The sunshine state is known for its hot weather, but the property market is sizzling and tipped for a strong post pandemic recovery.
Sun, sea, sand and Disney World. The Sunshine state is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. Small wonder then that it is a property hotpot with opportunities to be found at all ends of the market. Whatever you’re hoping to achieve, Florida is a state full of opportunity.
The $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest of any US state. If Florida were a country, it would be the 16th richest in the world. With a population of more than 22 million it is the third most populous US state. That population is set to continue to grow over the coming years as people flood into the state to live, retire, and work.
The outlook for the future is good. Although growth contracted by more than 2% during 2020 thanks to the pandemic, analysts expect it to bounce back strongly. In 2021 they predict a robust growth rate of 4.9%. Payroll jobs growth will continue to outstrip the national average. Between 2020 and 2023 they expect job growth to average 2.3% with finance, education and trade leading the way.
Florida’s appeal has always rested on tourism. Glorious weather and some of the best beaches in the world bring people in their millions. The Everglades represents one of America’s great wildernesses and offer a chance to get up close with all sorts of animal life.
Top of the bill, though, is Disney World. The Magic Kingdom in Orlando is the biggest theme park in the world and attracts millions every year. Visitors can also visit other popular sites such as Epcot, MGM Studios, the Kennedy Space Centre and a string of water parks.
And it’s not just about theme parks – Florida is home to a thriving retirement community of those who head to the state to enjoy the health benefitting weather, and a relaxed way of life.
Additionally, while Orlando and Miami may get the all the headlines, there are also thriving areas which offer a laid back, metropolitan vibe which attracts young professionals working in fields such as education, medical and travel – which has fuelled both job growth and rental demand across the state.
Florida is also attractive to many thanks to the relatively affordable cost of living. In fact, the state is more affordable both in terms of living costs and house prices when compared to the national average.
The industry was hit heavily by the pandemic but as vaccines take effect, they will bounce back bigger and stronger than ever. Analysts predict that, by 2022, visitor numbers could be back to normal.
Our experts say
“As an investment location, Florida probably offers one of the most diverse range of markets with the US. The huge number of tourists are the obvious draw, but there is so much more to the state than theme parks and vacation rentals. It’s a place that a hugely diverse population call home. From the students who flock to the state’s numerous university’s to the knowledge workers drawn in by the high lifestyle standards, it’s a great place for purchasing real estate which is likely to appealing to a number of tenants.
Florida has always been one of the USA’s most popular markets for investors, and as we have seen over the past twelve months, is likely to remain so”.
– Matthew Lavin, Director
How to get there
Florida is of course accessible from across the United States, so choosing how to travel is often more about choosing a scenic or direct route. Drive time from New York is generally around 20hrs.
Florida is easily accessible by train. Both the Silver Star and Silver Meteor lines make regularly scheduled journeys to Florida from New York with a travel distance of around 1,100 miles and a total trip length of around 28 to 32 hours.
Florida has 131 public airports plus seven large and medium hub airports. The busiest airports are Miami International, Orlando International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, and Tampa International.
A popular cruise destination Florida is often combined with travelling to areas such as the Caribbean, West Indies, or Mexico.
Known as the sunshine state, Florida enjoys a sub tropical climate with mild winters and hot sunny summers. While thunderstorms are the norm, they don’t tend to last long and leave behind comfortable temperatures.
Summers are long and tend to last from May to October. Over the summer months temperatures are uniform from north to south, especially in the daytime, when they range between 31 °C and 33 °C (88 °F and 91 °F). Thunderstorms are common and there are increased chances of tropical storms and hurricane particularly in August to October.
Really more of a “dry season” than a typical winter, you can still expect temperatures of around 15.5 °C (60 °F) even in January. Winter can be a great time in Florida as temperatures are comfortable warm, days still enjoy around 7hrs of sunshine, and it tends to be drier than over the summer months.
The state offers some of the biggest returns in the US. A thriving economy, perfect weather and a healthy tourism industry make a perfect mix for property investors.
The state’s property market offers average yields of around 7% and has proven to be resilient to economic crisis. Although the market contracted, thanks to the pandemic, the basic ingredients are in place for a strong bounce back.
After the 2008 crisis, Florida’s property markets were one of the success stories of the US economy. There is every sign that this is a great place to invest during an economic recovery. Demand is strong and the population continues to expand.
In many places demand is outstripping inventory, creating fertile ground for growth. For those able to take advantage of the price falls in 2020, the market is full of opportunity.
Top of the bill is Orlando with Tampa Bay and Orlando’s smaller neighbour Kissimmee following close behind
For any investor wishing to benefit from consistent rental income, it’s worth noting that around 65% of Orlando’s expanding population are renters – which is one of the reasons that the city often mentioned as one of the best rental markets in the United States.
And there’s plenty of choice available when it comes to choosing your ideal market. Retirement condos offer a great opportunity to take meet the rental demands of over 4.5million adults over 65 who live in the State (they make up 19% of the population – the highest in the US).
However, it’s not all about the senior population – the Space Coast has been increasingly expanding with more tech focused businesses laying down routes in Florida (far better weather than Seattle!), and more companies are starting to base HQ’s around the area.
The increasing population not only brings benefits relating to rental income, but also offers a fair amount of liquidity to the market.
And of course – one cannot overlook the huge demands for holiday rentals in the area. Orlando welcomed 131.4 million visitors in 2019, and while figures dipped to 86.7 million in 2020, thanks the Covid-19 pandemic, the area is still one of the “go to” holiday destinations for both overseas and domestic visitors alike.
And when it comes to long term growth, Florida is the one to watch. Many buyers gravitate to Orlando – where great offers can be found, but there is also opportunity to be discovered in areas in South Florida and also in the Gulf Coast.
And of course, for those with an eye to personal enjoyment of their investment, Florida makes for the perfect location for a holiday home, or as a future retirement property.