Florida Growth Runs Out of Gas

Long-time fastest-growing state hits the brakes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2007 9:41 PM CDT
Florida Growth Runs Out of Gas
This conceptual rendering shows a wide variety of housing, from bungalow-style cottages to condominiums, town homes and single-family homes along Huckelberry Creek near Panama City, Florida. (Photo   (Associated Press)

Americans’ 80-year love affair with Florida is on the rocks, says the Wall Street Journal. With housing prices up 64% compared with five years ago and property taxes skyrocketing, the magnetic effect of the long-time fastest-growing state is weakening. “I thought it would be like a vacation," said one transplant. "It turned out to be a hurricane.”

Other southern states are furiously courting retirees, whose savings and social security checks drive Florida’s economy. “Now it's more of an open playing field,” said one housing executive. Some economists believe this downturn is temporary, but that home prices will have to fall for Florida to rebound. (More Florida stories.)

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