Investing in the Florida Keys

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Company

A number of recent developments make this is an excellent time to consider investing in real estate in the Upper Keys:

The Keys are undergoing major infrastructure improvements:  the widening of the 18 mile Stretch from Florida City to Key Largo, the construction of a new municipal government and cultural center in Key Largo, and the installation of municipal sewer lines throughout the Upper Keys.  This infrastructure improvement will allow the Keys to more efficiently absorb the increased number of residents and visitors expected in the coming years.

Key Largo has recently seen the construction of an olympic size swimming pool with a diving area, a handicap accessible wading pool, and a Pirate ship pool for the kids.  The adjacent community park has been upgraded with new tennis courts, a jogging and skating track and a skateboard park.

Developers are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the Upper Keys, rehabilitating older hotels, performing “condo-conversions” and developing new properties. This major investment will help to bolster the local economy by attracting more affluent investors and visitors with more disposable income.

The Upper Keys have enjoyed remarkable market appreciation, averaging 30% per year for the last five years.  After a brief period of declining sales, we are now in the early phase of the next market rally (see Keys Market on the Rebound!).

There are two strong indications that the market may already be starting its next rebound: the number of properties for sale peaked in March 2006 and has been declining steadily since.  In addition, the number of properties sold per month bottomed out in January 2006 and has been on a steady rise.   Investors are beginning to take advantage of competitive pricing and greater choice.

In terms of what the future holds for the Keys, the bottom line is:  The Keys contain what could be described as a “fixed supply” of properties for sale.  The existing land mass of the Keys will not be expanded and local and state government regulations place significant restrictions on development of new properties.  On the demand side, we have a generation of baby-boomers approaching both their peak earning years and their retirement.  These folks have accumulated the largest aggregation of wealth of any single generation in recorded history and they continue to pour into Florida in record amounts.  And we are sitting right at the end of that funnel!

The tropical weather, relaxed life style, restaurants, shops & activities make the Upper Keys a great place to live or vacation.
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