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Florida home values surge over $400K as migration heats up

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida home values are going up as more people move to the Sunshine State. More people means less availability, and higher prices. A study by moveBuddha, which tracks migration levels across the U.S. showed the number of people moving to Florida in 20 cities showed the influx of people was higher in every single one.

For every 242 people that have moved to Tampa in 2022 so far, only 100 have moved away. Housing prices increase as demand goes up, according to Florida Realtors. The higher demand due to migration, and subsequent higher prices, led to Florida’s median home sale price rising to more than $400,000 in the past month.

In March 2022, a single-family home in Florida typically sold for $396,000. In April, the price went up to $410,000.

Some markets are growing more expensive than others, while others were already higher. None of the markets in Florida had their median home prices drop from March to April. The state median rose almost 22% in the past year.

In the Tampa Bay area, home prices were $404,900 in April, a 29% increase compared to 2021. Homes in the Sarasota metro were even pricier, at $500,000, though the increase was only 26.6% compared to 2021. In Lakeland, home prices rose 31.4% to a median of $335,000. Even Homosassa Springs in Citrus County saw a higher annual price increase than the rest of the state. Homes in Homosassa were 34% more expensive, with prices rising to $295,000.

The moveBuddha Migration Report found that from 2020 to 2021, twice as many people moved to Florida than moved out. At the same time, home prices in 2021 rose significantly.

The migration to Florida rose in 2021, growing from 167 for every 100 who left in 2020 to 210 inbound. Most movers are coming from New York and California, Florida Realtors said, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and moveBuddha’s analysis.

The mass move and higher prices come as Florida homes stay on the market for less than two weeks. Florida Realtors said half of Florida’s listings sold in just 12 days in the first three months of 2022. The year before, homes sold in roughly 24 days. Two thirds of homes sold in Florida were off the market in under 30 days.

Meanwhile, Florida Realtors’ market data showed home sales across the state were down 15% compared to the year before, as the costs to buy a home grew.

Real estate company Zillow reported in a recent study that home values in the suburbs are growing fast, in “a reversal of previous norms.” The company said the rise of remote work has driven the demand to live in different areas, adding to the migration-fueled price increases.

“Demand for suburban homes found an extra gear last summer, perhaps as buyers gained more clarity in their employers’ return-to-office policies,” Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud said. “Research suggests the rise of remote work is responsible for roughly half of home price growth during the pandemic. How many employers continue to allow this flexibility for employees to live where they choose will go a long way toward determining which markets are most in demand in the future.”

Florida Realtors reported that while housing prices in the state rose 21.8% from April 2021, rent rose more, between 24% to 32%. They said rent prices usually change by 1% or 2% in a year. Another real estate company, Zumper, reported the market may be starting to cool, though rent prices were still high and had room to grow before dropping.

“The year-over-year numbers are staggering, with one beds up 12.8 percent and two beds up 13.9 percent,” Zumper reported. “Our month-over-month data for May shows the median one-bedroom rent rose by 0.3 percent relative to April, with two beds up 0.7 percent. Those numbers represent not only a cool down relative to recent months in percentage terms, but also in terms of raw dollar amounts.”

Zumper also said “rent still has room to grow” before it hits an “affordability wall.”

In the meantime, real estate data from Redfin shows bidding wars for home buyers have ramped up in places like Tampa and Orlando, even as other parts of the country cool off. Nationally, Redfin said just over 60% of home offers faced competition in April, down from 63% in March.

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