NEW YORK, NEW YORK Dusan B., a mover with Rabbit Movers, places the belongings of a customer unto a moving truck in New York City. Moving companies are increasingly trying to keep up with higher demand as an uptick of people are choosing to move from New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

They keep coming. According to the latest report by the U.S. Census Bureau, from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2022 Florida’s population increased by 1.9 percent. In the census, Florida is the third most populous state in the union and saw an increase of 416,754 people over that one year span. Other states people are flocking to include Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota and Montana.  All of those states saw an increase of more than 1 and one half percent. Texas also saw sizeable gains and now joins California as the only other state with more than 30 million residents.

States that saw the biggest exodus include New York, Illinois, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Hawaii. New York leading that group with a population decrease of .9%. Nationwide, the U.S. grew at a rate of 0.4% to 333,287,557 residents in 2022.

So where is everyone coming from? It’s reported that “The South, already the most populous area of the country, was the fastest-growing and largest-gaining region in the U.S., Census data shows. There was a net gain of 414,740 immigrants from foreign countries in the region, as well as 867,935 new residents from other U.S. states, for a total of 1,282,675 new residents. ”

Since this census period ended before Hurricane Ian hit Florida, it’s not totally clear if this population growth will continue.

But it is likely. As we reported earlier this month, “Even After Hurricane Ian, People Are Still Leaving Cities Like San Francisco, New York, And Chicago And Moving To Cape Coral And North Port”.  That report follows data from Redfin, which includes the month of October. And the price of homes on Fort Myers Beach that were heavily damaged or even completely destroyed during the hurricane shows that demand in our area is still high.

Fort Myers Beach Homes That Were Completely Destroyed By Hurricane Ian Are Now Being Sold For Millions Of Dollars

The floods of Hurricane Ian completely washed away many homes on Fort Myers Beach. Many buildings were damaged. A lot of the homes are just completely gone. And now a lot of them are for sale – in the MILLIONS!

I did a search on for high end homes on Fort Myers Beach. I expected to see a lot of damaged properties, and I did. But what I didn’t expect was the prices on them. Vacant lots where homes used to be being listed for 1,2,3, nearly 4 million dollars. And this just isn’t people looking to maybe get the price, I’m seeing “sold” and “contingent” on some. Nearly 4 million dollars for a vacant lot in an area that was just completely destroyed. I mean, good on the sellers if you can get that money, but if we thought people were going to be scared of moving to the beach because of what just happened – they aren’t.

There was a fresh study from Redfin that included the month of October (after Ian), and the amount of people moving to our area has not slowed down.

So, if you’re waiting for the SWFL housing market to crash, it may not happen. Yes, plenty of people are leaving the beach because the thought of going through anything like Ian again is just too much. In a scarier thought, some of these homes had people in them when the floods washed them away. In any case, buyers are moving in to take the chance that it’s not going to happen again. My real question is, even after you buy, then build, is it going to be insurable? For all the struggles of property and flood insurance in our area, could you even insure something new being built on the beach?

Let’s take a look at some of the higher priced strips of sand and damaged homes on Fort Myers Beach.

Florida Census

Joe Winner spends his days combing through memes and off beat stories to bring you the side of Florida not always seen.

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