They say there’s nothing like a crisis to make people rethink their lives and the Covid-19 pandemic has done just that. For thousands of people, being shut at home has led to dreams of warmer, sunnier climates and a better lifestyle. Just like the one Floridians enjoy in the Sunshine State. As a result, property enquiries are on the rise and the Florida population looks set to surge.
Shift in mindset
Home confinement has made many people appreciate the small things in life. In some cases, this leads them to take a long look at their current lifestyle. For those living in big cities, in wet climates or even in high-tax states, it has been a time to rethink how they want to live.
This second guessing means that many wish they lived in more natural surroundings, by the sea and in the sun. Tighter finances mean they would welcome the opportunity to save on taxes. This new mindset embraces the idea that life is short and to be enjoyed.
Florida lifestyle beckons
As a result, a considerable number of Americans are looking at Florida, a state that offers year-round sunshine and miles of beaches. Residents also benefit from no personal state income tax.
These factors mean that the Sunshine State has always been a favourite with retirees, both American and international. Florida metros regularly top the list of best retirement destinations in the US.
But this latest shift in mindset encompasses a wider demographic, from millennials to families and empty-nesters. Florida real estate agents in the state’s most sought-after metros areas report an increase in enquiries from potential buyers and relocators since the home confinement began.
Advantage of Florida property tools
Virtual property hunting has come into its own during the current lockdown and Florida real estate agents come well prepared. Florida is a perennial favourite with international investors so agents have lots of practice in showcasing Florida properties to buyers who are not physically present. Many buyers never visit the property in person and make their decisions based on virtual tours and digital transactions.
Florida real estate agents have therefore found themselves in an advantageous position in the online property selling world. Virtual house tours have become the new way of viewing properties on the short list. And 360-degree walk-throughs and quality photographs are substituting the real thing so successfully that sales are reportedly brisk.
Surge for Florida population
This rise in enquiries about Florida property has led analysts to believe that the state’s population may rise even further once the authorities lift Covid-19 restrictions. Florida already attracts thousands of new residents every year. According to Census figures, around 900 people move to the Sunshine State from other parts of American every single day. It's therefore not suprising that the state has one of the fastest-growing populations in the country.
Certain metro areas have experienced sharp increases in population over the last decade. A recent report on the best places to buy US rental property ranked Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville in the top three positions based on strong demand driven by new residents. Orlando, for example, has seen a rise of 20.26% in its population in the last eight years.
Win for Florida buy-to-let investment
Steady population growth is one of the fundamentals behind savvy property investment and the reason why so many buy-to-let investors focus on Florida. The PWC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020 features several Florida metros as top picks for this year based on their population trends.
Orlando takes seventh position in the US for overall real estate prospects in 2020 because of its rise in population. Jacksonville, another hotspot for relocation in Florida, rose from 48th to 23rd place in this year’s survey on the back of a 14.1% rise in population since 2010.
The additional surge to the Florida population due a mindset shift will only add to the appeal of property in the state. Would-be relocators will find a market very much in favour of the seller. In addition, inventory in some areas lies below 3 months’ supply. Demand for rental properties will also rise leading to greater buy-to-let potential.
BRIC Group has a selection of buy-to-let properties in Florida with investment starting at US$102,000. Many of the homes come with 2-year rental guarantees and paid property management fees. You can find out more here.
(Source: PWC, Miami Agent Magazine)