By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC, Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.
When the pandemic hit the U.S. last March, remote workers started leaving New York City and its ultra-expensive housing in search of wide-open spaces, sunshine and affordable homes—all of which you can find in Florida, with the bonus of no state income tax.
Sounds logical, but the fact is each year nearly as many people move out of Florida as move in. They are fleeing hurricanes, heat and escalating home prices among other things. While COVID-19 has prompted some out-of-staters to buy homes in Florida, the state’s population growth has slowed in the pandemic to its lowest rate since 2014, according to the state’s November 2020 Demographic Estimating Conference.
According to statistics gathered by the national moving company Atlas Van Lines, there were fewer moves into Florida from other states in 2020 than at any time over the last nine years. Atlas’ data shows that in Florida, as many people were moving out as moving in.
If you’re surprised, you’re not alone. Florida’s promoters – politicians and real estate developers in particular – have been pushing the narrative that hedge-fund executives and tech workers looking for warm weather, sandy beaches and low taxes, are abandoning New York en masse and putting down roots in Florida. But demographers can show that over the past two decades, Florida has seen a rising number of people leaving, and going back home.
In a recent statement, Peter Zalewski, founder of the Miami real-estate consulting firm Condo Vultures has seen over the years that many Florida transplants don’t end up staying long. “A lot of people don’t last more than five years,” he said. “They go home.”
The reason they leave paradise? Hamilton Lombard, a demographer at the University of Virginia puts it very simply. “A lot of people go down there and realize that they don’t like hurricanes”
Whatever the weather, New Yorkers thinking about moving to the Sunshine State should seriously consider factors including the state’s frequent hurricanes, as well as scorching-humid summers and screechingly expensive real estate when planning to leave home. Other considerations that snowbirds from New York don’t discover until it’s too late are having to maintain a yard that prefers to be a jungle which is what it used to be, the dirty, sweaty job of maintaining palm trees so they look like the ones at the Visitors Center, finding parking, avoiding the sun, and fighting off swarms of mosquitoes, biting flies, biting fire ants, etc.
Apparently, the problem with moving to Florida is that when you do, you have to live there.
If you’re still enthralled with the Florida dream, Global Property Systems works with Realtors in every major Florida city and can help you plan and execute your escape from Hudson Valley winters.
Contact us to sell your New York home and to find your new one in the Sunshine State.