Remote workers causing strain on Orlando home prices, experts say

ORLANDO, Fla. — As housing prices climb higher, Central Florida workers are being met with increasingly fewer options as they seek a home with good schools and a short commute to work.


Some house hunters, however, aren’t bound by such restrictions.

The spread of remote working in a post-pandemic world has led to white collar workers from New York, Pennsylvania and California pulling up roots and resettling in Orlando and Palm Bay, currently two of the most desirable communities to move to, according to website StorageCafe.

READ: Orlando rent hikes fueled by more young adults moving to area, study says

The reasons are obvious: sunshine, zero income taxes and lower property values – all on a Manhattan salary.

“They’re making the same money they made in a different state in the Northeast somewhere, so they’re able to afford more here,” state Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) explained as she joined calls for rent control last month.

Consulting firm EY found workers who make the move to Florida save upwards of 13% of their income each month, on top of the value of a cheaper home.

READ: Orange County neighborhood hit by Charley, tornado struggling to get or keep insurance

There are no signs this sudden onslaught is cooling down. While real estate agents report offhand that they’re noticing fewer bidding wars than last year, migration to Florida is projected to increase through 2035.

That means more people seeking a home and – without significant development – continued higher prices. The Orlando Regional Realtors Association reported inventory levels are still 82% less than average, as of last week.

READ: Orange County looks at rent control measure to ease skyrocketing living costs

The competition from would-be residents has current residents worried.

“A good amount of companies and Florida, especially Orlando don’t want remote workers,” Lori Ellis said. “If you combine that with the gas prices right now, that’s going to put all of us at a disadvantage.”

READ: Orange County politicians want voters to decide to limit rent hikes

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.