The Three Counties of South Florida: Which is Right For You?

by Guest Author on August 27, 2013

For decades, residents of the Northeast and Midwest have flocked to South Florida for its sunshine, warm weather and sandy beaches. From 1970 until 1990, the state’s population more than doubled, and 86 percent of that growth is attributed to net migration. Although its population growth has leveled since then, Florida continues to experience net growth (more people moving into the state than out of the state), decade after decade, according to Florida Department of Health.

This article takes a look at three counties that have been popular destinations for northerners for decades: Palm Beach, Broward and Dade, which are north to south, respectively.

Palm Beach

Many people believe that Palm Beach county is at its most desirable right now due to a very favorable real estate market. There are a number of housing and condo deals to be had, with luxury high rise costs at all time low prices. With 15 historic districts in the county along with Riviera Beach and Lake Worth, the area is a very desirable place to relocate. Palm Beach county has a total population of about 1.32 million residents. The current median home price is about $142,800, with areas like West Palm Beach averaging $113,100. For that neighborhood, you’ll have to be well-financed, but if you’ve been considering a move to the county, now is a great time.

West Palm Beach high rises

Photo of West Palm Beach high rises by Kim Pardi from Carbondale, USA via Wikimedia Commons


Broward county has a population of about 1,748,066 and its median home price is currently $137,700 for a single family home. Fort Lauderdale is its largest city, with a population of 165,521. The cost of living in Broward is actually about 2.4 percent lower than the rest of the country, and this is reflected in its home prices. Although it is certainly a “hurricane hot spot” like much of South Florida, the area has many interesting features. There are multiple entrances to Everglades park from Broward county, and the city of Pompano Beach is home to the Festival Flea Market Mall, America’s largest indoor flea market.

Las Olas Riverfront

Photo of Las Olas Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale by Cliff via Flickr


Miami-Dade county has a population of about 2,496,435. Miami is its largest city with 399,457 residents. The current median home price in the county is $190,600, although popular neighborhoods like Coral Way and Northeast Coconut Grove have higher average home list prices. As for the basics, a loaf of bread will run you $3 and a liter of milk $1. Overall, you’ll find a diverse range of pricing for everything from used cars in Miami to homes and condos, so the odds are in your favor in Dade county that you’ll find something that’s just perfect for your budget.

MIAMI LAKES DriveTime Dealership

Photo of DriveTime in Miami. Used with permission.

Across the state of Florida, the median home prices for an existing single-family are rising about 15.2 percent year over year. For condos, this growth been about 15.9 percent. There’s no doubt housing crash of 2008 has had profound effects, and in many ways the state is still recovering. However, it’s clear that there has been positive movement lately and the stirrings of a real estate comeback. For those interested in putting down roots in the desirable South Florida area, now just might be the right time to make a move.

Thom is a real estate expert and blogger from West Palm Beach.

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