Fear of hurricanes, high housing costs, and prohibitive insurance premiums are driving coastal Florida residents north to Atlanta. Real estate agents and developers are happy, but the region is already strained by growth.
"A wave of (Florida) transplants (is) migrating to metro Atlanta from coastal communities, driven by soaring insurance premiums, devastating weather and a volatile real estate market that has priced much coastal housing beyond the reach of average workers."
"This geographic shift is not just being felt inside the city. In fact, every part of metro Atlanta is absorbing a notable share of coastal transplants."
"Georgia State University insurance professor Martin Grace said the uptick in severe hurricane activity in recent years has produced widespread insurance-company re-evaluation of risk levels and loss protection throughout East Coast and Gulf of Mexico communities."
"With insurance companies withdrawing from the Florida market and the remaining companies raising rates to shocking levels, Florida legislators attempted to provide government relief for strapped homeowners, only to discover the loss estimates driving insurance company premiums were accurately calculated...An attempt earlier this year by the Florida Legislature to stem the rising tide of premiums did little to reduce rates."
"Miami's loss is Atlanta's gain, especially for real estate agents like Clifton Gerring, an agent with Jenny Pruitt & Associates who has enjoyed a lot of referrals from his Florida transplants to friends and family who are joining them in metro Atlanta...The problems in coastal communities are also helping to stabilize the Atlanta area by making retirees reconsider their beachcomber dreams."