Why buyers in Florida should go for new builds

Monday, February 03, 2014

Why buyers in Florida should go for new builds

The wave of new developments and resorts under construction in Florida is set to change the fortunes of British buyers seeking a holiday home investment in 2014, says one Orlando agent.

UK agent Jerry Barker says returning confidence in the "Sunshine State" has brought developers back to Orlando and holiday home investors seeking to benefit from Florida's property revival are wise to consider buying in these new build developments.

"There hasn't been any significant building or real investment in the holiday property market since 2006 and this has supported a steady rental income for the owners of second homes around Disney and the theme parks," says Barker.

"However - the developers returned to Orlando in 2013 and they are building new style resorts which are going to change the long-term vacation rental market."

These new style plans include multi-million dollar water parks, bigger club houses, more leisure facilities and on site attractions all of which will be highly attractive to the 50 million plus holidaymakers who make the annual pilgrimage to Orlando.

"When it comes to the holiday home market you have to move with the times," says Barker.

"The new developments are in the same catchment area as the current villas but they have the trump card of more facilities and new furnishings. They are going to be tough competition for existing rental owners. They will draw business away and drive rental prices down in older properties as owners compete."

Most importantly - the sale prices of these new homes are comparable to older re-sale properties in the Kissimmee and Davenport areas.

"After six years of market slump builders are not taking any chances," adds Barker, "They want to secure sales and they have raised their game to do this.

"Prices are low and there's a raft of luxury additions like the waterparks. These add-ons were not necessary when the majority of Orlando's vacation homes were built but in this current climate there's a real focus on the future - what will win discerning buyers, and what will present the best investment opportunity."

If British buyers need assurance of the new-build opportunities now appearing in Orlando the Jerry Barker Group say the numbers speak for themselves. In 2013 the agency sold more new homes than re-sales.

"We haven't experienced this since 2006," Barker comments, "But with the current deals on offer plus the obvious benefit of owning a new property - under warranty with no maintenance - it makes sense to any shrewd investor.

"You are buying a home custom-built for holiday rental with extra family facilities that the older resorts don't have. It's clearly the winning option for buyers looking for future returns."

He cherry picks three new projects:

1. Solterra - One of the most sought after locations in Orlando, this new development is found between the exclusive Reunion and Champions Gate resorts. Prices start at £206,000 for a five-bed home, while proximity to Disney (20 minutes) as well a number of great amenities is particularly appealing.

2. Champions Gate - This 1,500 acre golf and leisure resort is one of the most exclusive developments in Florida. Properties here offer ridiculous value, with an eight-bed home (including cinema room) available at just £315,000!

3. The Dales at West Haven - A new addition to 'The Shire' resort in Davenport. Popular with international buyers attracted to its quiet, 'community' feel. A typical seven-bed home here might include pool and spa and go for around £250,000.

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