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Everyone’s moving to Tampa Bay and Central Florida, PODS says

Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Ocala and Orlando rank among the moving and storage company’s top pandemic-era destinations.
PODS Pinellas Park Warehouse Manager Jerry Manning uses a forklift to stack newly constructed PODS at the company's storage warehouse and manufacturing facility.
PODS Pinellas Park Warehouse Manager Jerry Manning uses a forklift to stack newly constructed PODS at the company's storage warehouse and manufacturing facility. [ Times (2006) ]
Published May 2|Updated May 2

New data from Clearwater-based moving and storage company PODS suggests people are moving to Central Florida in droves.

The company recently analyzed data from nearly half a million moves during 2021 and early 2022, and determined that the No. 1 destination for PODS customers, in terms of more people moving in than out, was the Sarasota area. Tampa Bay came in at No. 4, Ocala at No. 5 and Orlando at No. 9.

Sarasota and Ocala ranked high on the same list last year, but Tampa Bay and Orlando are newcomers. Jacksonville (No. 11) and Melbourne (No. 15) also made this year’s list.

Related: Tampa Bay, Gulf Coast cities lead America's 'emerging housing markets'

While Florida’s cost of living is on the rise, the PODS study pointed out that it’s still generally lower than in places like New York or San Francisco, and the lack of a state income tax adds to the appeal. The study also drew a connection between remote work and retirees, as some workers might be looking to relocate closer to their aging parents.

Filling out the top 10 destinations: Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 2), Nashville (No. 3), Myrtle Beach-Wilmington, S.C. (No. 6), Knoxville, Tenn. (No. 7), Atlanta (No. 8) and Phoenix (No. 10).

Where are those movers coming from? According to PODS, the top 10 sites where more people are moving from than to are, in order: Los Angeles; the San Francisco bay area; Chicago; Long Island, N.Y.; Central New Jersey; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Stockton-Modesto, Calif.; Hudson Valley, N.Y.; and Philadelphia.

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