Why big cities thrive, and smaller ones are being left behind

Whether they rely on steel mills or coal mines, or a hospital or a manufacturing plant, small metropolitan areas are having a hard time adapting to economic transitions.Original Article

The Amazon Effect: Mr. Bezos goes to Washington

Amazon is quietly building a significant base of influence in the nation’s capital, cracking the top 20 lobbying spenders last year, increasing its political donations, and selling more than a billion dollars’ worth of cloud services to the federal government.Original Article

Investors push into a resurging market: House flipping

The finance industry around house flipping has been active for decades, and it has been ticking up lately. Last year, 5.7 percent of all home sales were flips, the highest level since 2006.Original Article

See where home values are growing rapidly, and where Tampa lands among the top 60 markets

Home values are appreciating more rapidly in the Buffalo area than in a majority of the nation’s markets, according to a new breakdown of statistics from Zillow, the real-estate website and data-collection firm. Business First analyzed Zillow’s estimated home values for America’s 60 largest metropolitan areas between August 2010 and the same month this year. Buffalo ranks 27th with a seven-year gain of 29.1 percent in the value of the typical home. Click on the View Slideshow button for a…Original Article

Rent or own? Best metros to buy a home

Deciding whether to rent or buy a home is typically based on the cost of rent versus a mortgage payment. Financial technology company SmartAsset has identified the top 10 metro areas where buying is a better option than renting. Little Rock, Ark., came in first place on SmartAsset's list. The area’s average home price is $196,120 and average monthly mortgage payment is $496, while the average monthly rent is $1,146. Here are the cities behind Little Rock: 2. Louisville, Ky., $575 average…Original Article

See where LendingTree ranks Florida among destinations for homebuyers

Homebuyers moving out of state are heading south, with Florida the No. 2 most-popular destination, a new study from LendingTree shows. LendingTree says it reviewed purchase mortgage loan requests for primary residences in all 50 states in the last year — from October 2016 through October 2017 — to find the percentage of all requests from residents looking to move outside of their current state. The results reveal the most popular new destination for each state along with the percentage of…Original Article

$7 million home on Sarasota’s waterfront up for auction (Photos)

Sarasota’s largest bay front property is up for auction with no minimum bid. It was previously listed for just under $7 million. The 8,500-square-foot home located at 7922 South Holiday Drive on Little Sarasota Bay sits on a 3.5-acre lot with 260 feet of waterfront. Built in 2001, the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath home features a 125-foot boat dock where the water sports enthusiast can access several boat lifts. The Schemmel Property Group, an affiliate of Premier Sotheby’s International…Original Article

Miami Heat player pays $7.4 million for Florida home

The team gave Waiters a $52 million contract this summer.Original Article

Tax change on mortgages could shake up the housing market

The proposal has vast geographical disparities and, if left unchanged, woud echo loudly through higher-priced cities on the coasts.Original Article

How a St. Pete tech startup is helping Realtors generate more sales leads

The local company has struck deals that expand its reach in the residential real estate market and provide additional funding.Original Article