How Florida’s Increased Housing Demand Is Affecting Retirement Communities

Florida has traditionally been an attractive market for retirees. Recently, however, the state is attracting a different crowd due to remote work.

People choose to retire in Gainesville for a variety of reasons, the main ones being weather and climate.

“I always wanted to come to Florida anyway – because it’s hot,” said Barbara Hendrick, a resident of the Turkey Creek Forest retirement community.

Hendrick, along with neighbor Martha Tanner, took the opportunity to incorporate daily bike rides into their lifestyle.

Unfortunately for homebuyers looking for this lifestyle, experts say home prices are rising thanks to demand from a new subset of people: remote workers. This increase in demand is causing a change in the real estate market.

Matthew Chapman, a Gainesville-based real estate agent, said that typically when his clients move to the area, they’re able to sell their old home for the top prices with no problem – but they struggle to find homes due to of high demand.

“We have so many people moving to Florida that when they get here they’re just competing with all these other people – so it’s more demand than price,” said Chapman, who works for Bosshardt Realty.

However, he rejects the idea that this could cause a long-term problem.

“Gainesville itself has a very healthy market, so when I see headlines saying remote work is killing the housing market and driving up prices and things like that, that factor may last for a short time,” did he declare.

Tanner thinks that, whatever the cost, retirees will always flock to Florida.

“The place is still there and prices have gone up everywhere, so you kind of have to decide what’s more important to you at this point,” Tanner said.

Regarding the commercial real estate market in Gainesville, Chapman said it experienced a slump during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was beginning to recover and reach a new normal.

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