Florida market gains momentum with emerging interest from Middle Eastern investors

Property prices and the number of homes sales in Florida were up comfortably year-on-year during August, according to Florida Realtors data, with some agents in the Sunshine State also reporting a rise in interest from the Middle East and Asia since the launch of a flight from Dubai.

The direct Dubai-Orlando daily service launched by Emirates in September 2015 has proved so popular that the airline has upgraded the aircraft it uses for the route, from a Boeing 777-200LR to the larger 777-300ER with one hundred extra seats. As well as connecting the UAE with the Sunshine State, the service provides one of the quickest one-stop routes between Orlando and burgeoning markets like India and Southeast Asia.

Robbie McEwan, a first vice president of brokerage firm CBRE, recently sold 50 acres in Central Florida to a group of Egyptian investors. He told local newspaper Orlando Sentinel the direct flights between Orlando and Dubai have raised interest in Central Florida real estate among Middle Eastern investors.

Orlando is famous for its world-class theme parks, family entertainment and year round sunshine which bring in over 59 million visitors each year. It also has a strong business base with thriving industries in Advanced Technology, Film and Digital Media production, Aerospace and Life Sciences.

Meanwhile, closed sales of single-family homes across Florida totaled 25,070 last month, up 8.2 percent from August 2015. The median sales price for single-family homes was $225,000, up 12.6 per cent from the previous year. “A continued lack of inventory – particularly in the mid-$200,000 and under range – is creating obstacles for many buyers who are trying to enter Florida’s housing market,” said Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissi. “Rising median prices also may be an inhibiting factor for these would-be homeowners; however, the uptick in prices could persuade sellers that now is the time to list their properties for sale, which in turn may help ease the tight supply in many areas.”