Price-conscious Florida home buyers of all ages have recently created mini-booms in the most affordable suburbs and rural areas.
Affordability in the suburbs
Sales have increased recently in communities within a 45 minute to 1 hour commute to major employment centers. Watch for growth in:
- Lake County (Orlando MSA). In the city of Leesburg, a buyer can purchase a new 3,186-square-foot home for $206,000.
- Osceola County (Orlando MSA). The first-time home buyer market is booming, with numerous additions to supply.
- Pasco County (Tampa MSA). Many of the master-planned communities started in 2006–2008 have been reborn, with an influx of new builders offering affordable homes for the primary buyer.
- Fort Myers (Fort Myers MSA). D.R. Horton is selling over 10 homes per month at Lindsford, located in Fort Myers. Buyers are attracted to the community’s affordability and maintenance-free lifestyle.
Creating a Place in Rural Areas
Targeting the retiree buyer, builders and developers are planning and creating affordable retirement destinations across the state. These communities may be far from urban centers, but retirees are willing to trade location for affordability. Watch for growth in:
- Marion County (Ocala MSA). 3 large-scale, fully amenitized active adult communities are open for sale, and more are in the pipeline.
- Charlotte County (Punta Gorda MSA). Air traffic at Charlotte Airport increased 88% in 2014.
- Manatee County (Sarasota/Tampa MSA). Manatee County is bursting with new developments, particularly in Lakewood Ranch, where Del Webb is opening a 1,300-unit age-restricted community, and Lennar is eyeing a large parcel for a 2,000-unit bundled golf community.
- Indian River County (Vero Beach MSA). A 400-unit active adult community recently opened for sale in this MSA, which only had 676 permits over the last 12 months.
- St. Lucie County (Port St. Lucie MSA). An active adult builder has consistently sold 10+ homes per month in one community.
These markets may not be the most well known, but we are seeing examples of success in each of these markets across the state.