After a year and a half of record growth, Florida continues to make headlines as the nation’s top destination for new home migration. This sunny and tropical locale has welcomed thousands of new residents, leading the nation in inbound moves by 62%. Spanning more than 6,000 square miles and three counties – Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach – South Florida has quickly become the 2nd largest metropolitan area in the southeastern U.S. As we enter the “off-season” for the housing market, real estate experts are weighing the strength of the market against growing uncertainty.
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The Remote Work Revolution Drives Migration
With the convenience of technology bringing people together, expectations of working in a traditional office environment have become a thing of the past. Both businesses and business professionals can relocate and work from wherever they desire, creating an accelerated migration pattern to Florida’s coast. Over the last 10 years, the population has increased by 10.3% versus the U.S. average of 7.4%. The area is projected to increase by more than 12% over the next three decades.
Google Trends Indicate a High Search Volume
According to recent google trends search volume data, people searching for homes in South Florida are at an all-time high. This is especially true of the area’s northern suburbs, including north Broward and West Palm Beach counties. Google trends have also reported that a sizable portion of the people searching these terms are from northeastern states, proving that many are wishing to enjoy sunny days in the sand rather than cold days in the snow.
Headwinds are Building
While there are many signs that point to continued growth for the South Florida region, there is also some hesitation and concern for the area’s luxury market segment. In the opening months of 2022, the U.S stock market suffered double-digit declines that have had a direct impact on wealthy homebuyers. Rising energy costs and mortgage rates have also been driving inflationary trends and slowing the liquidity of the move-up market. One of the most unpredictable variables the luxury market currently faces is the war in Ukraine. With economic sanctions acting as a primary weapon by western nations, it remains uncertain what the long-term global economic impact could be. Additionally, as we head into the 2022 election season, the political fight for control can create even more uncertainty, and negative news could dominate the summer market.
Using Data to understand Market Trends and Evaluate Risk
The real estate marketing specialists at Cotton & Company are keenly aware of how quickly market trends can shift. The company is data-driven, with real estate programs for more than three dozen communities across the country that focus on how the market conditions are impacting homebuyers’ decisions in live time. Daily, weekly, and monthly monitoring of website traffic, time spent on the site, and the number of registrations help determine the current strength of the market and can help drive sales success for communities across the nation.
“Currently, we continue to see strong interest in Florida real estate across all sectors,” says Laurie Andrews, President of Cotton & Company. “Standing inventory that has been priced right continues to be absorbed quickly. There have been a few outliers where sellers have been shooting for the moon, and we are seeing some price reductions as the season comes to a close.”
As a predictor of the future, Andrews closely monitors the activity across the man active real estate websites Cotton & Company manages. “In 2008, we saw signs of a shift in the market when general inquiries and website traffic dropped across all sectors,” says Andrews. “In 2022, the market surge was driven by lifestyle priorities rather than overheated investment. This shift in lifestyle priorities continues to drive activity for Florida real estate.” Andrews notes that getting to the market quickly has become a priority for many developers who have been waiting for architects and land planners to complete the design process. “We remain optimistic about the luxury market in Florida over the coming year, but we are watching the market dynamics closely.”
A Thriving Job Market
Florida’s favorable tax climate ensures that South Florida is a growing business market, with companies like Microsoft, Spotify, and Goldman Sachs having a substantial presence in the area. “Martin and St. Lucie counties in particular are poised for substantial growth,” says Andrews. “As the cost of housing continues to rise across South Florida, the Treasure Coast represents substantial value for homebuyers. Convenient access to I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike makes commuting to the Palm Beaches easier for homebuyers. We’re predicting that Indiantown will become the next hot housing destination in the region.”
From a lack of an individual income tax to low corporate and sales taxes, the Sunshine state has built a welcoming environment for businesses and business professionals alike. South Florida is also recognized as an international business destination, with three international airports as well as four seaports serving cargo and commercial cruise lines. With more companies moving their headquarters, it also moves a wealth of industry-specific and supporting jobs with it. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census and the Department of Labor, Miami’s median household income has increased by 24.17% from 2015 to 2020. Employment is increasing at a more rapid rate in South Florida compared to other major metro areas and is projected to grow by another 7.5% within the next seven years, according to the Florida Department of Economic Security.
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A Vibrant South Florida Lifestyle
Now more than ever, people are prioritizing their happiness, searching for cities that match their lifestyle. From miles of sandy beaches to lively cities filled with year-round activities, South Florida offers something for every family member to enjoy. Culturally diverse cities including Miami and Fort Lauderdale offer bustling atmospheres full of dining, shopping, museums, and art exhibits. The Palm Beaches are considered the “Golf Capital of the World” as well as the epicenter for world-class angling. The area is also less than a four-hour drive to world-class Orlando theme parks, such as Disney, Sea World, and Universal. All of this and more has made South Florida an ideal choice for homebuyers of all backgrounds and interests.
About Cotton & Company
Cotton & Company is a full service digital real estate marketing firm specializing in the luxury segment. The firm boasts a portfolio of more than 1,700 communities including luxury condominiums, country club, marina residences, resort residential and master planned communities. Visit CottonCo.com to learn more about their full scope of services that range from branding and website development through sales support, lead generation and digital/social marketing.