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07 Oct 2012

Top 11 Florida property hotspots



After this week's guide to buying property in Florida, Move Worldwide got a taste for the Sunshine State and decided to take a bigger bite of the market. So we went out and spoke to some of Florida's leading agents to give us the lowdown on the most popular places on the overseas property portal.

Here is what they had to say about the top 11 Florida property hotspots:

Kissimmee

"Kissimmee in south Orlando is ideal for those looking for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of Disney World, yet who wish to profit from the Disneyland factor. Tourism accounts for about 40 per cent of the jobs in the city and its closeness to the theme parks results in year-round rental demand. In common with other Florida hotspots, Kissimmee has seen rapid growth in prices from 2011 and 2010, with average sale prices in May 2012 rising by up to 11.8%."

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Orlando

"When international investors think of property in Florida, they usually think of Orlando which has over many years developed into a tourist hotspot attracting millions of visitors each year. Orlando has always been a good investment, offering home owners the best returns in Florida due to the strong demand for property close to the attractions. This makes it a magnet for both second home purchasers and buy-to-let investors. We expect demand and prices for rental property will remain strong over the next few years."

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Clermont

"Some of our most popular properties this year have been in Clermont. Some fantastic three-bedroom townhouses located on a tropical conservation development generated a lot interest. Less than five years old, these were previously marketed at up to $345,000 and have an insurance value today of $179,000."

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Davenport

"For those investors seeking a holiday home, Davenport offers one of the more attractive propositions. The expansion of Disney World has led to Davenport becoming a popular target area for those looking for a holiday home or investment buyers.

"Davenport has a number of quality leisure facilities, which are all being improved as the area attracts more tourists. Resort communities are popular as are the quality golf courses close by."

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Haines City

"This is where all the British and European investors come to buy. You can get to Disney in 15 minutes on a good day from Haines City, which is one the "four corners" in the tourist corridor. In the short-term zoning areas, you can book a house for one night if you want to, so the market is extremely buouyant. Homes are going up for sale and being snapped up in a day - the demand from foreign buyers is massive."

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Miami

"Miami is a solid investment for a property investor looking for good long term growth prospects and also for cash flow positive exposure to the US residential lettings market, as long-term lets are more common within the city of Miami.

"As you can imagine, property in sought-after areas of larger cities like Miami does not come cheap. But not everywhere on the Atlantic Coast is pricey, if you choose your location carefully. Three-bedroom luxury town houses are available for less than you would pay for an apartment development on the Spanish Costas."

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Fort Lauderdale

"Even though it has wide appeal as a holiday destination, the main focus for an investor in Fort Lauderdale should be larger family homes of three bedrooms plus.

"Expect prices to be slightly higher than in Miami at approximately $250,000 for a luxury three-bedroom apartment. Higher prices mean yields will be lower; however net yields of up to 8% are still achievable in the right locations.

"The most popular areas in Fort Lauderdale according to local agents are Victoria Park, Galt Mile, Coral Ridge, Imperial Point and Central Beach."

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Windermere

"Windermere is the most up-market part of Central Florida. A lot of the basketball players and golfers live here - it's very high-end. You can see the $2m-$15m homes around here, so while there has been recovery from the financial crisis, the more expensive homes are seeing it at a slightly slower rate. Still, the inventory levels of property have reduced hugely in the last year."

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Tampa

"For those investors looking for a cheaper entry point than Miami or Fort Lauderdale then Tampa Bay on Florida's south coast is worth considering. Two bedroom properties are currently available for less than $80,000 with net yields approaching 7% in well-chosen locations.

"Prices are low due to this part of Florida being hit harder than most with average sale prices falling by more than half the levels seen five years ago. However prices are unlikely to stay low in this trendy developing corner of Florida and sale prices have already seen dramatic increases on a year earlier."

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Winter Garden / Gotha

"Winter Garden is very similar to Windermere, with demand mostly coming from local buyers. Located just next to Gotha, the area is again focussed around wealthy investors and high-end property, with the town welcoming lots of new, affluent residents, but compared to Windermere, the price points are a little lower."

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Saint Petersburg

"One of our best-selling developments is in the desirable and accessible Gateway area of St. Petersburg. Rental yields make it an attractive spot for investors, which benefits from being in the heart of Florida's popular Gulf Coast and its world-class beaches. Honeymoon State Park, for example, has been ranked number 1 in the USA and so has Fort De Soto - both stunning beach areas."

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Category: USA

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