Population boom in Florida slows down

Florida is often portrayed as the Mecca for disaffected North Easterners and Californians looking to resettle somewhere with a reasonable cost of living and great weather. With the mass movements of people out of major urban centers during 2020, it may come as a surprise that Florida’s population growth is slowing down and many would be snowbirds are in the market for a new perch.

According to moving company Atlas Van Lines, the number of people moving into Florida has dropped in recent years. The Atlas study found that in 2020 there was a 50-50 split of outbound versus inbound movers to Florida. By contrast, in 2015 60% of all moving activity in Florida was inbound.

This is corroborated by research from Florida’s Demographic Estimating Conference from November of 2020. The conference found that the state’s population growth rate has slowed significantly over the last year. Between April 2019 and April 2020, the state’s population grew by 387,479 people, or 1.83%. For April 2020 to April 2021 they estimated that the state will only grow by 1.38%. This would be an increase of only 297,851 people.

Commonly cited reasons for departing the Sunshine State include surprise at just how hot it gets in the summer months and most especially the seasonal stress of hurricanes. Many people who moved there to escape cold New England winters have found they rather miss having four seasons.

The luxury home market is an exception to this downward trend, as it is absolutely exploding in Florida. An illustrative example of the current state of Florida realty is Miami-Dade County. According to a report by Douglass Elliman, 197 homes priced at or above $1 million went under contract in January 2021, compared to only 77 a year prior. At the same time, however, the number of sales for homes priced below $500,000 went down 56%.

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