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Florida Dominates Ranking of America’s Most Investable Housing Markets in 2016

February 1st, 2016

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Forbes ranked the 20 best markets to invest in housing in 2016 and Florida made its presence felt with seven cities gaining recognition. Orlando paved the way at No. 2.

The criteria for the ranking:

Local Market Monitor screened the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Area and Divisions (geographical designations used by the U.S. Census Bureau to delineate a core city and its surrounding suburbs), all with populations of at least 600,000, for characteristics that make for good investments. Each of our Best Buy Cities boasts healthy job growth, strong population growth, and anticipated home price appreciation. The majority of the cities are still considered undervalued.

South Florida was represented in the Top 10 with Fort Lauderdale coming in at No. 8, encompassing Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Deerfield Beach. Among them, average home prices are highest in West Palm Beach (No. 19), at $285,000, and lowest in Tampa (No. 14), at $193,000, but have been accelerating at a rate of 9% to 14% in all the Florida cities. They calculated a three-year home price growth forecast of 20 percent for that market.

Why is Florida, of all places, dominating the list? “The Florida situation surprised me,” admits Winzer. But in light of the national economic recovery, Florida’s rise makes a lot of sense. Because it attracts retirees, second-home buyers, and investors, the Sunshine State’s housing market is subject to more volatility than other markets. With would-be retirees and vacationers staying away during the downturn, housing prices tumbled dramatically. “Since the national economy has stabilized and is growing again, the factors that prompt people to go to Florida have recovered,” Winzer said. As retirees and vacationers return, they need services, in turn creating a steady stream of jobs, which leads to a steady supply of renters. Last year Florida added nearly a quarter-million jobs, Florida TaxWatch reports.

Forbes’ Top 20 Best Buys of 2016:

1. Grand Rapids
2. Orlando
3. San Antonio
4. Charlotte
5. Salt Lake City
6. Dallas
7. Austin
8. Fort Lauderdale
9. Seattle
10. Cape Coral
11. Indianapolis
12. Northport
13. Nashville
14. Tampa
15. Charleston
16. Denver
17. Madison
18. Jacksonville
19. West Palm Beach
20. Boise

Courtesy of Forbes & Josh Baumgard