Northeast residents move to Orlando area in droves during pandemic

75% of new Central Florida residents moved from Northeast

ORLANDO, Fla. – While many industries continue to struggle economically due to the coronavirus pandemic, Central Florida’s real estate market is on fire.

According to new numbers compiled by the online real estate platform Redfin, the Orlando metro area recorded 61,000 new residents in 2020, ranking it the third fastest growing market in the United States.

“I think Orlando has -- in terms of lifestyle -- what a lot of people are looking for,” said Redfin economist Daryl Fairweather.

“I am extremely busy,” said Lisa Hill, treasurer for the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

According to ORRA, 75% of the people relocating to Central Florida are coming from the northeast.

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“Buyers are actually looking for a nice outdoor space with a pool, a bigger home that might accommodate an office because a lot of people are now working from home due to COVID,” she said.

Suzy and Dave Burnham said they moved to Windermere from Long Island, NY, in August 2020.

“We bought this place sight unseen,” Dave Burnham said.

“COVID came, and we felt very unsafe in New York because it was rampant,” Suzy Burnham said.

But with high demand comes a problem, Hill said.

The number of homes that are for sale has dropped 40% compared to the same time last year, according to ORRA data.

That’s gently pushing up prices, and in some cases, it’s causing bidding wars.

“It doesn’t mean you can’t still win at home,” Fairweather said. “It just means that you’re going to have to really be aggressive when a home comes on the market that checks all of your boxes.”

As for the Burnhams, they said their new home checks all of their boxes.

“I feel happy and healthy here,” Suzy Burnham said. “It’s the right place to be for us at this point in our lives.”

Redfin estimates the areas seeing the biggest number of people moving away include New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Combined, the company estimates a half million people have left those cities.

ORRA says they expect to see more people moving to Central Florida, building on the demand that’s already growing.

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