8 Hottest Markets in Florida for Real Estate Investors
Florida Real Estate Market: A Thriving Market for Investors
Florida is no longer just the place for snowbirds to flock to during the winter months. Florida’s real estate market has grown immensely since the Great Recession of 2008. Despite recurring economic uncertainty, Florida has a robust and thriving real estate market.
Florida has experienced a boost in property values due to increasing demands, with a median home value coming in at $378,104. The “Sunshine State’s” rental market is also attractive and presents the possibility of lucrative short-term rental capabilities and opens the door for many real estate investors.
Florida also has regulations that make it an attractive place for investing in real estate. The Florida Residential Landlord-Tenant Act and the Florida Homestead Laws are regulations unique to Florida that investors must know and can take advantage of when investing in properties in Florida.
What Are the Fastest Growing Real Estate Markets in Florida?
Some Florida markets tend to appreciate faster than others, but the market continues to present opportunities for investing in real estate. Below are eight of the hottest markets for Florida investors.
1. Cape Coral, Florida: Florida’s Fastest Growing Real Estate Market
Known as the “Venice of America,” Cape Coral tops our list as Florida’s fastest-growing real estate market. Forbes listed this planned community as the hottest housing market in Florida since its real estate market has recently caught fire. Cape Coral investors will find the area attractive to families due to its excellent public schools and plethora of outdoor activities.
- Median sale price of $434,000
- Pending sales rose by 47.5% since May 2020
- Exceptional appreciation makes this a strong market for short and long-term investors
2. Jacksonville, Florida: A Safe Bet for Real Estate Investors
Jacksonville’s population growth continues to outpace many other Florida cities because of its position as the home to four Fortune 500 companies. The most populous city in Florida also has a higher than average appreciation and is much more affordable than other markets on this list, making Jacksonville a safe bet for real estate investors looking to purchase condos, townhomes, apartments, or multi-family housing.
- Median sale price of $317,500
- Currently 5,718 homes for sale
- Top in-migration markets for buyers seeking an affordable, suburban lifestyle
3. Orlando, Florida: A Competitive Real Estate Market
Orlando draws in crowds worldwide due to its renowned theme parks like Universal Studios and vacation rentals. Orlando received a Redfin Compete Score of 81, making it a competitive market for potential homeowners and real estate investors.
- Median sale price of $360,000
- Homes are pending within 7 days
- Median listing price is up 24.6% year-over-year
- Potential for short-term rentals with Disney and Universal Studios in the area
4. Pensacola, Florida: Affordability and Growth Make It a Top Market for Real Estate
Pensacola comes in at number four on our list of the hottest real estate markets due to its affordability and lower-than-average unemployment rates. Excellent public schools and cultural diversity make Pensacola an ideal place to buy for families and young professionals. Investors will find that Pensacola is also one of the more affordable markets for buyers as well.
- Median sale price of $292,000
- Year-over-year appreciation is up 14.8%
- Most affordable place to live out of 14 major metro areas in Florida
5. Port Charlotte, Florida: A Small-Town Charmer with Big Investment Potential
Savvy investors will find Port Charlotte ideal due to its low crime rate and highly ranked public schools. Port Charlotte gives off a small-town vibe without the distraction of a large number of tourists. The town is a great option for vacation rentals or Airbnbs during the Spring Training part of the MLB season when baseball season starts each year.
- Median sale price of $327,500
- Currently 4,995 homes for sale
- Listing price is up 42.8% year-over-year
- Ranked in the top 10% nationally for real estate appreciation
6. St. Petersburg, Florida: A Seller’s Market with Plenty of Opportunity for Flipping Houses
While not as affordable as other areas on the list, St. Petersburg’s real estate market is heating up and there is plenty of opportunity in single-family housing and vacation rentals. Of the 85 neighborhoods in St. Petersburg, you’ll find that homes receive over 6 offers on average and sell in about 7 days.
- Median sale price of $410,000
- Currently 1,829 homes for sale
- Tight inventory makes St. Petersburg a seller’s market which is great for flippers
7. Tallahassee, Florida: Affordability and Education Make It a Top Market for Real Estate
Florida’s capital city is known for its recreational activities and college-town atmosphere, being home to Florida State and Florida A&M University. The city ranks well in affordability and received high marks for its education system, making it an excellent place for young families, college students, and real estate investors.
Tallahassee is also somewhat recession-proof since the city will always attract a large pool of renters each school year. In addition, its affordability caters to flippers who want to turn a short-term profit or investors looking for long-term rentals.
- Median sale price of $208,500 is currently the most affordable market on this list
- Ranked 8th out of 150 metro areas for college readiness among students
8. Tampa, Florida: A Lucrative Opportunity for Real Estate Investors
Tampa’s real estate market has exploded due to its flourishing job market and the influx of potential buyers. Home prices are increasing with low inventory and are rising at the fastest rate in the United States. Family-friendly activities make Tampa a year-round destination that’s ideal for investors looking for lucrative short-term rental properties.
- Median sale price of $405,000
- Currently 3,459 homes for sale
- Ideal for affordable duplexes and triplexes
Florida Real Estate Title and Closing Regulations: What Investors Need to Know
Florida has regulations regarding the title and closing process that potential investors should be aware of. In addition to a title search, Florida requires a Municipal Lien Search which costs about $100 and may uncover common issues like open permits and fines for general maintenance items.
Investors should also know that property taxes are paid in arrears and are due in April, and you may occasionally find that there are special assessments on property taxes. The owner’s title insurance and transfer taxes are always paid by the seller, and the lender’s policy, mortgage taxes, and surveys are paid by the buyer.
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