Florida: Why You Should Vote “Yes” on Amendment 2

Amendment 2 preserves the 10 percent cap on annual increases of non-homestead property taxes that has been in place for the last 10 years. It is the only amendment on the ballot that does not change Florida law, and it prevents an estimated $700 million tax increase on the 2.2 million non-homestead properties currently protected in the state.

Over the past several months, Florida Realtors® has been hard at work explaining the benefits of the amendment and helping to educate voters on the need to pass it. But Realtors are not the only ones who understand its importance. Here are some excerpts from what a majority of Florida’s largest newspapers have to say:
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Florida Housing Market Continues Positive Track in Sept. 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. – Oct. 19, 2018 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more pending sales in September compared to a year ago – when Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, 2017 – according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,087 last month, up 17 percent compared to September 2017.
September was the 81st month-in-a-row (over six and a half years) that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties increased year-over-year. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $251,610, up 4.9 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Thestatewide median price for condo-townhouse units in September was $182,500, up 5.5 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.
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Kiplinger: Florida No. 4 tax-friendly state – and top 3 are cold

NEW YORK – Oct. 17, 2018 – The economy is booming, with the unemployment rate at the lowest level in nearly 50 years. Wages have remained relatively stagnant, though, and for many workers, the only way to get a raise is by changing jobs, which sometimes means moving to another city or state.
But before you start packing, check out the cost of living in your prospective employer’s city. You’ll want to look at the cost of housing, of course, and don’t overlook the impact of state and local taxes on your bottom line. Our annual guide to state taxes shows that tax rates are literally all over the map – and the difference between living in a high-tax or a low-tax state can be thousands of dollars each year, depending on your tax situation.
Updated for 2018, here is our list of the 10 most tax-friendly states in the U.S. The top five states on our list have no state income tax at all. Take a look.
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Is Florida looking at a renter crisis if Amendment 2 fails?

Floridians will soon be considering a number of constitutional amendments that could drastically impact the state and its approximately 21 million residents. Chief among those ballot considerations is Amendment 2, which seeks to preserve the 10 percent cap on annual increases of non-homestead property taxes that has been in place for the last 10 years.

Non-homestead properties are properties that don’t serve as a person’s primary residence – and rental homes are one of the largest segments of non-homestead properties in Florida. According to the most recent Census estimates, rental homes house more than one-third of the state’s population currently – the highest amount since the 1980s.

“The really scary thing about Amendment 2 failing is the domino effect that will start to ripple through our communities, starting with our renters,” says Zach Sanchez, a broker for THINK Real Estate in Panama City Beach. “Many renters live on fixed incomes and don’t have much room in their budget to absorb a rent increase that is sure to come if property owners start seeing tax increases in excess of 10 percent a year.”

Florida voters approved the current 10 percent cap in 2008 as a way to solve an ongoing property tax crisis that was punishing non-homestead property owners and renters. According to data contained in a Revenue Estimating Conference analysis conducted in 2011, 30 percent of all non-homestead Florida properties were hit with an 80 percent tax increase in just one year – from 2005 to 2006. This meant a property valued at $300,000 in one year could be taxed at $540,000 or more the next. That same year, nearly 75 percent of all non-homestead properties in the state suffered an increase of more than 10 percent in value.

Vote “Yes” on Amendment 2!

Florida Real Estate Market: Sales, Median Prices Up in May

ORLANDO, Fla. – June 20, 2018 – In May, Florida’s housing market reported more sales, higher median prices and more new listings from owners ready to sell, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“Strong demand from buyers, coupled with a lack of for-sale inventory, continues to have an impact on rising median prices in many local housing markets,”. “Home sellers continued to get more of their original asking price at the closing table. Sellers of existing single-family homes in May received 96.7 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 95.1 percent (median percentage).

“However, it appears that our tight inventory may be easing slightly: New listings for single-family homes in May rose 4.8 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings increased 6 percent. If the trend continues, that could mean good news for buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines.”
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Home flipping slows in 55% of U.S. markets

IRVINE, Calif. – June 7, 2018 – ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q1 2018 U.S. Home Flipping Report finds that 48,457 U.S. single family homes and condos were flipped in the first quarter of 2018 – a 4 percent drop quarter-to-quarter and 3 percent drop year-to-year.

In Florida, the number of homes flipped and profitability of those flips varied by metro area. In Miami, flipping was down 16 percent year-to-year, according to ATTOM, and down 13 percent in Tampa-St. Petersburg.
Florida also made ATTOM’s list based on the average number of days it takes to flip a home. On the fast-to-flip side, it took 99 days in Jacksonville. However, Naples – at 220 average days to flip a home – made the list of cities where flipping takes time.
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2017 storms have little impact on property insurance rates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 5, 2018 – There hasn’t been much good insurance news to report for Florida property owners over the past several years.

Premiums for most South Florida policyholders have increased significantly over the past three years – a result of claims abuses and sharp upticks in costly litigation for major insurance carriers. And those factors are expected to trigger rate hikes for most area property owners again this year.

But here’s a bright spot, such as it is: Your 2018 policy cost won’t increase as much as insurance executives had expected following $140 billion in catastrophe losses last year from events that included hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria, and wildfires in California.
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Tax reform may be boosting demand for Florida real estate

Luxury real estate sales in Florida could get a boost from a rule in the federal tax bill that President Donald Trump signed into law in December.

The rule caps “SALT” or state and local tax deductions at $10,000, when before those deductions were unlimited. Those include real estate, and either income taxes or sales taxes. For wealthy people who itemize deductions, income taxes alone exceed that amount, let alone property and sales taxes. If they also live in a relatively high tax state such as New York or New Jersey, that could make officially declaring Florida their “home” a more attractive proposition because it has no state income tax.
Luxury properties in Collier County have been hot in the first quarter; some feel the $10,000 cap may have played a part. Home sales priced above $1 million in Naples during the first three months of the year were up 61 percent, according to the Naples Area Board of Realtors, and pending sales of condominium’s priced at $2 million or more were up 109 percent from the same time last year.
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Florida Real Estate Market: Sales, Median Prices Rise in December

Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales and higher median prices in December, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,903 last month, up 2.6 percent compared to December 2016.
“Florida’s housing market continued to experience tight inventory of for-sale homes in December, and that’s definitely impacting the market,” said 2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale. “Last month, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for 72 months in row. For sellers, that’s good news; however, rising prices and tight inventory are putting pressure on first-time homebuyers and those who may be looking for their next ‘move-up’ home.
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Florida Homes Sales, Median Prices Up in November

Florida’s housing market continued its positive track in November, with more closed sales, more new listings, more pending sales and rising median prices

Florida’s housing market continued its positive track in November, with more closed sales, more new listings, more pending sales and rising median prices according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 19,990 last month, up 1.3 percent compared to November 2016.
“In November, Florida’s housing market reflected the trends we’ve grown accustomed to seeing throughout this year,” said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. “More owners decided to put their homes up for sale. New listings for single-family existing homes rose 1.8 percent year-over-year, while new listings for existing condo-townhouse properties rose 5.9 percent. However, even with the increase in new listings, inventory was still tight and buyer demand was great. Homes continued to sell quickly, resulting in increased pending sales – up 5.5 percent for single-family homes and up 9.3 percent for condo-townhouse units.
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