Thursday, June 19, 2008

Florida’s strong population growth boosts demand for housing!

As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, Florida’s population is expected to increase by 325,000 in 2008, spurring demand for working-age and retirement housing.
“Florida remains a prime destination for workers seeking new jobs and for the growing wave of baby boomers,” said economist Hank Fishkind, president of Fishkind & Associates in Orlando. “However, a slower national economy means that 2008 growth will be somewhat below the levels seen during the recent boom years.”

Fishkind’s analysis of demographic data indicates Florida enjoyed a net population growth of 350,000 each year from 2000 to 2006. That includes about 203,000 people who moved to Florida from other states, about 107,000 migrants from foreign countries and about 47,000 from natural increase (total births minus total deaths).

“It’s important to note that this is net growth,” added Fishkind. “The actual number of people who move to Florida each year is far greater.” On the domestic side, the strongest “sending” states are New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and California. Among top foreign countries are Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Canada.
“Florida has a long history of population growth regardless of the nation’s economic cycle,” said Nancy Riley, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Pinellas County and the 2007 president of the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). She added that Florida has been one of the top ten fastest growing states for seven decades in a row, exceeding the U.S. average by 100 percent since 1970.

In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that in 2010 Florida will surpass New York and become the nation's third most populous state. By 2030, the Census Bureau projects the state’s population will reach 28.6 million, an increase of 12.7 million since 2000.

One reason for that growth is that the state’s highly diversified economy continues to attract jobs in tourism, technology, international trade and business services. That brings in individuals, couples and families in their 20s to 50s, primarily to Florida’s larger metropolitan areas.
In addition, Florida traditionally captures a large share of the domestic retiree market, ranging from highly affluent entrepreneurs and executives to moderate-income couples seeking a warm-weather destination with plenty of recreational opportunities.

According to the Census Bureau, there are 76 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. If only 5 percent retire to Florida, that alone would add 3.8 million new residents.
International buyers provide a third stream of migration into Florida, including working-age professionals, retirees and affluent second-home buyers.

As Riley said, “The bottom line is that more than 900 people move to Florida every day. That provides a solid foundation for our state’s residential real estate market.”

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