International scammers falsely listing Florida real estate for sale
Real estate and law enforcement experts say land scams are becoming very common in hot real estate markets like Florida. Many of these land scammers are being traced back to Nigeria, Russia, or Eastern European countries, and data shows popular targets are often the elderly. They're leaving many Floridians embroiled in paperwork and civil litigation trying to prove that their land was sold out from under them, or worse: trying to recoup money they spent on land that was never truly for sale. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Florida rent prices: Are they increasing or decreasing?
Rent prices are beginning to ease in large metropolitan areas following the recent crisis that forced many to pay astronomical prices for a place to call home. Although places in the U.S. are seeing a slowdown in rent prices, rental rates are still elevated in markets like the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area — which saw a year-over-year rental increase of 17.16% and the largest premium of 17.37%. Researchers at FAU describe the premium as the amount above the long-term leasing trend that renters must pay. [Source: WOFL]
Housing challenges linger after Ian
Temporary housing remains an issue for thousands of residents displaced by Hurricane Ian, a deadly Category 4 storm which slammed into Southwest Florida just over two months ago. State and federal disaster officials on Friday said construction of temporary housing, delayed by the on-going removal of more than 30 million cubic yards of storm debris strewn across the region, could continue into the summer. “I understand the frustration,” FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas McCool told reporters during a conference call on Friday. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Florida sues realty company and reality-star founder for ‘swindling’ homeowners across U.S.
The promise of quick cash has landed thousands of unsuspecting homeowners across the country with 40-year liens attached to their homes or lawsuits demanding thousands of dollars, in what Florida’s attorney general now calls a deceptive scheme to swindle customers out of their home equity. Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a lawsuit Tuesday against MV Realty, a Florida-based company that was the subject of a national collaborative investigation by eight local television news stations in November. More from Yahoo News and Real Trends.
A former state senator who started a petition urging lawmakers to meet this spring to work on fixing Florida’s troubled property insurance market is advocating for reforms from the sidelines ahead of another special session on the issue later this month. “It's the most urgent pocketbook problem facing Florida today,” said former Republican state Sen. Jeff Brandes, who represented part of Pinellas County until he reached his term limit after the November election. [Source: WFSU]
› St. Petersburg seeks to opt out of Pinellas County’s tenants bill of rights [Tampa Bay Times]
The city has had a tenant bill of rights for about three years, but Pinellas County adopted its own version in August. And that ordinance, advocates say, trumps the city’s when it comes to protecting renters. The St. Petersburg City Council took a first vote to formally opt out of the county program so it can continue overseeing enforcement of its own rules within city limits. But acknowledging the county ordinance offers stronger protections for tenants, the council left open the possibility of adjusting its ordinance to more closely copy county rules.
› Rising costs slow South Florida builders' reach for the sky [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Inflation is draining some of the air out of South Florida’s building boom as high costs of borrowing, construction materials, labor and potentially, insurance rates, are contributing to delays in some projects, according to industry professionals. Skyrocketing insurance costs have caused a “chill” among developers in Florida, some of whom have delayed their projects in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.
› Three-tower project OK’d for Biscayne Boulevard [Miami Today]
A new set of mixed-use residential towers and a companion office building are proposed for Biscayne Boulevard, to be known as 3333 Biscayne. Owner-developer 3333 Biscayne Boulevard LLC plans to build the structures at 3333 Biscayne Blvd. and 300 NE 34th St. in Edgewater. The city’s Urban Development Review Board recommended approval. The residential towers are planned to rise 40 stories and be home to about 635 dwellings, including nine townhomes.
› 4 reasons Jacksonville, Florida, is a hot market for real estate investing [Jacksonville Business Journal]
Investors are always looking for new hot markets to invest in, and you may be surprised to find out that Jacksonville, Florida, is a prime city for better risk-adjusted returns on investment with single-family rental homes. Jacksonville is home to the perfect combination of low home prices, high rental rates and high-property appreciation-making investing so that’s what makes it so appealing. According to Redfin data, Jacksonville is considered one of the top five hottest real estate markets for investors.