The pandemic-era rise of remote work has given workers the freedom to live wherever they want, without being anchored to any one city due to work opportunities.
Major hubs like New York City and Los Angeles might suffer from this trend. But recent data from the IRS makes it clear that some areas are thriving.
Overall, the region “winning” the remote work migration appears to be the Southeast — specifically, Florida, Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee. In the past two years, these states have welcomed 2.2 million people, or around the population size of Houston.
Sweet Tea, Sweeter Profits
With the surge in remote workers, the Southeast added about $100 billion in new income between 2020 and 2021. On the flip side, the densely-populated states of the Northeast lost about $60 billion in income over the same period.
It isn’t just workers moving to the Southeast. Companies of all sizes are also choosing to move to the south in search of friendlier tax laws and cheaper real estate.
Accordingly, the Southeast accounts for over two-thirds of all job growth in the US since the start of the pandemic. It’s also home to 10 of the 15 fastest-growing cities.
Prices in the Southeast’s housing market have increased due to demand outstripping supply, with Zillow reporting that median home values rose by 12% between February 2020 and February 2021 alone. This trend is likely here to stay as long as people keep moving into the region from other states.
Three Reasons to Move
The primary appeal of America’s Southeast can be roughly broken down into three factors: lower taxes, looser regulation, and cheaper housing.
• Taxes: Several states such as Florida and Texas have no state-level income tax, while others like Georgia and North Carolina enjoy much lower rates than elsewhere in the US. This means that individuals can save a lot on their taxes when moving to the Southeast, making it a great option for entrepreneurs or freelancers looking to reduce overhead costs.
• Regulations: The area also offers businesses greater freedom due to its more relaxed regulations. Setting up a company or becoming self-employed is significantly simpler than in other places; many states also provide additional economic incentives such as tax breaks and grants which can be accessed by firms based within them.
• Housing: cheaper housing costs give people further incentive to move southwards — compared with cities like San Francisco or New York, housing prices remain relatively low throughout most states in the Southeast US yet still offer proximity to major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta and Miami. Aspiring business owners or remote workers alike thus benefit from greater purchasing power while still being close enough to access all kinds of amenities and services provided by larger urban hubs.
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