More Homebuyers Moving to Florida Than Other States

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More homebuyers moving to Florida than anywhere else

Sky-high home prices and bank account–draining cost of living might finally be driving folks out of the most expensive cities. When well-paid tech professionals and Wall Street hotshots have trouble affording Silicon Valley and New York, what hope is there for the rest of us?

But where they’re going just might surprise you.

Prospective home buyers overwhelmingly want to head south, according to a recent LendingTree analysis. The online loan marketplace looked at the 1.5 million mortgage requests it received from October 2016 to October 2017 to come up with the results.

The South “has lower loan amounts, it has lower monthly (mortgage payments). The cost of living is generally lower in the South,” says LendingTree spokeswoman Megan Greuling. The region’s warmer weather is particularly appealing as winter approaches, she adds.

Bonus: Lots of new jobs are being added to the region as more companies are opening up shop, relocating, or adding branches in the South due to its generally lower taxes and land and labor costs.

Which state do home buyers most want to move to?

But of all the Southern states, which was the most desirable? Drumroll please… that would be Florida. The Sunshine State was the top destination for folks from 18 states, or about 9.14% of those looking at loans on LendingTree.

Many out-of-state buyers in Florida hail from the freezing Midwest and Northeast, says Christopher Cain, an Orlando-based real estate agent, development consultant, and author of “Your Made in the USA Vacation Home.”

They come because the state is easy to get in and out of, there’s no snow to shovel come January, and the state is very friendly toward retirees.

“There’s no state income tax. Florida has good hospitals” and lots of golf courses, he says, adding that its double coastline is also a draw. Plus, “a lot of the developers purpose-build the retirement communities specifically to appeal to what they’re looking for.”

The results reveal the most popular new destination for each state along with the percentage of out-of-state requests for that location.

States that love Fla. – % looking out-of-state– % of those looking at Fla.

  • Vermont – 24.07% – 14.01%
  • New York – 20.8% – 21.5%
  • Connecticut – 19.09% – 22.5%
  • Maryland – 18.94% – 13.0%
  • New Jersey – 18.08% – 21.09%
  • Illinois – 14.66% – 14.07%
  • Pennsylvania – 13.47% – 17.14%
  • Maine – 12.99% – 22.11%
  • Iowa – 11.89% – 10.38%
  • Wisconsin – 11.45% – 14.1%
  • Kentucky – 11.11% – 15.81%
  • Tennessee – 11.07% – 16.19%
  • Alabama – 10.3% – 22.09%
  • Indiana – 10.13% – 18.24%
  • Georgia – 9.68% – 26.32%
  • Ohio – 9.66% – 19.83%
  • Michigan – 9.18% – 21.52%
  • Texas – 7.46% – 10.49%

Which state do home buyers most want to leave?

Vermont residents were the most likely to want to hightail it out of the Green Mountain State. Despite its popular ski resorts, only about 76% of locals were looking for in-state mortgages.

Blame the freezing temperatures and high cost of living.

“As people get older, they want to escape the long, cold winters,” says economics professor Arthur Woolf of the University of Vermont in Burlington. “And we’re a relatively high-tax state. Our property taxes are pretty high. We have a pretty high income tax compared to other states.”

Residents might also want more career or social opportunities than the state can offer.

“Many Vermonters live in small towns, and many are very, very isolated,” he says.

Which state do home buyers most want to stay in?

Texans were the most happy of any state’s residents to stay put. About 92.5% of folks looking for potential mortgages wanted to stay within Texas, according to LendingTree’s report.

“That’s probably due to the sheer size of Texas. There’s a lot to offer across the entire state,” says LendingTree’s Grueling. “You have the coast, you have the big cities, you have open land for farming. There’s no need to leave the state.”

 

Sources: “Which States Do Home Buyers Want to Move to—and From?,” realtor.com; “LendingTree migration study: More homebuyers heading south,” Florida Realtors