WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Financial firms are flocking to the new “Wall Street of the South.”
South Florida attracted dozens of these companies during the pandemic, bringing with them high-paying jobs and workers with deep pockets paying for homes with cash.
It brings up the question: is there room for the middle class anymore in Palm Beach County?
There’s an economic shift happening in Palm Beach County, and it’s very clear when you look at the real estate market.
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“I do feel like the people that are moving into our neighborhood is definitely … it is a higher price bracket ,” Audrey Leo, a Palm Beach County homeowner, said.
Audrey Leo describes how her neighborhood is becoming more affluent as home prices soar.
In the Winston Trails community, where Leo lives, homes sold for under $400,000 just a few years ago. Those houses are now being sold for 50% to 100% more.
“I actually thought this was going to be my forever home,” Leo said.
Four years ago, she found her dream home, but now a new job opportunity is taking her family out of state during a hot seller’s market.
“We decided that we were going to list our home on Wednesday, had photography done on Thursday, listed it on Friday and by Monday it was sold,” Leo said. “So, it was a very fast process.”
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Cash deals and going above the asking price make up the majority of accepted offers . The downside, real estate agent Karen Moody said, is that it is pushing out lower-budget buyers.
Real estate agent Karen Moody describes how frantic the market is to buy homes in Palm Beach County.
“What is happening to the middle-class buyers here?” WPTV Senior Reporter Michelle Quesada asked.
“I think they are always coming in a second or third. … It doesn’t get you the house; just like it doesn’t win you the race,” Moody answered.
Donald Burgess, the president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, said years ago that West Palm Beach started marketing to out-of-state employers to create a financial district.
“A lot of the businesses are finance and investment entities,” Burgess said about the businesses moving offices and headquarters to Palm Beach County. “Eventually, we got the label ‘Wall Street South.'”
Big businesses are relocating from states like New York and California, pushing the median family income up. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban …….