The city of Ocala in Marion County has the second lowest median home prices in the whole of Florida. The city is located in the central portion of the state, and is around an hour north of Orlando and has the same distance from either coast.
The city is far from the coastline, which makes it less vulnerable to hurricanes, which explains why it doesn't suffer much from high property insurance rates that are the norm in southern Florida. Prestigious Money Magazine once named Ocala as one of the Best Places To Live, for its relaxing quality of living and small-town feel.
A Correction Is Now Seen In The Local Property Markets
For those who haven't had any updates yet on conditions in Ocala's property markets, In most aspects the once red-hot real estate market has returned to normal. For a couple of years, the city as well as Marion County, was one of the hottest real estate markets in the state, and in the US as well, and is now seeing a much needed correction. So why the correction?
According to housing analysts, there were two main factors for the previous real estate frenzy. First, Ocala before and now, still is considered the lowest-priced city in the state to buy homes. In addition, the city had, and still has plenty of empty spaces, with thousands of vacant home lots and large tracts of prime yet undeveloped land. These factors help to attract major home developers and medium-level investors as well.
Does Ocala Have The Means To Support A Booming Property Market?
According to housing observers, many developers and housing project investors were not that quick to realize that the city of Ocala doesn't have that much of a really booming economy to support the skyrocketing real estate market.
Although the city and the county has a relatively low unemployment rate, however wages here are quite lower than most parts of the country, which means that most of the home developments here were considered to be out of reach for average buyers. A lot of the existing homes here also had home values which appreciated way beyond what most locals could afford. In light of the current housing and credit crunch, it's a fact that Florida as a whole has seen the property markets slide from bad to worse, and we’re not denying that.
However, when looking at Marion County's overall performance, it never really bombed out like most of the state, and it probably won't be like that. Many view that despite the not-so-large markets here, the opportunities for getting affordable-priced and excellent real estate are still there.
As mentioned above, the housing market here is far from collapsing, and many surprisingly are saying that now would be a great time to buy homes here. The city's rental market seems to be thriving, and this could be a magnet for potential buyers in the long run. And though we can't deny that Ocala is truly livable destination, it isn't a prime retirement destination. While other large metropolitan areas in the state have much larger retirement communities, many retiring baby boomers come here because it's more affordable, conditions are less congested and crime is much lower than other parts of the state.
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