Can pandemic-proof housing market restore investor confidence and revive flagging stocks?
The American housing market has flourished during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. High coronavirus infection rates in places like Florida haven’t really hurt residential real estate. In fact, changing lifestyles such as many white-collar professionals working remotely have contributed to a blazing housing sector. This week will come the first test for the housing juggernaut to see how it’s withstanding rising interest rates, high inflation and persistent recession worries. [Source: Miami Herald]
Real estate companies start laying off employees amid low demand
Major layoffs are coming to some of the nation’s largest real estate companies. Redfin and Compass, two of the country’s biggest real estate brokers, say they’re cutting their workforce by eight percent and 10 percent – which is more than 500 employees. They say the demand to buy homes have been low recently. [Source: WPLG]
New lab to simulate 200 mph hurricanes in quest to make storm-resistant homes
A study found that even those coastal residents who consider climate change a growing threat are unlikely to think their home would be destroyed by a storm. Structural engineer Tracy Kijewski-Correa wants to see hurricane prone communities move faster to update their houses, adopting market-based measures like tax incentives to encourage residents to make life-saving improvements to their homes. At best, she says, building codes help individuals survive storms but homes still face costly, structural damage. Implementing better upgrades can help save lives and livelihoods. [Source: National Geogrpahic]
Growing number of Florida residents have roots in New York, latest census numbers show
As many Florida residents struggle to find affordable housing, there are still plenty of people moving to the Sunshine State. The latest census data shows that more and more residents of Florida have a New York birth certificate. John Ries is a native New Yorker who now calls South Florida home. "I have one regret," Ries said. "I didn't come 20 years earlier." [Source: WPTV]
To combat record inflation, the fed is raising interest rates for the second time this year. It’s having a direct impact on the mortgage industry, including in South Florida. During the peak days of the pandemic, as fast as a house would go on the market, offers would come pouring in. “If you’re buying a home (today), you’re in a really good spot to not have multiple offers and the craziness that we’re used to seeing the last two years,” said Tequesta real estate agent Holly Meyer Lucas. [Source: CBS 12]
› Developer sues after Apopka blocks affordable housing development, insists on ‘luxury’ [WFTV]
A Central Florida developer has filed a lawsuit against the City of Apopka, alleging that a restriction put on property within the city’s “crown jewel” mandating housing for wealthy individuals violates the Florida Fair Housing Act. Southwick Commons, Ltd, a subsidiary of Wendover Housing Partners filed the lawsuit on Thursday after city leaders blocked a planned affordable housing project on the City Center site, which broke ground earlier this year.
› Mortgage rates are going up. What does this mean for Tampa Bay homebuyers? [Tampa Bay Times]
Tampa Bay’s white-hot real estate market could finally start to cool as mortgage rates continue to go up. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage in the U.S. has reached 5.65%, the highest since the 2008 financial crisis, according to the most recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Federal Reserve’s decision to hike interest rates 0.75 percentage points on Wednesday could signal further increases for mortgage rates.
› Has your house or apartment flooded before? In Florida, good luck finding out [Miami Herald]
As an unnamed storm drenched Miami-Dade earlier this month, some people were shocked to find themselves suddenly sloshing through floodwaters creeping into homes or apartments. Should they have been warned about flood risks? Had it happened there before? Finding the answer to the flood history of real estate in Florida is more difficult than in most other states.
› Orlando companies lead lawsuits over new homeowners insurance laws [Orlando Sentinel]
Paul Green, vice president of business development for Florida Premier Roofing, doesn’t believe the new insurance regulations that came out of the state Legislature’s special session last month will bring spiraling premiums down for homeowners. “It’s the same thing they said back in 2018 when they hammered [assignment of benefits] law,” he said. “Rates went up.” Florida Premier is one of three Orlando-area companies that have sued over the Legislature’s two new laws.