More Than Warm Weather is Drawing Northern Relocators.

The image of Florida as “Heaven’s waiting room” still hangs on. And while this is clearly a great place to spend one’s golden years, the Sunshine State’s growth is hardly dependent on the older generation fleeing chilly winters.

A recent headline in the New York Daily News shouted “New York’s Future Flees to Florida.” According to data from the five-year American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 78 percent of those who migrated from New York to Florida from 2007 to 2011 were under age 60.

In fact, many were substantially younger, with young families in tow. So job seekers as well as boomer-aged retirees — along with a healthy contingent of  foreign buyers — are fueling Florida’s population growth to such an extent that some experts believe our population will overtake that of New York in the next year or so.

Many new residents waited to move until their homes and 401Ks recovered value lost during the Great Recession. And what they’re finding is that local home prices are still in a recovery mode, offering considerably more bang for the buck.
That’s why Jacksonville, for a long time a relatively low-key market compared to Orlando, Tampa and Miami, is expected to perform like a Top 10 market in 2014.

So next time you see news about record frigid temperatures and snowfalls, call up your northern friends and family and tell them to load up the U-Haul and come on down.

The time is right. Prices and interest rates are ticking up as the economy improves, but it’s probably safe to say that there’ll never be a better time to make Northeast Florida your new home. By the way, there’s been a cold snap — it’s 75 degrees as I write this in early January. 
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