The basic laws of supply and demand mean that when investing in a vacation rental property, you’re looking for a plentiful and consistent flow of visitors to a resort with a variety of year-round attractions. Orlando certainly fits the bill, and then some. In this guide, we outline what makes Orlando investment property so attractive and the best place to buy investment property in Florida.
This guide discusses all aspects relevant serviced apartment and buy to let investing in Florida, Orlando
In it, you will discover why Orlando is the most popular tourist city in the world, with hotel occupancy rates consistently above the national average. This article also provides information on the city’s economic growth, property market and tourist accommodation expectations.
- The world’s most popular tourist city
- Second fastest-growing economy in the US
- 6 consecutive years of house price increases
- Tourist accommodation expectations
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112 million people from around the world visited Florida last year; 68 million of them were bound for Orlando, making it the most visited city on the planet. Orlando’s tourist numbers have increased every year for the last 7.
It’s no wonder, really, because over half of TripAdvisor’s top 15 amusement parks in the world are located there – but the numbers are still awesome.
Disney, Universal and SeaWorld all have multiple presences in Orlando; if you stayed for a fortnight and visited a different theme park every day, you still wouldn’t have done them all. It’s hard to think of anywhere better to take the kids.
Golfers have 189 courses to choose from, all within an hour’s drive, while downtown is a magnet for international shoppers with enough retail space to accommodate 900 American football fields.
Orlando is also only about an hour from the iconic Kennedy Space Center, and an hour and a half from the wildlife park attractions of Tampa Bay.
The second fastest growing economy in the US, Orlando’s tourism obviously has a major impact – to the tune of $54 billion each year.
It creates 380,000 jobs annually, which is one reason why the city was rated number one for job growth in 2015 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It’s the second most competitive large US city for business, according to KPMG, and is a Foreign Direct Investment magazine top 10 American City of the Future.
Orlando has embarked upon a bold $15 billion infrastructure programme, including commuter rail links, an Orlando-Miami express rail route, upgrades and new terminals at its two airports and the completion of the region’s ring road system.
The average price of residential investment property in Orlando is currently $269,000; the last 73 consecutive months have seen a year-on-year increase in median price, which is currently 94.8% higher than in July 2011. House sales were up in August 2017 by 3% on the previous year, but inventory was down by 16% (Orlando Regional Realtor Association).
Short term rental property, however, of the type which is of most interest to vacation accommodation investors, will most readily be found in dedicated (and more expensive) areas near the parks and attractions. Rental licences will only be granted to owners of properties which fall in a designated Short Term Rental Zone; unlicensed properties risk a fine of $250 a day.
This, of course, means vacation homes come at a premium. A private pool is regarded by rental agents as an absolute must, so these properties rarely start below $300,000 and can go up to well over $1 million according to local real estate specialists.
As you’d expect with 68 million visitors a year, Orlando is well-served with resort hotels, many of them themed and sited right in the middle of all the attractions. Most of them are owned by the entertainment corporations or major hospitality chains and they can work out quite expensive, especially if you have to rent a larger room or suite to accommodate a whole family.
There’s a big choice of rental villas with pools but again these can prove costly, and the lower priced ones may be a bit away from the action.
An increasingly favoured option is serviced apartments. Originally conceived as an alternative to city centre hotels for business travellers, these ‘make yourself at home’ 2 and 3-bedroom apartments are now becoming very popular in vacation locations. Bigger and better value than regular hotel rooms, they usually have at least 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a living area and are ideally suited to families.
Guests may enjoy access to all the parent property’s amenities, such as pools, bars, restaurants and lobby services.