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The best time to invest in a Florida holiday home ever

June 15, 2011Article by Ray Withers

Florida remains one of the most established second home markets in the world primarily driven by a robust leisure and tourism industry. The Sunshine State attracted 82.6 million visitors in 2010, a 2.1% increase on 2009, (Visit Florida 2011) with a record breaking 51 million visiting the Orlando area in central Florida alone spending some $30 million each year.

Guaranteed sunshine, ease of access, a developed transportation infrastructure and wide range of entertainment theme park facilities including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and the popular new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, make Florida one of the most desirable vacation destinations for not only Americans but global travellers alike.

2011 – The Road to Recovery

Florida’s property market has undeniably been affected by the economic crisis with considerable price declines witnessed over the last 24 months however in line with global economic recovery experts such as Property Frontiers believe that Florida has now reached the bottom of the real estate cycle and can now only move upwards. According to the Florida Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes and condominiums in Florida rose by 4% in December 2010 compared to December 2009.

Here we look at three key areas popular with overseas investors:

Miami

The southernmost city of Florida State, Miami is known as a global tourist destination and highly desirable property market. Bucking declines witnessed throughout the rest of Florida, Miami has been put in the US driving seat for property performance with condo sales up 134% in January 2011 year-over-year. This turnaround has been mainly due to the weaker dollar, the surge in foreign buyers and the incredibly low prices in an area that is believed to be for the richer few.

According to Trulia.com, the latest average price per sq.ft in Miami was $153 an increase of 30.8% compared to the same time last year. The median sales price for homes in Miami FL for Feb 11 to Apr 11 was $135,000 based on 5,199 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price increased 0%, or $0, and the number of home sales increased 20.3%; this is typical of a growing market.

Naples

Data coming from Naples Area Board of Realtors shows that traditional sales continue to lead the way in the market, making up 71% of all sales, the largest climb seen since 2009. Parallel to a report produced by the US News and World Report Magazine that recognized Naples Beach, located on Florida’s southwest Gulf coast, as one of the top 5 most relaxing beaches in the world, the number of condo pending sales has increased 6% y-o-y in April whilst beachfront condo pending sales were also 43% up.

Experts believe that one main reason for rising prices in the Naples area can be traced to the continuing fall in the number of homes and condos available for sale. The available inventory decreased 11% since one year ago, leaving just under a year’s supply in the marketplace.

The median sales price for homes in Naples for Feb 11 to Apr 11 was $176,150. This represents an increase of 0.7%, or $1,150, compared to the prior quarter and a decrease of 2.7% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have depreciated 52.4% over the last 5 years in Naples. This has been one driving factor that has allowed new home owners the affordability of purchase.

Davenport

Central Florida presents one of the most lucrative places to own a home suitable for personal usage as well as for letting to tourists due to the year round rental demand which in turn creates a potentially attractive yield.

Certain areas within the state such as Davenport, just outside Orlando in central Florida have seen median prices steadily climb to $112,900 (Zillow.com Mar 2010), up 42.9% year-on-year whilst others have seen rapid declines. Tourism is one of the key drivers of the Orlando buy-to-let property market with the record breaking 51 million visitors seen in 2010,  up 10.5% from 2009, presenting ahighly lucrative opportunity for investors.

On the Market:

Highgate Residences, Regal Palms, Florida

The fully furnished townhouses are available immediately as 3 and 4 luxury townhouses are located on one of the most established private gated resorts in Florida.

The properties are set around superior on-site facilities including a two acre swimming pool complex, lazy river, health and fitness centre, sundecks and Club House. The prestigious Highlands Reserve Golf Course is also adjacent.

Prices for a 3 bed 3 bath luxury townhouse costs $99,000. 

For more information contact Property Frontiers on +44 (0) 1865 202700.

Author

Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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