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Top Investor Edition: The Future Looks Bright In The Sunshine State

by Neil Sharma on 28 Oct 2022

It’s hard to think of another period during which Florida was in the news for all the right reasons. America’s third-largest state is slated to break 22 million residents by the end of this year in large part because of job creation and its state government’s refusal to implement severe COVID-19-related strictures like those in New York and Massachusetts. 

Moreover, buoyed by a subtropical climate that includes mild winters, Florida’s tourism is heating up, with Orlando averaging more than 75 million visitors a year. That bodes well for the city’s real estate market, says Shaminder Gogna, broker of record and founder of Condoville Realty Inc., a Toronto-based firm that’s opening up a new office in Wynwood Miami.

The new Condoville office is assisting a prominent international developer with a multi-phased condominium project in Osceola County, one of the only counties containing a Disney World Park. In fact, the development site is two minutes from Disney Park and five from its theme parks. It is also about 22 miles away from Orlando International Airport, which Gogna says is creating a lot of buzz in the investor community because it will appeal to short-and long-term tenants alike. 

“The ability to purchase this opportunity in this area with the freedom to live as a resident, rent short-term and long-term is a game-changer,” he said. “Competing sites in the area have several occupancy restrictions in fine print. On top of that, you’re purchasing at Day 1 pricing with several hundred suites developing on site over the coming years that will automatically generate profit in your purchase as real estate prices continue to surge upwards.”

Construction on the first of two buildings in phase one, a seven-storey mid-rise—the next two phases will be high-rises—will commence in the next two months.

“You’re probably making $1,000-1,500 a month with projections of 85% occupancy, however, that’s a pretty conservative projection because Orlando receives 75 million tourists a year and that figure is continuing to grow as COVID travel restrictions vanish,” Gogna said. “Florida’s tourist visits jumped by 20% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021—and remember, the state didn’t really shut down during COVID, so it was getting plenty of visitors even back then. 

“The labour force also increased by 6% year-over-year in April of this year, so we continue to hear this great story of housing demand across the board from local residents as well as travellers that is contributing to the growing pool of renters there,” Gogna added. He also noted Florida’s long tradition of attracting snowbirds has become more aggressive as first-generation immigrants look for sun and warmth in the winter months while staying close to home and the ability to access financing programs from TD and RBC has offered US property ownership without purchasing cash.

Florida has long been attractive because it’s an income tax-free state, and, in addition to its booming population, its favourable corporate tax structure has been enticing scores of companies to relocate to the Sunshine State.

The development is also sure to reap promising ROIs for investors, considering that Orlando’s home prices surged by 30.1% in the last year, thereby promising robust rental income and long-term appreciation.

“Orlando has typically been all about the Disney attractions, but it’s becoming a tech hub for the defence, finance, and medical industries, while Miami continues to grow its reputation as a start-up hub,” Gogna said. “What we’re finding is given the corporate tax structure and billions of dollars in tax incentives from local governments, newly founded companies all have Florida on their radars. Continued growth with regard to business infrastructure and investment is triggering population growth, and just like we’re seeing in Ontario, homes can’t be built fast enough.”

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