Several cities in Florida - including Spring Hill near Tampa, Lehigh Acres near Fort Myers, and Palm Bay in Brevard County - are listed as some of the best cities to invest in real estate in 2022, according to Policygenius. The website analyzed key real estate investment data points including home value index, home price growth, rent index, and gross rent multiplier.
The market was exceptionally good for investors in 2021, but is the Florida housing market still a smart investment for 2022?
Based on the most recent reports from Florida Realtors, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” with tight inventory keeping housing prices high in the state high.
It’s true that Florida has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, and for good reason. The state is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, Alabama, and Georgia.
Florida is an international tourist destination with year-round sunshine (earning the state its nickname “The Sunshine State”) with world-class theme parks. The economy is dynamic and diverse, with dozens of global business headquarters and a government that is both pro-business and pro-development.
Read on to learn why the demand for buying and renting real estate in Florida could keep growing in 2022 and beyond.
Florida has gained more than 2.7 million new residents since 2010, making the state the 3rd most populous after California and Texas. Home to over 21.5 million people, Florida’s population grew by 14.6% compared to one decade earlier. Over the next few years, Florida is projected to gain 845 new residents per day.
Key Population Stats:
- In 2020 Florida had a state population of 21,538,187 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Since 2010 the population of Florida has grown by 14.6% and is currently the third-largest state by population in the U.S.
- The top 10 fastest-growing places in the U.S. in 2021-2022 are all in Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report.
- The State of Florida expects 845 new residents per day through April 2025, representing an annual compound growth rate of 1.39%.
- The four largest metro areas in Florida are Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach with 6.2 million residents, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater with 3.1 million, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford with 2.5 million, and Jacksonville with just over 1.5 million residents.
- Florida counties expected to have more than 1.6 million residents in the next ten years are Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Orange, and Palm Beach.
One of the many reasons that Florida is expected to keep growing so fast is from marketing the state as the ideal business location. The proactive, business-friendly government in Florida is an expert at attracting new high-wage jobs for workers who can compete on a global scale.
Key Employment Stats:
- GDP of Florida is more than $1.1 trillion and has grown by more than 48% over the past ten years.
- Job growth in Florida increased 5.4% between January and September 2021, compared to just 0.8% nationally.
- Jacksonville and Tampa are ranked by MoneyGeek as 2 of the best 6 cities for job seekers.
- Unemployment rate in Florida is just 4.6%, with the leisure and hospitality, information, and professional and business services sectors showing the fastest signs of growth.
- Florida gained 84,500 total jobs in September 2021 alone, and remains on a long winning streak of job creation, as WTXL in Tallahassee reports.
- Job growth is spread evenly throughout the state with all major metro areas adding new jobs in nearly all of the major employment sectors.
- Job sectors growing the most include healthcare, software, and information and business services, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
- Florida TaxWatch (FTW) expects the labor force in Florida to increase by 2.9% in 2022.
- Major industries in Florida are aviation and aerospace, life sciences, manufacturing, defense and homeland security, information technology, financial and professional services, logistics and distribution, and cleantech.
- Fortune 500 companies located in Florida include Tech Data, Publix Super Markets, AutoNation, Lennar, CSX, Office Depot, NextEra Energy, Darden Restaurants, and Fidelity National Finance.
- Florida has received numerous top rankings for its business-friendly climate: #2 best state for business, #3 corporate tax environment, #4 lowest private sector unionization rate, and is among the top five states with the best business tax climate.
- Florida has a civilian labor force of nearly 10.6 million workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more people than the entire population of Sweden.
- The workforce in Florida receives top rankings for #1 in innovation, #3 in size, and #4 in workforce training and high-tech employment in the U.S.
- There are almost 160 colleges and universities in Florida including University of Central Florida, Florida International University, University of Florida, University of Miami, and Florida State University.
- Nearly 31% of the residents of Florida are college educated, according to Census Reporter.
- Florida’s modern infrastructure is ranked #2 in the U.S. with 15 deepwater seaports, two spaceports, more than 12,000 miles of highways and nearly 3,000 miles of freight rail track routes.
- Orlando International (MCO), Miami International (MIA), Fort Lauderdale International (FLL) and Tampa International (TPA) are the four busiest airports in Florida, handling around 68 million passengers annually.
Real estate market
Home sales and prices are rising, inventory is going down, and the number of buyers paying in cash for single-family homes has increased by almost half, according to this November 2021 report from WFLA. In fact, every metropolitan area in the state has seen home prices increased by double-digits as of Q3 2021.
Key Market Stats:
- Median home value in Florida is $328,576 according to Zillow (as of Oct. 2021).
- Florida median home values have grown by 23.9% over the past year.
- Over the past five years home values in Florida have increased by nearly 69%.
- Single-family home prices in Florida are up 17.7% as of October 2021 compared to the previous year, based on the most recent report from Florida Realtors.
- Median time to contract for single-family homes in Florida is just 12 days, which is the time it takes to receive a sales contract after being listed.
- At the end of October 2021, active listings for single-family homes were down nearly 30% compared to 1 year ago, with inventory at a low 1.3 month’s supply.
- Key real estate market stats for Florida can vary by area, so be sure to research markets by city in Florida, including Miami, Naples, Tampa, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville.
Strong renters’ market
Some areas are seeing rents jump 24% in a few weeks and newcomers lead to record rents. As The Real Deal reports, the onslaught of in-migration is allowing landlords to raise rents to lavish levels as people are lured from the Northeast and West Coast by Florida’s thriving job market, lack of state income tax, and sunshine.
Key Market Stats:
- Median rent for a 3-bedroom home in metro Miami is $3,800 per month, while Tampa and Orlando have median monthly rents of $2,250 and $2,150 respectively, according to Zumper (as of December 2021).
- Rents in these 3 largest metropolitan areas in Florida have increased between 25% and 31% year-over-year.
- 34% of the housing units in Florida are occupied by renters, an indication that there may be plenty of room left for growth in the rental market.
- Single-family homes make up 60% of the housing units in Florida.
- Median household income in Florida is $59,227 and per capita income is $32,887.
- Most expensive places to live in Florida include Surfside, Key West, West Miami, and Miami Beach, according to research conducted by HomeSnacks.
Historic price changes & affordability
Every month, Freddie Mac publishes its House Price Index report that measures house price appreciation and the percent change in house prices in Florida.
The most recent Index shows that home prices in Florida have increased by more than 156% since October of 2000. Over the last 5 years, the price of a home in Florida has grown by nearly 66%, while over the last month prices have increased by 1.8% (October 2021).
U.S. News & World Report recently released its rankings of the best and worst states for housing affordability and overall cost of living. When compiling housing affordability data for Florida, researchers compare median housing prices to median family incomes and mortgage interest rates in the state.
Florida is ranked #31 in affordability, meaning that Florida has one of the least affordable housing markets among all 50 states. By comparison, high-cost states such as Massachusetts, California, and Hawaii were ranked 48th, 49th, and 50th.
Quality of life
There are countless reasons why people choose to live and work in Florida. The state offers an almost ideal work-life balance with great job opportunities and near-perfect weather, culture, and recreation.
Key Quality of Life Stats:
- Florida is one of just 8 states without personal state-level income tax, according to SmartAsset.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Florida as the 10th-best state in the country, including top ten ratings for education, economy, and fiscal stability.
- Climate in the Sunshine State has annual summer highs of 81 degrees and winter lows of around 60 degrees.
- Florida is committed to education, with all Florida residents living within 50 miles of a community or state college or university.
- Cost of living in Florida is about 2% below the national average.
- Florida has more than 1,300 golf courses, hundreds of miles of white sand beaches, countless outdoor recreation activities, world-class theme parks, international shopping venues, and plenty of sporting events.
- Florida has three NFL teams: Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; two MLB teams: Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays; two NBA teams: Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, and two NHL teams: Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lighting, and is a major destination for baseball spring training.
- NASCAR is headquartered in Daytona Beach, PGA of America is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, and the ATP World Tour Masters and WTA Premier tennis events are held each year in Miami.
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