When it comes to working from home in a pleasant location, Florida is one of the preferred states in the US. And within it, Jacksonville stands out as the favourite for digital nomads in the US. America’s largest city by landmass has all the right ingredients for this growing group and as a result, the rental market in Jacksonville is booming.
More digital nomads in the US
The pandemic has brought with it several lifestyle changes. The most common have been the need to work from home and the rise in the importance of having more space, indoor and out.
When combined, the two transitions have led to a sharp rise in the number of digital nomads, people happy to settle temporarily in an area before moving onto another. According to a recent survey by Zillow and Yelp, around 11 million people in the US currently describe themselves as digital nomads. The figure has almost doubled in the year.
Favourite metros for digital nomads
The survey looked at US metros to determine which offered the best lifestyle for transient residents. It used criteria such as the availability and affordability of rentals, consumer demand for certain services and business.
The top 30 metros “boast a mix of outdoor adventure and city perks,” said Tara Lewis, Yelp Trend Expert. “These appeal to the many young professionals who have transitioned to the nomadic lifestyle due to their new-found ability to work from anywhere,” she added.
Jacksonville favourite metro
As a result, Zillow and Yelp found that Jacksonville ranks as the top destination for digital nomads in the US. They describe Jacksonville as a destination offering “the chance to work and play in the midst of a plethora of beautiful outdoor scenic views in every direction and year-round weather that make almost every day a beach day”.
The metro area has an average rent of US$960 a month, the most affordable metro in Florida for typical digital nomads. It also ticks the other digital nomad boxes with a year-round pleasant climate, city amenities and outdoor activities. Plus, holiday resorts such as Amelia Island and Ponte Vedra are within easy reach.
Other destinations for US digital nomads
The Zillow and Yelp report compiled the top 30 metros for digital nomads in the US. The best of all, Jacksonville, was the only destination in Florida in the first 10. Austin in Texas came in second place with Boise in Idaho, Nashville, Tennessee and Charleston in South Carolina taking third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.
All five metro areas provide the right combination of affordability, climate and amenities that digital nomads look for.
The US is traditionally a country with strong interstate migration, but this tendency has increased since the outbreak of the pandemic. Zillow found that 11% of Americans have moved within the last year.
For their part, Yelp revealed that consumer interest in real estate agencies has skyrocketed by over 90% in every state over the last 12 months. The “pandemic housing frenzy” shows no sign of slowing down in 2021.
Zillow refers to it as the ‘Great Reshuffling’, a trend that the real estate portal says is only just beginning. The urge to move, combined with the rise in digital nomads in the US, enhances the potential for buy-to-let investment, particularly in metro areas such as Jacksonville.