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Is Lakeland, Florida The Hottest Housing Market For Real Estate Investment?

Hottest Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Insight

If you’re keen to invest in your future in the Lakeland real estate and buy before prices become out of reach, you must peruse till the end. Prices in the Lakeland FL real estate market are expected to rise at a steady pace throughout 2019. So you should consider making your investment sooner, to dodge higher home prices down the road. Lakeland is a modest city of around a hundred thousand people. It is part of the Lakeland-Winter Haven metropolitan area; that is home to over six hundred thousand people. Lakeland is fifty miles or so inland, but this makes Lakeland an eastern suburb to Tampa.

While few would like to buy homes in the Lakeland housing market and drive the hour to hour and a half to Tampa to work, driving from the affordable homes in Lakeland to suburbs like Brandon is common. The Lakeland FL real estate market was ranked fifth among major metro areas in early 2018. In 2019, it moved into the number-one position in the Realtor.com ranking. According to Realtor.com, the home sales in the Lakeland, FL area would rise by 5% in 2019, while home prices would go up by 7.4%. Let’s take a close look at the Lakeland FL real estate market predictions 2019 & 2020 and find out why to invest in this hot Florida market.

Lakeland FL Real Estate Market

Original Photo via Pixabay

Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Forecast 2019, 2020 & 2021

The median home value in Lakeland is $162,300 on Zillow. Lakeland home values have gone up 9.4% over the past year and their Lakeland FL real estate market prediction is that they will rise 5.9% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Lakeland is $119, which is lower than the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metro average of $119. The median price of homes currently listed in Lakeland is $195,700 while the median price of homes that sold is $160,700. The median rent price in Lakeland is $1,212, which is lower than the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metro median of $1,350.

Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Forecast

Graph Credits: Zillow.com

LittleBigHomes.com publishes forecasts for the trend in home prices in 380 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The forecast for the trend in the Lakeland housing market for the 12 months ending with the 3rd Quarter of 2019 is that the home prices will increase. The Accuracy of the real estate trend prediction for Lakeland, FL is 81%. Accordingly,
they estimates that the probability for rising house prices in Lakeland is 81% during this period. If this Housing Market Forecast is correct, home prices will be higher in the 3rd Quarter of 2019 than they were in the 3rd
Quarter of 2018. Check this page each quarter for updates to the Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Forecast.

Lakeland Housing Market Forecast 2019 – 2021

The forecast for the trend in the Lakeland housing market for the 3 years ending with the 3rd Quarter of 2021 is that the home prices will increase. The Accuracy of the Trend Prediction for Lakeland is 79%. Accordingly,
LittleBigHomes.com estimates that the probability for rising house prices in Lakeland is 79% during this period. If this Housing Market Forecast is correct, home values will be higher in the 3rd Quarter of 2021 than they were in the 3rd
Quarter of 2018. Check this page each quarter for updates to the Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Forecast.

You can check this page of LittleBigHomes each quarter for updates to the Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Forecast.

Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Trends

Lakeland has a relatively low level of housing supply right now. Meanwhile, the area’s population has grown steadily over the past decade, bringing more buyers into the market. Lakeland FL real estate market trends indicate an increase of $9,900 (6%) in median home sales and a 4% rise in median rent per month over the past year. The average price per square foot for this same period rose to $112, up from $104. Trulia has 1,103 resale and new homes for sale in Lakeland, including open houses, and homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process.

The median sales price for homes in Lakeland for Nov 7 to Feb 6 was $178,000 based on 783 home sales. Average price per square foot for Lakeland was $112, an increase of 8% compared to the same period last year. The median rent per month for apartments in Lakeland for Jan 12 to Feb 12 was $1,350.

Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Trends

Graph Credits: Trulia.com

Toward the end of 2018, the Lakeland real estate market had about a three-month supply of homes for sale. That’s well below the five to six months that is considered to be a balanced real estate market. So the housing scene in Lakeland tends to favor sellers over buyers, due to the somewhat constrained inventory conditions in that market.

As per the real estate company named Redfin, the Lakeland housing market is very competitive. The average sale price of a home in Lakeland was $184K last month, up 2.5% since last year. The average sale price per square foot in Lakeland is $113, up 8.1% since last year. Many homes get multiple offers, some with waived contingencies.
Homes for sale in Lakeland, FL sell for about 3% below list price and go pending in around 35 days. Hot Homes in Lakeland, FL can sell for around list price and go pending in around 10 days.

Lakeland Housing Market Summary

  • Median Sales Price: $178,000 (On Trulia)
  • Price Per Square Ft: $112
  • Homes For Sale: 1,568 (Trulia)
  • Median Rent Per Month: $1,103
  • Median Household Income: $43,712
  • Home Owners: 70%
  • Single Residents: 33%
  • Median Age: 40
  • College Educated: 25%
  • Transportation: 98% people commute by car

There are 1,788 homes for sale, ranging from $5K to $3.6M on Realtor.com. Lakeland has affordable 1 – 2 bedroom listings. 132 of which were newly listed within the last week. Additionally, there are 146 Lakeland rental homes, with a range of $475 to $3.5K per month. In December 2018 the housing market in Lakeland, FL was a balanced market, which means there was a healthy balance of buyers and sellers in the market.

Lakeland Housing Market Trends

Graph Credits: Realtor.com

In December 2018, the median list price of homes in Lakeland, FL was $180K, trending up 1.8% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $112. The median sale price was $179.9K. On average, homes in Lakeland, FL sell after 51 days on the market. The trend for median days on market in Lakeland, FL is flat since last month, and flat since last year.

Lakeland Housing Market Trend

Graph Credits: Realtor.com

There are 119 schools in Lakeland, FL. There are 46 elementary schools, 23middle schools, 17 high schools and 33 private & charter schools.

The median list price in Lakeland is $234,900 on Movoto.com. The median list price in Lakeland was less than 1% change from February to March. Lakeland’s home resale inventories is 829, which decreased 2 percent since February 2019. The median list price per square foot in Lakeland is $122. February 2019 was $122. Distressed properties such as foreclosures and short sales remained the same as a percentage of the total market in March.

Lakeland FL Real Estate Market Trend

Graph Credits: Movoto.com

Lakeland, FL Single Family Homes

As per the data from the real estate company called Neigborhoodscout.com, the median house price in Lakeland is $141,402 and house prices in Lakeland are quite below the national average. Single family detached homes are the single most common housing type in Lakeland, accounting for 48.81% of the city’s housing units. Other types of housing that are prevalent in Lakeland include large apartment complexes or high rise apartments ( 19.58%), mobile homes or trailers ( 16.87%), and a few duplexes, homes converted to apartments or other small apartment buildings ( 10.77%).

People in Lakeland primarily live in small (one, two or no bedroom) single-family detached homes. Lakeland has a mixture of owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing. Currently, there are 715 single family homes for sale in Lakeland, FL on Zillow. Additionally, there are 69 single family homes for rent in Ocala, FL.

Lakeland FL Foreclosures And Bank Owned Homes

As per Zillow, the percent of delinquent mortgages in Lakeland is 1.7%, which is higher than the national value of 1.1%. With U.S. home values having fallen by more than 20% nationally from their peak in 2007 until their trough in late 2011, many homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. The percent of Lakeland homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 6.3%, which is lower than Lakeland-Winter Haven Metro at 7.3%.

On RealtyTrac, There are currently 805 properties in Lakeland, FL that are in some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank owned) while the number of homes listed for sale on RealtyTrac is 677. In January, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Lakeland, FL was 33% higher than the previous month and 207% higher than the same time last year. Home sales for December 2018 were up 0% compared with the previous month, and down 100% compared with a year ago. The median sales price of a non-distressed home was $0. The median sales price of a foreclosure home was $0, or 0% higher than non-distressed home sales.

  • Foreclosures in Lakeland = 805
  • Homes for Sale = 677 (RealtyTrac)
  • Recently Sold = 627
  • Median List Price = $189,900 (3% drop vs Dec 2017)

Lakeland Home Prices And Appreciation Rates

Real estate appreciation rates in Lakeland’s have tracked to near the national average over the last then years, with the annual appreciation rate averaging 0.59% during the period. Appreciation rates are so strong in Lakeland that despite a nationwide downturn in the housing market, Lakeland real estate has continued to appreciate in value faster than most communities. Looking at just the latest twelve months, Lakeland appreciation rates continue to be some of the highest in America, at 8.58%, which is higher than appreciation rates in 86.25% of the cities and towns in the nation, according to NeighborhoodScout’s data.

Based on the last twelve months, short-term real estate investors have found good fortune in Lakeland. Lakeland appreciation rates in the latest quarter were at 3.46%, which equates to an annual appreciation rate of 14.56%. Importantly, this makes Lakeland one of the highest appreciating communities in the nation for the latest quarter, and may signal the city’s near-future real estate investment strength. Relative to Florida, their data shows that Lakeland’s latest annual appreciation rate is lower than 50% of the other cities and towns in Florida.

10 Best Neighborhoods In Lakeland For Real Estate Investment

There are 60 neighborhoods in Lakeland. Eaglebrooke has a median listing price of $432K, making it the most expensive neighborhood. Robson Street is the most affordable neighborhood in Lakeland FL, with a median listing price of $92.9K. These are the best neighborhoods in Lakeland to invest in real estate because they have the highest appreciation rates (List by Neigborhoodscout.com).

  1. S Florida Ave / Mcdonald St
  2. W 10th St / Martin Luther King Jr Ave
  3. Providence Rd / Griffin Rd
  4. City Center
  5. Route 33 / Old Combee Rd
  6. Bartow Rd / Crystal Lake Dr
  7. Harden Blvd / S San Gully Rd
  8. N Massachusetts Ave / E Parker St
  9. Florida Southern College / Lake Hollingsworth Dr
  10. Socrum

Is Lakeland Real Estate Good For Investment In 2019 & 2020?

Investing in real estate is touted as a great way to become wealthy. Is Lakeland investment property good for investment? If you are looking to buy Lakeland investment properties, then you must read this. These things make Lakeland FL real estate market stand out when it comes to choosing a place to invest in 2019 and beyond. We have already discussed the Lakeland housing market forecast for answers on why to put resources into this healthy market in 2019.

The home prices in the Lakeland FL real estate market will be on an upswing all through 2019. So you should consider investing in Lakeland rental homes sooner, to avoid higher home prices later on. Lakeland housing provides an excellent opportunity for investors and home buyers at the moment. Here are a few evidence-based reasons why to invest in the Lakeland rental homes for cash flow. 

1. The Expansion of Tampa

Tampa sits on the shore, so it cannot expand west. All expansion of the city must be up and down the expensive coast or inland. And due to the cost of beachfront properly, it is mostly inland and east toward Lakeland. The population of the Lakeland area grew by a quarter between 2000 and 2010 and isn’t expected to slow down. This explains why Lakeland FL real estate market has been steadily growing. This has been facilitated by the city’s location on Interstate 4.

2. The Expected Increases in Valuation

In January of 2019, Realtor.com put the Lakeland housing market first on their list of housing markets poised to take off. They expected sales growth to hit 5% for 2019, and they think that price growth will hit 7% because supply cannot keep up with demand though there is construction in the area.

3. The Affordability of Lakeland

The median price of a property in the Lakeland FL real estate market was $240,000; if you ignore the high end of the market, the median home price is closer to $160,000. Regardless of which median price you use, Lakeland housing market is far cheaper than Tampa where the average price for a property is $260,000. Orlando is 45 minute drive from Lakeland, and homes there cost around $300,000.

For those interested in buying up Lakeland rental homes, you can find older three bedroom thousand square foot properties for less than a hundred thousand dollars. Two bedroom homes perfect for a retired couple, professionals just starting out or a single parent with children can be found in the same price range.

4. The Expansion of Orlando

Tampa is roughly a forty minute drive to the west, but Orlando is an hour to the northeast. The high real estate prices in Orlando force many to live in Lakeland rental properties and drive to the Orlando area to work. Conversely, the relatively easy access to Orlando and its attractions means that you can find tourists willing to stay in Lakeland rental homes so that they have more money in their pocket when they hit the Disney parks.

A side benefit of investing the Lakeland rental properties is that local governments have made agreements with Airbnb to allow short term rentals and collect the appropriate taxes.

5. The Availability of Local Waterfront Property

People pay a premium to be near the water. It is a status symbol. Few people can afford to live near the beach in Tampa. Lakeland gets its name for the many lakes in the area. One of the attractions of the Lakeland housing market is the large number of homes that overlook many of the local lakes. A side benefit of Lakeland is the fact that these properties range from dense developments to suburban neighborhoods, so you can find Lakeland rental homes that combine a backyard and a view of the water.

6. The Relative Unaffordability of Homes for Many Locals

While the Lakeland FL real estate market is cheaper than Orlando and Tampa, it is not a good overall value given the lower average wages of its residents. That explains why U.S. News and World Report gave the city an index score of 5.5 out of ten. This is due to the average resident earning around $23,000 a year, several thousand less than the U.S. average. Median household incomes are no better.

The median household income in Lakeland, Florida is around $40,000, more than ten thousand dollars below the national average. This creates strong demand for Lakeland rental homes, especially those that low income residents can afford.

7. The Sizable Student Market

Lakeland is the largest city between Tampa and Orlando, and it has long been a regional hub for healthcare and educational services. It is home to a number of schools. Southeastern University hosts nearly three thousand students. Florida Polytechnic, Florida Southern College, Webster University, Polk State College and Keiser University also serve the community. This creates a large and stable demand for Lakeland rental homes without the risk that one would take by owning real estate in a college town dependent on the popularity of a single huge school.

8. The Strong Job Market

Lakeland is literally ideally positioned for long-term job growth. The city’s unemployment rate is currently right in line with the national unemployment rate. However, future job growth is expected to be 42.5% for the next ten years, well above the 33% job growth expected for the national average. People moving here to work here as well as working in more expensive nearby cities will continue to drive up prices for Lakeland FL real estate market for years to come.

9. The Favorable Tax Climate

Many retirees move to the Lakeland housing market to enjoy the sub-tropical climate without the hustle and high prices of “hotter” markets. However, investors in the Lakeland housing market will appreciate the favorable tax climate. The state of Florida doesn’t charge an income tax. Furthermore, Florida cities have low effective real estate tax rates. A side benefit of Lakeland’s cheaper property is that you pay less in property taxes for Lakeland rental homes than you would a similar unit in a more expensive area.

10. The Landlord Friendliness

Florida is definitely a landlord friendly state. A written lease isn’t required unless the lease is for more than twelve months. There are no state laws limiting late fees. The state doesn’t specify a grace period for paying past due rent. The state is particularly flexible with security deposits. For example, security deposits could be kept in a non-interest-paying savings account, put in an interest paying account or handled via a surety bond. Nor is there a law specifying how large the security deposit can be.

Lakeland Real Estate Investment Properties

Maybe you have done a bit of real estate investing in Lakeland, Florida but want to take things further and make it into more than a hobby on the side. It’s only wise to think about how you can and should be investing your money. If you invest wisely, you could secure your future. If you are a beginner in the business of cash flow real estate investing, it very important to read good books on real estate.

Most investors naturally gravitate to residential property investment. When looking for the best real estate investments, you should focus on markets with relatively high population and employment growth. Both of them translate into high demand for housing. If housing supply meets housing demand, real estate investors should not miss the opportunity since entry prices of homes remain affordable.

You must also collaborate and learn from savvy real estate investors who have retired early on in their lives by investing in some of the best real estate markets like Lakeland, FL. The Lakeland FL real estate market presents the perfect balance of currently affordable real estate for buyers and future growth. We can expect the population of the area to grow rapidly, and the renting population will grow even faster. The time to buy real estate in Lakeland is now.

Buying an investment property is different from buying an owner-occupied home. Investment properties are designed to make money as rentals, which means you must look at it solely as an income producing entity just like any other business.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro you probably realize the most important factor that will determine your success as a Real Estate Investor is your ability to find great real estate investments.

According to real estate experts, buying in a market with increasing prices, low interest, and low availability requires a different approach than buying in a cooler market.

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Apart from the Lakeland real estate market, you can also invest in another hot market in Ocala, Florida. Ocala is an affordable real estate market for investors who can still reap a decent return on investment. The area has recovered from the Great Recession, and a number of factors will insulate it from a future downturn. The Ocala FL real estate market is buoyed by several nearly recession proof industries.

Also, given that this is Florida, it shouldn’t be surprising that retirees are a disproportionately large source of demand for Ocala rental houses. The large number of retirees here creates significant demand for medical professionals and caregivers. The horse-centered community offers a number of good paying jobs to trainers, veterinarians and animal caregivers. There are several manufacturers in the area such as mobile home manufacturers and an EMS vehicle maker.

When you buy real estate in Ocala you are investing in an area that is situated between three huge cosmopolitan centers, namely Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville. The Ocala housing market is quite affordable for investors compared to the rest of Florida markets like Tampa where the median home value is $221,500. The median home price in Ocala in 2018 was around $150,000. You can buy several homes in the Ocala FL real estate market for the price you would of one mid-market condo in Miami.

Another market that we suggest is the housing market in Idaho Falls, ID. Idaho Falls, Idaho is enjoying strong but steady growth, because it has the ideal mix of affordable real estate, an excellent quality of life and great economics. People move here because they can find good paying jobs and affordable homes, while they look forward to a bright future.

Rents for Idaho Falls rental houses hit $1500 a month in Ada County and $1100 a month in Canyon County in 2018. These are the rental rates yield a decent return on the investment. It also makes rental houses in the Idaho Falls housing market better than investing in small apartments, because you can only charge $500-600 a month for those pads.

The influx of people from rural Idaho, fleeing Boise or the West Coast is all driving up rental rates in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Rents for small one bedroom apartments grew nearly 20% year over year, while two bedroom rents increased roughly 6%. Needless to say, the rents for larger Idaho Falls rental houses are rising faster than the rate of inflation, too.

Let us know which real estate markets you consider best for real estate investing! If you need an expert investment advise, you may fill up the form given here. 

One of our investment specialists will get in touch with you to discuss all facets of searching for, buying, and owning a turnkey investment property.


*Remember, caveat emptor still applies when buying a property anywhere. The information contained in this article was pulled from third party sites mentioned under references. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Norada Real Estate Investments makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees, either express or implied, as to whether the information presented is accurate, reliable, or current. All information presented should be independently verified through the references given below. As a general policy, the Norada Real Estate Investments makes no claims or assertions about the future housing market conditions across the US.

References:

Demographics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakeland,_Florida

Expansion of Tampa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakeland,_Florida

The student market
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakeland,_Florida
Affordability
https://www.century21.com/for-sale-homes/Lakeland-FL-4817c/view_local-market-trends

The expected increases in valuation / realtor.com list
https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/2019-housing-markets-poised-to-take-off

Expansion of Orlando
https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/2019-housing-markets-poised-to-take-off
https://www.theledger.com/news/20170416/short-rentals-like-airbnb-land-in-labyrinth-of-rules

Relative unaffordability
https://realestate.usnews.com/places/florida/lakeland
https://www.bestplaces.net/economy/city/florida/lakeland

Job market growth
https://www.bestplaces.net/economy/city/florida/lakeland

Favorable tax climate
https://smartasset.com/taxes/lowest-taxes-in-america

Landlord friendliness                                                                                    https://www.avail.co/education/laws/florida-landlord-tenant-law

Market Data, Trends and Forecast                                                                                  https://www.zillow.com/lakeland-fl/home-values                                                    https://www.littlebighomes.com/real-estate-lakeland.html https://www.realtytrac.com/statsandtrends/foreclosuretrends/fl/polk-county/lakeland https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/fl/lakeland/real-estate                                    https://www.movoto.com/lakeland-fl/market-trends                https://www.redfin.com/city/9711/FL/Lakeland/housing-market                https://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Lakeland-Florida                                https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Lakeland_FL/overview http://www.homebuyinginstitute.com/news/lakeland-florida-the-hottest-market


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