The Sunshine State ticks all the boxes for profitable real estate investment because it has high population growth, a buoyant economy and strong tourism sector. Within the state, there are several hotspots worth looking at if you’re thinking of investing in Florida. In this news article, we look at six compelling reasons to buy property in Southwest Florida, an area with plenty to offer investors, residents and tourists alike.
Florida popular relocation choice
Florida is the second fastest growing state in the US in terms of population and welcomes 900 new residents every day. The state appeals for several reasons, related to both economy and lifestyle. For example, Florida levies no personal state income tax making it an attractive option financially and there are also property tax valuation exemptions for permanent residents.
In addition to financial incentives, Florida offers one of the best lifestyles in the US. Its pleasant year-round climate is legendary as too are its natural attractions such as beaches and open spaces. Given the tax breaks and weather, it isn’t surprising that many choose to buy property in Southwest Florida.
Southwest Florida lifestyle
Southwest Florida enjoys a particularly scenic location on the Gulf of Mexico. Its coastline has miles of pristine beaches, some of which rank among the best in the country. Particular hotspots to buy property in Southwest Florida because of their proximity to attractions include the following:
This part of Southwest Florida has something for everyone. Families are spoilt for choice with a wide range of activities for kids including the largest waterpark in the area. There’s also the unique Four Mile Cove Ecological Reserve for nature lovers.
This popular coastal town is highly sought-after for both tourists and new residents. It has three state parks along its barrier islands where visitors can discover some of the most unspoilt areas of the Florida coast. Stump Pass Beach, Don Pedro Island and Gasparilla Island are particular highlights. Engleton itself offers a lively cultural and culinary scene. This combination ensures that Engleton is a popular option to buy property in Southwest Florida.
One of the largest urban areas in Southwest Florida, Sarasota city has plenty to offer. The visual and performing arts scenes are both vibrant and the city also has several museums. Sarasota has interesting architecture and good restaurants as well as good employment opportunities.
Good flight connections
When looking to buy property in Southwest Florida, the transport network is a prime consideration. Good communications facilitate tourism for holiday lets and commuting for permanent residents.
Southwest Florida has three airports and all report increased passenger traffic in 2019 and early 2020. The number of passengers went up by a total of 14% at all three in the year to February 2020. Of the trio, Sarasota Bradenton Airport registered the highest increase with a massive hike of 53% more passengers in the year to January.
Punta Gorda Airport also saw an impressive jump. Passengers at this airport went up by 20% over the 12 months to January. At Southwest Florida International Airport, passenger traffic rose by 9.5% in both January and February.
This airport is earmarked for major upgrades this year with a budget of US$250 million for expansion of the terminal. Southwest Florida is keen to attract more tourists in 2020 and investment in better airport infrastructure ranks as one of the region’s top priorities.
Southwest Florida does not publish visitor statistics, but one way of ascertaining the health of tourism in the region is to look at tourist tax revenue. These figures register income from holiday lets and as such, provide insight into the number of visitors.
According to the Southwest Florida Development Alliance, tourist tax revenue in the year to January increased by 20%. The figure was even more impressive for Charlotte County, home to popular tourist spots such as Englewood. In this area of Southwest Florida, tourist tax revenue went up by 31%.
Healthy real estate market
Another major reason to buy property in Southwest Florida comes in the real estate market. In common with the rest of the state, the area has strong demand and sustained house price rises. In February this year, closed sales for single family homes in Southwest Florida went up by 18.4% in the year, reflecting the high demand for property.
House prices also rose. In the region generally, single family homes cost an average of US$270,000, up 6.6% in 12 months. Property prices rose more sharply in Charlotte County where single family homes went up by 9% in the year to February. The supply of single family homes fell in tandem with the rise in demand and inventory levels currently stand at 4.6 months. This is considerably below the 6 months that experts consider represents a balanced market.
More new homes
As well as a buoyant resale market, Southwest Florida also has strong demand for new homes. The number of permits issued for single family construction went up by 17% in all three coastal counties in the year to February. In this department, Charlotte County was yet again ahead of the regional trend – permits for new homes rose by 54% in this county.
How to buy property in Southwest Florida
BRIC Group offers investors the chance to invest in Southwest Florida through its Florida Land opportunity. Prime plots are available in the highly sought-after area of Rotonda West, near Engleton. Investment starts at just US$26,500 and buyers have the option to upgrade their investment to a new build. Full packages are available for the construction of a single family home, ready for holiday lets or long-term rentals to residents.
(Source: FGCU, Visit Florida)