While the aggressive bullish Florida market for residential real estate has created a whirlwind of frenzied buying and selling activity for real estate agents and attorneys in general, a few small South Florida towns are attracting some very special attention from those who are seeking both a calmer Florida lifestyle and super savvy investments.

The Housing Market Across the Nation & In the State of Florida

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index Reports, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, spells out current real estate conditions: national home prices rose 18.8 percent during 2021, and a  20-city composite showed an even more robust 18.6 percent gain from one year to the next. Among the locations included in the 20-city composite review, Phoenix rose 32.5 percent, Tampa rose 29.4 percent and Miami rose 27.3 percent, and those three cities reported the highest year-over-year gains.

While it’s no surprise that Tampa and Miami are included in the hottest metro market for home buying, it may come as a welcome surprise to those who are searching Florida communities for home-buying opportunities that some very high-potential properties may exist in a few of the state’s more modest towns. “Demand for real estate exists in Florida’s metro areas, but it is being outpaced by the exceptionally high demand for Florida’s smaller cities,” the experts at Aceable.com, an online real estate school, say.

Cape Coral’s Residential Boom Drove Prices Up 47%

On Florida’s Southwest Coast, Cape Coral is experiencing a dynamic residential boom. Ricardo Noguera, the city’s economic and business development manager told ABC 7 in Fort Myers, “We’re the fifth fastest growing, medium sized city in the country,” and the city almost doubled its population—to 208 thousand people—during the pandemic. In March 2022, the median listing home price in Cape Coral, Florida was $440 thousand, trending up 46.7% year-over-year and the median home sold price was $410K.

In the Rural Town of Loxahatchee, Home Prices Rose 38%

In Loxahatchee, located in western Palm Beach County, Realtor.com reports the median listing home price at $699.9K in April 2022, trending up 37.8% year-over-year.  Perhaps the most rural area within proximity to West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee has lot sizes ranging from one to twenty acres and is known for loose land restrictions and the native and exotic animal presence. Currently, Kolter Homes is working on a plan to build 892 residences there; and a new 90-acre development project dubbed Groves Town Center is moving forward.

In Delray Beach, the Village by the Sea, Home Prices Increased 33%

In Delray Beach, which bills itself as the “Village by the Sea,” home prices are up more than 33% from February 2021 to March 2022, according to reporting of home values on Zillow. The population of the trendy South Palm Beach County destination is a little over 70 thousand, according to the U.S. Census 2022 projection, and claims to have one of the top five downtown shopping districts in the U.S. filled with an exciting collection of award-winning restaurants, specialty shops and hotels.

Factors Favoring Florida’s Dynamic Residential Growth

Compelling trends that emerged during the pandemic are partially responsible for the increases in home values across Florida’s cities—both large and small. Across the country, people have come to realize they can invest in homes that are located where they want to live instead of where they have to live in order to be close to their jobs.

Additional factors that continue to affect home prices in Florida include:

  • The State’s lack of either a state income tax or estate tax
  • The weather and all those beautiful beaches along the longest coastline in the contiguous U.S., not including its many barrier islands
  • According to PropStream.com, “Cultural diversity and quality of life are among the other reasons home buyers and renters find the state attractive.”
  • In terms of housing options, Florida has something for everyone—from multifamily homes to luxury waterfront properties.

South Florida residential real estate can be a wonderful investment. If you are interested in luxury properties, however, it’s particularly important that you have an experienced legal advisor to help protect your interests and your assets—especially in today’s market conditions. If you have questions on anything from lease preparation and water access to real estate tax appraisals and appeals, please contact the Florida real estate experts at Rabideau Klein.

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