Are they "flocking" ? Not sure - Are we still seeing folks who want to move here - I see a pretty good number of people who are definitely looking. Florida is a place like no other, and I think it will always draw people from everywhere. I don't trust the numbers games some sources play. I hear the hype that there are more people now leaving than coming here. I'm not surprised. We were busting at the seams when the economy was booming. Everybody and their brother was moving here. I think it is just people who only came here to work and capitalize on the boom who are leaving. People who were serious about coming here to make a positive contribution and take advantage of all it has to offer are here to stay, I think. To those, I say, welcome to our beautiful world! No matter how bad it gets anywhere else, it is always going to be better here!
Europeans are already here. Back in 2004, we started getting many Russians looking for large tracks of land to purchase. In the last month, it was announced that here in Walton County, FL, some Russians have partnered with a local to purchase about 500 acres, in Freeport, FL to start an energy farm where they plan on starting Florida's largest solar energy farm and plan on selling that power to our local power company.
As for the effects of oil on our local real estate market in Walton County, sales across the board dropped by about 50% in June (post oil spill) and remained at similar level in July. However, in July, pending sales for condos, homes, and town homes in South Walton, increased on average by 66%. Also, in particular luxury developments within our local market, we saw higher increases in pending sales. For example, in Rosemary Beach saw an increase of 350% for pending sales in July. WaterColor saw 100% increase in pending sales.
In South Walton, the oil came ashore in very small amounts in the way of "tarballs", each piece no larger than maybe a quarter, but on average, dime-size. They had 3200 BP subcontractor workers collecting those that did was ashore. To give you some idea of scale, Panama City Beach recently reported that they had one day where they were hit hard by the tarballs, stating that they had collected 35,000 tarballs from the beach. Putting that into reality, the 35,000 tarballs equaled about 10 pounds of tarballs, which doesn't sound nearly as bad as what the press has made it seem. I doubt you could fill a big trashcan with all of the tar balls collected from the beaches in Walton County.
Buyers are beginning to realize that real estate values are not affected by this particular oil spill, and they are jumping back into what was a very hot market prior to the oil spill.
According to a recent news story, Americaâ€™s Money is Moving to Walton County, FL.
"According to Forbes writer, Jon Bruner, Walton County, FL ranks 5th in the USA, for places that the wealthy are moving. Forbes analyzed data from the IRS to determine the rankings, and not surprisingly, Florida and Texas dominate the list....(click link below to read full story.)
Flocking is the word, at least in my area.
Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
Those of us who are in Real Estate long enough are adjusting to a different market. I am still busy, working way harder, but perhaps busier than ever !!!