Aging, wealthy baby boomers from cold and Northern climates will increasingly want to spend large parts of their working/non-working lives in warmer regions, longing for an abundance of sun, comfort and companionship.

In the US, Florida has long established itself as such a region for America’s senior citizens. Now it is Southern Europe’s turn to accommodate hundreds of thousands of soon to be retired citizens from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Austria.

The European Union’s rapid financial and legal integration, a massive increase in prosperity and comfort levels in Spain and Portugal, and ever expanding transportation (Easy Jet!) and communication links have spurred the FLORIDASATION of the sunny regions of the EU.

Vast opportunities still exist in real-estate in Spain and Portugal. Europe's next silver haired crowd will be richer, more sophisticated and above all more demanding when it comes to housing in Europe’s Florida. Child-friendly guest rooms and entertainment sections score high, in hope of frequent visits from children and grandchildren. Costa Brave-like sky scrapers are a no-go. Ditto for slick, gold-chained real estate agents.

However, FLORIDASATION reaches well beyond real estate. There'll be an endless need for insurance and tax specialists, health care centers, cheap airlines, car dealers, decorators, language and art teachers, childcare centers, gardeners, cleaners, security systems, easy online access systems, etc. A venture that can organise ALL of the above, from accommodation to arranging the purchase of a tax-friendly car, will be the ultimate winner. A ticket to Florida to study local success stories sounds like a sensible investment. ;-)

Possibly next: Tropical South East Asian regions catering to senior Japanese and Taiwanese citizens; and Australia’s East and West Coast catering to the more ‘global’ senior citizens who really want to get away from it all.

APRIL 2003 | Recent data we added to our FLORIDASATION trend:

FLORIDASATION: While EasyJet’s cheap flights to Malaga are helping Spain to become the EU’s Florida for retired Northern Europeans, low-budget carrier Ryanair is doing its part for sunny France and Italy to become a haven for cold-escaping, cash-rich euro baby boomers. According to an article in the FT (23 February 2003), house prices in the Limousin region have soared 30-40% after Buzz, now a Ryanair company, started flying to Limoges. And when Ryanair introduced flights from London’s Stansted airport to Pisa in Italy at cut-rate fares, the nearby region of Lucca instantly attracted many second home buyers from the UK.

No wonder that for many home owners in Southern Europe, the announcement of new flight schedules by low cost carriers holds the promise of instant riches. If you’re in the real-estate game (or better, in anything related to FLORIDASATION), low-cost airlines should be on top of your watch-list!