Over the past year, state lawmakers have made changes on paper through several attempts to cure Florida’s property insurance crisis. But a homeowner in Florida who opens their annual renewal and sees their premium has increased, or finds out their carrier has suddenly dropped them, may not have noticed anything different.
State Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, noted during the first of last year’s special sessions to address insurance that relief from any measures taken by lawmakers wouldn’t be realized for at least another 18 months. That session took place in May 2022.
Since then, two hurricanes hit the state. Lawmakers then held a second special session on insurance in December. Six property insurance companies were declared insolvent last year. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-run “insurer of last resort,” continues to grow with more than 1 million policies.
And now the annual, 60-day regular legislative session is underway. The session is largely where party-line battles are taking center stage, but not insurance. And those homeowners with delayed or unfulfilled property damage claims may find their legal recourses slashed, owing to legislation approved in the special sessions to limit what the insurance industry and lawmakers said was too much litigation over property insurance claims and disputes between homeowners and their insurers.
The story remains the same as it was a year ago: it’s lawyers, contractors and public adjusters versus lawmakers and insurance companies. (more…)
The Boyd Co., a corporate site selection consultant based in Princeton, New Jersey, conducted the national study.
The results reflect the “new normal” of remote work and the growing “fiscal and quality of life challenges” in more traditional hubs for head offices, such as “The Big Apple.”
The study included an examination of annual operating expenses and a review of state tax structures.
The cost analysis is based on operating a new, top tier Class A, 75,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, with 200 administrative support workers, from top to bottom.
The estimated outlay in Naples: Roughly $19.2 million a year.That compared to more than $21.1 million in Everett, Washington, the most expensive to operate in, and less than $17.8 million in East Brainerd, Tennessee, the cheapest – among the top cities named in the study.
Asked if the study is confined to city limits, John Boyd, principal of The Boyd Co., said it’s not, with labor pools, support services and real estate options extending beyond those boundaries.For Naples, that means “you should assume the wider Collier County.”
The study factored in all major geographically-variable cost factors considered critical to the corporate site selection process, including labor, real estate, construction, utilities, taxes and travel.(Naples Daily News)
People who live in Naples already know it. But every now and then it’s good to get a reminder that the popular Southwest Florida city, known for everything from great golf to great health care, is a fantastic place to live.
According to Schoolaroo, a nonprofit educational research company and scholarship website engine, Naples is the No. 1 place to live in the United States.
This study compared 151 cities across 47 metrics distributed in 9 key relevant categories: Crime & Safety, Affordability, Economy, Quality of life, Leisure and entertainment, Health care, Education, Employment, and Infrastructure.
Naples scored top overall rankings in health care (number of hospitals) and leisure and entertainment. Also in the Top 10 were education (3) for highest number of public schools, crime and safety (4) and economy (9). (Naples Daily News).
Here’s one home style that could be described as eerily bold. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery’s latest style report, 2023 Trends & Influences IX calls out “gothic glam” as a trend to watch in the new year.
Signatures of this look includes statement lighting fixtures, such as wrought-iron chandeliers and candelabras. To soften the style, pair it next to tall windows that flood a room with natural light, but also adds to the drama.
Other ways to add some Gothic Glam impact: Bronze plumbing fixtures, black accents, woodwork, vivid jewel tones and ultra-glamorous wallcoverings, Ferguson designers note in the style report.
Anybody flying in or out of RSW recently will have seen signs announcing expansion plans.
The RSW Terminal Expansion Project includes consolidating the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints into a new 16-lane configuration and providing additional seating, concession spaces and a business lounge. In total, more than 164,000 square feet of space will be remodeled and 117,000 square feet of new walkways and concession space will be added to the airport terminal.
The project actually started in October 2021 and construction is planned for three years.
Click here to watch a short conceptual video, and here to go to the full news release. (more…)
When remote work was mandatory and all or most of your co-workers, your boss, and many of your external stakeholders were remote, the playing field was level. There was a real sense that we were all “in this together.” People were remarkably understanding and accepting of quirky situations, whether IT related or the result of the blurred line between home and work (think dogs barking and children crying during meetings). That kind of tolerance is now rare. And it’s just one of many pitfalls for remote workers.
Whether you are fully remote or in a hybrid work environment, avoid the “Zoom ceiling” by understanding and working around the potential pitfalls that come from lowered visibility in the office.
Knowledge at Wharton, a business journal from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has suggested five steps to position yourself better for greater visibility to ensure that you are getting recognition for your accomplishments and staying in line for promotions and desirable assignments. Make sure your employer knows you aren’t stepping off the ladder. (more…)
Millions of U.S. workers retired during the pandemic. Now many are returning to work at rates not seen since 2020.
Many are people under the official retirement age who, spurred by rising asset values or Covid-19 worries, left the workforce ahead of schedule, labor economists say. Roughly 2.6 million Americans retired earlier than expected between February 2020 and October 2021, according to estimates from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis senior economist Miguel Faria-e-Castro.
Others now quitting early retirement realize they weren’t as financially prepared to live without a steady paycheck as they hoped. Um, I am not sure that is why Brady is unretiring……
* Though just 17% of the U.S. population is 65 or older, United Van Lines reports that seniors in that age group completed 29% of all its moves in 2020. Sumter County, Florida has one of the highest levels of inbound migration of seniors in the U.S. thanks in large part to the Villages, a sprawling retirement community more than 50 miles northwest of Orlando. But large cities are seeing an influx of older people seeking the excitement and variety/volume of entertainment/restaurant options. (WSJ)
* In the 4th quarter of 2021, investors bought 18.4% of the US homes that were purchased, a record high. And possibly one of the biggest drivers of housing inflation? Higher purchase prices + higher rents = essential demand for higher wages. (FT)
* The median monthly payment on a new mortgage is now taking up a much larger share of a typical consumer’s income. It jumped 8.3% in February compared with January. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage shot significantly higher yesterday, rising 24 basis points to 4.95%. The quicker-than-expected rise in rates has weighed on demand for mortgages and refinancing loans. With both rates and prices considerably higher, the median mortgage payment is now more than 20% higher than it was a year ago. And so is pricing in some parts….Now comes the question: are incomes that much higher to sustain this? (CNBC)
* The average bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York climbed 20% to a record $257,500 for 2021, the largest increase in bonuses since 2009. Securities industry jobs make up just 5% of private sector roles, but accounted for 18%, or $14.9 billion, of state tax collections in the 2021 fiscal year. (CNBC)
* In 2020 we had a run on toilet paper and paper towels in the USA….. empty shelves and rationing followed as demand far outstripped supply. Now in northern Italy, the supermarkets have been cleared of pasta and pharmacies in Norway are sold out of iodine tablets! In 2020, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, hand soaps, etc had price increases around 20% or more in one year! (FT)
* The world added 153 billionaires last year, or 3 billionaires each week, to a total of 3,381, according to the Hurun Global Rich List released Thursday. China led with 1,133 billionaires, followed by the U.S.’s 716, and India’s 215. The TOP 10 are all worth more than $100 billion…5 years ago none were. The average age of the billionaires was 64; 120 of them are under 40, and 269 are self-made women billionaires, nearly 66% from China. (PENTA)
* A home in Laguna Beach, CA features a rather interesting “amenity”…. on the property is a fire suppression system with six cannons connected to city water lines. The system senses the temperature of the land and if there is a fire, water will automatically spray from the cannons and alert the fire department. (WSJ)
* Just 10 seconds of idling uses as much gas as restarting your car, in case you wish to cut your gas costs…. Edmunds.com did a comparison of various gas-saving measures. To test the cost of idling, testers drove two cars for 10 miles—they stopped 10 times and idled for two minutes each time. Then testers drove the same route but turned off the engine and restarted at each of the 10 stops. They estimated nearly 20% fuel savings on the restarted cars.
Cryptocurrency home sales barely have a toehold, and a new exec order from Pres. Biden may change the rules. The order suggests regulation and a U.S.-owned version.
Over 100 countries are exploring or piloting Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – a digital form of a country’s sovereign currency.
“The rise in digital assets creates an opportunity to reinforce American leadership in the global financial system and at the technological frontier, but also has substantial implications for consumer protection, financial stability, national security and climate risk,” according to the Executive Order.
The Order lays out a national policy for digital assets across six key priorities: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation.
* Tech meets TREES? 🤔 Trees help with stormwater attenuation, store carbon, improve air quality, provide shade for humans and offer habitats for wildlife…..but as the climate changes, some trees are not surviving/thriving in their current habitat and arborists are identifying the trees that will survive and thrive going forward. i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban and rural forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. (FT)
* The median age of a US homebuyer has risen from 31 in 1981 to around 45! If we average leaving home around the age of 20 and rent for 25 years before buying, that equates to $300k lost to rent if your rent is $1,000/month….. $600k if it’s $2,000/month…..and $ 1million if you average $3,333/month! (FT)
* Gen Z — those born between 1997 and 2012 — has become the most active faction in the housing market, flocking to major cities that some claimed were doomed in the pandemic. Manhattan’s social scene and job climate led to a 63% jump in Gen Z rental applications year-over-year. Zoomers made up 27% of Manhattan renters last year, up from 17% the year before as they contend with an increasingly tight market. Other major cities to see a spike in its share of Gen Z renters include San Jose (52%), Los Angeles (45%) and Irving, Texas (37%). Gen Z is the only generation to have its activity surge in the past year. There were 220,000 more rental applications from Zoomers in 2021 than the year before, making up 27% of the rental application market, trailing only millennials (45%). So yes, I was not hallucinating when I noticed everyone around me getting younger and prettier in Manhattan! (RENT CAFE)
* The number of unincorporated self-employed people in the U.S. reached 10 million in February, or 400,000 more than when the pandemic began. It soared as high as 10.3 million last summer. Being a self-employed, independent contractor has pro’s and con’s! (WSJ) (more…)
Homeowners have had all the usual reasons to sell over the past two years – marriages, deaths, children, etc. – but many hunkered down during the pandemic, and some feared the housing market because selling might be easy but finding a new home? Not so much.
A survey conducted by HarrisX for realtor.com, however, suggests that many of those people might be planning to list their home in 2022, with 65% of them planning to do so this winter and spring. The survey of 2,583 consumers was conducted online in September-October 2021.
Many sellers, however, want to set an asking price higher than they think their home is worth, and they expect buyer bidding wars.