America has always been a country on the move. There have been great migrations throughout history; the Great Migration of African-Americans, the Dustbowl Migration in the 1930s, and the reverse migration to the South in the late twentieth century, to name a few. These migrations rebuilt cities and states, reshaped politics, and changed the economic landscape.
Now there’s another migration…it’s called The Big Move. People are leaving California and New York for less expensive states. New Yorkers and Northeasterners are going to Florida, and Californians are moving to other western states.
Although New Yorkers, mostly retirees, have been moving to Florida for years, it was only a trickle compared to the deluge it is today. As of July 2021, more than 33,500 New Yorkers moved to Florida in the last 10 months, according to the Florida DMV. And nearly 330,000 people moved to Florida from other states during the past year. Florida was the # 1 destination for Americans relocating in 2020.
The mass exodus from California is even more extreme. Almost 700,000 people relocated out of California just last year. The destinations were Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and mostly Texas. Last year, more than 82,000 people left the Golden State for Texas. California’s population declined by 182,083 people in 2020. This was the first time it decreased since 1900.
The primary reasons are the high cost of living and high state taxes. Neither Florida or Texas have state income taxes. The taxes in both California and New York are through the roof. If you live in New York City, you pay a local income tax on top of the state tax, and the state of New York imposes three major taxes: income tax, sales tax, and property tax. The state’s tax rates are among the nation’s highest.
California has the highest statewide sales tax rate in the country, which can add up to 10.75% with local sales taxes included. You don’t have to be an accountant to see why everybody’s moving.
As you can imagine, the real estate business in the destination states is booming. The average price of a home in Austin, TX has gone up 40.6% over the past year. In Tampa, Florida, the typical value of a home has gone up 27% in the last year. Median prices for single-family homes in Florida rose 20.3% year-over-year to $355,000; up 20.5% in 2021.
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