Thursday, August 6th, 2020 August6th2020

Sell for More Trivia: Why are northerners moving to Florida even as Covid-19 cases spike?

Published on August 6th, 2020

Sell for More Trivia is a weekly blog series that playfully presents a trivia question about commercial real estate.


Lavish Florida retreats were a popular escape for rich New Yorkers riding out the Covid-19 lockdown. Now, many are rushing to make things more permanent even while the virus surges in the Sunshine State.

Demand for homes

Sellers in places like Miami and Palm Beach are getting flooded with offers, and the supply of available properties is plunging.

Florida’s favorable tax laws have long been a draw for high-net-worth individuals, but the pandemic’s disruptions to work, school, public safety and northern states’ budgets have increased the allure…pushing many of the wealthiest to finally make good on aspirations to relocate.

What was a 3-5 year plan is now a 3-5 month plan.  Buyers have asked themselves…if everything shuts down again, do I want to be stuck in an apartment in New York or do you want to be stuck in a home in Florida?

Purchase contracts in South Florida soared across all price ranges last month compared with a year earlier, when there was no contagion to worry about. At $1 million and above, deals more than doubled in Palm Beach and Broward counties.  In Miami-Dade County, they rose 68%.

That momentum is continuing, even as Florida sets records for Covid deaths.  People are thinking hard about establishing residency.  Everybody who was on the fence to move for tax reasons now seems to be moving.

Demand for commercial space

Related, the New York-based developer behind Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, is building an office tower in West Palm Beach on a bet that firms seeking a foothold in Florida would favor modern space.

Since the Covid outbreak, lease talks have accelerated with some potential tenants, including private equity firms from New York and Chicago.

This is a major trend that has just begun

The pandemic has inspired well-heeled executives who can work from anywhere to seek out the area’s year-round “resort lifestyle.”

High-net-worth clients are asking more often about the financial wisdom of moving to Florida. They’re concerned about New York City’s rising crime rate, and a higher federal tax burden should a Democrat win the presidency.

“Do you really have to be in New York anymore to do the work you need to do?,” they ask.

Residents of posh New York suburbs may have added incentive to relocate: Their large homes that lingered on the market for years are now finding eager buyers.


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About Beau Beach, MBA CCIM

Beau is a tenacious Commercial Real Estate Broker, author and adoring father of four. His clients appreciate his no-nonsense demeanor and his legendary work ethic.

Beau leads Beachwood which is a commercial real estate broker for sellers in the Nashville, Milwaukee and South Florida markets.

He’s the author of the books The 3 Reasons: Why Most Commercial Properties Don’t Sell and True Wealth: What Every Seller Should Know About 1031 Exchanges.

Beau can be reached at 800-721-3287, click to schedule a call or