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radar_screenERA Real Estate, a global real estate franchisor, and the members of its U.S. broker network have identified four “under the radar” housing markets that are benefitting from home buyers relocating from out of state. The growth in these markets is supported by the consumer sentiment for self-directed relocations to out-of-state markets found in a recent ERA Real Estate / survey  that showed 1 in 3 Americans would consider moving to another state in the next one to two years. The main motivators for such a major move include financial as well as lifestyle considerations.

These four markets – The Villages, Sumter County, Fla.; Sugar Land, Texas; Statesboro, Ga.; and Hays County and Austin, Texas – share the common attributes of having growing economies, increasing populations and sufficient housing stock, the benefits of which are low unemployment, increasing job opportunities and housing prices kept in check by a balanced inventory.

It Takes a Village: The Villages in Sumter County, Fla.
Lending a small-town feel to a full-amenity development complete with shopping and nightlife, The Villages in Sumter County, Fla., was ranked the fastest growing small town in 2012 by Forbes magazine.

“We are seeing a healthy uptick in people relocating to The Villages,” said broker owner Gus Grizzard of ERA Tom Grizzard, Inc. in Leesburg, Fla. “Internet inquiries are up nearly 30 percent versus last year likely due to an attractive cost of living; the year-to-date average sale price of a single-family home is attractive at $206,000; and, there is great weather and activities to suit a variety of interests.”

Known locally as Florida’s friendliest hometown, The Villages is primarily home to active retirees from around the world attracted to sunshine, premier golf facilities, a leisurely lifestyle and a sense of community. The sociable atmosphere provides comfort and support to residents as they age. But a growing segment of working-age residents who have relocated to take jobs in support of the community is creating a diverse local community.

“The Villages can be equated to Disneyworld for retirees,” said Grizzard. “You are not just buying a house, you are buying a lifestyle enhanced by three townsquares where residents can socialize, enjoy restaurants, see a movie – the list goes on.”