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Why the Florida property market expects an influx of buyers

Always popular with retirees and buyers of second homes, Florida property market has moved up a gear recently. According to an article published in Builder Online, “the Sunshine State’s housing market is hot”. It goes on to talk about the explosive growth and identifies key areas for relocation within Florida.

Hot for mortgages and relocation

The Builder Online article cites a recent survey carried out by the online mortgage portal, Lending Tree. The survey reveals that Florida ranks as the top place for Americans to move to. 9.1% of mortgage loan requests were for properties in Florida and relocation companies reported that 12.4% of out-of-state buyers were looking at moving to Florida.

Although badly hit by the economic crisis, the Florida property market has shown remarkable recovery and currently ranks among the fastest-growing in the country. In the Builder’s Local Leaders list, the Sunshine State has 8 of the top 50 housing markets in the US.

Varied Florida property market

The state combines two vital factors for property growth: population increases – Florida is the third most populated state in the country; and job creation – the state regularly outpaces the nation when it comes to new employment.

But although most Florida metro areas share increasing population and jobs, they’re all very different when it comes to property. Metrostudy divides the state into five separate housing markets, all with their own distinctive characteristics: Jacksonville, Central Florida, Tampa/Sarasota, Southwest Florida, and South Florida.

Jacksonville property market

This Florida metro area is the largest and most populated in the state and has regularly registered some of the highest figures for house price and rental rates increases. Builder Magazine points out that job creation in Jacksonville is slightly lower than the rest of Florida, but unemployment is low. Average wages rank among the highest in the state.

In terms of the Jacksonville property market, affordability remains an issue. Housing starts are increasing albeit slowly – 2018 saw just 2% growth, although units under construction rose by 17%. The latest figures issued by RentCafé point to a 6% increase in rental rates in Jacksonville in the year to February, almost double the 3.8% national average.

Orlando property market

Another unique sub-section of the Florida property market lies in the central part of the state and includes the biggest holiday destination, Orlando. The market here consists of many different buyer profiles, drawn to the area’s theme parks, booming job market and buy-to-let opportunities.

According to Builder Magazine, buyers of property in Orlando include investors of all nationalities, seasonal residents, particularly from Canada, and second-home buyers. Like Jacksonville, Orlando has seen burgeoning price rises and this combined with lack of inventory has presented challenges for buyers. Rental rates in Orlando rose by 4.8% in the year to February.

Tampa property market

Another hot spot on the Florida property market lies in the Tampa Bay area. “Tampa is booming,” says Builder Magazine, mostly on the back of the mixed-use development taking place in the Water Street District. The metro area has booming employment and adds around 30,000 jobs a year.

Analysts say that Tampa property prices sit at around 80% of their peak before the economic crisis and represent “a bargain” for buyers from New York or Chicago. 60% of new-home sales in the Tampa Bay area are to buyers over 55. Rental rates for Tampa properties went up by 4.8% in the 12 months to February.

(Sources: Builder Magazine, RentCafé)

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