It’s the time of year once vacation home buyers’ dreams turn come palm trees, sandy beaches, and also warm breezes—or, merely put, Florida.

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The inquiry Is, which Florida?

Two the Florida’s most famous second-home locales, the higher Miami area in the southeast and also the stretch that coast in between St. Petersburg and Clearwater to the west, space as distinctive as, well, a cosmopolitan, international city v a throbbing nightlife and laid-back beach towns anchored by a pair of prosperous, midsize cities.

Patterns the Migration

Florida lore has actually it that the personality of each an ar was affected by the pair of interstate highways the fed the coastlines from the north, I-95 follow me the Atlantic Ocean and I-75 under the Gulf of Mexico ~ above the west.

"Historically, the East coast of the U.S. Checked out the east coastline of Florida and the Midwest the the U.S. Visited the west coast of Florida," states Bob Vail, chairman of Kolter Urban, which has occurred several ultra-luxury condominiums top top both coasts.

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That’s no the case so much anymore, the says, as much more and much more Northeasterners, and international buyers, discover the Sarasota-St. Petersburg-Tampa-Clearwater region. But there is tho some reality to the hike lore.

"I don’t want to begin stereotyping people, but it’s basic to walk this way," Mr. Vail says. "If you’ve functioned in the financial ar of Manhattan for 20 or 30 years, and also you’re supplied to the pace and that energy, you’re going come feel very comfortable to buy a condo in Miami, one of two people on the beach or in the downtown. If I want to simply go and also relax and sit on the beach and read a book," that said, "I’m not so certain I wouldn’t favor the west coast."


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Tranquility, access to beaches and also water attract buyers come west Florida cities like St. Petersburg. Getty pictures

The West Coast’s Allure

Indeed, spectacular white sandy beaches and calm Gulf waters space the heart of the west’s allure. Its "crystalline quartz sand" and "sparkling clean waters" have landed Clearwater’s Caladesi Island State Park a point out on professor Stephen "Dr. Beach" Leatherman’s yearly list of top 10 U.S. Beaches for two years running now.

Robert Glaser, president of blacksmith & Associates genuine estate in St. Petersburg, defined the 30 or so miles of shore from Pass-A-Grille Beach just south the St. Pete coast to Caladesi Island at the northern end as a "little more resort" than the east coast. "There’s much less traffic, under people, and more comprehensive and much more open beaches. The a bit more family oriented," that says. "And the affordability is better on the west coast over the east coast."

The an ar is also much more affordable 보다 the west coast’s better-known destinations to the south, Naples and Sarasota, claims Robyn Gunn the the Gunn-Swainston team of Premier Sotheby’s global Realty in St. Petersburg.

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To illustrate, Ms. Gunn pointed to one of her firm’s listings, a dramatic glass-enclosed five-bedroom, six-bath seaside house with a private boardwalk to the coast at Pass-A-Grille available for US$5.3 million. "But in Naples, at the very least, it would certainly be US$12 million, perhaps US$15 million. That’s exactly how you quantify it, so us are more than likely about half the price of Naples," she says.

Second-home buyers are generally baby boomers still energetic in your careers, through grown children, stated Diane Swainston, the other fifty percent of the Gunn-Swainston Group. "They want that place for their families to gather, a location where everyone can meet, a second home for every one of them come be at the holidays together," she says. The central coast is no without its metropolitan tasks and conveniences. There are experienced sports teams, museums, and also a busy worldwide airport at which you have the right to land and also 30 minutes later be dipping her toes in surf, according to Ms. Gunn.

Another ar generating interest among buyers is downtown St. Petersburg, which, by all accounts has experienced a renaissance follow me its 11-mile-long waterfront park top top Tampa Bay. Luxury condominiums period the shore, along with numerous restaurants, a performing arts center, and five museums, including the Dali Museum, which residences the biggest collection the Salvador Dali’s works exterior Europe.

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The newest luxury building is One St. Petersburg, arisen by Kolter Urban, i m sorry will open up in November and is currently sold out. That the 253 units, more than a 3rd was purchased by people from outside the area, Mr. Glaser says.

"We’ve marketed one condo for US$4 million and also several at US$2-million-plus—all 2nd homes," Ms. Gunn says.

"They are people who possibly want to paris in, possibly they’re only here a month, probably they’re only right here a mainly or two, yet they have the right to literally park the car and walk come everywhere," Ms. Swainston says. "Walk to restaurants, walk to museums, to walk the waterfront. There are constantly things walking on in the park ~ above the waterfront, art festivals and also music festivals."


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East Coast’s Cosmopolitan Vibe

But if that a pulsating cosmopolitan vibe you’re looking for, there’s just one Miami.

Its reputation together a glittering 24-hour, year-round playground attracts getaway house buyers not only to the city but also to the densely populated (about 6 million) stretch north, to the boat-centric city of ft Lauderdale. And it’s not simply Northeastern snowbirds and retirees who are buying. Two international airports allow the an ar to be easily reached from everywhere in the human being (Emirates paris directly in between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood global Airport), adding to the cosmopolitan air.

"We’ve acquired the sunshine, the beaches, the gorgeous water," claims Jill Eber, associate broker at The Jills, a Coldwell Banker genuine estate firm in Miami Beach. "We have actually the sporting events, the cultural events choose Art Basel, music festivals, wine and food festivals, the water sports, the entertainment, every imaginable shopping experience, as well as world class hospitality."

People desire the lifestyle, she says, "whether it’s come come because that a month in ~ a time, or every few months. Castle come from France...Germany. They’re native Sweden, Norway, indigenous Brazil, native Mexico. Really, it’s global."

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The diversity in Miami was a add to for among Ms. Eber’s current clients. So was the convenience of having actually two airports, doubling the variety of flights to and from his main residence in brand-new York. He invested time on the west shore where friends have actually vacation homes, yet ultimately made decision on a two-bedroom oceanfront condo costing around US$4 million top top Fisher Island, a exclusive enclave at Biscayne Bay. "I really wanted the action of a city, and also between Miami and also South Beach, you’ve gained 100 an excellent restaurants and also things come do, and there’s the arts district," states the retired executive, that asked that his name not be used.

Not everyone chooses to vacation straight in Miami’s glare, though. North of Miami and also Miami Beach, clients frequently take a watch at clear Isles Beach, only Harbor Islands, Surfside, and Bal Harbour, says Karen Matluck, a broker with Compass realty in Aventura. And in the structure where she lives in suburban Aventura, an ext than half of the condominiums space owned by out-of-towners. A three-bedroom, waterview unit sells because that US$1.8 million to US$2.5 million. "And you understand what they room doing?" Ms. Matluck claims of buyers. "Gutting them and also making them prefer new."

And also farther phibìc is ft Lauderdale, which is attracting a "large contingent" of second-home buyers, including a growing variety of Californians and also Europeans, says Tim Elmes, that the Tim Elmes Group, a Coldwell Banker firm that specializes in waterfront property.

Typically, they spend from US$4 million come US$10 million top top a condo or single-family residence and also often come for the boating lifestyle detailed by the city’s 175 miles of canals.

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"Unlike Miami, we still have a small-town feel," Mr. Elmes says. "We’ve got no traffic to speak of. And also yet we’ve acquired many characteristics that many large cities don’t also have. We’ve gained the greatest IMAX theater in south Florida right right here on the river. The performing-arts center rivals, frankly, noþeles in the country, both acoustically and also aesthetically. And you can go by boat. Or you can go to dinner by boat, climate walk come the theater. We’ve gained dozens of restaurants you can go come by water."

"And, you can be in Bimini (in the Bahamas), together you can from Miami, in a couple of hrs in a fast boat for a weekend, and also you deserve to look under in 15 feet the water and see i beg your pardon lobster you’re going to have for lunch," he said.

East or west, Florida is suffering a robust sector in second-home sales. And almost every broker interviewed pointed out one an essential draw the is possibly as necessary as Florida’s weather—the absence of a state earnings tax. That is among the reasons, castle say, that numerous second-home buyers at some point make Florida their irreversible home.

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This story very first appeared in Mansion worldwide magazine, released on November 19th, 2018.