WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Is a migration of sorts from north to south in the works? Realtors claim many folks from the northeast are trying to find space, among other things, amid coronavirus concerns.
"We decided to come in late March," Sarah D., who asked that her last name not be used, said. "We were thinking for a couple of weeks, where would we go if we got out of the city."
The New Yorker works for a software company and said life in the city was difficult with COVID-19 at play.
"Just a lot more uncomfortable in New York," she said. "You are in your apartment the whole time, whereas if we came down here, we would just have a little more freedom, a little more square footage. We are both working from home in our apartment and taking calls all day."
With family and friends here in Palm Beach County, she drove down and found a rental.
"My whole team has, you know, left New York and kind of dispersed themselves throughout the East Coast, but absolutely a large percentage of people leaving New York have been in Palm Beach or coming down to this area," she said as she remarked about not knowing if or when they would go back.
Danielle Lawler echoes that sentiment. The Realtor said the pandemic has fueled demand for housing locally.
"We have so many families that the parents can work from home or they can work remotely and everything's closed still in the Northeast, and they are seeing that in Florida, we have restaurants, gyms," she said. "Some people see Florida as a possible state where they can send their child to school in the fall, and so it's attractive to them to come here, and whether or not it's temporarily or buying something as an investment, we see both ends of the spectrum."
Lawler said things are more competitive in the market now.
"It's one of the busiest times I have seen while doing real estate," she said.
That's something Sarah D. said she's seeing firsthand as they continue to look at rentals for more long term.
"When we first came down, we had a lot of options, and they seem to be, not dwindling, but less of a selection," she said.