Orlando, Florida has been synonymous with Disney since first opening what was originally called the Magic Kingdom to universal acclaim in 1971. However, these days there is much more driving property investment in Orlando than Disney World and the year-round Florida sunshine.
Dublin-born Garrett Kenny, founder of local property consultants Feltrim Group said: "Orlando is still one of the world's prime destinations. It now attracts over 60 million visitors every year which represents huge recent growth. But the area is also fast- becoming a major hub for aerospace, life sciences, R&D, medical, digital tech and business services such as call centres."
"What we're seeing here reminds me very much of how Dublin positioned itself over the last number of years as an innovation hub. There is no state income tax and major international corporations are moving operations here."
This is good news for the savvy property investor because a new demand-stream has emerged in Orlando that could possibly present better yield opportunities. Renting out a property on a long term basis to a professional working in the area is going to supply more consistent rental income than holiday rentals. Whilst it's possible to charge more for short term lets, there are the void periods, changeover cleans and more ongoing maintenance requirements to consider that don't apply to the same extent with longer tenancies.
Orlando has been a popular destination for British property investors for many years with buyer-interest set to increase on the back of the dynamism of the local economy. Currently outperforming most other US states in terms of economic growth, Orlando is very much in focus as an investment hotspot.
Projects including the I-Drive 360 retail and entertainment complex, a new hotel at Universal Orlando and the construction of a soccer stadium in downtown Orlando are currently in construction. International names like Deloitte, Verizon and Voxx International are stepping up local operations, and adding hundreds of higher-paid jobs to Orlando's labour market, drastically reducing unemployment numbers in the Sunshine State.
The indications are that Orlando is a leader in Florida's economic expansion in terms of percentage of total jobs being added. Sean Snaith, economist at University of Central Florida said: “The Orlando metro area is by our forecast the fastest-growing metro area in the state for jobs. That is fuelled by the I-4 projects (infrastructure), Wekiva Expressway, SunRail, robust population growth, new companies here and yes, the expansion of tourism again.”
It seems Orlando is on a steep growth trajectory making it a great time to be looking at investment property in the area.