Is New York's financial industry migrating to Florida?OK, this post falls in the realm of pure speculation, and really has little to do with Houston other than being about cities and their economic engines.
The Wall Street Journal has an article talking about how Ft. Lauderdale airport has become as congested and delay-prone as all three New York area airports. JetBlue announced today they're starting service from NY/Newark to Florida this fall (Continental reacted swiftly, and WSJ analysis), which will bring them to 77 flights/day from NY to Florida, 26 of those to Ft. Lauderdale - which is right up there in frequency to the Boston and DC shuttles. That is simply crazy. Throw in the other airlines, and I'll bet you're looking nearly 200 flights/day from NY to Florida. That's a flight every 5 minutes during a 16 hour flying day. Assuming ~100 people/flight, that's around 20,000 people each direction every day.
So who are these people? I'm betting a good chunk of them are the well-off financial dealmakers of Wall Street. A couple hundred bucks a week to shuttle between New York and their estate/condo in Florida is chump change for them. I think a few variables are at work here:
- The rise of cheap, comfortable, frequent flights by JetBlue and others.
- The Internet makes it easy to work remotely.
- Miami is putting almost no limits on high-rise condo building, which are selling like hotcakes at these low mortgage rates.
"Hey... everybody I work with also owns a place in Ft. Lauderdale/ Miami, and Florida has no income tax. Why am I going to New York for meetings - and paying state and city income tax - when everything I need and almost everybody I need to deal with is down there?"The financial industry is the backbone of the New York economy. It's a little known fact that New York is even more dependent on the financial industry than Houston is on the energy industry. Could they really lose it down this slippery slope? If anybody has any anecdotes or other evidence, I'd love to hear it in the comments.