The Best Place to Invest in Florida Real Estate

  • Jun 14, 2021
  • 7 min read
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Nationally, the real estate market has climbed steadily for almost a full year. Many year-over-year (YoY) growth metrics maintain positive growth that exceeds most location’s expectations.

However, it’s beginning to slow down. Some experts say the end is near.

We disagree. 

The housing market may be slowing down a little. But the St. Petersburg housing market is still outperforming last year. And its anticipated projections.

Different experts say different things. The long-term profitability of an investment is easy to overlook when a market expands as much as it has this past year.

But the real estate industry hinges on context and long-term consideration. 

And the real estate market in Florida is still a profitable investment. Keep reading to learn all you need to know.

Florida Market Analysis Metrics Still Surpass Previous Years

Experts predicted St. Petersburg to outpace 2021 the national average housing metrics. 

Locally, the St. Petersburg, Florida sale price value was expected to be above average. Experts anticipated:

  • An +8.7% YoY for the number of homes sold in the St. Petersburg real estate market
  • A +7% YoY for the number of homes sold nationwide
  • Median sale prices to increase +7.5% YoY in St. Pete, Florida real estate market
  • Median sale prices to increase +5.7% YoY nationwide

So how did the Florida real estate market in 2021 actually turn out? 

Almost halfway into 2021, St. Petersburg FL home prices increased +27.3% YoY. The number of homes increased from 407 in May alone to 732 homes sold this year

Even if the St. Petersburg market numbers slow down, the market maintains a YoY increase.  The words “slow down,” “decrease,” or “cooling” cause alarm for some. But those descriptors don’t regard the overall health of the real estate market.

They only mean that the intense growth is a small percentage lower than last month. And the past several years show a dependable, reliable Florida property investing location.

But before we move on, let’s talk about rent.

St. Petersburg Rental Market Compared to Florida’s Rental Market

The average rent in St. Petersburg, Florida is $1,458 per month. That’s a +6% YoY increase from last year, 2020. 

In order to compare the rental market in St. Pete to the rental market in Florida, we’ll add some context. Here are some more average rent statistics:

  • The average apartment size is 871 sqft.
  • 53% of rent paid in St. Pete ranges from $1,001-$1,500 per month 
  • 46% of housing is renter-occupied
  • There is a greater percentage of $1,501-$2,000 renters (28%) than $701-$1,000 renters (11%)

These numbers show that long-term real estate investing in St. Petersburg is dependable. 

Now let’s look at Florida. Here’s a brief list of other major Florida cities and their rent averages:

  • Jacksonville: $1,196 rent average with a +8% YoY increase
  • Tampa: $1,451 rent average with a +7% YoY increase
  • Miami: $1,774 rent average with a +4% YoY increase
  • Orlando: $1,444 rent average with a 2% YoY increase
  • Clearwater: $1,377 rent average with a +9% YoY increase

So what do we make of that? Two things.

First, St. Pete has a $1,458 rent average and a +6% YoY increase. This gives it a steady middle standing in Florida’s real estate market. 

Second, St. Pete has the largest renter population out of all of these listed cities. 

Miami has the highest rent average but a lower percentage of renter households. And Clearwater’s highest rental YoY increase is balanced by their lower rental percentage.

The real estate market after coronavirus isn’t one to shy away from, at least here. 

St. Pete’s Neighborhoods Have Diverse Price, Value, and Location Attributes

Real estate investing in Florida is much more diversified by St. Pete property investments. 

This town isn’t desirable just because of its sports teams or beach access. St. Pete stands out from the real estate market in Florida because of its:

  • Broad range of home values
  • Competitive rent averages
  • Expansive location options
  • Many neighborhoods with different attributes
  • Diverse scenery
  • Proximity to other towns and real estate markets

Buying property in St. Petersburg has twofold advantages. The options are broad-scoped and the market benefits from its range.  

Mid-2021, there are 1,000+ homes for sale in St. Pete, FL. Here are the numbers that prove its broad reach:

  • Home prices range from $9.9K to $16.8M
  • Out of St. Pete’s 106 schools, 35 schools are private and charter schools
  • Rentals range from $705/month to $15K/month

As you can see, price and value have an expansive range in the real estate market in St. Pete.

This allows the Florida real estate market to remain sustainable. The market isn’t conformed and dependent on one trending neighborhood. 

Wealth is distributed throughout various areas. And there are many different properties to accommodate different types of wealth.

But the physical properties in St. Pete aren’t the only unique feature. Differing environmental scenery makes this area a profitable, long-term investment. Each neighborhoods environment offers something different. That includes:

  • Parks, some neighborhoods with multiple in walking distance
  • Ponds or lakes
  • Beaches within walking distance or short driving distance
  • Walkable downtown areas
  • Peaceful settle-down neighborhoods
  • Quiet neighborhoods that are walkable
  • Seawalls and kayak departures

Some neighborhoods have multiple of these environmental attributes in one, like Old Northeast. This particular downtown neighborhood is peaceful, beautiful, and walkable. Parks and a beach, sports recreational area, and biking trail along the seawall are nearby. 

But we can’t leave it at that. Let’s briefly break down St. Petersburg neighborhoods to better describe the real estate market in Florida. 

Rental Market Analysis of Neighborhoods in St. Petersburg FL

The St. Petersburg area offers a broad spectrum of neighborhood attributes, environments, and affordability. 

St. Petersburg’s most affordable neighborhoods are Casler Heights and Highland Oaks, each averaging $1,041/month. The most expensive neighborhoods are:

  1. Downtown St. Petersburg: $2,276/month
  2. Historic Roser Park: $2,276/month
  3. Crescent Lake: $2,184/month
  4. Historic Old Northeast: $2,184/month
  5. Old Southeast: $1,916/month

But St. Pete has a lot of neighborhoods. And the average price isn’t the only key factor. Each of these neighborhoods offers a combination of:

  • Different property types
  • Proximity to different schools and school levels
  • Quick access to parks or the water
  • Bike routes
  • Bars, restaurants, shopping, and necessities in close proximity

These variations are what keep the St. Pete FL real estate market energized and opportunistic. There’s room for growth, and the growth here is unique.

The Pinellas County Real Estate Market Maintains Year-Round Tourism

In St. Pete FL specifically, tourism isn’t based on any single season, industry, or attribute. Tourism sustains all year because of Florida’s weather, attractions, and affordability. Let’s break it down by season.

Winter: Northerners travel down to Florida and stay anywhere between 3-6 months. Restaurants and other businesses get busy.

Spring: Spring break vacationers. Spring Break tourism lasts months due to differing school schedules across the country. Beaches and restaurants get busy.

Summer: Summer vacations. Beaches and restaurants get bust. 

Fall: Northerners are still here. You’ll hear locals refer to this phenomenon as “snowbirds”. 

We know that the real estate market and the economy are directly connected. The economy in Florida has a better backbone than many places because of its year-round tourism and diverse demographic. 


Real Estate Development in St. Pete, FL expands Market Inventory and Value

It’s pretty common to hear about people retiring to Florida. This is true (and it’s a great contribution to our economy!) but development in St. Pete shows that the demographic isn’t concrete.

The population’s age has lowered. Property development over the past couple of years is one way to see that. 

Over 800+ apartment units appeared from new apartment buildings in 2020. That amount is made up of four different apartment buildings. And by the beginning of 2021, at least one of them reported already 86% capacity. 

But apartment buildings aren’t all.

The real estate development currently under construction signals well-rounded growth. Plans include more housing to hotels, retail spaces, hospital expansions, and a museum. And it’s not stopping there.

The proposed development includes even more. St. Pete housing, community centers, more museums, expansions, parks, cooperative retail spaces, and luxury lifestyle facilities. 

St. Pete is the Shining Star of the Real Estate Market in Florida

All of Florida might be the “Sunshine State”. But St. Pete, FL is its shining star, especially when it comes to the real estate market. 

The real estate market after the pandemic has been a whirlwind. The real estate market in Florida might have slowed down a little. But that doesn’t stop the St. Pete market from being a great investment. 

You can invest in Florida real estate even if you don’t live in the area. Find more information about how to do that through an investors club like this one

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