'For the first time in 30 years, United Van Lines Inc. says it moved more people out of Florida than in, and analysts see that as a sign that consumers are looking elsewhere for a cheaper slice of life.
The nation's largest moving company reported 16,212 inbound shipments to Florida last year and 17,019 outbound shipments. United moved more people to Florida in each year from 1999 to 2004, but the number of inbound moves fell in 2005, spokeswoman Jennifer Bonham said.
The study isn't scientific, but it does underscore a recent trend in which fed-up Floridians are moving to other parts of the country, in part to escape rising property taxes and insurance rates.'
To quote Mr. Spock, "Simply fascinating." So, if Florida is no longer the #1 moving destination east of the Mississippi, where ARE people moving to?
'United's report shows that North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina were the top destination states in 2006. Michigan, hit hard by automobile industry layoffs, North Dakota and New Jersey were the states that saw the most people leave.'
Again, fascinating. So the anecdotal stories of "half-backs" and "J-turns" to the Carolinas are true. It looks like the free income tax system in Florida has lost it's luster. I still wonder how many folks who are thinking about moving here realize they'll be asked to subsidize all of the current dwellers (via the regressive "Save Our Homes" tax) when they buy or lease their residence in the Sunshine State. I suspect the word has gotten out, but most are still clueless.
'The housing boom brought more people to the Sunshine State at the start of the decade, but the run-up in home values during the past five years sent property-tax rates soaring. Many residents now say they can't afford to move elsewhere in Florida because of the huge hit they'd take on taxes.'
And of course, along with taxes, our good friend The Insurance Crisis has had a major role in convincing people to move out. C'mon folks, admit it. It is VERY expensive to live and work in Florida (extremely rural areas excepted).
'What's more, busy hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005 led to massive rate hikes from the state's largest home insurance companies.
It all just pushed us past the breaking point," David Levin, a Delray Beach-based housing consultant, said Wednesday. '
Besides having one of the worst income/housing cost ratios in the country, we have another issue that's been like a debilitating disease, slowly destroying the place. It's called the "build it first, take care of growth problems later" cancer, a product of an unholy union: the scorched earth developers and the elected officials whose campaigns they fund. This has led to bad street design, horrible congestion, overcrowded schools, leveled forests, ugly condo-towered beaches, and the steady, continued degradation of the Florida lifestyle.
'Recent U.S. census figures show that Florida gains 1,000 people a day while losing 400, said Grant Thrall, a professor of business geography at the University of Florida. But some residents clearly are reconsidering because of the cost of living and other factors, Thrall said.
"People move to where their well-being is going to be the greatest," he said. "Many people find the urban-built environment of Florida totally disgusting."'
Thanks to Ben at the Housing Bubble Blog for the story.