The idea of moving to a sub-tropical location with palm trees, beaches, and clean air is no longer a pipe-dream for those stuck in the American Northeast. According to Tampa Homestyles, people from New York City, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and surrounding New England have been buying luxury properties in droves since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and see no sign of this trend slowing any time soon.
Space is the primary concern for those cooped up in New York, and in comparison, areas like Tampa Bay have less population density and larger property sizes for the cost. While luxury waterfront estates are hitting record prices, it still is a huge saving for what you can get in historic New York, with some amenities impossible to find or replicate in apartment and brownstone living.
What are people looking for?
In general, most recently recorded sales are buying up single-family homes that give plenty of space for each family member. This may include things like spacious two car garages, home gyms, office spaces or extra bedrooms to convert to a home office, and ideally within a close vicinity to water. Such homes are priced starting at $1 million in the Tampa Bay area, but the Tampa Homestyles team is finding buyers quite serious and have had no problem closing deals well upwards of the one million dollar price tag.
With incoming Florida residents and homebuyers are largely prepared for anything, they are expecting the potential of another round of strict quarantine since it’s uncertain how things will end up later this year. While Miami is the typical destination for New York migrants, it has its own host of problems, some of which already resembles New York’s. This is bringing buyers to new pastures, escaping the typical urban environment and venturing north to the Tampa Bay area.
Prices Going Up
The most apparent sign that people are actually buying & moving is how prices are increasing. Compared to 2019 and previous years, homes in the $2 million range are being snatched up in record numbers. And according to most real estate agents on the ground, the majority of these deep-pocket buyers are flocking in from out-of-state.
In general, Florida’s property sales (outside Miami and tourist destinations) are below the national average. This can soon change as there is capital flight from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and other areas likely to be hit by the pandemic.
Speculators (spec-home builders) are also likely to clamp down in certain areas as there can be potential for high margins. Take for example the waterfront property in Tampa that sold for over $6.2 million, built by a speculative investor for a much lower price.
Another example of a high-profile sale was the residence on Dundee St. in Tampa’s Beach Park for over $3.8 million. This went to an out-of-state buyer from Chicago, another hotspot for the pandemic.
Buyers with the capital and means to work from anywhere don’t have a reason to overlook Florida, where the quality of life is high yet costs are cheap (think “no state income tax”.) Nowadays, one could manage their business online without needing to step out the door, so might as well do it from a luxury, tropical estate.