Jobless claims down in Florida as COVID concerns continue


More than 30,000 new unemployment applicants came in last week

Jim Turner
 |  News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — First-time unemployment claims in Florida continued to slow last week, though a survey indicates small businesses remain concerned about a sluggish recovery during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a report released Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor estimated 30,874 new jobless claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Oct. 24, down from 40,070 a week earlier. Nationally, initial claims fell 5%.

The Labor Department weekly report also came as the U.S. Department of Commerce issued economic-growth numbers Thursday showing the country has made up a portion of the losses caused by the pandemic.

Florida had fewer initial unemployment claims last week than many other large states. California had 152,057 initial applications, while Illinois had 54,819, New York had 52,283, Massachusetts had 47,202, Georgia had 43,362, and Texas had 33,757.

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Despite COVID Pandemic, Zombie Homes in U.S. Declines in 2020

According to ATTOM Data Solutions fourth-quarter 2020 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report, almost 1.6 million (1,556,592) residential properties in the United States, representing 1.6 percent of all homes, are vacant.

The report reveals that 200,065 properties are in the process of foreclosure in the fourth quarter, down 7.3 percent from the third quarter of 2020, while the number sitting empty (7,612) is down 4.4 percent.

The portion of pre-foreclosure properties that have been abandoned into zombie status has ticked up slightly, from 3.7 percent in the third quarter of 2020 to 3.8 percent this quarter.

Among the nation’s stock of 99.5 million residential properties, zombie properties continue to represent just a tiny fraction – only one of every 13,100 homes.

The fourth-quarter 2020 data shows a drop in the number of homes at some point in the foreclosure process and virtually the same rate of zombie foreclosures during a

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Morning mail: new airport land sale, Trump bemoans Covid coverage, ‘Warringah’ of Queensland |

Good morning, this is Richard Parkin bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Thursday 29 October.

Top stories

The NSW government paid $4.7m to acquire a two-hectare block of land near the Western Sydney airport, almost the same rate-per-hectare as the federal government’s heavily criticised $30m acquisition of a nearby 12.26-hectare block, known as the Leppington triangle. The figures were revealed by a federal audit, with the $4.7m price tag considerably higher than comparable sales in the area. It follows bruising disclosures made during a state anti-corruption hearing about land purchases. A police investigation is also set to examine the federal purchase.

Donald Trump has bemoaned the extensive news coverage of coronavirus on a day in which the US president claimed “ending the Covid-19 pandemic” as one of the highlights of his presidency. Twenty-six US states are now at, or near, record numbers for new infections, with more than

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Melbourne trains not cleaned properly during COVID by contractor paying off Metro manager, inquiry hears

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In the conversation played to the hearings on Thursday, Mr Bollas takes issue with Transclean’s poor cleaning of Melbourne’s trains during the pandemic.

“The state is paying you more now, to do more work which you’re not doing,” Mr Bollas says on the phone call to Mr Haritos.

Mr Haritos responds: “I am.”

Later, Mr Bollas says: “They didn’t even f—ing spray the train.”

Mr Haritos: “I know because they were satisfied, because the trains weren’t sprayed … they were happy the state was spotless, and that’s why they left. They went back to the job where they were.”

Further on in the conversation, Mr Hartos says: “One was clean, they were clean.”

Transclean staff cleaning a Metro train carriage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transclean staff cleaning a Metro train carriage during the COVID-19 pandemic.Credit:Metro Trains

Mr Bollas: “Doesn’t matter, they have to be f—ing sprayed, you’re not listening. We’re paying you to f—ing spray them.” He added:

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COVID Christmas gatherings ‘can’t be broken up by police’

Police who attempt to break up family Christmas gatherings that break coronavirus lockdown restrictions have no power to do so, a legal expert has stated.

With many parts of England now under tiered restrictions that ban separate households from mixing indoors, West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson said officers would investigate reports of rule-breaking over the festive period.

He told The Telegraph: “If we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene.

“If, again, there’s flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce.”

However, human rights lawyer Adam Wagner dismissed the warning, saying police “have no

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Florida has 3 top destinations for movers during COVID

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The skyline of the Brickell financial center, where business-commercial towers and luxury condo towers come together over Biscayne Bay, on May 30, 2019.

pportal@miamiherald.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has locked many Americans in place. But some are picking up stakes — choosing Florida over almost every other destination.

According to real estate firm FCP and geospatial analytics group Orbital Insight, Tampa is the No. 1 relocation destination for Americans who have moved during COVID.

South Florida — meaning the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area — comes in at No. 4, with Orlando at No. 5.

In between are Phoenix (No. 2) and New York City (No. 3).

Using Orbital Insight’s data, FCP analyzed approximately 3.8 million cellphone numbers from major metropolitan areas. It compared the phones’ 2019 locations with their locations from March through June, as well as March through September, to understand migration both during lockdown and the pandemic

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Fake COVID marshals stealing from homes

A Covid-19 testing centre in Forest Fields Park and Ride in Nottingham, UK on Friday October 23, 2020.
COVID-19 secure marshals do not have the power to enforce restrictions (Picture: Getty)

Fake coronavirus marshals are getting into people’s homes by pretending to be checking for rule-breakers and then stealing from them.

The underhand tactic is a new version of one in the summer when fake healthcare workers offered bogus virus tests to get access to homes.

Police forces and Trading Standards have seen incidents on doorsteps where fraudsters have conned members of the public.

But the marshals, officially called COVID-19 secure marshals, do not have the power to enforce social distancing, issue fines, or the right to enter homes.

Watch: Coronavirus death toll rises in the UK

Katherine Hart, Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s (CTSI) lead officer for doorstep crime, said since the pandemic began there have been a series of scams involving imposter marshals and that this could increase over winter. 

She said: “Since March we have seen

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As COVID fuels coastal real estate boom, Houston home buyers bolt for Galveston



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Can you move house in Tier 3? How new Covid lockdown restrictions affect buying or renting a home

The Government unveiled a raft of new Covid-19 restrictions in October to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Boris Johnson announced a three-tier system to rank regions in order of how severe numbers of cases of the virus were per 100,000 people over a week-long period.

Tier three – known as the “very high” alert, imposes measures similar to those that were placed across the country at the end of March. It includes a ban on household mixing, all but essential travel and the closure of hospitality venues unable to operate as a take away.

Tier two, which London was placed under last week, is less strict. A ban remains on household mixing, though does mean restaurants and pubs remain open for now under the 10pm curfew times.

One big difference in earlier lockdown strategies and this one is the property market isn’t set

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How COVID is changing the design of a Fort Lauderdale condo because of buyers’ desires

The pandemic has changed condo buyers’ wish lists. The Four Seasons took note.

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The Miami-based developer Fort Partners is altering the design of its Four Seasons Private Residences Fort Lauderdale, Louise Sunshine said, strategic advisor to Fort Partners. Several upgrades are in the works: high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters; UV lighting in elevators; a Tensui water filtration system; stronger WiFi connection in each unit; wardrobe-sized lockboxes for each unit’s deliveries; and Retina and face-recognition technology for access throughout the building and into each residence.

The 22-story tower will deliver 148 hotel rooms and 83 condo units at 525 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. The sales team sold 70% of residences since launching sales two years ago, Sunshine said. Twenty-five units remain with prices ranging from $2.685 million for a 1,458-square-foot one-bedroom, two-bathroom unit to the 22,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom rooftop penthouse for $35 million.

The development is anticipated

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