Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and for a good reason. With warm weather the majority of the year and very mild winters, it is a favorite with both snowbirds and families alike.
Extremely popular with retirees and the top location in the U.S. for international buyers to invest in the real estate market, there has been extensive population growth over the last 30 years. Since the market crash of 2008, home prices have been steadily rising again, and Florida is once more a popular investment location.
It's important to understand that housing markets fluctuate on a state, regional, and local level — and there can even be great variance between neighborhoods in the same city. It is up to Florida buyers and sellers to do their due diligence and ensure that they're up to speed on the latest market statistics so that they can make an informed decision in order to ensure the optimal outcome of their sale or purchase.
If you're unsure about the real estate transaction process, sometimes it can help to reach out to an experienced, local real estate agent for guidance and support.
2019 Home Value Trends for Top 5 Cities in Florida
The tourist destination of the world, Orlando is an excellent place for people looking to invest in a vacation home. The home of some of the most famous theme parks in the world, Orlando attracts millions of visitors every year.
With a population of 2,509,831, Orlando is the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the whole of the United States. A true melting pot of culture and nationalities, the City Beautiful has a diverse and vibrant population, from retirees to students attending the many colleges situated in the city.
With an average home value of $241,200, according to May data from Zillow, and an increase of 6.7% over the past year alone, Orlando is one of the most affordable cities to live in Florida.
Located over on the west coast of Florida is the popular city of Sarasota. Averaging a home value of $258,100 and a median list price per square foot of $192, Sarasota offers pristine beaches and warm, calm waters, such as Lido Beach and Siesta Key Beach.
Known as Florida's Cultural Coast, you can enjoy a wide selection of museums, art galleries, and performing art venues throughout Sarasota. Popular attractions include the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the Ringling Museum of Art.
A little known fact about Sarasota is that it is home to a small liberal Amish community, who offer homemade goods and wares at a weekly market.
Miami has some of the highest real estate values in the whole of Florida. Renowned for its rich culture, art deco architecture, and wild party scene, a home in Miami can set you back millions of dollars.
What you may be surprised to know is that the average home price in Miami is actually only $337,200, having increased by 2.8% over the past year.
Each December Miami hosts Art Basel, an art festival popular with famous artists and celebrities alike. During the festival artworks from over 4,000 artists — including paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, film, video, and digital art — are displayed by 200 of the world's leading art galleries.
Situated in northeastern Florida where the St. Johns River meets the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as being a popular destination for surfers due to the local barrier islands of Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach.
One of the most affordable places to live in Florida, Jacksonville has a median home value of just $177,500, although the market is hot and Zillow predicts a rise of 4.4% in property values over the next year.
The state capital of Florida, Tallahassee is home to the restored Historic Capitol, as well as Florida State University, which was recently ranked the nation's twenty-sixth best public university by U.S. News & World Report.
Tallahassee is surprisingly affordable for a state capital, with a median home value of just $183,400, having risen by 6.9% over the past year alone.
A popular destination for legal professionals, Tallahassee is known for its large number of lobbying organizations, trade associations and law firms, as well as being home to the Florida Bar and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
The Best Time to Buy a Home in Florida
You may be surprised to know that the time of year you decide to start your home search could have a significant impact on what you end up paying for it. For example, according to Redfin data, the first three months of the year tend to be when the listing inventory is the greatest in Florida. This means that if you're very particular about the type of house you want, you may have more chance of finding it when there are more options available.
If you're looking for a bargain though, you should know that, as is typical throughout the U.S., the average sales price of properties are lower during the winter months, with a median sales price of $241,000.
Homes listed during the summer tend to stay on the market for a slightly shorter time, and also sell for more money, with a median sales price of $251,667, so if you're not concerned about finding a home before the start of the school year, you could save around $10,000 by waiting to buy a Florida home in the colder months.
The Best Time to Sell a Home in Florida
The best time to sell a house in Florida is during the warmer summer months, specifically during July. This is because it is the prime time for families to source homes ready for the start of the school year.
By listing your home during the summer months, you can expect an average sales price that is around $10,667 more than if you listed it during the winter months.
Likewise, the first few months of the year see the property market experience a higher listing volume than any other time of the year. This means that if you decide to list your home during the months of January through March, you should expect more competition from other sellers.
If you need to sell your home by a specific date, for example, because you are relocating, you should seek advice from a professional about working toward that particular closing date. Your real estate agent will be able to advise you on a realistic closing timeline, and ensure that your transaction closes in a timely manner.
You should note that it typically takes around 80 days to close a home in Florida, this includes an average of 49 days on the market, and at least a 30 day closing period (if all goes well).
How to Find the Perfect Florida Real Estate Agent
To ensure the most satisfactory real estate transaction, you should reach out to a local real estate agent who can help guide you through each step of your transaction. From helping you create a strategic marketing plan, to recommending a mortgage lender, an experienced real estate agent can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get the best deal possible.