Politics playing a role in Florida housing boom

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Florida realtors can’t sell houses fast enough – the Sunshine State is seeing a population boom and local realtors said politics play a big part of it.

The Ticknor family moved to Panama City Beach from Wisconsin in August 2021.

“I want to make the rest of the country, the rest of the world like Florida,” Ross Ticknor said.

He said they lost everything during the COVID-19 pandemic, including his business.

“We were open about a year before the pandemic hit and we had a really good first year and I was super optimistic about it and right around the time when things started to get weird, that was when I was thinking about quitting my regular job and doing that full time, ”Ticknor said.

Ticknor started his beverage company Clear Water CBD. Most of his clients were bars and restaurants which weren’t buying as much of his product during COVID-19 lockdowns.

“We went almost a year with almost zero sales,” Ticknor said.

Ticknor eventually sold the company for far less than what he thought it was worth. He and his wife wanted a fresh start, so they set their eyes on Florida.

“She sent me down here to buy a house and then she got on a plane and flew down here in her second trimester at that point and had never, ever been here before and we just feel so blessed to be here,” Ticknor said.

He said their move to Florida gave them new hope.

“We’re getting on our feet, we’re getting back to normal, we just opened up our business my wife is a florist so we are relaunching her floral business which is Upper Grand Design and Floral,” Ticknor said.

The Ticknor’s realtor, John Shook with Exit Sands Realty, said their story is not uncommon.

“A lot of our out of state customers are coming to find a change in politics and a change in crime,” Shook said.

Shook said most buyers are from Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Illinois. The houses are snapped up almost as soon as they are listed.

“If it stays on the market for more than three days, something is wrong,” Shook said.

Shook said the most offers he’s had on a house was 18 offers. It sold at $ 600,000 which was a record high for the neighborhood.


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