- During the height of the pandemic, Florida became one of the most sought after destinations for home seekers across America
- But the housing boom now appears to be waning, with home values in the Sunshine State flat for the first time since 2011.
- A Tampa real estate agent has warned that the downturn could be fueled by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ overt war on the wake.
The housing boom that sent Florida’s real estate market into a frenzy is finally starting to fade, on the heels of a pandemic-era boom that saw millions of Americans flock to the Sunshine State.
The past three years have seen single-family home prices in Florida rise nearly 50 percent, as residents of the blue state race to acquire property in the South.
But now, for the first time since 2011, home prices have flattened, and fewer home seekers are choosing Florida due to the perceived decline in affordability.
“The fact that Florida is becoming more expensive makes it less attractive to homebuyers,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin Corp. bloomberg.
One Tampa real estate agent said that while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ COVID-19 lockdown policies were once attractive, his recently launched White House candidacy and public pressure against a wake-up policy may be driving clients away.
One reason for Florida’s housing market is rising mortgage rates and insurance premiums, which have eroded the state’s attractive levels of affordability.
For years, potential residents have been lured south by Florida’s lack of a state income tax.
And that, coupled with a desire to escape what many considered excessive, has awakened pandemic rules in many states including mask mandates and work restrictions.
But while locals agreed with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push to bring the state into national culture wars discussions when prices fell, the 2024 program has been cited as a reason behind the recent decline.
Vanessa Charles, a real estate agent in Tampa, told Bloomberg that she has seen business uptick during the pandemic, but that hostile politics is seeing that wane.
“People look at Florida differently now,” she said. “A lot of families who have moved here have called and said, ‘We have to leave.'”
So far in 2023, 56 percent more people have immigrated to Florida than they have immigrated, according to data from United Van Lines. By comparison, that number was 62 percent at the peak of the pandemic in 2021.
The housing boom fueled by the coronavirus has also affected the single-family home value market, which has skyrocketed in recent years due to a large influx of new residents.
According to data from Florida Realtors, median home prices rose 27.7% at their peak in May 2021 — but fell to just 2.1% by March 2023.
Insurance premiums have also swelled in the Sunshine State, where a series of devastating natural disasters combined with high fraud rates has sent home insurance bills upwards of $6,000 on average — nearly four times the average American.
Data from the Insurance Information Institute found that the average insurance premium in the state has increased 100% over the past three years.
In Miami, which has become the hottest destination for New Yorkers as awakened pandemic policies have pushed them out of the Big Apple, the decline in affordability has been particularly evident.
An influx of new residents has seen the hotspot become the most affordable city in the United States, according to real estate tracker RealtyHop.
Some of the most luxurious homes on the Miami housing market, while out of the reach of most people, show why they have earned a reputation for extravagance.
According to Zillow, one of the most expensive mansions on the market is available for $85 million. The lavish estate is located in the exclusive Indian Creek neighborhood and has been offered for sale for less than a month.
Complete with 14 bathrooms and seven bedrooms, the listed property is outfitted with lavish marble finishes, a home cinema, and several swimming pools.
And while many home seekers are set to be turned away from Florida’s housing crisis, there is still another $76 million mansion on the market for those feeling relieved.
Located on prestigious North Bay Road next to Miami Beach, the property has everything a massive home owner could ask for.
The seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom property boasts panoramic views of the coast, with west-facing vistas offering year-round sunset views.
On nearby Ocean Boulevard, a $77 million lakefront property is also for sale—it even comes with a private yacht dock.
The stunning property offers six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a private chef’s kitchen with island views.
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