While international buyers have been heralded as the leaders of a Florida real estate rebound, a recent Census Bureau report on migration trends indicates that U.S. residents from northern climates are once again heading to Florida for retirement.
Between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, Florida welcomed 256,000 new residents, or roughly 560 new Floridians each day. Texas grew by 529,000 residents, and California came in second with 438,000.
In total population, Florida retained its No. 4 status, but its 19.1 million residents moved closer to bumping New York, with 19.5 million residents, from its No. 3 spot.
Florida ranked No. 3 for attracting new international residents, behind only California and Texas. However, the Sunshine State ranked No. 2 in attracting residents from other U.S. states. During the 15 months of the Census study, 119,000 moved to Florida from other states, a number surpassed only by Texas’ 145,000 new residents.
The state’s growth according to the Census Bureau surpassed earlier estimates by the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic & Business Research, and Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune dug a little deeper to find out why. They found that the UF study relies mainly on new electric utility hookups to judge population growth, while the Census Bureau relies largely on tax returns and Medicare data.
Since the Census Bureau numbers were roughly twice UF’s figures, the Medicare data may have made a difference – implying greater demand from retirees – said University of Central Florida Economist Sean Snaith. “I think with the recovery of the wealth, at least through the rebound of the stock market, that has helped the flow of retirees resume,” Snaith said.
Source: Herald-Tribune, Dec. 21, 2011, Doug Sword