More than 33,500 New Yorkers moved to Florida in the last 10 months, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, with many saying the COVID-19 pandemic sparked the move.
New York transplants favored the southeastern counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade, the numbers show.
South Florida real estate agent Bonnie Heatzig told WABC-TV that most New Yorkers moved to Florida at the end of 2020.
“New York was closed, New Jersey was closed,” Heatzig said.
“There were people who were saying, ‘I really want to come down to Florida. I want to accelerate my plans,'” she said.
Heatzig added that some New Yorkers bought Florida properties without visiting them.
“These are people that are moving down to South Florida to start their life, to put their children in school, to start a new business,” she said. “These people are here to stay.”
The real estate agent said some New Yorkers who worked remotely from Florida during the pandemic will make the Sunshine State their permanent home and use Manhattan as a second residence.
However, Martin Melkonian, associate professor of economics at Hofstra University on Long Island, expressed doubt that the New Yorkers are in Florida permanently.
“There’s certain things about New York that are not true of any other part of the country,” he said.
“For that reason, I think many of them will rethink their decisions.”
The Mayor and the Governor ruined this city along with the virus…get rid of them high taxes…curb the crime they allow and clean up the City ❗😡
— Cassandra Gramegna (@auntsa) July 21, 2021
Patronis said people are fleeing “financial train wrecks” like New York and moving to Florida to escape “tax hell.”
Republican Sen. Rick Scott added that people were also fleeing long-lasting coronavirus restrictions.
“There’s so many more things to do outside,” Sara Guando, who moved from Long Island to Tampa in February, told WABC.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.