Realtor.com’s latest relocation study has named Tampa as America’s top relocation destination. According to the new report, Americans are on the move as the country’s economy continues to grow and people are heading south to improve their quality of life and take advantage of Tampa’s affordable housing prices, strong job market, and no income tax status.
Tampa took the top spot in the study above Jacksonville, Charlotte, San Antonio, and Austin, which rounded out the top five, during a time that Realtor.com calls one of the “busiest” relocation periods in recent memory.
Realtor.com was quick to point out that this population shift is not in retirement age people, but among adults who are still in the workforce. The report highlighted that Florida had “unusually strong job creation,” so plentiful job opportunities are driving the trend to relocate to the Sunshine State. In another piece of research, Realtor.com identified Tampa as the third most popular relocation destination for Millennials.
“Attracting fast-growing Millennial-owned companies and young, highly skilled talent to our workforce will fuel our region’s prosperity for decades to come,” said J.P. DuBuque, Interim President & CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. “With the growing number of financial services and technology-focused companies relocating to and expanding in Tampa, our community is a perfect place for young professionals in industries like these to find their dream job, buy an affordable home, and enjoy an unparalleled quality of life.”
“The Realtor.com study echoes the research we have done,” added DuBuque. “Abundant career opportunities, affordability of housing, lower cost of living and lifestyle are the key factors influencing most Millennials’ relocation decisions. Tampa ticks all of those boxes.”
The report also identified a trend of Americans moving out of large markets in the Northeast and Midwest to move to smaller metros like Tampa to escape the winters and the high cost of living. Tampa’s median home price is $230,000 and its unemployment rate is low at 4.4%. The study also cites New York as the market in the U.S. losing the most population to Florida.
According to C2ER’s Cost of Living Index, Tampa has an average index of 92.6, which makes it the most affordable city when benchmarked against comparable metros. The cost of living in Tampa is less than in Austin, Denver, Raleigh, Charlotte, Orlando, Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Dallas.
The data for the report was compiled from a combination of Census Bureau migration data collected from 2009 to 2013, the number of cross-metro moving requests on Moving.com and cross metro search traffic on Realtor.com.