Real Estate Landscape

Manhattanites will tell you that a chunk of the upscale, mobile population has already decamped to Westchester, the New Jersey suburbs—and South Florida. Some of the relocation is temporary, to second homes, but much of it seems to be permanent, based on preliminary reports. According to Realtor.com, Miami is the number one market for New Yorkers looking to relocate. Additionally, Douglas Elliman’s August report showed new contracts for single-family homes and condominiums continued to rise in five south and central west coast Florida counties—after having doubled in July.

This is the most recent picture for new signed contracts in the tri-county area in August 2020, courtesy of Elliman:

Palm Beach County: “New signed contract activity for single family and condos remained significantly above year-ago levels. All single family new signed contract price tranches showed year over year gains.”

Broward: “New signed contract activity was more than double year-ago levels across property types. All single family and condo new signed contract price tranches showed significant year over year gains.”

Miami-Dade: “New signed contract activity for single families remained higher than year-ago levels but showed signs of peaking. Much of the annual gains in single family new signed contract levels were seen above the $400,000 threshold.”

I live on South Beach, and this is exactly what I’ve been hearing from my real estate agent friends: the high-six-figure properties are moving, and some notable multi-million-dollar properties are now in the hands of former New Yorkers. The sale of a $1 million one-bedroom in Manhattan can yield enough for a four-bedroom new build in South Florida—plus, there are no state income taxes. Many high-end properties are moving based solely on Zoom tours.

At the same time, locals are taking a hard look at giving up the shared spaces of convenient condo towers and putting deposits down on single-family homes, weighing upkeep responsibilities against the anxieties that come with density. But whatever county or home type, South Florida’s space and healthy outdoor living year-round have suddenly become especially desirable in the age of pandemics.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.