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Jacksonville Is the Nation’s Top Metro for ‘Digital Nomads’

Where do I go if I can work anywhere? Jacksonville. A report found it a top destination, notably for young workers who love the outdoors and a reasonable cost of living.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Since the start of the pandemic, remote work has become the norm, and a new report from Zillow and Yelp indicates that Jacksonville could be a big destination for those living the “digital nomadic lifestyle.”

A digital nomad moves from one location to another but remains connected to work and family via various online connections.

All the locations cited by the study as optimal for digital nomads include “a mix of outdoor adventure and city perks that are appealing to the many young professionals who have transitioned to the nomadic lifestyle due to their new-found ability to work from anywhere,” says Yelp trend expert Tara Lewis.

With that in mind, Jacksonville topped the list of locations. Zillow and Yelp said page views to Jacksonville rental listings increased 120% over the same time last year. The report found that Jacksonville is Florida’s most affordable metro area, and investors who took note are buying up area homes.

“We really do have this demand,” says Missi Howell, president of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. “Nationally, one in five homes are purchased by investors.” Part of that investor trend that popped up on the First Coast is build-to-rent, also referred to as B2R homes, with new single-family-homes built specifically for renters.

Luxury apartments are another big trend in Jacksonville. While some city residents worry about housing affordability for existing residents after the influx of digital nomads and higher local rental rates. Real estate investment company Roofstock said home values in Jacksonville increased by 7.5% last year and are expected to grow by another 8.4% over the next 12 months.

However, Jacksonville, like most U.S. metros, has a very tight supply of homes for sale – down nearly 42% compared year-to-year.

Source: WJCT (04/28/21) Bortzfield, Bill

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