Legislators work to prevent foreign governments from buying Florida land
While it may seem like the purview of spy novels, the concern that foreign government agencies considered enemies could, or have, bought land in Florida is severe enough that two pieces of legislation working through the Legislature aim to end the practice. The bills are a part of an effort spearheaded by Florida’s newly elected Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, who warns that bad actors may be looking to scoop up land in the state for nefarious purposes. [Source: Business Observer]
Homeowners fed up with property insurance rates continuously sky-rocketing
Florida homeowners insured by Citizens Property Insurance are complaining about the abrupt price hike in their property insurance. The homeowner’s insurance industry is in crisis in Florida. More and more homeowners are getting dropped by their insurance companies, forcing them to pay for Citizens Property Insurance. In just one year, the policy count for the state-backed insurance company has grown from 750,000 policies to more than 1.5 million Florida homeowners, and the increased number of Citizen’s policyholders has caused some insurance premiums to double. [Source: News 4 Jax]
Florida's new environmentalists: The real estate industry?
More and more often, those leading the charge for the state to become more environmentally friendly are the people who were once seen as villains. Many in the real estate industry are becoming more aware of what they see is a duty to be environmental stewards. [Source: Business Observer]
Need to sell your home before closing on another one? New company says it can help
It’s the real estate version of the chicken-or-egg dilemma: Which comes first — buying a new house or selling the old one? Unfortunately, there is no right answer. Most people would prefer to do both simultaneously: perhaps close on the old house in the morning, then settle into the new home in the afternoon. But even if that scenario is possible, it opens you to a lot of possibilities, most of them bad. [Source: Miami Herald]
Last month, Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled a new tax relief proposal that he claims would create a reduction of $2 billion in taxes. But a new report from Apartment List showed that Florida’s inflation rate was above the national average and hurt homebuyers and renters. Eli Beracha is the Director of the School of Real Estate at Florida International University. He said it makes sense why cities in Florida may have inflation higher than the national average. [Source: WFTS]
› Stabilizing home prices contribute to more sales in Northeast Florida [Jacksonville Dailiy Record]
Buyers are reacting favorably to a single-family housing market where median prices generally are falling, according to the February report by the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. The median price of a single-family home in Northeast Florida in February was $360,000, almost unchanged from $359,950 in January. NEFAR tracks home sales activity in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties.
› Affordable housing bill moving in the Florida legislature [CBS News]
On Wednesday, Florida Senators unanimously approved what has been dubbed the "Live Local Act" (SB 102), which includes providing incentives for investment in affordable housing and seeking more mixed-use developments in struggling commercial areas. State lawmakers are on their way to passing an affordable housing bill this session in Tallahassee, championed by Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and Miami Republican Senator Alexis Calatayud.
› Orlando home values appreciate 2X faster than US. Will they keep climbing? [Orlando Business Journal]
Orlando home prices are appreciating slower than a year ago, but home price growth in Central Florida still leaves most of the U.S. in the dust. Metro Orlando’s typical home price increased 13.3% year over year in January, according to new data from Irvine, California-based property analytics firm CoreLogic Inc. That was more than twice the 5.5% uptick that happened nationwide.
› Land Trust CEO: Time to act is now on blending conservation, development in North Florida [Florida Times-Union]
Smart developers are blending land conservation into their developments, leveraging the value of the land that is best suited for development. Think of Central Park in New York City, surrounded by the most valuable real estate in the world. The same is true around Florida parklands. Babcock Ranch (in Charlotte County) and Farmton (near Daytona Beach) have blended conservation and development with good results for both.