Politics play a role in Florida’s housing boom

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Realtors in Florida can’t sell homes fast enough — the Sunshine State is experiencing a population boom and local realtors have said politics is playing a big role in that.

The Ticknor family moved to Panama City Beach from Wisconsin in August 2021.

“I want the rest of the country, the rest of the world to look like Florida,” Ross Ticknor said.

He said they lost everything during the COVID-19 pandemic, including his business.

“We were open about a year before the pandemic hit and we had a really good first year and I was super optimistic about it and just when things started to get weird, that’s when I was thinking about quitting my regular job and doing this full time,” Ticknor said.

Ticknor has launched its Clear Water CBD beverage company. Most of its customers were bars and restaurants that weren’t buying as many of its products during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

“We went almost a year with almost zero sales,” Ticknor said.

Ticknor eventually sold the business for far less than he thought it was worth. He and his wife wanted a fresh start, so they set their sights on Florida.

“She sent me here to buy a house and then she got on a plane and flew here in her second trimester at that time and had never been here before and we feel so lucky to be here,” Ticknor said.

He said their move to Florida gave them new hope.

“We’re getting back on our feet, we’re back to normal, we just opened our business, my wife is a florist, so we’re re-launching her floral business which is Upper Grand Design and Floral,” Ticknor said.

Ticknor estate agent John Shook with Exit Sands Realty said their story was not uncommon.

“A lot of our out-of-state clients come to find a change in politics and a change in crime,” Shook said.

Shook said most buyers came from Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Houses snap up almost as soon as they are listed.

“If it stays on the market for more than three days, something is wrong,” Shook said.

Shook said the most offers he had received on a home was 18 offers. It sold for $600,000, which was a record for the neighborhood.

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