Published on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 by Land Century
Cities and Economy
There are several metropolitan areas in northern Florida, including Jacksonville, the largest city in the region. These metropolitan areas include:
* Tallahassee: Pop. 320,304
* Jacksonville: Pop. 1,419,127
* Pensacola: Pop. 448,991
* Gainesville: Pop. 126,047
* Ocala: Pop. 57,468
* Panama City: Pop. 36,877
* Fort Walton Beach: Pop. 20,597
* Palm Coast: Pop. 78,740
With numerous highly populated cities, North Florida is a popular destination for land investment as it offers numerous opportunities whether your project is residential or commercial.
But what about the local economy? Thats another important factor when considering a land investment. The economy in northern Florida is much more diversified than the economies in South and Central Florida. In these two regions, tourism is the most significant industry, as Miami is situated in the South and Orlando is situated in the central region of the state. Tourism still plays a major role in North Floridas economy, especially in the Daytona and Emerald Coast areas, however there are other important industries that drive the local economies. Agriculture is an important industry in rural areas, while education takes prominence in Gainesville and Tallahassee.
Jacksonville is known for its finance and military sectors. There are several military bases in northern Florida, including the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Naval Station Mayport, Cape Blanding, Naval Support Activity Panama City, and Hurlburt Field to name a few.
Northern Florida also has several major central business districts, including downtown Jacksonville, downtown Tallahassee and downtown Pensacola. The area is also home to several tourist attractions, including Silver Springs Nature Theme Park, Marineland of Florida, Wild Waters and Big Kahunas. Tourists also love to visit the historic Pensacola Village, St. Augustine, the World Golf Village and the Florida State Capital. With major shopping malls like Jacksonville Landing, Paddock Mall, The Avenues, Gateway Town Center and Five Points, retail is alive and well in the region.
North Florida Climate
The economy in North Florida is thriving, but thats not the only consideration when buying land. Location is equally important, and this region offers plenty of great ones. The mild climate of this region is part of the reason why northern Florida is considered a great location for residential and commercial land investment.
In the winter months of December and January, lows rarely dip below 42°, while in the summer, temperatures rarely go above 93°. Although summers are hot, theyre milder than the central and southern portions of the state. And the warm winter weather attracts tourists during the times of the year when most other cities are dead. Winters are normally dry, but summers can be very wet with thunderstorms that bring brief, torrential rains.
Simply put, North Florida offers sunny days, warm temperatures, and mild winters. Whether youre looking for land for personal or commercial use, you cant beat the weather in this area.
Where to Find Affordable Acreage in North Florida
You know that this region offers excellent weather and a growing population with a thriving economy. But where is the most affordable acreage? Lets take a look at the home values of some of the most populous areas of the region:
Jacksonville is a very hot market with a median home value of $132,700 and median sale price of $161,500. Over the last year, home values have risen 6.7%, and theyre predicted to rise another 1.8% over the next year. Home prices are still far from their 2007 pre-bubble levels, but have been steadily growing since 2012 and recovered quite well.
Youll find some very affordable acreage in this area as well as affordable homes. Just take a look at the median home values in some areas:
* Woodstock: $43,800
* Riverside: $148,600
* Grand Park: $44,200
As far as land goes, here are some of our listings in the Jacksonville area:
* 0.12 acres on a buildable lot for $2850. Taxes are just $84.98 a year. This property offers paved road access and all utilities at the street.
* 0.13 acres with a 1,006sqft home for $8,0000. Taxes are just $498.48.
Even in the most populous city in the region, you can purchase acreage for dirt cheap and in some cases, get a house to go with it.
The median home value in Panama City is $150,300 with a median sale price of $171,500. Home values have increased 3.1% over the last year, and are expected to rise another 3.7% over the next 12 months.
Some of the most lucrative areas to invest are:
* Upper Grand Lagoon where median home values are $189,300
* Lower Grand Lagoon where median home values are $177,200
In the land department, youll find some great deals. We recently sold a 0.3-acre lot just a few blocks from the ocean in Panama City for $75,000. Two buildable mobile home lots for $3,999. Taxes are just $66.84 per year, and the property is situated close to Panama Citys famous beaches.
These are just a few examples of local real estate and land markets in North Florida. Jacksonville and Panama City both offer affordable acreage in desirable locations. Panama City is close to white sandy beaches, while Jacksonville is a high-growth area with a large population and thriving economy. Of course, youll find cheap land in Tallahassee and other metro areas. In rural areas, the land gets even cheaper, but not nearly as desirable.
Whether you want to build a retirement home, your dream family home or a rental property, North Florida offers something for every investor and every budget. With favorable weather, high-growth areas and a thriving tourism industry, youre sure to find a lucrative opportunity in this sunny region of the state.