Florida’s new foreign buyers

Castles in the Sand

I was born in New York state and up until 20 years ago when I moved to Florida, lived my entire life in the New York City and surrounding suburban area. There have been innumerable times during those years when I missed my old home, but frankly, this place in time is not one of those.

About a month ago, I reported the findings of the U.S. Census Bureau’s recent analysis. According to it, Florida was the second fastest growing state in the country after Texas based on an eight-year period ending 2018. In addition, Florida had the highest level of net domestic migration from July 2017 to July 2018, according to the U.S. Census data released in December. Also, Florida has been creating jobs, gaining 231,000 jobs in 2018, a 2.7 percent increase over the previous year. This brought the Florida unemployment rate down to 3.3 percent in December.

Governors and public officials in New York and other high taxed states like New Jersey, Illinois and Connecticut are looking for an excuse to blame the reason residents are leaving their states as well as their state deficits and high taxes on the federal government’s cap on state and local taxes. There is some truth to this contributing to the states’ shortfalls, but not everyone is leaving because they can’t fully deduct their property taxes. Maybe the real question is “Why are these states’ taxes so high to begin with?” Even though Floridians are benefiting from the North’s problems, rather than gloat we should be paying careful attention not to make the same mistakes.

An analysis by Zillow shows the preliminary data indicates a jump in Florida home purchases by buyers from high-tax states, as well as home values increasing in other low-tax states. According to real estate brokers in the Miami area, the loss of their foreign buyers has been replaced by buyers from New York, Florida’s new foreign buyer. Considering that Manhattan co-op and condo sales last year were down 12 percent from 2017 and that New York state was the largest overall population loser, you have to take the census reports seriously.

Down here in Manatee County, we’re ready for all of those tax-soaked Northerners. Just take a look at the January sales numbers from the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

For single-family homes in Manatee County, the median sale price (half above half below) was $309,000, 3 percent more than last January. The average sale price was $386,927, exactly the same as last year. Median time to sell was 97 days, up 4.3 percent, and the month’s supply of properties available for sale was 4.4 months, no change.

The condo market is doing better. The median sale price was $195,000 this January, a 13 percent increase over last January, and the average sale price was $241,191, a 10 percent increase over last January. The median time to sell was 94 days, an increase of 11.9 percent, and the month’s supply of properties was 4.7 months, down from 5 months.

Again, the market looks like it’s leveling off as previously stated. However, we have not hit the busy selling and buying season yet, so the jury’s still out.

I guess after 20 years, I’m a Floridian. After all, if Amazon decided not to move to New York City after the city giving it billions of dollars in credits, who am I to whine? My advice to Island brokers – better check out advertising rates in The New York Times. I think it just might be the right time.

More Castles in the Sand:

A home’s equity is sometimes subjective

Why is the housing market declining?

Selling your home – it should show like a model