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

Hottest Ocala FL Real Estate Market Insight

If you’re keen to invest in your future in the Ocala FL real estate and buy before prices become out of reach, you must peruse till the end. Smaller, stable housing markets like the one in Ocala, Florida are often overlooked in favor of “hot” markets like Miami or promoted ones like every town around the Disney parks. However, there are a number of reasons to consider investing in the Ocala FL real estate market over those that are making the headlines. The Ocala housing market 2019 is healthier and prices are more reasonable.

Ocala is home to around sixty thousand people, though the real Ocala housing market includes the broader metropolitan area that’s home to more than three hundred thousand people. Ocala is interesting for its population density given how rural the surrounding area is. For example, it is notable for the many horse farms in the area while the population density is roughly 1200 per square mile. Let’s take a close look at the Ocala FL real estate market predictions 2019 & 2020 and find out why to invest in this hot Florida market.

Ocala FL Real Estate Market

Original Photo via Pixabay


Ocala FL Real Estate Market Forecast 2019, 2020 & 2021

The median home value in Ocala is $142,400 on Zillow. Ocala home values have gone up 10.1% over the past year and the Ocala real estate market prediction is that they will rise 5.1% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Ocala is $108, which is lower than the Ocala Metro average of $113. The median price of homes currently listed in Ocala is $186,600 while the median price of homes that sold is $136,400. The median rent price in Ocala is $1,100, which is lower than the Ocala Metro median of $1,125.

Ocala FL Real Estate Market Forecast

Graph Credits: publishes forecasts for the trend in home prices in 380 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The forecast for the trend in the Ocala housing market for the 12 months ending with the 3rd Quarter of 2019 is up. The Accuracy of the Trend Projection for Ocala is 77%. Accordingly, they estimate that the probability for rising house prices in Ocala is 77% 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.

Ocala Housing Market Forecast 2019 – 2021

The forecast for the trend in the Ocala housing market for the 3 years ending with the 3rd Quarter of 2021 is up. The Accuracy of the Trend Prediction for Ocala is 75%. Accordingly, estimates that the probability for rising house prices in Ocala is 75% 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 Ocala Real Estate Market Forecast.

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

Ocala FL Real Estate Market Trends

Ocala FL real estate market trends indicate an increase of $7,900 (6%) in median home sales and a 0% rise in median rent per month over the past year. The average price per square foot for this same period rose to $91, up from $89. Trulia has 1,568 resale and new homes for sale in Ocala, 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 Ocala for Nov 7 to Feb 6 was $144,900 based on 962 home sales. Average price per square foot for Ocala was $91, an increase of 2% compared to the same period last year. The median rent per month for apartments in Ocala for Jan 12 to Feb 12 was $1,195.

Ocala FL Real Estate Market Trends

Graph Credits:

Ocala Housing Market Summary

  • Median Sales Price: $144,900 (On Trulia)
  • Price Per Square Ft: $91
  • Homes For Sale: 1,568 (Trulia)
  • Median Rent Per Month: $1,195
  • Median Household Income: $39,058
  • Home Owners: 79%
  • Single Residents: 32%
  • Median Age: 42
  • College Educated: 26%
  • Transportation: 98% car dependent

There are 3,732 homes for sale, ranging from $1.3K to $40M on Ocala has affordable condo/townhomes. 213 of which were newly listed within the last week. Additionally, there are 133 rentals, with a range of $418 to $10K per month. In December 2018 the housing market in Ocala, FL was a buyer’s market, which means there were roughly more active homes for sale than there were buyers. Buyer’s markets are generally more advantageous for buyers rather than sellers.

Ocala Housing Market Trends

Graph Credits:

In December 2018, the median list price of homes in Ocala, FL was $169K, trending up 5.7% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $105. The median sale price was $150K. Homes in Ocala, FL sold for 2.11% below asking price on average in December 2018. On average, homes in Ocala, FL sell after 74 days on the market. The trend for median days on market in Ocala, FL is flat since last month, and flat since last year.

Ocala Housing Market Trend

Graph Credits:

There are 106 schools in Ocala, FL. There are 31 elementary schools, 18 middle schools, 16 high schools and 41 private & charter schools.

The median list price in Ocala is $187,750 on The median list price in Ocala went up 1% from February to March. Ocala’s home resale inventories is 128, which increased 7 percent since February 2019. The median list price per square foot in Ocala is $112. February 2019 was $112. Distressed properties such as foreclosures and short sales remained the same as a percentage of the total market in March.

Ocala FL Real Estate Market Trend

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Ocala, FL Single Family Homes

As per the data from the real estate company called, median house value in Ocala is $152,310 and the Ocala real estate and house prices are near the national average for all cities and towns. Single family detached homes are the single most common housing type in Ocala, accounting for 51.88% of the city’s housing units. Other types of housing that are prevalent in Ocala include large apartment complexes or high rise apartments ( 27.20%), duplexes, homes converted to apartments or other small apartment buildings ( 10.78%), and a few mobile homes or trailers ( 5.81%).

People in Ocala primarily live in small (one, two or no bedroom) single family detached homes. Ocala has a mixture of owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing. Currently, there are 2307 single family homes for sale in Ocala FL on Zillow. Additionally, there are 111 single family homes for rent in Ocala, FL.

Ocala Foreclosures And Bank Owned Homes

The percent of delinquent mortgages in Ocala is 1.6%, 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 Ocala homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 10.3%, which is higher than Ocala Metro at 9.3%.

On RealtyTrac, there are currently 685 properties in Ocala, FL that are in some stage of foreclosure (default, auction or bank owned) while the number of homes listed for sale on RealtyTrac is 1,106. In January, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Ocala, FL was 32% lower than the previous month and 3% lower 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 Ocala = 685
  • Homes for Sale = 1,106 (RealtyTrac)
  • Recently Sold = 915
  • Median List Price = $169,000 (1% drop vs Dec 2017)

Ocala Home Prices And Appreciation Rates

The average annual home appreciation rate in Ocala during the period has been just -0.43%, which is lower than 80% of US communities, according to NeighborhoodScout’s data. Appreciation rates are so strong in Ocala that despite a nationwide downturn in the housing market, Ocala real estate has continued to appreciate in value faster than most communities. Looking at just the latest twelve months, Ocala appreciation rates continue to be some of the highest in America, at 12.51%, which is higher than appreciation rates in 98.20% of the cities and towns in the nation. Based on the last twelve months, short-term real estate investors have found good fortune in Ocala. Ocala appreciation rates in the latest quarter were at 0.11%, which equates to an annual appreciation rate of 0.46%.

Notably, Ocala’s appreciation rate in the latest quarter is one of the lowest in America. Relative to Florida, their data shows that Ocala’s latest annual appreciation rate is higher than 90% of the other cities and towns in Florida.

10 Best Neighborhoods In Ocala For Real Estate Investment

These are the best neighborhoods in Ocala to invest in real estate because they have the highest appreciation rates (List by

  1. York
  2. SW 94th Ct / SW 90th St
  3. Ocala Ridge
  4. Sparr
  5. Silver Springs Shores
  6. SE 44th Ter / Chestnut Rd
  7. Montague
  8. SE Lake Weir Rd / SE 17th St
  9. SE 36th Ave / E Fort King St
  10. NW 44th Ave / NW 60th St

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

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

Ocala real estate market provides an excellent opportunity for investors and home buyers at the moment. But did you know that Marion County is one of Florida’s top residential rental investment markets? Here are a few evidence-based reasons why to invest in the Ocala rental houses for cash flow. 

1. The Low Cost of Entry

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. Distance from Ocala to Tampa is 141 kilometers. This air travel distance is equal to 88 miles. 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.

Between the large population in need of affordable housing and retirees happy to rent a one or two bedroom starter home, you can buy a number of small properties for less than $100,000 apiece knowing that there are people would pay to live there. There is also the possibility of finding bargains, since there will always be estates eager to unload Mom’s horse farm and the greater than average number of homeowners who are underwater.

2. The Geographic Constraints Affecting Supply

The Ocala real estate market cannot expand in all directions as it otherwise might due to geographic constraints. One such limitation on the Ocala housing market is the Ocala National Forest, the second largest protected forest in Florida. However, this isn’t the only protected wilderness area around Ocala. Goethe State Forest, Halpata Tastanaki Nature Preserve, Ross Prairie State Forest, the wilderness areas around Lake Weir and the Wacoochee River are all off limits to development.

3. The Other Constraints on Supply

Given that there are many agricultural properties that could be developed into new housing for the Ocala FL real estate market and denser development is always an option, the geographic constraints in and of themselves don’t explain the spike in home prices in Ocala. The greater factor is the inability of new construction to meet local housing demand.

The housing bust in 2007-2012 hit this area hard. At its low point, you could buy a three bedroom house for $75,000. While demand has recovered, local builders haven’t been eager to build new homes. Compounding the issue is the tendency of retirees to come to Florida and stay put, limiting the number of properties hitting the market. This has led to median sales prices rising. The median sales price of homes in the Ocala FL real estate market grew 13% in 2017 for that reason, hitting a high of $157,000.

The supply shortage also is compounded by the influx of new employers, such as the FedEx and AutoZone distribution centers. That is bringing more people to Ocala who need a place to live which has created more competition for the few homes available.

4. The Tax Climate

Many people move to Florida for the climate, but retirees and workers alike are attracted to the Ocala FL real estate market for the tax climate. Florida has no state income tax. However, various jurisdictions charge property taxes and, depending on the location, they can be steep. The average property tax Florida residents pay is 1.1%, well below the national average of 1.7%.

One of the benefits of owning Ocala rental houses over properties in Palm Beach, for example, is the doubly low property taxes owed. You’d not only pay more for a property in hotspots like Palm Beach, but you’d pay the higher 1.26% tax rate on that expensive property, too. In a few areas, the property tax rate can be as high as 2% because of town levies piled on the state and county property tax bills.

5. The Income Profile of the Area

The median household income for Ocala residents is around $30,000. The median income for a family is around $40,000. Nearly a fifth of the population lives below the poverty line. This creates significant demand for affordable housing among people who cannot afford to buy a home. It also guarantees high demand for affordable Ocala rental houses, including two bedroom homes and mobile homes.

6. The Massive Retiree Market

Given that this is Florida, it shouldn’t be surprising that retirees are a disproportionately large source of demand for Ocala rental houses. Retirees relocating to Florida may rent for a few months while they decide where they want to live. And retirees may simply rent homes and condos in the Ocala FL real estate market while shopping for their dream retirement home.

That’s especially true for horse lovers who moved here to run a hobby farm or simply have a home with a horse barn on the lot. Ocala is a horse-lover’s paradise, catering to people who want to ride to town on errands and are welcome to walk into a restaurant in boots. A side benefit of the large retiree market is that it is relatively immune to swings in the job market; they will pay market rates for the few premium properties that fit their lifestyle.

7. The Stable Job Market

The Ocala real estate market is buoyed by several nearly recession proof industries. 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.

This is why Ocala not only has a 4% unemployment rate but a much more stable job market than cities in Florida dependent on tourism. Another factor affecting the demand for Ocala rental properties is that half the people who live in the county commute to more expensive surrounding areas to work.

8. The Moderately Large Student Market

A small city that’s far from major ones can be home to a relatively large student market because it is the only alternative for local kids who want to attend college. That is why many renters in Ocala rental houses are attending the College of Central Florida, Rasmussen College and the Webster University Ocala Metropolitan Campus.

9. The Strong Return on Investment

The median sales price for properties has gone from $145,000 to over $150,000 in the past year. Median rent hit $1200 a month in 2019. The rental rate will be higher on Ocala rental properties with three or four bedrooms or offering acreage. Given the upscale market segment, you could receive a premium on luxury homes that back onto the Florida Greenway.

10. How Landlord Friendly the State Is

Florida is landlord friendly like many other southern states. Florida doesn’t require a written lease, though it is in the landlord’s interest to have one. Florida doesn’t have the same limits on rental rate increases or evictions that other eastern states do. The state recently updated its rental laws to give renters only a three day grace period before eviction for non-payment of rent can begin. Tenants who violate lease terms regarding pets, poor housekeeping, and unauthorized guests can be evicted on their second offense in a year. Laws like these protect the owners of Ocala rental houses and their income.

Other Best Places To Invest In Real Estate In Florida

Other great investment places in the state of Florida are Jacksonville, Cape Coral and Miami. 

At this moment there is an enormous development going on in the Jacksonville real estate market. Last year, the average sales in the Jacksonville housing market recorded a 10.3% increase from 2016. Average sale prices of Jacksonville properties have been rising by about 6.5% every year. This is a good increase in value for real estate owners have invested in Jacksonville real estate. There are also strong indicators of low property vacancies, jobs, rising rents and single family rental unit developments, factors that are known to attract real estate investors into a city.

The Cape Coral real estate market is somewhat competitive. The average sale price of a home in Cape Coral was $233K last month. Prices reflect cost of living, and here in Southwest Florida, the cost of living is affordable. Cape Coral is affordable to renters and investors alike by Fort Myers standards. The average rent for a Fort Myers apartment is $1200 a month. A studio apartment comes in at $750 a month while a one bedroom yields around $1000 or more a month. Many choose to rent in north Cape Coral and commute to Fort Myers, trading time for money. For investors looking at buying real estate in Florida, the $250,000 median price tag is certainly better than the much higher bill you’d get if you tried to invest in Miami.

Miami hits most people’s radar as a tourist destination, though it periodically hits the news when it looks like it may be hit by a hurricane. However, Miami is a large, thriving city with a strong housing market. The Miami real estate market does present an opportunity to those who want to cater to tourists. The Port of Miami is known as the Cruise Capital of the World, since it is the top cruise passenger port in the world. Landlords can rent to tourists who want to stay for a week in Miami before flying home or simply want to enjoy Miami’s beaches, cultural activities and sports teams. According to the Wall Street Journal, a $350,000 property can be rented out for $2500 per month. That’s a fair ROI, and you could easily rent out a vacation condo when you aren’t using it yourself.

Ocala Real Estate Investment Properties

Maybe you have done a bit of real estate investing in Ocala, 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 Ocala, FL. 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.

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 Ocala real estate market, you can also invest 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 real estate 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.

Another market that we suggest is the housing market in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas is a shining beacon in the desert for those fleeing California or simply hope to make it big. Many others simply come to earn a living serving the many tourists who visit here each year or work at the firms relocating to this tax haven. All of this gives the Las Vegas real estate market a bright future.

According to the PwC’s annual real estate report, the Las Vegas real estate market 2019 will enjoy a population growth rate that is well above the national growth rate. This is actually a continuing trend as data from the US Census Bureau shows a net migration of 6.46% from 2012-2016. This earned the Las Vegas real estate market a spot among the best places that people were moving to in 2018. It’s clear the city will hold this title well into 2019 according to the forecast.

Unlike many other Western states, the Las Vegas real estate market is landlord friendly. It isn’t difficult to evict non-paying tenants from Las Vegas investment properties. In general, they have five days from the date rent is due to “cure” the problem or eviction can begin. The same time frame is used to correct issues like lease violations, after which the person can be evicted. After those five days, the case can go to courts, and these are landlord friendly.

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.


Overview of real estate market size,_Florida


Student market,_Florida
Geographic constraints

Other constraints on supply


Job market

Landlord friendly                      

Low cost of entry

Market Data, Trends and Forecast                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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