10+ Best Places to Buy a House in Florida [2023]

Michele Lawrie, CREO - HomeAbroad  by Michele Lawrie
12 min read
Best Places to Buy a House in Florida

Be it the vacation home, rental investment property, or your primary residence, Florida is the place to be. Real estate here is experiencing an all-time high, with 2021 recording the highest number of home sales since 2012, as 350,000 single-family homes sold in just one year. Furthermore, the housing market here is affordable and beholds a promising future with great returns.

This article will list the best places to buy a house in Florida and analyze the various aspects of why purchasing a home in Florida is beneficial.

Why Buy a House in Florida?

The sunshine state has many perks that make it a great place to buy a house. From job opportunities in major cities, like Miami and Tampa, to beautiful beaches and lush green forests, you will be spoilt for choices when choosing a house in Florida. In addition to this, it has a great real estate market, with homes that are easy to purchase at reasonable prices.

Thriving Real Estate Market

Florida is the third-most populous state in the US and has seen continuous growth in its real estate market.

  • The demand for more homes has increased the value of properties here, making it an ideal place to invest in real estate.
  • The median home prices here have spiked by 80% over the last 5 years and are expected to rise further in the coming 5 years.
  • A 12% hike from the last year was registered in the sales of single-family homes in August this year. Whereas for condo-townhouse units, sales increased by 19.2% compared to last year.

Constantly Increasing Population 

Over the past 5 years, Florida has seen a population growth of 15%, which is expected to reach 20.7 million by 2025. This means that there will be more demand for housing in the state, leading to higher home values, rental values, and returns.

Job Opportunities

Florida has an unemployment rate of 2.9% as on September 2022, which is relatively lower than the national average of 3.7%. Major cities like Miami, Tampa, and Orlando are hubs for job opportunities in various industries ranging from finance to hospitality. In addition, Florida is home to the headquarters of global enterprises like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, making it an attractive option for people seeking employment. Between October 2021 and October 2022, Florida’s workforce has grown by 334,000, or 3.2 percent. With more people coming to Florida for work purposes It’s real estate looks bright and profitable venture with promising returns.

Property Taxes

Property taxes in Florida are relatively low compared to other states. Florida’s average real property tax rate is 0.98%, which is moderately lower than the US average of 1.08%. The average Florida homeowner pays $1,752 yearly in real property taxes, although that amount varies between counties. This makes buying a house in Florida an attractive option for potential buyers. Also, Florida has a state homestead exemption which can exempt up to $50,000 of a property’s assessed value for its owner-occupied residence.

Now that you know that investing in Florida Real estate is a great decision let’s look at the best place to buy a house in Florida.

12 Best Places to Buy a House in Florida

Florida is divided into four main regions -The Panhandle region, the Northeastern region, the Central region, and the South region – and each of these regions offer something unique to homebuyers.

You may search for the houses in these regions online or with a referral of friends and family. However, hiring a real estate agent will be the most reliable way of hunting for the most suitable home. A real estate agent knows the pulse of the US real estate market and helps you achieve your investment goals by finding the best house for you.

HomeAbroad has a vast network of CIPS real estate agents who are tremendously experienced in dealing with national and international clients. They have helped several investors fulfill their investment goals by finding the right property. Reach out to Homeabroad and get in touch with the CIPS real estate agents for free!

Find the best real estate agent with international expertise

Connect with a local US real estate agent(s) with CIPS designation

Best Places to Buy House in Panhandle Florida

The Panhandle region of Florida is the best place to buy a beach house in Florida. It has stunning beaches and offers plenty of outdoor recreation activities like fishing, kayaking, golfing, and other water sports. The constant flow of tourists provides ample opportunity for vacation homes to flourish and become homeowners’ steady sources of income. In addition, investors often rent the house on a daily, monthly, or even short-term basis. Therefore, buying vacation homes is one of the best investments to make here.

1. Destin

Destin: Best places to buy house in Florida

Destin is a beach town located in the Panhandle region of Florida and is renowned for its crystalline white sand beaches and pristine ocean water. It has great job opportunities, top-notch schools, and plenty of recreational activities, making it an ideal place to buy a house. 

Median Home Value: $ 516,211

Average Monthly Rental Value: $2,337

Average Daily Airbnb: $388

Growth Rate: 23% in one year

2. Tallahassee

Tallahassee: Best city to buy house in Florida

Tallahassee is the capital of Florida and has some of the cheapest housing in the state. It is home to two major universities – Florida State University and Florida A&M University, offering plenty of job opportunities for college graduates. The city also offers great recreational activities like golfing, fishing, swimming, and other outdoor activities.

Median Home Value: $272,308

Average Monthly Rental Value:$1,496

Average Daily Airbnb: $188

Growth Rate: 14.7% in one year.

3. Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola is a coastal city located in the Panhandle region of Florida and offers some of the best beaches in the state. It also has plenty of outdoor recreation activities like surfing, paddle boarding, fishing, and boating. The city is home to many military bases and offers plenty of job opportunities for people looking for employment.

Median Home Value: $248,301

Average Monthly Rental Value:$1,453

Average Daily Airbnb: $213

Growth Rate: 17.8% in one year.

Best Places to Buy a House in NorthEastern Florida

The NorthEastern Region of Florida, also known as the “First Coast Region,” is amongst the hottest real estate markets with 5953 active listings. The active real estate market recorded a 24.5% hike in over a year. Let’s have a look at the cities in the northeastern region with thriving real estate markets. You can also reach out to Homeabroad to get in touch with the most experienced and knowledgeable real estate agents to ease the house-hunting process.

Find the best real estate agent to buy best house in Florida

Connect with a local US real estate agent(s) with CIPS designation

4. Sarasota

Sarasota

Sarasota is located in the NorthEastern region of Florida and is amongst the popular tourist destinations in the state. The city offers plenty of recreational activities like beaches, parks, golf courses, and art galleries. It also has great job opportunities for people looking for employment in various sectors ranging from hospitality to finance.

Median Home Value: $ 492,189

Average Monthly Rental: $2,284

Average Daily Airbnb: $180

Growth Rate: 27.5%

5. St. Augustine

St. Augustine

Located in the Northeastern part of Florida and is renowned for its beaches and rich history. It has many attractions like museums, historical sites, art galleries, restaurants, and shopping areas, making it an attractive place to live in. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US. It is also one of Florida’s most visited. Considering the influx of tourists, St. Augustine comes across as a great place to buy a vacation home in Florida. Investing in short-term rental properties and vacation properties is especially profitable.

Median Home Value: $480,095

Average Monthly Rental:$1,850

Average Daily Airbnb: $233

Growth Rate: 23.8% in one year

6. Jacksonville

Jacksonville

Jacksonville is home to many Fortune 500 companies. It attracts thousands of global citizens annually and is constantly growing and thriving. Apart from bustling with world-class business centers and an amalgamation of global citizens, making it the best place to buy a house in Florida for investment.

Medium Home Value:$314,708

Average Monthly Rental:$1,530

average daily Airbnb:$86

Growth Rate:22.1% in one year

Best Places to Buy a House in Central Florida

Central Florida’s real estate market is thriving. Statistics show that it holds a promising future with great results. Central Florida has seen tremendous growth in its real estate market over the past year, with Orlando leading the way. Kissimmee and Sanford Metro also boast impressive growth rates of 31% and 22.1%, respectively.

Zillow home value index
Source: Zillow

7. Orlando

Orlando

Orlando boasts of some of the best residential real estates in the whole of Florida. Its weather strikes the perfect balance between the Miami heat and Jacksonville’s winters. And a low cost of living makes it a preferred destination for a long-term real estate investment.

Median Home Price: $388,557

Average Monthly Rental:$1,328

Average Daily Airbnb: $209

Growth Rate: 23.8%in one year.

8. Kissimmee

Kissimmee

It is located in the Central Florida region, and it’s known for its beauty and vibrant nightlife. It has plenty of attractions like theme parks, museums, shopping centers, restaurants, and more. It’s also one of the most popular travel destinations in Florida. Investing in a rental property or vacation property can be extremely profitable, as Kissimmee receives more than 8,000,000 overnight visitors every year.

Median Home Price:$385,012

Average Monthly Rental: $1,828

Average Daily Airbnb:$275

Growth Rate: 31% in one year

9. Sanford Metro

Sanford Metro

It is situated in the Central Florida region and offers plenty of attractions like beaches, theme parks, shopping centers, and more. It has one of the fastest-growing real estate markets in the state. Sanford Metro is a great place to invest in real estate as it has great potential for long-term growth due to its rapidly appreciating property values and growing job market. It is also conveniently located near other major cities like Orlando and Tampa, making it easy for people to access employment and recreational activities. Investing in rental properties, vacation homes, and real estate is a great way to generate passive income and build wealth over time.

Median Home Value: $342,176

Average Monthly Rental Value:$2,061

Average Daily Airbnb: $147 

Growth Rate: 22.1% in one year.

10. Tampa

Tampa

Tampa is a vibrant place to live and work. It has so much to offer, including beaches, restaurants, parks, and more. The housing market in Tampa is hot right now with strong home prices and rental rates growth. Investing in real estate here can be a great way to build income through long-term real estate investment.

Median Home Prices: $419,454

Average Monthly Rental:$1,915

Average Daily Airbnb:$159 

Growth Rate: 22.7%

Best Places to Buy a House in South Florida

South Florida’s Miami and Palm Beach County have seen even stronger numbers, with a 27.4% and 29.4% increase, respectively. Investing in rental properties or vacation homes in South Florida is a great way to generate passive income and build wealth over time.

11. Miami

Miami: Best place to buy property in florida

It is one of the most popular cities in Florida. Along with its tropical climate and beautiful beaches, it also has plenty of attractions like art galleries, shopping centers, restaurants, nightlife spots, and more. It’s a great place to buy real estate since an abundant supply of properties is available at competitive prices. Investing in rental properties and vacation homes can generate a steady stream of passive income as the city is popular with tourists looking for a place to stay during their visit.

Median Home Value: $556,582

Average Monthly Rental:$2,307

Average Daily Airbnb:$199

Growth Rate: 27.4 in one year

12. Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County

Situated in the southeastern region of Florida, Palm Beach County is the third most populous state of Florida. Its year-round tourism and constantly growing population make it a prime location for real estate investments.

Median Home Value: $497,525

Average Monthly Rental:$9,523

Average Daily Airbnb: $261 

Growth Rate: 29.4 in one year

Buy the Best House in Florida with HomeAbroad

Real estate in Florida is booming like never before, and if stats are to believe, it will only improve. The endless options of properties can be confusing and overwhelming if you have limited knowledge about US real estate. Therefore, it is best to hire a real estate agent who knows the trade’s tricks and understands your investment goals.

At HomeAbroad, we have a vast network of CIPS real estate agents who are certified in dealing with real estate transactions at national and international levels.

Also, If you are a foreigner with no US credit history, contact HomeAbroad immediately! HomeAbroads’s extensive network of mortgage lenders can help you purchase your desired property even if you lack a US credit history or desired finances. Reach out to Homeabroad and get in touch with the best real estate agents and mortgage lenders for free!

Find the best real estate agent and mortgage lender with international expertise.

Connect with a local international real estate agent and mortgage lender

Conclusion

The real estate market in Florida offers plenty of investment opportunities for those looking for long-term or short-term rental property. Whether you’re looking for a long-term rental property, a vacation home, or an Airbnb rental, the state offers plenty of opportunities for investors to make money and build wealth for years to come. With its attractive climate and abundant attractions, Florida can provide an excellent return on investment and ongoing passive income. Investing in real estate in Florida is an excellent way to increase your financial portfolio and create wealth over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best way to invest in real estate in Florida?

The best way to invest in real estate in Florida will depend on your goals and budget. If you are looking for a steady stream of income, then rental properties or vacation homes may be the best option. Airbnb rentals may be the way to go if you are more interested in short-term investments.

Q: Are there any tax incentives for investing in real estate in Florida?

Yes, there can be many tax advantages to investing in real estate in Florida. Depending on the type of real estate investment, you may be able to take advantage of deductions such as no capital gains tax, no personal income tax, no estate tax, etc. It is important to speak with a tax professional to ensure that you take full advantage of potential tax incentives.

Q. Which city is best to buy a house in, Florida?

Deciding which city is the best for buying a home in Florida largely depends on personal preference and lifestyle. Factors to consider when making this decision include climate, nearby attractions and amenities, cost of living, job market, and school district ratings.
For those looking to live in a warm climate with plenty of beaches and outdoor activities, cities such as Miami or Orlando may be the best choice. The cost of living is higher in these areas, but they offer exciting nightlife, a wide range of cultural attractions, and easy access to major airports.

Q: How long does it take to close on a real estate purchase in Florida?

The timeline for closing on a real estate purchase will depend on the type of real estate transaction and the terms of the agreement. Generally, a real estate transaction from contract to closing can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days.
Suppose you are working with an experienced professional such as a real estate agent or lawyer. In that case, they should be able to provide guidance on closing timelines and help ensure everything is for a smooth and successful transaction.

Q. What do I need to qualify for a home in Florida?

In order to qualify for a home in Florida, you will need to meet specific criteria such as credit score, down payment requirements, debt-to-income ratio, and other financial documents. You will also need to provide proof of employment or income. Speaking with a real estate professional who can help you understand the specific requirements and guide you through the home-buying process is important.

HomeAbroad can connect you with CIPS agents. They are certified international real estate agents who understand the local market and the client’s requirements well. Also, you can get in touch with mortgage lenders through HomeAbroad for free and avail the opportunity of getting a mortgage even if you lack a US credit history.

Q.What part of Florida is best for real estate?

If you’re a first-time investor, the Tampa bay area is one of the best areas worth considering for your property portfolio. The area is historically known for having high growth.

Q. Is buying a house in Florida a good investment?

Yes, buying a house in Florida is generally a good investment. The state has relatively relaxed taxes and regulations, and some of the best real estate markets in the country are located in Florida. Additionally, it is one of the most popular vacation destinations for people worldwide, meaning that there is always a potential for rental income.

Q. Where are the best house prices in Florida?

The best house prices in Florida will depend on your budget and preferences. You may have good deals if you’re looking for suburban settings like Lakeland or Gainesville. For higher-end properties, cities like Miami and Tampa are known for their luxury real estate options.

Q. Where is the cheapest and safest place to live in Florida?

The cheapest and safest places to live in Florida are often smaller towns and cities located away from the tourist-heavy areas of the state. These areas include Lake City, Gainesville, Port St. Lucie, and Bradenton. House prices in Florida vary depending on location and type of property.

Q. Are house prices dropping in Florida?

The trend of house prices in Florida depends on the specific real estate market and other local factors such as job growth and population changes. Generally, house prices in Florida have risen in recent years despite a slight dip during the 2020 pandemic. Currently, home values are up 4.4% since last year and are expected to rise by 3.4%in 2023.

Q. What is the hottest housing market in Florida?

The hottest housing market in Florida is the Miami metropolitan area, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. In 2020, homes in this market sold quickly due to a booming economy and high demand from international buyers. Other popular housing markets in Florida include Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville.

Michele Lawrie, CREO - HomeAbroad
About the author:
Michele Lawrie is the Chief Real Estate Officer at HomeAbroad and has worked as a real estate professional for the past 15 years, helping domestic and foreign national clients navigate the home buying and selling process.
She is passionate about real estate and strives to educate read more...