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Fla. Migration: Small Blip or Big Movement?

At Florida Real Estate Trends (Jan. 20), a diverse roster of experts will discuss the growing number of residents moving to Fla. and what it means for the future.

ORLANDO, Fla – Florida has become increasingly popular for more than retirees over the past decade or so. An increasingly diverse economy presents opportunities for people at all stages of life, and with a still-affordable cost of living and no state income tax, Florida continues to draw new residents and companies.

In the early days of the pandemic, people came to Florida in droves to ride out the initial wave and enjoy their new remote-work option. Who wouldn’t want to swap a driveway full of snow for a beach view? And while many people went back after a while, many more decided to make their temporary move permanent.

Managing this migration became a welcome problem for economic developers, site selectors, chambers of commerce and Realtors. Economic developers worked to attract newly untethered workers, in addition to companies considering Florida for satellite offices or headquarter relocations. Site selectors helped companies find the talent and office space they needed in Florida, while chambers of commerce worked with people making corporate and personal relocations. And Realtors were slammed with inquiries from people, flush with equity from a just-sold home, who wanted to leave their high-cost areas and instead look at Florida homes – homes that may have cost much more in their former markets.

Florida Realtors®’ research department has assembled representatives from each of these professions to discuss these dynamics. They’ll share their experiences with Florida Realtors’ members during the Florida Real Estate Trends summit, which takes place Jan. 20 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Renaissance SeaWorld Orlando as part of the 2022 Mid-Winter Business Meetings. Members may participate either in-person or virtually.

The panel discussion includes:

  • Deanna Armel, broker-owner of Armel Real Estate, who will share her experience as a Realtor in the midst of the hot relocator market, specifically dealing with people moving from California for Disney and related jobs, as well as relocators from New England and New York.
  • John Boyd, principal, The Boyd Company, who represents the site selectors working with companies throughout the country that are shortlisting Florida for expansion and relocation of corporate offices.
  • Melanie Schmees, director of business and economic research for the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, who has been working on attracting and retaining the untethered worker in Southwest Florida.
  • Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, who is actively involved in converting CEO relocation to corporate relocation.

Jennifer Warner is a Florida Realtors economist and director of economic development

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