Connect with us

Personal Finance

New Yorkers are the No.1 movers to Florida. Find out why.



Watch out, New Yorkers! Florida is coming for you.

A large kiosk at the mall in Hudson Yards in Manhattan beckons you to experience Tampa Bay, NYC subway ads showcase the pristine beaches of St. Petersburg and billboards in Times Square tout the hashtag #MovetoMiami.

But looking at migration numbers, one wonders if Florida needs to even bother advertising.

Since at least 2016, the Empire State has topped the list for sending its residents to the Sunshine State, data from the Census Bureau shows. During the pandemic, many New Yorkers who could work remotely and were looking for warmer climes and more affordable housing options, left in droves.

Nearly 65,000 New Yorkers traded in their state driver’s licenses for Florida’s in 2022, according to data from Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, according to the New York Post. That broke a record set the previous year, when roughly 62,000 New Yorkers for the Sunshine State.

Democratic politicians in the Empire State, meanwhile, made political hay as the exodus continued.

Last April, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who is a Democrat, launched billboard ads in five Florida cities soon after the passage of the “Don’t Say Gay” law denouncing it and inviting Floridians to move to New York “a city where you can say and be whoever you want.”

New York’s Democratic governor Kathy Hochul, meanwhile, claimed her then-Republican opponent former New York State Senator Lee Zeldin, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and former President Donald Trump belonged in Florida.

“Just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong, ok? Get out of town. Because you do not represent our values. You are not New Yorkers,” she said during a campaign press conference in August.

Jackie Bild, a real estate agent at Douglas Elliman based in Miami, says she’s seen a lot of people coming to the state, especially since the pandemic. She says roughly 30% of her buyers in the past 12 months were from New York City.

More than half of her clients in the past two years have been from out of town. And it’s not just retirees anymore. In fact, the Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey showed that Florida gained members of every generation, from millennials to baby boomers. Whereas New York experienced  a net loss of every generation except Gen Z, the youngest adults.

REAL ESTATE: Housing market on the rise? Why pending contracts for home sales have industry buzzing.

GEN Z: Big cities are a big draw: These are the areas that Gen Z is rapidly migrating to

Companies are moving their headquarters to South Florida so their employees are coming with them, she says. Leading hedge fund Citadel announced last year that it would be moving its headquarters to Miami from Chicago. Other financial companies such as Blackstone and Goldman Sachs increased their footprint in Miami, earning the city the moniker ‘Wall Street South.’

“And then you have successful people with big businesses who want to create their residency in Florida to save on taxes,” she says. “Many jobs have become more flexible, and you longer need to go into the office and be in the cold. And it’s more affordable than New York. Like, why not live in Florida?”

While New York’s top income tax rate is 10.9%, in New York City, the top rate is 3.876%. So, if you live and work in New York City, you could be paying a combined rate of up to 14.8%.  In Florida, you pay zero in income tax anywhere you live.

In January, the median sale price of a home in New York was $486,200. In Florida, it was $386,500.

But that affordability might soon be eroding.

RealtyHop’s Housing Affordability Index, released in December, examining the share of income U.S. households would have to spend on homeownership costs to find out Miami to be the least affordable city, followed by Los Angeles and New York.

The median asking price increased 0.50% from $595,000 to $598,000. A family making the average household income of $44,581 would have to direct 86% of their paycheck towars housing costs.

In New York City, where the median purchase price of a home was $885,750, a resident with an average salary of $68,129 will have to spend 79% of their income on housing, equating to $4,483.45 monthly.

Affordability, of course, is relative, says Bild.

“Florida is still affordable – for New Yorkers.”

Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy is a housing and economy correspondent for USA TODAY.  You can follow her on Twitter @SwapnaVenugopal and sign up for our Daily Money newsletter here.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Here’s why New Yorkers are moving to Florida in droves

Read the full article here