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Thoughts on the Local Micro Real Estate Markets

Thoughts on the Local Micro Real Estate Markets

Jul 15, 2019 10:32:43 AM / by Don Magruder, CEO RoMac Building Supply

Real estate and construction professionals in Lake and Sumter counties are frequently asked, “How is the real estate market?” This is a completely fair question given the concern most people have for the economy and the memories of the housing crash during the Great Recession. The dilemma is that it portends there is just one real estate market for our local area when it is actually a collage of six micro real estate markets, each of which is unique and able to perform totally different than the others. What many people who are trying to buy or sell real estate in Lake and Sumter counties don’t understand is these properties can be within a mile of one another, yet the demand and pricing equation can be dramatically different. Proximity necessity does not equate to commonality.

In my opinion, the six micro real estate markets in Lake and Sumter counties are The Villages, Northern Lake County, the New Golden Triangle, South Lake, Wildwood, and Rural Sumter County. Understanding the real property values and type of client for each of these micro markets will help both the buyer and seller make better decisions. Let’s briefly go through each one.

The Villages is the largest single-site developer in the country and this massive retiree development is a market all its own. The Villages has done an amazing job in creating a lifestyle and amenities package, which draws retirees from across the country. To try and compare other properties in Lake and Sumter counties to The Villages is futile. This area is a real estate motor, which is constantly churning new properties as well as cycling pre-owned homes. The home values are maintained by The Villages team tempering housing production to demand. Home values in The Villages are more by simply being within the confines of the development.

Northern Lake County includes Lady Lake, Leesburg, Tavares, and areas toward the forest. This area was once the center of the area’s population and consists of older neighborhoods mixed in with new developments. Although growth has slowed in recent years, affordability is pushing homeowners back to this area. In Leesburg, gentrification is an issue as home prices continue to escalate while the City of Tavares is making a play to become America’s Seaplane City, which is a different direction from others in the original Golden Triangle area.

This may make some people mad, but I believe there is a New Golden Triangle, which is comprised of Eustis, Mount Dora, and Sorrento — because of the new Wekiva Parkway State Road 429. This area was once the home of old money and it appears it may be returning. It is poised to become one of the high-end areas of Central Florida with the allure of Mount Dora’s quaint downtown and nice restaurants. Quick access to downtown Orlando opens the door for the newly affluent to discover the area’s old money charm.

The South Lake market is essentially the bedroom community of Orlando. Orlando’s housing affordability crisis, hectic lifestyle, and traffic congestion are driving homeowners with families to South Lake County. Schools and infrastructure are being stressed to keep up with growth. This growth will not subside if housing in Orlando continues to outpace inflation, and it is faster to travel from downtown Orlando to Minneola than across town.

The Wildwood area is an interesting real estate market that is staying under the radar. Wildwood has been annexing properties and is currently one of the fastest growing cities by area and population in Florida. The local government is pushing redevelopment and new developments in both residential and commercial real estate. Wildwood could indeed become the transportation hub of Florida with huge expansions in good paying blue-collar jobs.

Rural Sumter County appears to be growing smaller daily. Growth from all sides of Sumter County is occurring as rising housing costs are forcing homeowners to find lower cost land. The agricultural business is losing steam as market conditions for many remain unfavorable. The best and plentiful rural areas for the region exist in Sumter County. However, those markets are also undergoing change.

When looking at buying or selling a home, make sure your housing comparables are in your micro real estate market. Most importantly, before making any real estate decision discuss it with a licensed real estate professional or appraiser.

In next week’s column, I will discuss the different types of real estate buyers in Lake and Sumter counties.

Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply. He is also the host of the Around the House TV show on LSTV and at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and at 7 a.m., Noon and 6 p.m. Saturday.

Topics: Micro Real Estate Market

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