Florida’s property market in autumn 2019 is ‘very hot’, according to leading US homes website Zillow. More importantly, it’s a buyer’s market. See what you’ll pay for a Florida home.
2019 has been a fantastic year for Florida’s property market. Indeed, not just Florida; prices across the country have risen for 32 months consecutively. In the most recent report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, “the top five areas in annual appreciation were Idaho (11.4%), Utah (7.7%), Tennessee (7.2%) and Georgia and Arizona (both 6.9%). Lagging behind were Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Iowa and New Jersey.
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And what of Florida? The Sunshine State was up a perfectly respectable 5.8% on the year. Fuelled by a strong and growing economy, a burgeoning jobs market and rising population, prices are rising. Drilling down to the metro area figures, particular stars were Jacksonville, rising by 8%, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (7.4%), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (6.8%).
On the other hand, Cape Coral-Fort Myers only rose by 1.6% and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton by 1.4%.
The FHFA isn’t the only authority on pricing. According to Zillow, prices have risen 4.4% in Florida over the course of 2019. They predict a further 3.2% increase for 2020.
That leaves us with the average cost of property across the state at $237,900 (£183,500), which works out at just $166 (£128) per square foot. Month-on-month there has been consistent growth in sales, prices and the number of transactions.
The Sunshine State was up a perfectly respectable 5.8% on the year, averaging $237,900
Additionally, mortgage rates dropped in 2019, hitting a low of 3.82% fuelling sales across the board. This low mortgage rate is expected to stick around in 2020. When you take all these positive elements into account, and team them with the fact that there is no income tax in Florida – The Sunshine State presents an excellent opportunity for those looking to make a little money from their Florida property, even if investment isn’t their main priority.
Florida’s most popular areas
South Florida’s property market in autumn 2019, in particular, is booming. This year, the population of this corner of the state – that includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port St Lucie and West Palm Beach – hit a record high of six million. For buy-to-let property owners, that’s a whole lot of people moving in, looking for their dream rental property. Also, the median monthly rent in the state is $1,800 (£1,400).
Popular areas to consider in the south of Florida include Sweetwater $276,500 (£213,500) and Palm Springs $163,700 (£126,000).
There are still serious bargains to be found in several of Florida’s most popular locations
If you’re looking to buy Florida property as a holiday home to enjoy with your loved ones, the good news is that there are still serious bargains to be found in several of Florida’s most popular locations. For example, in Orlando, the median cost of property is $167,100 (£129,000). Groveland, a suburb 45-minutes from Downtown Orlando, is on the rise, with a median home value of $228,100 (£176,000).
On the west coast of Florida, Tampa’s average is $184,200 (£142,000) and Saint Petersburg’s is $181,100 (£140,000). So they remain affordable, and with plenty of housing stock available. Naples, is slightly more expensive at $329,100 (£254,000).
How are things expected to move in 2020?
When things are going well, it’s important to question whether that will continue or whether the wave has crested. A serious concern regarding the Florida property market is that there may not be sufficient homes to meet the demand, especially with so many people moving to the state every day. This influx of buyers is expected to continue in 2020. More competition for fewer houses should result in rising prices – especially when buyers are after the same thing. At present, properties listed for under $200,000 (£154,295) sell on average 30-days quicker than those listed above that price.
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Having said that, there are still plenty of properties to be found for now. If you’ve been biding your time, waiting for the market to be right – early 2020 could well be the right time to take that leap.