Buying a slice of paradise: New arrivals cause Florida home sales to surge

Troy and Janet Erny found their slice of paradise in Cape Canaveral, making the move from Chicago’s suburbs.

"We were able to still have outdoor activities and get outside and exercise and live a fairly normal life, which a lot of normal people up north were not able to do. I kind of think we started a trend because a couple of our good friends followed us down here for the same reasons," Troy Erny said. 

According to data FOX 35 received from Florida realtors, the number of home sales statewide increased by 18% in January of this year, compared to last year. On the Space Coast, the number of home sales spiked 17% this year.

"Beach, rocket launches, a relaxed lifestyle is drawing a lot of people here," said Bobby Freeman, with McCoy Freeman Real Estate.  

He added, "You would think sales would decrease during a pandemic but, in part, thanks to the historic low mortgage rates, people are taking advantage of that. People are allowed to move up higher and move to a bigger house and still afford the cost of their original house."

That's competition for locals trying to buy. Fewer homes are available to move into and more bidders are fighting for the best properties.

"Locally and internationally, all around, buyers are coming in here on any given contract. A house for sale there is probably three or four, five, 10 buyers from all around the world trying to bid on a piece of Florida’s Space Coast," Freeman said.