statement and it has gone up to $1,900, which is almost three times as it was two years ago," she said. The $1,900 rate came from the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Other quotes she got were as high as $6,000 a year. [Source: WPTV]
A little under 20 golf courses have been or are in the process of re-development in Palm Beach and Broward Counties over the past five years, signaling a growing trend as developers sniff out that rarest of commodities, open land. South Florida’s booming housing market has left developers hard pressed to find plots large enough for single-family home developments, making golf courses an optimal option to re-develop. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
› Firm backed by Jay-Z, Will Smith turns Miami renters into homeowners [Miami Herald]
Rising property prices have made buying a home difficult for many Miami residents. One company new to the local real estate market hopes to change that with its homebuyer coaching program. New York real estate technology firm Landis is now available to Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville residents who need an assist to transition from renter to homeowner.
› Orlando homebuyers’ high debt prompts warning about buying expensive houses [Orlando Sentinel]
Orlando has some of the highest debt among homebuyers in the country, according to a new study, as experts warn that buying too much of a house can lead to financial disaster. In a survey of major cities by Construction Coverage, metro Orlando ranked ninth among major cities with the highest share of home purchases with a debt-to-income ratio of 36% or above.
› Sarasota Realtor profession reaches new heights in transformed market, but challenges remain [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Real estate in Sarasota-Manatee, as in much of Florida and across the U.S., has undergone a dramatic transformation in a remarkably short period, changing the profession along the way. The area's long-overlooked luxury segment has taken off, drawing new buyers who see bargains on the less crowded Gulf coast.
› Judge OKs $83M for property loss in Florida condo collapse [AP]
People who owned units in a Florida oceanfront condominium building that collapsed last year will divide $83 million for property losses, with the compensation for families over the 98 deaths still to be determined, a judge ruled Wednesday. The money for owners of the 136-unit Champlain Towers South building will come from sale of the now-vacant beachfront land as well as insurance policies, officials said.