Florida, a state with over 20 million people, is a vibrant cultural hub with a booming job and real estate market. It has everything that a potential real estate investor or an average home buyer is looking for – a great climate, low taxes, and everything from affordable to high-end properties. So, you must be asking yourself – where would be the best place to buy a house in Florida?
The state is slowly becoming a paradise for nonresident investors, with 19% of the total residential sales volume done by foreign investors. It’s also a number one state in the US for retirees, with around 80,000 senior citizens moving there in 2021 alone. This is exactly why investing in Florida is one of the most popular destinations for both foreign and domestic real estate investors. Which brings us to the following question.
Why to Buy and Where Is The Best Place To Buy a House in Florida?
Real estate happens where people are, it’s as simple as that. Steady population growth is one of the key indicators of how a certain real estate market is going to behave and should be always taken into account when choosing the best place to buy rental property.
According to the US Census Bureau, Florida has been experiencing a steady population growth at a rate of around 1.8% for the last five years. And, just in the period between July 2021 and June 2022, the state has seen an influx of almost 2 million people. This has led to increased demand and more opportunities for investing in properties across the entire state of Florida. The growing real estate market in Florida has not only managed to attract investors from inside the state, but has also become an interesting proposition for both nonresident and out-of-state investors. That’s why it is essential to know what is the best place to buy a house in Florida.
Robust Real Estate Market
Florida has slowly become the 3rd most populated state in the US. This has initiated a boom in the state’s real estate market in the form of:
- Steady growth in the value of properties by 0.5% in the last year, and more than 100% in the past 10 years.
- The price for an average home went up from around $180,000 to almost $400,000, since 2016.
- Average rent – $1,890/month and average rent increase year-over-year – 14%;
Low Property Taxes
The average property tax in Florida is around 0.80%, which is far lower than the average for the whole country (0.99%). The owner of a median home will most likely pay around $2,200 per year in property taxes. This makes Florida one of the most landlord-friendly states in the US.
But, it’s important to mention that this is an average and that the actual amount you’ll have to pay each year can greatly vary, depending on the tax rate of each county. For example, in Alachua County, the annual property tax for a median-priced home is around $1,900. On the other hand, in Bradford, that sum is closer to $750 a year.
Healthy Job Market
According to the latest data, the unemployment rate in Florida is as low as 2.7%, which is more than a whole percent lower than the average unemployment rate in the entire US (3.8%).
Miami, Orlando, and other major cities offer ample opportunities for jobs and are considered centers for many different industries (e.g. finance, hospitality, software development, etc.). Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all have their headquarters in Florida.
Thanks to Florida’s great climate and many tourist destinations, the state welcomes more than 100 million visitors per year. This positively affects the real estate market, as it allows investors to have a two-pronged approach – they can choose to purchase short-term vacation rentals or long-term residential rentals. Both are almost equally viable in terms of ROI and offer a great investment opportunity for nonresident and out-of-state investors.
Hub for Foreign Investment
Florida is slowly becoming the main US hub for nonresident investors, especially for those coming from South America and Canada. Many Canadians are moving to Florida, and that has been a trend for a while. The state is visited by over 20 million nonresidents each year and is the most popular place in the US for foreigners to invest in real estate – with 22% of all foreign investments in the US going directly to Florida. The second place is held by California, with roughly 15%, and Texas is ranked third, with around 10% of all foreign investments going to it.
In 2022 alone, foreign investment in Florida’s real estate market surpassed 7 billion dollars (a 34% increase from 2021).The most popular city for investment was Miami, but both Orlando and Tampa, are not far behind.
Best Place to Buy a House in Florida: TOP 12
Great weather, coupled with a relatively low cost of living (compared to other states with similar market conditions) make Orlando the absolute best place to buy a house in Florida for investment. Orlando is the nation’s leader in emerging technologies, such as advanced manufacturing, biotech, aerospace, defense, simulation, etc.
Average home price – $372,206
Average rent – $1,900
Average daily Airbnb – $180
Only a 2-hour drive from Orlando city center and close to major nightlife destinations of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Tampa is the second best place to buy a house in Florida. In August this year, the city added around 45,000 new private sector jobs, further increasing Tampa’s viability and attractiveness to real estate investors, both nonresident and out-of-state.
Average home price – $393,061
Average rent – $1,920
Average daily Airbnb – $154
Although the real estate prices and cost of living are higher (around $ 4,000 for a family of four) when compared to other cities we’ve mentioned, Miami is still one of the most popular places in the entire state and the best place to buy a house in Florida. According to the data from Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Miami was visited by over 25 million people in 2022 alone. The Visitors Bureau also estimates that the tourists spent upwards of $20.8 billion last year, which is an increase of about 8% from 2021 levels.
Great climate, amazing beaches, nightlife, and a lot of tourists, along with a thriving job market (unemployment rate only 1.9%), all contribute to making Miami a hub for real estate investing in both residential and vacation rental properties. All of these things make Miami 3rd best place to buy a house in Florida.
Average home price – $561,053
Average rent – $2,438
Average daily Airbnb – $420
4. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg has many similarities with Tampa, in terms of quality of the housing market, climate, proximity to major job and tourist centers, and more. The city is one of the most popular places for retirees, with 21% of its population aged 65 and over. Also, St. Petersburg is a world record holder for most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days or more than two years of great weather!). This makes it a prime spot for residential and vacation rentals, and the 4th best place to buy a house in Florida.
Average home price – $374,789
Average rent – $2,000
Average daily Airbnb – $240
Jacksonville is the largest and most populous city in Florida, with more than 970,000 residents. The city is home to many Fortune 500 companies, it offers amazing beaches, museums, and other cultural attractions to over 20 million tourists each year. All these factors combined, make Jacksonville the fifth best place to buy a house in Florida (as a rental property or a family house).
Average home price – $295,910
Average rent – $1,537
Average daily Airbnb – $120
Gainesville has a population of around 150,000 and is the home of the University of Florida. The unemployment rate is lower than the national average and sits at around 2.4%. It has amazing schools, a great nightlife, and a family-centric vibe. But, the thing that makes Gainesville a great opportunity for real estate investors are its affordable prices and good rental yields, and the 6th best place to buy a house in Florida.
Average home price – $292,932
Average rent – $1,692
Average daily Airbnb – $170
7. Ft. Lauderdale
Ft. Lauderdale boasts a 24-mile-long shore and is centrally located between two big hot-spots, Palm Beach and Miami. The tropical climate ensures temperatures are steady, all year round. The city is also bustling with great nightclubs, tourists and cultural offerings, and plenty of great entertainment. All these facts make Ft. Lauderdale the seventh best place to buy a house in Florida.
Average home price – $530,557
Average rent – $2,718
Average daily Airbnb – $480
Melbourne, a city located on the world-famous Space Coast, has a warm climate, many tourist attractions, an average salary of close to $80,000, and a huge percentage of the real estate market dedicated to rentals. It is definitely the 8th best place to buy a house in Florida and a great city to invest in rental properties.
Average home price – $375,504
Average rent – $1,560
Average daily Airbnb – $191
Pensacola, a small city with over 50,000 residents, which managed to attract over 2 million visitors in 2019, thanks to its many cultural, entertainment, and tourist attractions. It’s affordable and the 9th best place to buy a house in Florida, but it is still able to produce a decent ROI for investors. This is in no small part due to its low unemployment rate of 2.7% (lower than the national average).
Average home price – $259,574
Average rent – $1,491
Average daily Airbnb – $150
Sarasota, famously named as the best place to retire in the US, is a home to many retirement communities. With more than 50% of Sarasota’s population being aged 52 or older, the city offers a great quality of life and a relaxing, coastal atmosphere. It’s also home to the famous New College of Florida, a prestigious liberal arts college.
And, in terms of the real estate market, Sarasota has everything from high-end beachfront condos to single-family homes in more affordable neighborhoods, making it a great place for a huge variety of investors. These all make Sarasota the 10th best place to buy a house in Florida.
Average home price – $462,158
Average rent – $2,147
Average daily Airbnb – $430
11. St. Augustine
A small city, with a population of around 15,000, St. Augustine is famous for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and rich history. Established in 1565, St. Augustine is not only the oldest city in the US but is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida, making it great for anyone looking to purchase short-term or vacation rental properties. This city is 11th best place to buy a house in Florida!
Average home price – $457,971
Average rent – $1,928
Average daily Airbnb – $120
12. Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County has around 1.5 million people living in it and is ranked third in terms of population, behind Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The county is visited by tourists throughout the entire year, making it the 12th best place to buy a house in Florida for short-term rentals (as the tourist season is not limited to a specific number of months). This is in no small part thanks to the great climate and weather Palm Beach County has, averaging around 230 sunny days each year.
Average home price – $470,623
Average rent – $2,262
Average daily Airbnb – $260
Find the Best Place To Buy a House in Florida With NRI
The real estate market in Florida is flourishing, and, according to many market specialists, it’s going to continue on that positive trajectory for years to come. The state offers great opportunities for purchasing both short and long-term properties, giving potential investors a lot of choices when it comes to where they want to put their money.
But, having plenty of options and lots of choices can sometimes have the opposite effect on people, leaving them overburdened. This is especially true for those who have limited to no knowledge about the real estate market in the US. That’s why it’s best to work with specialists, who know how to navigate the complicated world of US real estate and fully understand how to reach investment goals.
NRI is a certified mortgage broker in all 50 states and can help foreigners and US residents alike find the best deals to finance their real estate journey, even without a credit history in the US.
Book a free call and allow US to help YOU, find the best agents and mortgage lenders in Florida.
Florida is booming. Population is growing at a steady pace, the real estate market is expanding and offers a lot of opportunities for various types of investors. Plus, the never-ending tourist season (in some parts of Florida) allows investors to make money through short-term rentals. On the other hand, a good job market and relatively affordable housing give many investors an opportunity to purchase properties for long-term rentals. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain – buying a house in Florida can offer a great return on investment.
Subscribe to our newsletter