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According to a benchmark report, Florida land values continue to rise and by extension, offer solid investment potential to buyers. The 2019 Lay of the Land Market Report found that finished residential lots in central and southwest Florida saw marked rises in value. Counties such as Orange and Sarasota were particular hotspots for investment. In a separate report, CoreLogic revealed that Sarasota homeowners saw an average equity rise of US$6,735 in 2019

Strong demand for Florida land

The 2019 Lay of the Land Market Report, published by SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate, takes an annual look at land for sale in Florida. The report encompasses all types of lots from residential to citrus and farmland. Its over-riding conclusion is that Florida land is in big demand.

In the presentation of the report, Dean Saunders spoke of the sustained population growth in Florida. The Sunshine State continues to attract net immigration of 900 people every day. “They come here for the reasons they have always come – sunshine, water and low taxes,” said Saunders. He also emphasised that the state has the second highest population growth in the US after Texas.

Florida land values up 14.3%

Hand in hand with rising population goes big demand for real estate in Florida. Those looking to build their own home or to invest in Florida land are attracted to the state’s wide range of residential lot options.

The SVN report stated that “residential land and finished lot sales remained hot in 2019”. Low interest rates for mortgage loans explain one of the reasons behind the flurry of sales – they currently stand at just over 3%. Florida land also represents excellent value.

The 2019 Lay of the Land Market Report examined residential land in central Florida (17 counties in total) and found that in general, residential lot values went up by 4.7% in 2019. Prices for finished lots soared by 14.3% over the year.

Orange and Sarasota hotspots for land

In Central Florida, the report found that prices for per usable acre averaged US$43,852 and US$53,437 per upland usable acre. Florida land values were highest in Orange county where they reached US$88,722, followed by Sarasota with an average value of US$76,928.

When it comes to average prices for single family home residential lots, Orange again stood at the top of the ranking at US$78,385. Pasco (US$73,399) and Sarasota (US$72,715) were the next most expensive.

Equity rises in Sarasota

As well as experiencing higher Florida land values, the real estate market also saw improved equity for homeowners throughout the state in 2019. CoreLogic found that real estate in southwest Florida increased in value through the year. Homeowners in Sarasota saw an average increase of US$6,735.

In general, single-family home prices went up by 3.4% in Sarasota-Manatee last year with the median sale coming in at US$300,000.

Opportunities for Florida land in 2020

Demand for Florida real estate is expected to continue throughout 2020 with land offering one of the best investment opportunities. BRIC Group has a selection of prime coastal plots in one of the most sought-after locations in central Florida. Finished lot prices start at US$26,500 for plots ranging from between 7,560 sq ft to 17,400 sq ft. Single-family home build packages are also available to enhance investment potential and increase equity.

(Source: SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate, CoreLogic)

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