With remote working becoming a permanent deal for many, Jacksonville could be a great destination for those living the “digital nomadic lifestyle,” according to a new report.
Real estate website Zillow and reviews website Yelp teamed up in the report, which ranked Jacksonville as the largest market for digital nomads in the metropolis by comparing various criteria such as rental prices and amenities in the area.
Digital nomads are those who are able to move from place to place, stay digitally connected with work and family, and experience “new adventures in unfamiliar places”.
Whether you’re looking for a new city to experience for a month or six, digital nomads may be exploring different locations in hopes of making a permanent move at some point, according to Zillow and Yelp.
“These destinations offer a mix of outdoor adventure and city benefits that appeal to many young professionals who have transitioned to the nomadic lifestyle due to their newfound ability to work from anywhere,” said Yelp trend expert Tara Lewis in an e- Mail to WJCT News. “They are great for digital nomads and offer a variety of highly rated local businesses and activities that these people are looking for, such as shared office space, furniture rentals, hiking, RV repairs, paddle boarding, and more.”
Almost 11 million American workers currently refer to themselves as digital nomads. This corresponds to an increase of 49% compared to 2019, according to the 2020 research study by independent talent provider MBO Partners on the status of independence.
Zillow and Yelp said that pageviews for Jacksonville rental listings were up 120% from the same period last year. According to the report, Jacksonville is the cheapest metropolitan area in Florida with typical rental rates of $ 960 per month. However, this average is controversial. According to Rent Café, an online service that connects renters and landlords, the average Jacksonville rent is $ 1,173, up 5% year over year.
The Zillow / Yelp report also pointed to a few special amenities in the Jacksonville area, writing, “Highly rated gems like the Black Sheep Restaurant, Bold Bean Coffee Roasters and the Secret Tiki Temple, as well as vacation trips like Amelia Island, Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach are just a short drive away. “
Investors are taking note of the trend and are grabbing homes in the area.
“We really have this demand at the national level. Every fifth home is bought by investors, ”said Missi Howell, president of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, who attended First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross on Wednesday.
Part of this investor trend that has emerged on the First Coast is rent to build, also known as B2R homes, which is where new single-family homes are built specifically for tenants.
An example is a subdivision currently under construction in Jacksonville’s Southside on Hillsdale Road called Hillsdale Estates. It has one- and two-story houses with two-car garages that are sandwiched between other nearby subdivisions of resident-owned homes.
Anyone who’s recently been driving around Jacksonville knows that luxury apartments are another big trend.
A review of current Jacksonville rents shows that in some areas of Jacksonville they can easily go above $ 2,000 per month, with some rents exceeding $ 5,000 per month.
A listing in the Rent Café shows the top units of the new Vista Brooklyn apartment complex on Riverside Avenue with over $ 5,000.
While the trend of digital nomads can help lure new residents to the First Coast, there is one downside: the affordability of housing for existing residents is decreasing.
About 70% of Florida low-income households are costly, which means that more than 30% of their income is spent on housing and utilities, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Rental prices continue to rise rapidly and for those looking to buy a home the market is extremely tight with home values rising.
Real estate investment company Roofstock said Jacksonville property values rose 7.5% last year and are expected to rise another 8.4% over the next 12 months.
In the meantime, the inventory in Jacksonville has fallen by almost 42% compared to the previous year.
A discussion of housing affordability and the full interview with Howell can be heard on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross on Wednesday, which will be posted on WJCT News 89.9 Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Bill Bortzfield can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.