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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

South Florida home prices keep rising by double digits, defying higher interest rates

The Miami Association of Realtors reports prices for single-family houses and condominiums in Broward and Miami-Dade counties rose 10% to 20% last month versus October of 2021 Despite widespread declines in real estate markets nationwide, South Florida homeownership continues its trek out of reach for most of the middle class. The ongoing rise in prices comes even as high levels of inventory and availability drive down total annual home sales for the region. Higher interest rates *mdash; currently at levels more than double of last year's — have also failed to curb skyrocketing rates. [Source: Miami Herald]

FEMA extends deadline for Hurricane Ian assistance

The federal agency is responding to a request from the state of Florida to extending the deadline for providing money for emergency response and recovery in 26 counties. So far, FEMA says it has provided $752 million for nearly 353,000 households in the state. People whose homes, businesses and lives have been disrupted by Hurricane Ian now have until mid-January to seek help from FEMA. Both homeowners and renters are eligible for assistance in the following counties: Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia. [Source: WUSF]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Ybor City's Gas Worx project plans to develop homes, retail and office space on former site of Peoples Gas

For the last several years, much of downtown Tampa’s redevelopment focus has been on Water Street, the $3.5-billion, 70-acre mixed-use project from Strategic Property Partners, a partnership between Tampa’s Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment. Now, less than two miles away in Ybor City, there’s another massive project in the works: Gas Worx, from Tampa real estate investor Darryl Shaw and Washington, D.C.- based real estate developer Kettler. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida has one of the worst updated COVID-19 booster rates in the country

Florida has the fourth lowest rate in the country for adults getting the updated COVID-19 booster shot, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates for kids and teens are well below the national average as well. As of Nov. 16, just over 20% of Florida seniors had received a bivalent booster shot from Pfizer or Moderna, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first authorized at the end of August. Closer to 30% of the overall U.S. population has received one so far, and only Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have lower rates than Florida. Georgia just edges out the state but is essentially level with it. [Source: WUSF]

Nonprofit delivers holiday cheer to children’s hospitals. Here’s how to donate in Florida

The Greyson Project is giving Santa Claus a run for his money by helping to deliver bags of holiday decorations to children’s hospitals across the country. It’s a project with a mission to “bring joy to children and their families spending the holidays in hospitals across the country,” according to the nonprofit’s website. [Source: WKMG]

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› How some business owners in Southwest Florida are recovering, almost two months after Hurricane Ian
After Hurricane Ian hit the southwest Florida in late September, Zac "Captain" Varner had to wait seven days to see if his business, Peace River Charters, was swallowed by the storm. Rain and winds from Hurricane Ian caused record-breaking flooding along the Peace River that put all six buildings at his Arcadia-based headquarters under water. "Complete devastation," he said. "Naturally, because there's so many components to my business, it was a lot of thought and planning on where to start first."

› FIU receives $10M donation for journalism and media program
The program, part of FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA), will now be known as the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media. The donation will fund faculty and professional staff, the South Florida Media Network news bureaus, new equipment and technology, capital improvements, and scholarships.

› Miami-based Doroni Aerospace is developing an eVTOL flying car
Miami-based electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company Doroni Aerospace is developing an eVTOL flying car. The company says the battery-operated vehicle will have four legs, 10 independent propulsion systems, room for two passengers and will be able to travel up to 140 mph.

› Locally made film 'Home for Thanksgiving' conjures hope after loss
A woman-owned production company, Bouncy Boxer Media, brings its new movie, which was filmed in Tampa and Lakeland, to the big screen later this month.

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› Global financial firm to open office in Miami Beach
Another financial services company is slated to open an office in Miami Beach. New York-based BTIG is moving into the Starwood Headquarters building at 2340 Collins Avenue on Nov. 30.

› Glazers will consider selling Manchester United
The family, which also owns the Bucs, announces on the soccer team’s website that it is exploring ways to enhance the growth of the Premier League team. The Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, confirmed Tuesday that it would consider selling the Manchester United Football Club after 17 years.

› Did you know? 7 interesting facts about wild turkeys in Florida
It's that time of year again. Time to talk turkey. While it's the alligator that is the king of creatures big and small in the Sunshine State, other popular wildlife in Florida include dolphins, crocodiles, manatees, snakes, turtles, panthers, black bears and dozens of bird species like pelicans or flamingos. But let's not forget about the wild turkey.