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More insurance changes are in store from the Legislature

More insurance changes are in store from the Legislature

After enacting two rounds of sweeping property insurance reforms last year that opponents decried as weakening consumers’ abilities to hold insurers accountable, Florida’s Legislature has unanimously passed two bills intended to strengthen consumer protections. The bills, which now await Gov. DeSantis’ signature, expand authority of state insurance regulators to review how claims are handled and to punish so-called “bad actors.” [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida codes keep new homes ‘high and dry.’ Do they make flooding worse for neighbors?

It’s become a common sight in development-crazed South Florida: Shiny new homes popping up in neighborhoods of low-slung older homes — almost always constructed on land raised by trucked-in gravel. The added elevation has become standard thanks to decades of stricter building codes and a growing understanding that Florida buildings need to rise to withstand storms and floods of the future. But neighbors wonder if the standards to raise new construction make flooding worse for surrounding older homes. [Source: WGCU]

Bill that would bar ‘foreign principals’ from China from buying land in Florida approved

Legislation restricting any “foreign principal” from China and six other “foreign countries of concern” from purchasing property within 10 miles of a military installation or critical infrastructure has been approved by both chambers of the Florida Legislature and will go to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has indicated that he will sign it. More from the  Florida Phoenixand Axios.

'Bigger bang for your buck': Florida is getting too expensive for retirees — so they're heading to Alabama

The Sunshine State has long been a beloved sanctum for retirees — thanks to its sunny weather, gorgeous beaches and low taxes — but some Americans are turning to its neighbor to the northwest to live out their golden years. Baldwin County was the fastest growing county in Alabama between 2010 and 2020 with a population growth of more than 27%, according to Census Bureau data. Plenty of that growth can be attributed to older Americans being priced out of South Florida, says Ken H. Johnson, an economist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. [Source: Yahoo Finance]

Florida bill that threatened historic coastal buildings is dead

After warnings that a bill to end local control of historic preservation could lead to the bulldozing of buildings in iconic communities like Miami Beach, the House sponsor of the measure has abandoned the legislation but vowed to bring it back next year. Rep. Spencer Roach, a North Fort Myers Republican, said he filed HB 1317 “to defend private property rights, which are under constant attack by local governments.” [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

$23 million
In the Florida Keys, a waterfront property that has provided a tropical backdrop for famous fashion brands campaign shoots, has sold for $23 million, setting a record for a single-parcel sale. [Source: Mansion Global]


› Flood insurance costs will soar in Florida. See the expected increases in your ZIP code
Brace for a few years of flood insurance rate hikes, South Florida. And they’re going to be steep — doubling, even tripling for thousands of homeowners. FEMA has changed the way it calculates flood insurance prices. Instead of relying on old flood zone maps covering broad areas, it’s now basing premium prices on a wider range of factors, like an individual property’s distance from the ocean, rainfall levels and the cost to rebuild a home.  

› ‘100 Day Dream Home,’ Tampa couple’s HGTV show, gets beach hotel special
Tampa’s own Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt, stars of the show “100 Day Dream Home,” are returning to HGTV for more renovation adventures. The couple is coming out with a new season of their show, plus a two-episode special, “100 Day Dream Home: Beachfront Hotel.” According to a press release, the last season of “100 Day Dream Home” attracted more than 18.1 million viewers.

› Peter Thiel isn't ditching Silicon Valley for Miami anytime soon due to high home prices
Peter Thiel isn't hopping on one of the hottest trends of the tech elite that has emerged over the past few years: migration away from Silicon Valley, and, in particular, to Florida. Thiel, the billionaire tech investor and cofounder of PayPal and Palantir, said that the Sunshine State has gotten too expensive.

› What interest rate hikes mean for South Florida home prices
The Federal Reserve has voted unanimously to raise interest rates by a quarter point, marking the 10th rate hike since March of last year, all in an attempt to lower inflation. Real estate experts say this rate hike will likely make it more difficult for many potential home buyers and keep rents high as well. The Federal Reserve's announcement was made Wednesday afternoon, bringing the rate to its highest level in 16 years.