There’s no doubt Florida has always been a popular choice for British holidaymakers in search of a break during the grim winter months. But recently there has been a surge of buyers from the UK investing in holiday properties in the sunshine state too, and some in unexpected locations. Savvy British purchasers are not only lapping up the white sands, crystal blue waters, and delights of Disney, but with the strong pound, they are grabbing some incredible properties – offering far superior lifestyle propositions to anything available for the same money in the UK, and with excellent rental and capital returns as well.
British buyers looking for houses to buy in Florida have always favored the traditional tourist mecca of Orlando, which sees 62 million visitors a year keen to enjoy its world-class sports, music and convention venues, and proximity to Disney World and Universal Studios. So Orlando’s appearance at number five on Rightmove.co.uk’s list of the most popular investment destinations worldwide for UK buyers, is perhaps not that surprising. However, recent statistics show that UK buyers in their droves are branching out into other lesser-known communities, and the appearance of one of these, Davenport, at third on the worldwide list is perhaps unexpected.
British Buyers Thinking Outside the Box
What’s drawing UK property hunters to look further afield? Lower price points are the main game-changer. The value our clients are seeing in the communities outside Orlando are pretty incredible when compared with opportunities in the UK. Typically, in a community such Reunion in Kissimmee — a chi-chi community with its own golf clubs, waterparks and country clubs, lying 15 minutes away from the theme parks — a 4 to 5 bedroom house will set you back around £230,000.
Some of our clients have seen 8 percent returns, occasionally as high as 10 percent, which is £23,000 in your pocket, plus capital appreciation, while leaving 17 weeks free for friends and family to use the house. And we are pretty sure there are no property investments in the UK that offer 300 days of sunshine a year!
What Can I Get in Davenport Florida?
So how did the little-known (at least on this side of the pond) town Davenport, Florida come in as the third most popular investment destination in the world for Brits? Its status on the global list is perhaps surprising when you look at its stature, with just under 2000 residents. But Davenport is a good example of newer communities offering British buyers exactly what they’re looking for: sun, swim, and rental returns, at a great price, not too far from Orlando and its international airport.
In Davenport itself, buyers who are prepared to drive the extra 5 to 10 minutes to the theme parks can get a decent 4 bedroom home in Calabay with a pool for around £150,000, and expect rental returns of around 8% and capital appreciation of 3-4%. All the while enjoying an enviable holiday home and lifestyle.
By comparison, properties in Orlando proper may often be prohibitive of short term rentals — something which must be the main focus for UK buyers when looking to make a good return in a quick and hands-off manner.
Find the Perfect Realtor
We understand the uniqueness of international buyers’ needs and have created a system to personally match you with a local realtor that speaks your language, understands your needs, and can hand pick properties to fit your goals.
Repossessed Properties Now Thin on the Ground
Rightmove also stated that UK buyers are focused on bank repossessed properties being sold off cheap — and we also find this to be the case, although we feel this is not a good strategy in the present climate. While this was a popular way for Brits to get properties with extreme discounts a few years ago, this section of the market has virtually dried up as the economy has improved.
To give an example, in Calabay — which has 26 properties for sale as we speak — only 3 are “distressed properties” (as they are called in the American system). And typically, as the market has steadily improved, distressed sales are not offering the headline-worthy 40% discounts they once might have been.
It is also worth noting that the discount you do get on a distressed property sale is often negated by the amount of work needed to bring the property up to rentable standard. This should not deter British buyers though, as their pounds go a hell of lot further in lifestyle and financial returns in the main non-distressed market than they do on their booming home turf.
According to most indicators, time is of the essence when it comes to securing great-value houses in Florida to buy, as the market is rising. The great opportunities available now simply won’t be as attractively priced further down the line. Our final word is that if you think year-round sun, cash flow returns, and incredible lifestyle might be up your street now is the time to act.
REMEMBER THE TOP 5 REASONS TO BUY IN FLORIDA
- Lifestyle – 300 days per year of sunshine – crystal clear tropical waters and white sand beaches
- Financial – Price points are lower than the UK and rental returns are excellent, also with plenty of potential for capital appreciation
- Security – Your home is backed by a cast-iron legal guarantee of ownership and you are protected by a transparent legal system
- Stability – Dollar investments are one of the safest and most secure in the world
- Ease – A common language, and transparent and smooth buying process makes purchasing a Florida property a dream compared to the rest of the world.