Florida’s upswing

FloridaFlorida offers a heady mix of Southern hospitality, relaxed beach culture, and vibrant Latin American inspired nightlife. It may be best known traditionally as a favourite destination for retired seniors and international holidaymakers, but Florida’s property market is currently enjoying an upswing that suggests that the Sunshine State has become equally popular with buyers of all ages.

Real estate agents throughout Florida have reported more sales (both closed and pending), higher average prices, and a consistent supply of quality properties coming to market when compared to the same quarter last year. Most notably, however, this boom isn’t restricted to one type of property: for example, the sale of single-family homes is up 17.3% on last year, while townhouse-style condominium sales are up by a similarly impressive 11.3%.

The economy in Florida, which relies heavily on tourism as well as on the housing market, remains slightly stronger than the US national average. Only 7% of people are currently unemployed (compared to the national average of 7.2%) and the healthy and reliable state economy makes it particularly attractive to international property investors – although of course, the appeal of Disney World cannot be entirely discounted as a factor.

Property prices in Florida are on the increase for a reason: homes in Florida make excellent additions to any investor’s portfolio. There’s always the potential to rent homes out to holiday makers, with Florida’s tourism levels soaring just as high as the property market. In 2012, tourism numbers set a state record for the second consecutive year, and reports suggest that 2013 figures are set to smash that record for the third year running. All those people need somewhere to stay, and homeowners who invest in conveniently placed, beautifully presented properties are most likely to benefit.

When you’re not renting out your property to tourists, Florida has plenty of charms to offer during the off-season. In the winter, Florida truly earns its nickname with seven hours of sunshine a day and an average temperature of 21°C. The state’s golf courses are almost as famous as its theme parks, and the beaches of the Gulf Coast provide a relaxing escape at any time of year.

There are no restrictions on foreign home ownership in the United States, making it an even more attractive prospect for overseas property investors. The American property market is also simple, well regulated, and technologically advanced: their databases make it easy to find out all the information you require about an area before purchasing a property there. Although it can be difficult for foreigners to get an American mortgage, cash buyers are looked upon very favourably.

Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a property in Florida, Engel & Völkers have the experience and knowledge to help you make the best investment. With agents based throughout Florida and a retail space dedicated solely to the beautiful Florida Keys area, Engel & Völkers are perfectly placed to help you in the search for your next property.