FYI Miami: December 31, 2015
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COAST TO COAST: Either Californians think Miami would be a great new place to live or they’re checking out the competition: in October, Californians made more real estate searches on the Miami Association of Realtors’ website than persons from any other state, the association says. They’re followed, in order, by home searchers from Texas, New York, Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Michigan. A year earlier the leaders in Miami home searchers were New Yorkers, followed by Californians and Texans.
WE’RE TOPS FOR SPAIN: While South Florida appears on the list of the top-five US real estate targets for 12 of the 20 nations that most searched for US realty buys in October, surprisingly Miami or Miami Beach was the top choice in hunts for only one nation: Spain. Miami was second for Brazil and Israel, and Miami Beach was second for searchers from Italy, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.
ALL TOLLED, A GOOD YEAR: Miami-Dade Expressway Authority saw its debt rating raised by Fitch Ratings, raised from A- to A while the outlook remained stable, because performance was sharply ahead of expectation over the prior year with a doubling of both tolling locations and effect toll rates on its five roadways, Fitch reported in a review of US toll road operations. Fitch took only four positive rating actions on toll facilities during the year.
KEY FINANCIAL ROLE: Richard Lampen, president and CEO of Miami-based Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, has been named vice chair of the Financial Services Institute’s board of directors for 2016, rising to chair in 2017. The institute is an advocacy organization of independent broker-dealers and financial advisors.
GAS PRICES FALLING: Miami’s average gasoline prices were $2.13 cents a gallon as of Sunday, above most gas prices elsewhere but down significantly from the recent past, GasBuddy price-tracking service reported. Both GasBuddy and AAA said the national average was a flat $2 per gallon. Nearby, Sarasota averaged $1.96, Naples $2.07 and Cape Coral $1.98. “Gasoline could get even cheaper in the coming weeks, as some of the lowest prices of the year typically arrive in January,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. Miami gas prices are now 34.9 cents a gallon less than a year ago and 6.6 cents less than a month ago, GasBuddy said.