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An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys
























Millionaires, soaring property values, taxes,
increased windstorm insurance premiums in the Florida Keys

 August 2004


Not to long ago an article in Key West's Solares Hill Newspaper by Mark Howell dealt with the subject of millionaires in the Florida Keys.

Later Michael Suib, Taxi in Paradise columnist reported on this phenomenon in the Miami Herald newspaper.

Michael Suib writes,

"The numbers are numbing, especially if you're not counted among those who have achieved that status." " . . . the Keys are lousy with millionaires, and chances are that if you are not careful when you turn around, you might just knock one over."

Suib who lives on a houseboat in Key West and drives a pink taxi rounds off the number of millionaires for his article to the nearest thousand.

" . . . Can you imagine the Keys with its population of about 79,000 people (including children) having about 12,000 millionaires? That is a shade under one-sixth of the county's population.

"Take the kiddies out of the formula, and we are talking in the area of one out of every five people who you see in Winne-Dixie is a member of the millionaires' club."

Suib continues, " . . . out of the 12,000 millionaires in the Keys, 1,800 of them are worth at least $20 million. (I wonder if this news will make any of the mere single-digit millionaires suffer from zero envy."



Could the escalation of real estate values be creating all these millionaires? Realtors will tell you yes. Just look at the prices for houses in the Keys.

Prices on properties on residential Duck Key and commercial properties on Indies Island continue to escalate. Note this websites' REAL ESTATE AND HOME SALES page.

Prices on real estate and commercial properties in Marathon also are spiraling upward. Realtors talk about 20 to 30 per cent increases in home values during each of the last three years.

Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate reports in their Spring 2004 Newsletter that

"Sale price has increased 132% since 1997 in the Lower Keys, the area with the lowest average cost to purchase in the Keys. Key West +133% and the Middle Keys +106%. Upper Keys prices rose 74% in the 5 years since 1999. (1997 stats unavailable)"



The KeyNoter reports that

"Residents up and down the Florida Keys will face the music this week when they open their mailboxes to find this year's tax notices waiting." . . . "Monroe County Property Appraiser Ervin Higgs has indicated assessed property value throughout the county increased $2.6 billion over last year, coming close to $17 billion total."



An Upperkeys Reporter News editorial writes that

"This year, most premiums are increasing by 30 percent. Condo owners are looking at a 70 percent increase. And some premiums are doubling. "

"Some homeowners who are not required to have wind coverage by their mortgage holders are electing to "go bare" rather than see their premiums go from $3,000 annually to $5,000 a year, in some cases, particularly since there is also a 2 percent deductible."



News articles also report that more than 300,000 Floridians work 40 hours per week, every week, all year long and make only $892 per month. That's what the current minimum wage of $5.15 per hour pays.*

 * added on 11/2004 - Minimum wage per hour changed with vote on Election Day





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