Where next to invest? We profile the world’s top property hotspots, detailing everything an investor needs to know.
House prices in Orlando rose 12% in 2016 (Realtors)
Rents in Orlando rose 3.3% in 2016 (Zillow)
Florida makes up 1 in 4 of all US enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com
Where is it?
One of the largest cities in Florida, Orlando is a short way in from Florida’s Atlantic coast. Almost located exactly in the middle of Sunshine State, it’s at the heart of Florida’s thriving tourist industry, and not just geographically – known as the home of Walt Disney World, it draws in over 50 million visitors every year.
Who lives there?
Orlando is not all Disney and theme parks, with the city hosting a large number of conferences conventions every year that bring in businessmen and women from around the country. Tourism, though, is a major part of Orlando’s economy, fuelling population growth, employment growth and, as a result, rental growth too.
The University of Central Florida is also located in the area, which means that there is a vibrant population of young residents, often seeking rental accommodation, while expats from Latin America – particularly Puerto Rico – have built a welcoming community that adds to the area’s multicultural appeal.
Florida is the number one target for overseas investors in the USA, making up one in four of all enquiries for US property on TheMoveChannel.com in 2016.
As the home of Walt Disney World, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and more, Orlando is one of the most popular areas among tourists, which promises buy-to-let opportunities for investors seeking a strong yield. The Grove Resort & Spa in Orlando, for example, is around 5 minutes’ drive from the Magic Kingdom and offers 10 per cent income for two years.
The rental returns available in the tourist corridor running up to Disney World sees the Mickey Mouse magic rub off on many properties. In Orlando, rents rose 3.3 per cent in the year to January 2017, according to Zillow, far ahead of the national growth 1.4 per cent.
Orlando has another key advantage for investors: capital growth. In 2016, property prices surged 12 per cent, according to Orlando Realtors, higher than the overall Florida rate of growth. Sales also rose 1.8 per cent year-on-year.
However, property values remain 22 per cent below the market peak. They are also some of the most affordable in the state: according to Zillow, Orlando’s median house price is $155,400, below the median recorded in Miami, Fort Myers, Saint Petersburg and Tampa. The potential for further capital growth is therefore very strong. Indeed, in 2016, home flipping in the USA reached a 10-year high, with Orlando among the most active markets for buyers selling homes on quickly for profit.
The market’s recovery certainly has momentum – only two years ago, Orlando led the whole USA in foreclosure rates, but is now set to deliver some of the most promising returns for the year ahead.
Away from residential property, Orlando also has one of the highest number of hotel rooms in the USA, which means that there are many opportunities for commercial property investors.
Holiday homes are the order of the day for many overseas buyers, with people from the UK, Canada, South America and other parts of the USA queuing up to snap up a slice of Florida lifestyle. With Orlando’s investment credentials typical of the Sunshine State, a growing number of Asian buyers are also turning their attentions to the city for its returns. Chinese investors, in particular, bought $27.3 billion worth of US real estate in the year to March 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors, spending more than investors from India, Mexico and other countries.
“Say the USA to most property buyers and they’ll think of Florida. Orlando is the perfect example why.”
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