With the recession – and previous overbuilding – now digested, Florida is again a real estate growth area. Unlike South Florida, where home prices have mostly rebounded, homes are still under-priced in the North, especially in Gainesville, Ocala, and Deltona-Daytona Beach. Demand for construction loans and mortgages will be especially strong in Osceola, St. Johns, and Seminole Counties. Single-family homes converted to rentals can be successful investments throughout the area, but especially in Osceola and Flagler Counties.
Northern Florida was first developed as an agricultural area, much like the Central Valley in California, and is today a major source of fruit and potted plants. The mild climate encouraged population inflow, first along the coast but eventually inland where land was cheaper. Better transportation also encouraged an inflow of retirees, largely from the Midwest. The development by Disney of a destination near Orlando jump-started what is now a large tourism industry.
Real estate development in North Florida is quite different from that in South Florida, which is limited to the coasts by lack of land. As the northern urban centers grow, the best opportunities for investment are in the semi-rural surrounding country where agricultural land is available for development. The types of jobs being created in the region are mainly in services, healthcare and retail stores to support the expanding population, generally jobs with modest pay. Subprime loans – and the foreclosures that followed – affected all markets in Florida, but less so in the North.
For more information about the bustling investment real estate market in North Florida, contact a member of the 9 Core Realty team.