Despite claims that buyers are migrating to Florida, evidence from Atlas Van Lines and the Florida 2020 Demographic Estimating Conference indicate that migration trends are minor.
In the shadow of the pandemic, there has been a lot of news about home buyers migrating to Florida: Northeasterners pursuing sunshine and lower taxes, celebrities searching for their next grand estate, and fast-paced city dwellers looking for a more casual way of life in trendy Palm Beach.
In the wake of the Florida buzz, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has taken to Twitter to try to woo Silicon Valley powerhouses like Elon Musk with company proposals. Despite the state’s recent real estate success, many people leave Florida every year, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.
Hurricanes, scorching temperatures, and rapidly increasing home prices move almost as many people out of Florida each year as those who move in. According to Florida’s November 2020 Demographic Estimating Conference, despite strong narratives of buyers flocking to Florida during the pandemic, the state’s population growth has slowed to its lowest pace since 2014. Between April 2019 and April 2020, the state’s population increased by 1.83 percent, or 387,479 people.
It is projected to rise by just 1.38 percent, or 297,851 people, between April 2020 and April 2021. Is it really greener in Southern pastors?
According to an annual relocation report performed by national moving company Atlas Van Lines, the year 2020 saw the fewest amount of moves to Florida from other states than every other time in the previous nine years. According to Atlas, about half of Florida moves in 2020 will be incoming rather than outgoing, compared to 60% in 2015.
“As many people are moving in as are moving out [of Florida], which kind of shocked me because when you hear some of the news headlines about the number of people moving to Florida, I expected the number [of incoming moves] to be greater,” said Barry Schellenberg, president and COO of Atlas Van Lines, to the Journal.
Demographers, on the other hand, are well-versed in Florida’s history. According to Hamilton Lombard, a demographer at the University of Virginia, the state’s population has been steadily increasing for decades, but many people have left the state in the last 20 years or so, mostly returning to their home state. I support these elements as I have seen this progressing especially in the last 5 years. “A lot of people realize they don’t like hurricanes when they come to Florida” It brings to mind a sale I lost that my buyers chose to forfeited a $20,000 security deposit due to Tropical Storm Irma.
With many high-profile out-of-state buyers making multi-million-dollar purchases, Florida’s luxury market has seen a recent boom. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, as well as Sylvester Stallone, are only two of the most recent high-end owners, both of whom closed on estates worth more than $30 million.
Sales at the other end of the market scale, on the other hand, have not done as well.
Contracts on homes under $500,000, on the other hand, fell 56% year over year in January 2021. Contracts in Naples show a similar trend: there were 624 contracts signed on single-family homes over $2 million in January, up 62 percent from the previous year. According to the Naples Area Board of Realtors, contracts on homes under $300,000 fell 20% over the same time span. Northeast Florida MLS indicated 98 homes over $800,000 sold this year a 50% increase and 1,534 homes sold between $200 to $800,000 a 30% increase. We can manipulate the numbers in so many ways, nothing supports more than these numbers.
According to real estate brokers, many of the luxury buyers leading to those higher-priced transactions are snowbirds or full-time residents who already own homes in Florida. Moreover, despite several reports that Northeasterners have been pushing traffic to the state in recent months, the movement has been “very slight,” according to results from the state’s Demographic Estimating Conference.
However, the jury is still out on how long the state’s newcomers will stay in the Sunshine State. According to Peter Zalewski, founder of Miami real estate consultancy company Condo Vultures, “a lot of people don’t last more than five years.”
It is my opinion that three (3) out of five (5) newcomers move back home or another area of the United States. My feed back is the weather is too hot! It took me three (3) years to acclimate to the Florida Climate and still have summers that can be extremely uncomfortable. Another reason is of course the encounter with a Hurricane. I have lived through many, and in 2004 Hurricane George, Francis, and Jeanne came right over our home in a two-month period. No one can imagine the trauma one may experience with so much devastation. We are still here, now living in Northeast Florida and in my opinion is the less likely region to experience the destruction caused by hurricanes. Yes, this area has experienced title surges, flooding, but nothing compared to my experiences with Florida weather. I have even experienced three tornadoes and one waterspout. None of which were a game changer.
Yes, Hurricanes or extreme heat are the two main reasons why their stay could be brief, but for some, the state’s soaring prices are justification enough to sell and benefit handsomely. All the wow stories you hear are not without question. I am seeing homes above $800,000 and higher are generating the most reward in selling now. Under this price point the rewards are minimal in most scenarios.
So before you sell, reach out to an area professional that understands the market, the driving force for selling and the patterns you actually can support for buyers moving to Florida. Call me, Dan Swing 904-671-9225 I am an award winning Realtor for Luxury, 55 Plus, Military Relocation, and more!