Florida and the USA
According to the United Nations, there are about 715,000 Brits living in the USA making it the second most popular country of emigration after Australia.
The majority will be professionals working in the major cities such as New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The USA is a huge and diverse land.
However, for those seeking a holiday home or retirement destination, Florida is by far the most preferred choice.
It is easy to see the appeal, a year-round warm subtropical climate, world-class theme parks and tourist attractions, great beaches, amazing golf courses and easy access to a full range of sporting and water activities.
Access to Florida is easy with daily flights that are available around the year. Popular airports are Orlando and Miami. Flight times are approximately eight hours though it can be a little longer travelling out than back due to the jet stream over the Atlantic.
Florida was hit hard by the downturn in 2007/2008 and property prices suffered as a result falling by much as 50%.
Prices are now starting to recover and even after allowing for a strong Dollar, there is a lot of value. Property price growth in Miami has been particularly strong in recent years. Generally, you can expect good sized properties with a luxury finish.
Due to the year-round climate and huge visitor numbers, Florida is a good option for buy-to-let investors. It is expected that there will be over 100m tourists in 2016 (106m in 2015) with the UK being the second most popular overseas visitor after Canada.
It is easy to just think Orlando and the theme parks when you consider Florida. However, the state is bigger than England and Wales combined offering a wide range of options from Tampa, St Petersburg, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples on the Gulf of Mexico. Also, there is Jacksonville, Daytona, Fort Lauderdale and Miami on the Atlantic coast. Miami in the south-east gives easy access to the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys and even the Bahamas are only 180 miles away.
About half of all Florida’s tourists will hit Orlando and its many theme parks. In Disney World we have Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, whilst also nearby is Universal Studios, Sea World, Legoland and Busch Gardens as well as numerous water parks.
Downtown Orlando has seen some recent regeneration and activity has been improving in recent years. However, most buyers tend to focus on outer suburbs in the Orange and Seminole counties. Fashionable areas include Winter Park, Dr Phillips, Bay Hill and Windermere.
On the west coast, Tampa offers a wide choice of homes to suit all budgets. It is very cheap compared to Orlando. St Petersburg is popular further to the south, Sarasota offers a more up-market, cultured feel. Naples is also fashionable and popular with families, retirees and the golfing community.
The buzzing and cosmopolitan city of Miami is extremely popular and by far the premium and luxury end of Florida.
It is not possible to do justice to the sheer choice and range of options available in the USA particularly on a singe page. At Escape to the Sun, we have access to literally hundreds of thousands of Estate Agents and millions of properties. We have the local expertise to find your dream property.
We’ve also team up with Everything Overseas to provide indispensable guides to buying properties in the USA.