Real estate

Florida’s population loss is Alabama’s gain

Lillian Vickers doesn’t have to think very long about why she left Florida.

“Three hurricanes in 15 months. It got to be too much,” said Vickers, who relocated to Dothan from Okeechobee, Fla., in October 2006.

How she and her husband — and the family dog — came here, of all places, had to do with proximity. Vickers has family in Tallahassee and a niece in Enterprise, and because her husband is retired military, they liked being close to Fort Rucker.

Home prices drop 41.5% in 3 years

BROOKSVILLE - There has been a 41.5 percent decline in the average sales price of a single-family home in the past three years, according to new information from the property appraiser's office. That is a "sobering" statistic, said Nick Nikkinen, director of special projects for the property appraiser's office. Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek said he has been property appraiser since 1997, and this is the first year he's seen any significant value drops in terms of home prices that affect tax assessments. "I've never seen the market like this," he said.

Florida's population dropping with its home prices

Florida’s population, which has been rising year after year since the end of World War II, fell for the first time this year, according to the demographers at the University of Florida.

Good news about housing and stocks lifts Florida’s Consumer Sentiment

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Rising housing prices, stock market gains and the lack of any new setbacks in the national economy boosted Florida’s Consumer Sentiment three points to 70 this month, according to a new University of Florida survey.

Financial chill in Carolinas? Try blaming Florida

Amid the bad earnings, bankruptcies and other bleak financial news from Carolinas companies, executives are increasingly blaming some of the gloom on the Sunshine State.

From Fortune 500 corporations to family-owned businesses, many area companies invested in Florida in recent years to capture a piece of the state's population boom. Now that the housing market has collapsed, growth has stalled, tourism has ebbed and consumer spending is down, a chill has fallen on the state's once-sizzling economy.

North Port shifting from boom to brake

The booming growth that catapulted North Port to its prized position as Sarasota County’s biggest city screeched to a halt last year, as North Port added a modest 780 new residents, new census figures show.

While the state added 300,000 to 400,000 people a year during the boom, its gain over the decade amounted to a 14 percent increase. Last year, modest statewide growth pushed the population up by less than 1 percent to 18.3 million.

Does Edgewater really need more homes?

EDGEWATER - Kirk Ferguson has been trying to sell his three-bedroom home for two years.

The former electrician has been looking for a larger home to accommodate his larger family, but can't buy anything until he can sell his current home, located within walking distance of the Intracoastal Waterway.

Even after Mr. Ferguson lowered the price of his home to below what the Volusia County Property Appraiser said it is worth, there haven't been any takers.

And it's no surprise.

Despite economy, developers want to build on Florida land

TALLAHASSEE — A development boom is brewing under the radar of Floridians distracted by deteriorating real estate values and record foreclosures. The state is processing an unprecedented number of proposals for new homes and commercial development. If approved, these projects could pump more than 600,000 rooftops onto a market suffering from a surplus of product and slowdown in population growth.

Long-term plans for private parcel perplex some county groups

Several questions loom large among many raised by Miami Corp.'s 50-year plan for its 59,000 acres in Volusia and Brevard counties.

If Miami Corp. builds it, will homebuyers, manufacturers and businesses appear? If they do, can the area afford them?

Another question promises to pit cities and counties against each other: Who decides where and when growth should occur? Such decisions play a huge role in future decisions about water supply, transportation, schools and even migration away from rising seas.

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