In South Florida, we’re well aware of how fast people have been fleeing to Florida in recent years. There’s a good chance you’re one of them. Florida has been either first or second in population gain from other states for five consecutive years. The combination of wonderful weather, beautiful places, ways to enjoy it, and low taxes is a no-brainer for many who have the flexibility to make the move. That’s all true when we aren’t talking about coronavirus and lockdowns. It’s even truer in the COVID-19 era. There are two ways this is already impacting. The never-ending snowbird season and those freed from lockdowns fleeing for Florida.
I haven’t seen any hard data on the number of seasonal Floridians who’ve chosen to stay put this year, except to say that anecdotally I haven't seen snowbirds leave. I’ve heard the same from others as well, which as an aside is a silver lining for South Florida businesses in need of some good news. We now have info on those fleeing to Florida since lockdowns began to be lifted in other parts of the country. Some of this is being brought about by increased job flexibility, with many jobs providing permanent work from home opportunities, others are coming from people previously on the fence that have now decided to make the move.
According to analytics firm Cuebiq, we’ve had seven consecutive weeks of significant outflows from California and News York. Numbers that are nearly double what they were at the same time last year. And what state has seen the largest increase? You guessed it. Florida. The top metros for a post-lockdown exodus have been New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, and Atlanta. The top out of state destination for those who’ve relocated is Florida. With Florida being the top destination for those leaving the Chicago, Atlanta and New York metros. As you’re hearing about pent up demand for real estate in South Florida, this is a big factor in what’s driving it. It also suggests that once we can begin to move beyond the pandemic, there’s a lot that Florida’s and specifically South Florida’s economy can look forward to.
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