Florida Real Estate Market Trends & Analysis

The Florida real estate market is incredibly active right now, as both buyers and sellers have found themselves with ample opportunities. On the one hand, the same inventory shortage that has impacted everywhere else is alive and well in Florida. A distinct lack of available inventory in Florida’s largest markets has allowed those who are selling to increase asking prices in response to the growing demand.

On the other hand, Florida is one of a handful of states which saw foreclosure activity rise in the first half of 2019. Therefore, in spite of statewide appreciation, there’s a large contingent of distressed real estate in Florida which may be acquired at a discount. Together, these indicators have facilitated an incredibly active market that bodes well for anyone partaking in it, especially real estate investors.

The Top Florida Real Estate Markets

While the best real estate market in Florida is up for debate, here’s a list of the cities investors may want to pay special considerations to:

Florida Real Estate Fees & Regulations

Real Estate

Closing Conducted by: Title Companies, Attorneys
Conveyance: Warranty Deed

Foreclosure Procedure

Primary Foreclosure Method: Judicial
Process Period: 4 - 6 months
Notice of Sale: Court
Redemption Period: Yes


Income Tax: None
Corporate Tax: 5.50%
Sales Tax: 6.00%
Estate Tax: 40%
Inheritance Tax: No
Median Property Tax: 0.97%
Property Taxes by County: http://www.tax-rates.org/florida/property-tax#Counties

Average Transactional Costs

Closing Cost: $2,648
Transfer Fee: Conveyance 0.7%; Mortgage 0.35%
Origination Fee: $1,982.00

Florida Housing Market Overview

  • Median Home Value: $235,500

  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: +4.3%

  • Median Home Value (1-Year Forecast): +2.0%

  • Median Rent Price: $1,800

  • Price-To-Rent Ratio: 10.90

  • Average Days On Market: 86

  • Percent With Negative Equity: 7.0%

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (latest estimate by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics)

  • Population: 21,299,325 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Median Household Income: $50,883 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Percentage Of Vacant Homes: 19.30%

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 1,633

Florida Median Home Prices

The median home value in Florida is $235,500, according to Zillow’s Home Value Index. However, prices haven’t always been as high as they are today. Since the beginning of 2012, in fact, median home values in Florida have increased at a historical pace. From January 2012 to today, median home values have increased 91.4%. Few states, for that matter, are able to boast a faster appreciation rate over the same period of time. The median home value across the entire country managed a slightly more modest—but nonetheless impressive—59.06% increase during the same time.

Florida’s price increases have easily outpaced national trends for the better part of a decade. Thanks, in large part, to an improving economy, increased optimism in the real estate industry and a lack of available inventory, real estate in Florida has been firing on all cylinders.

Not unlike nearly every state-wide real estate market across the country, Florida has seen drastic improvements made to its economy. There’s no doubt about it: the entire state is better off today than it was even a few short years ago. The tourism and agriculture industries, in particular, have combined to make Florida one of the biggest economies in the United States. As a result, more and more Florida residents have found themselves in a position to buy real estate, which bodes incredibly well for the industry as a whole. It is worth noting, however, that while more people are now inclined to buy, there isn’t enough inventory to keep up with demand.

According to Florida Realtors, the state had 3.6 months of inventory as recently as September 2019. No more than a year ago, inventory sat at 3.9 months, or 7.7% more than today. To be perfectly clear, that’s slightly more than half of the inventory a balanced market would like to see, which has contributed to escalating home prices. The few homes that are available are receiving significant attention, which has allowed sellers to increase prices for nearly eight consecutive years. Not only that, but it looks like the same factor will contribute to rising prices in the future too, albeit at a tempered pace.

Florida Median Rent Prices

Not unlike every other market across the country, rental prices in Florida share a direct correlation with home values. For the better part of a decade, in fact, rental prices have increased with their home value counterparts at a historical pace. After approximately nine consecutive years off rent increases (October 2010 to October 2019), which amounted to a 36.6% increase, the median rent in Florida today is about $1,800 a month. To put things into perspective, the median rent price in the United States increased 30.8% over the same period of time. Today, the median rent in the United States is about $1,700 a month.

Florida Foreclosure Trends & Statistics

According to Attom Data Solutions, Florida has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the whole country. Over the first six months of 2019, only New Jersey (0.54 percent), Delaware (0.46 percent) and Maryland (0.43 percent), saw higher rates of foreclosure. “In looking at the largest markets across the nation with the greatest annual increase in foreclosure starts, 4 out of the 5 markets were in Florida,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa-St. Petersburg all made the top five list of cities which posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in the first six months of 2019.

While Florida saw some of the largest foreclosure increases in the first six months of this year, it is important to note that the state appears to have turned a corner. “In September, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in FL was 19% lower than the previous month and 26% lower than the same time last year,” according to RealtyTrac.

The decline in foreclosure activity over the last half of the year is most likely the result of Florida’s improving economy. Not only is the state one more year removed from the wake of The Great Recession, but the economy appears to be thriving. There’s no doubt about it: nearly every economic indicator is better off today than even a few short years ago. Consequently, fewer homeowners have found themselves underwater. Rising home prices have returned a great deal of equity to neighborhoods that thought it would never see it again.

Nonetheless, the state still faces a greater foreclosure crisis than most of the country. There are several pockets of distressed neighborhoods where foreclosures remain an issue, not the least of which include:

  • Lafayette (1 in every 1,075)

  • Lake (1 in every 1,104)

  • Clay (1 in every 1,176)

  • Hillsborough (1 in every 1,179)

  • Wakulla (1 in every 1,199)

Tax Lien Investing

  • Tax Lien or Deed: Tax Lien (also holds Tax Deed Sales)

  • Interest Rate: 18% on TLC

  • Redemption Period: 2 Year Redemption on TLC

Below you will find a list of online auctions in the state of Florida. Most counties in Florida conduct their tax lien sales in the months of May and June. Florida offers great opportunities for online tax lien investing.

Florida Online Tax Deed Auctions

Florida counties like many other states are moving their tax auctions online. Many Florida counties already conduct their tax lien auctions online annually. And now some Florida counties are conducting their Tax Deed Sales through the Internet. This can give investors a new opportunity to purchase tax deeds without attending a live sale. This can save with the cost of travel and the expense of attending live. Below we have listed some the Florida counties that have moved to online auctions.

Florida Online Over-The-Counter Tax Lien Sales

Online OTC Liens: There are many counties in Florida that are offering their Over the Counter Liens online now. This makes it easier to research and buy over the counter liens. Go ahead and click on the counties listed below to research over the counter liens.

County Info: Florida uses a tax lien system to enforce the collection of delinquent property taxes. Tax Liens are offered to the public at the annual tax sale. If a property does not sell at the auction, it may be purchased from the county over the counter. This gives tax lien investors a great opportunity to purchase tax liens at the highest interest rate paid according to state law. In Florida the maximum rate of return is 18%. Counties also offer a 5% penalty payout on liens that redeem within the first year. This works as an added benefit for investors in Florida. A combination of high interest rate returns and a large selection of Over the Counter liens make Florida an excellent place to invest.

Florida Real Estate Investing

Real estate investors across the country have made a living off of dealing in distressed properties, and Florida real estate investors are no exception. If for nothing else, distressed assets award savvy investors with higher profit margins than their traditional counterparts. Perhaps even more importantly, however, distressed property owners are typically motivated sellers. Therefore, it only makes sense that Florida real estate investors will want to focus their attention on distressed properties; that way, they should be able to increase their odds of not only landing a deal, but landing a deal with attractive profit margins.

Unlike most states, the Florida real estate market exhibits a relatively even distribution of distressed property types. Of the distressed homes identified by RealtyTrac, pre-foreclosures (38.9%) make up the largest percentage, with auction homes (35.3%) and bank-owned properties (25.7%) following closely behind. Therefore, in order to tip the scales in their favor (or at least increase their odds of landing a deal), Florida real estate investors should market for distressed properties in that exact order: pre-foreclosures, auctions, and bank-owned homes. If for nothing else, real estate investing is a numbers game. Sending a targeted marketing message to the largest possible pool of recipients will only increase an investor’s chances of acquiring a deal.

Of course, knowing where to find real estate deals in Florida is only part of the investing equation. In addition to locating properties with potential, investors need to know what to do with them once they are acquired, which begs the question: Which exit strategies does the Florida real estate market cater to the most?

The Florida real estate market’s underlying fundamentals appear to support the three most popular exit strategies: wholesaling, rehabbing and renting. That said, there doesn’t appear to be one exit strategy that stands out above the rest. There is currently room for anyone interested in Florida real estate investing to practice whichever strategy they like. Buy-and hold investors, will appreciate the demand for rental properties and the attractive rental prices. Rehabbers, on the other hand, should take solace in the fact that the buyers market is as active as it has been in years. More Florida residents are in a better position to buy today, which bodes well for those looking to flip properties. As a result, rehabbers will find the demand for their assets promotes higher profit margins. All things considered, the Florida real estate investing market is firing on all cylinders.

Florida Housing Market Predictions

To be perfectly clear, there is absolutely no way to predict exactly what will happen, even in a s at play for anyone to be able to guess what will happen in a market without at least a slight degree of error. That said, it has become good practice to try and anticipate the most likely predictions. Those who are at least able to maintain a pulse on their local market will exercise an advantage over those who don’t. Using historical data, it is possible to make an educated guess as to where indicators will head. With that in mind, here are the Florida real estate predictions that are most likely to come true:

  • Foreclosure activity will continue to decline: Florida currently has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the entire country. However, the state has taken great strides to address the issue. In particular, there has already been a drastic decline in foreclosure activity year-over-year. The number of distressed properties in Florida is now 26% lower than the same time last year, and there’s nothing to suggest the trend won’t continue. As the economy continues to strengthen, more and more homeowners will be able to get out from underwater.

  • Available inventory should continue driving prices up: Despite improvements, the Florida real estate market still finds itself facing a foreclosure crisis. With approximately 3.6 months of available inventory, the state only has about half of the homes it would like to see for sale. A balanced market typically has about six months of supply, so it’s safe to assume the lack of inventory will continue to drive prices up for the foreseeable future.

  • Positive economic indicators will support a healthy real estate market: Not unlike the majority of markets across the country, Florida is a lot better off today than it has been in years past; that, combined with a stronger economy and historically low interest rates should promote homeownership on a higher scale. As a result, the entire market should see a lot more activity, which bodes well for everyone involved in transactions for the foreseeable future.


The Florida real estate market is one of the most active in the country. The strengthening economy has enabled more and more homebuyers to actively participate in the market than in years past. However, the distinct lack of available housing has made housing harder to come by. The homes that are listed for sale are receiving a lot of offers, so much so that they are driving up prices, and have been doing so for nearly a decade. That said, the Florida real estate market has a large contingent of distressed properties, too. Those looking for a discount will appreciate the fact that Florida is currently home to one of the country’s highest foreclosure rates. All of this together has boosted real estate activity in the state, and should support strong fundamentals moving forward.



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