Florida is the third fastest growing state, having just outpaced New York. Florida is one of the most desirable places to live, attracting people to its warm weather, beaches, recreational activities, and vibrant cities. Although it has been popular for nearly a century, recent growth in real estate sales have accelerated the construction boom in South Florida.
Although many people have decided to relocate to the sunshine state full-time, others have decided to buy second homes or even investment properties. The most popular regions of the state are South Florida, between Miami and Palm Beach, and the Tampa-West Florida area.
According to an “econocast” from the Orlando-based consulting firm Fiskind & Co., the state’s recent indicators are mainly positive. The unemployment rate for 2014 was 5.7 (down from 11.3 in 2010) and is expected to go down even further in 2015. There were 28,713 multifamily housing starts in 2014, up from 5,875 in 2010, and that number is projected to increase again in 2015. Closings on existing condominiums have increased from 92,912 in 2010 to 130,713 in 2014, with a slightly lower 117,049 forecast for 2015.
Focusing on South Florida, Jay Philip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida brokerage, says, “There is no doubt in my mind that we have passed the period of recession and are experiencing a robust real estate market that seems to be focused on catering to the luxury buyer’s demands in a way that South Florida has not seen in years.”
What is hot among homebuyers?
Parker explains that amenities are very important. “Buyers are seeking more space, higher-end, curated amenities, larger outdoor living spaces, turn-key operations and lifestyle.” He adds that brokers and developers are “sharpening their pencils” to attract high-level amenities, restaurants and finishes to meet demand.
Another increasing trend is “walkability,” or the availability of amenities within walking distance. This trend has been noted throughout the country, and is especially prevalent in younger buyers seeking to relocate to urban areas.
As the old saying goes, size matters. More affluent buyers are looking for larger units. Hopefully where all family members can have their own rooms when they need some space.
According to broker Jacky Teplitzky, “… if they’re buying a resale, it’s a turn-key residence that has been completely furnished and decorated with linens and all the kitchen necessities. All the buyer needs is to bring his or her own toothbrush.”
Miami on the Up and Up
Accoriding to the South Florida Coopter:
“Fort Lauderdale is experiencing a renaissance. However, the Miami market is lagging behaind and still suffers from blighted neighborhoods and less international allure, while Palm Beach, Boca Raton and the surrounding regions present a more pristine lifestyle.”
The last-mentioned areas, Parker says, will continue to attract both international buyers and domestic transplants.
Parker, however, remains optimistic regarding market trends in Miami, “I believe Miami and Miami Beach have evolved such that the boom-bust scenarios they have historically seen will be tempered by a more reasonable cyclical curve – but I remain bullish on the market and expect the Miami and Miami Beach markets to see straight for some time.”
Teplitzky also remains confident that Miami will continue to serve as an offshore real estate haven for wealthy investors from South America, “The demand is going to continue to increase as Miami continues to be a safe haven for foreign buyers to park their money. Miami is by popular consensus, a “Latin American capital”, and with three countries—Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela—undergoing major political changes, we’re seeing those areas driving financial capital into Miami’s real estate market.”
Experts agree that Florida will continue to grow as residents enjoy warm weather, proximity to water, good roads and public infrastructure. With forecasts predicting mild hurricane seasons for a few more years, Florida will remain one of the most attractive areas to move to.