Will Legislature’s record $711 million help fix Florida’s affordable housing crisis?
For years, as the cost of buying a home or renting an apartment has risen faster than in most other states, Florida legislators have not made it a priority, routinely diverting millions from the fund devoted to financing affordable housing. That changed this week, when the Legislature passed the state’s most meaningful housing legislation in decades. Lawmakers passed a record $711 million plan to build affordable housing, incentivize new construction through tax breaks and offer interest-free loans to help Floridians afford down payments. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald]
Florida cities ramped up foreclosures to hurt speculators. Instead they helped them
In cities around Florida, the goal was to target properties owned by real estate speculators who obscured their ownership of derelict properties through layers of shell companies. But these foreclosures have often had the opposite effect, taking properties out of the hands of individual owners and delivering them to real estate speculators, and at a discount. More from the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida churches find a higher calling as property values ascend
Church property in South Florida often attracts developers who want to build something new on sacred ground, due to strong demand for precious land in the coastal corridor from Miami to West Palm Beach. Nevertheless, church sales and redevelopments are rare in the tri-county area due to land-use and rezoning issues as well as resistance from church members and leaders. But that might be changing. Ascending property values in South Florida and the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may lead more church owners to put “For Sale” signs on their real estate. [Source: Commercial Observer]
House flipping is still hot in Florida
Home flipping was popular across the U.S. last year, reaching its highest peak since at least 2005, per ATTOM. But while the number of flips was up, profits from flipping were down in most markets. Home flippers in South Florida bought properties for a median price of $315,000 and sold them for a median price of $416,000, securing a typical gross profit of $101,000 per flip.[Source: Axios]
Ave Maria has become an unexpected haven for those looking to flee the expenses of South Florida’s tri-county area. The town has seen a surge over the past few years as South Floridians have been making their way over there, lured by the promise of a quieter, laid-back lifestyle, a safe and family-friendly environment, and a chance to escape the rising affordability crisis making it difficult for families to make ends meet. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
› As crowded Osceola grows, residents wonder if they can afford to stay [Orlando Sentinel]
As Osceola remains one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, some residents are fighting against the county government’s plans to change zoning requirements to pack more people into high-density developments. Housing advocates worry that the price of new developments will be too high for the county’s low-income working class. “We’re only building for people who can afford to move here, and that number is getting higher and higher,” said Mary Lee Downey, CEO of community nonprofit the Hope Partnership. “And that number does not match our median income.”
› South Florida’s housing market bucks U.S. trend. Economic uncertainty looms, though [Yahoo News]
While the U.S. housing market in February faltered, snapping a streak of almost 11 years of monthly price jumps, it’s a much different story in South Florida where the housing sector keeps getting pricier as overall sales dwindle. In fact, median sales prices of single-family homes increased from a year ago and last month, according to the housing report released Tuesday by the Miami Association of Realtors.
› Florida house in a freshwater lake still seeking $19.7M [New York Post]
This floating mansion is arguably the definition of sunk cost real estate. South of Miami, sandwiched between the Everglades and Biscayne National Park, the city of Homestead, Florida may be landlocked — but this house certainly isn’t. Located on a man-made island in the middle of a freshwater lake, the 20,000-square-foot Château Artisan was built back in 2007 and sits upon a foundation carved into the coral rock.
› 2022 was a tough year for real estate. These Tampa Bay brokerages still came out on top [Tampa Bay Times]
For many real estate agents in Tampa Bay, 2022 felt like a “Jekyll and Hyde year,” said Doug Loyd, broker and owner of Florida Executive Realty. For the first half, homes were getting snapped up in the blink of an eye, with sellers receiving dozens of offers over asking and buyers foregoing their rights to inspections. Then by the third quarter, things began to slow as rising mortgage rates priced many buyers out of the market.