Florida is always making it to the top of the lists. This time the list is the Trulia report of the Hottest Markets for out-of-area house hunters. Because of the foreclosure rate being so high in Florida, the markets took a real nosedive in prices and house hunters are looking for bargains. As well, Florida is the retirement capital of the US and continues to draw baby boomers who are looking forward to buying their second home and then retiring or at least having a winter residence.
The Sarasota-Bradenton area is #3 with a ratio of 6.62, meaning the number of inbound searches are 6.62 per every outbound search. Most of these searchers are from the Chicago area. They are also including other Gulf-coast areas while searchers from New York are looking on the west coast and Lakeland area.
In my experience, house hunters fall into 2 categories. Buyers want to find a bargain and invest for rentals or they want to buy a second home for their own use. In that second category there are those that will buy at the lower end, use the property for a vacation home to share with their friends and family. Once they decide that they like the Florida lifestyle, they are hooked and then they move down permanently. And many times, gradually, the other family members get tired of hearing about the beautiful weather, beaches, and lifestyle and they pack their bags and join the family. I met a woman today that moved from Maine after friends and family had lived here for a few years. After last winter, she decided she had shoveled her last snow covered sidewalk and she is here to stay.
It is our “season” and this winter we have been enjoying record high temperatures. Our highways are a little congested with vacationers from the north. We locals have to add 10 minutes on to our trips out to the many shopping areas, theaters, or sports events but I for one don’t mind. I welcome tourists to our town and hope they come back for more sun & fun.