Gonzalez worries that if leaders don’t get soaring hospitalizations under control, “this will dampen our economic recovery and reduce consumer confidence,” she said. “What really impacts the economy is the share of people with COVID-19 who experience severe illness or die.”
That’s a major reason many merchants are exerting their private property rights and trying to keep their employees and others safe and businesses growing by wanting certain policies such as masking and vaccine requirements.
In a nation split straight down the middle on numerous issues, this is not one of them for Floridians. Results released Wednesday by the
Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative spell it out.
Only 7% said they were not at all concerned about the rapidly spreading Delta variant.
Proof of vaccination measures
“As the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida increases, the majority of Floridians support COVID-19 requirements,” said Professor Monica Escaleras, director of FAU BEPI in the College of Business.
For instance, a vast majority of Florida residents support requiring proof of vaccination for:
► cruise ship passengers, 70%;
► airline passengers, 68%;
► and fans at sporting and entertainment events, 61%.
For dine-in customers of restaurants, it’s a 13-point spread, 53% support while 40% oppose.
At the same time, 65% favor businesses insisting that employees get the vaccine, while 30% oppose, and 5% aren’t sure. When it comes to whether universities should require students to be vaccinated, 67% were in favor.
That’s 66% agreeing with the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that students, staff and teachers wear masks in public school.
In one of the latest blows to the governor, a judge ruled two weeks ago that, bottom line, government doesn’t have a right to stop cruise lines from protecting the safety of their passengers. And on Thursday, a court rejected the DeSantis move to sweep away a suit challenging his authority to stop school districts from enforcing mask mandates.
DeSantis won’t detail to the public how much in legal fees his many court battles are costing taxpayers on these and other issues.
Forbes magazine has estimated he may end up costing the state’s economy billions, with his position on prohibiting businesses from asking those they serve on their properties to provide proof of vaccination. The cruise industry alone has a value of $8 billion a year to Florida, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.
Looking ahead, vaccinations and residents feeling safe are key to the economy, Gonzalez said.
“The safety level of the country impacts the economy,” she said. “It determines how confident people are to go out and spend money.”
And regardless of a virus, they were already becoming less likely to spend money on homes in 2022 as they have more recently. Yun said he didn’t expect the median price trend to continue into next year.
“There are signs of more supply reaching the market and some tapering of demand,” he said. “The housing market looks to move from ‘super-hot’ to ‘warm’ with markedly slower price gains.”
Top dozen includes 3 SWFL counties
Top 12 metro areas with highest second quarter median gains as compared to year ago:
1. Pittsfield, Mass. (46.5%);
2. Austin-Round Rock, Texas (45.1%);
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island (41.9%);
4. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho (41%);
5. Barnstable, Mass. (37.8%);
6. Boulder, Colo. (37.7%);
7. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. (37.1%);
Cape Coral-Fort Myers (35.6%);
9. Tucson, Ariz. (32.6%);
10. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (32.5%);
11. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. (31.9%);
Punta Gorda (30.8%). NAR metrics: Less affordable Collier
In the second quarter, the 16 metro areas besides Collier County where a family needed more than $100,000 to affordably pay a 10% down payment mortgage were:
► California (San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, San Diego-Carlsbad, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale);
► Hawaii (Urban Honolulu);
► Colorado (Boulder, Denver-Aurora);
► Connecticut (Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk);
► New York (Nassau, New York-Newark-Jersey City);
► Massachusetts (Boston, Barnstable);
► Washington (Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue);
► Oregon-Washington (Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro); and
► D.C.-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia (Washington-Arlington-Alexandria).