May 21, 2020

How COVID-19 caused a new wave of migration to South Florida

The COVID-19 outbreak is not only transforming how we live, but also changing where we want to live our post-coronavirus life. For many people, South Florida with its year-round sun, cultural diversity, fabulous beaches, golf courses, and tax benefits has become their primary choice.

The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the new movements of affluent Americans to the Sunshine State. Cities in South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and, of course, Miami, were the most popular destinations in recent weeks. Florida’s governing officials reported an uptick of flights heading to Miami from New York in March. Real estate agents have also noticed a growing flow of potential wealthy buyers using their lockdown time to secure properties in Florida.

“South Florida continues to spark investors’ interest to move from high-tax states and find more desirable ‘quarantine’ destinations. Taking into consideration social and cultural shifts, I think that people are truly recognizing the value of the home where we are eating, sleeping, studying, playing, and working right now. Miami’s low relative density, world-class healthcare system, and focus on healthy living are attracting buyers more than ever before,” says Daniel Kodsi, CEO of Participant Capital and RPC, a leading private equity fund and large-scale real estate development firm.

Overall, more than 63,000 people moved from New York to Florida in 2017 alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Miami is the number one fastest-growing luxury real estate market in the U.S. and the fifth in the world, booming with Latin American, Asian, Russian, and other foreign buyers looking for a safe haven for their money post-recession and a healthier, more stable, experienced-based lifestyle.

Daniel Kodsi calls this new standard “ROL” or Return on Life. RPC’s latest project – Legacy Hotel & Residences – includes the city’s first-of-its-kind medical and wellness center, designed to be “crisis-resistant” by utilizing touchless and keyless technologies like “voiceprints” and optical recognition to minimize co-mingled surface contact.

“Air purification, cleaning protocols, aromatherapies, lighting, and water filtration have been becoming brand standards for us for a while, and we’re continuing to innovate in this area,” said Daniel Kodsi in his recent interview to Forbes. “We’re even convinced that what we are doing with this facility during a pandemic like COVID-19 would remain open and be deemed ‘essential’ for the community. Health is now the new wealth.”

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