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Sunny Outlook for Florida

Not only has Florida left the recession well behind, the Sunshine State can look forward to strong economic growth and job creation at least until 2017. These excellent forecasts are also good news for the Florida property market, predicted to keep pace with the growing economy.


The Florida and Metro Forecast 2014-2017 published by the University of Central Florida in December paints a very positive picture for Florida. The report finds GDP growth will average 2.8 per cent annually and the job creation rate will increase by 2.2 per cent a year. Both these figures are higher than the predicted national average.


In particular, the report highlights the 2.6 per cent GDP growth in Florida during 2014 and the 2.7 per cent forecast for this year. This boost in economic growth has led to a faster pace of job creation, which “has breathed new life into Florida’s labour market”, the report says. Based on this, the analysis expects unemployment to continue at a low 5.8 per cent.


The Forecast finds that the booming economy and subsequent population growth are driving the Florida property market, which will “continue to strengthen”. It expects the upward trend in sales to continue “as fundamentals for a healthy housing market improve”. The report specifically highlights the increase in the 4.6 per cent year-on-year price rise for single family homes in Florida seen in October and the rise in housing starts. Some 83,400 new homes were started in 2014 with 111,500 more set to be built in 2015. However, the report cautions that the rate will slacken as US interest rates rise.


The Florida and Metro Forecast 2014-2017 also takes a close look at 12 metropolitan areas within Florida and highlights the main economic figures and drivers for the next three years. Jacksonville features as one of the areas with the strongest growth rates across the board. Personal income is expected to rise by 5.3 per cent annually (the third highest in Florida) and unemployment in Jacksonville will average around 5.6 per cent.


Orlando is another star performer in Florida. Personal income will rise by 5.8 per cent a year and job creation by 3 per cent. In both these figures Orlando ranks in second place in the state. Unemployment will remain low at 5.4 per cent, one of the lowest levels in the state. The report highlights the Orlando property market where single family home sales rose by a massive 22.9 per cent in the year to October 2014 and the record number of visitors to Disney World, one of Orlando’s top holiday attractions.


Source: Institute for Economic Competitiveness

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