Florida Cities Top List of 'Hot Spots' for Retiring, Investing

Although Florida is often recognized for its high foreclosure rate, the state also holds a handful of cities that are retirement “hot spots” due to their real estate opportunities, according to RealtyTrac.

On Thursday, RealtyTrac released a list of the top 15 markets for retiring. In order to be considered, at least one-third of the population in the markets had to be aged 65 or older. Overall, 40 fit that criteria, and 15 of those markets stood out due to their strong annual price growth.

Out of the 15 markets, seven were in Florida.

Dunnellon, Florida, came out ahead of other cities, with a 31.4 percent annual increase in home prices. Naples, Florida ranked second with a 26.8 percent annual increase in prices.

Other Florida cities on the list include North Fort Myers (+19 percent), Punta Gorda (16.7 percent), Sun City Center (14.7 percent), Venice (11.5 percent), and Orange City (8.8 percent).

Cities outside of Florida that were placed high on the list included Hot Springs Village, Arkansas (+25.9 percent), Douglassville, Pennsylvania (22.3 percent), and Sun City, Arizona (19.9 percent).

RealtyTrac’s ranking also included other data that might be of interest to retirees such as capitalization rate, median sales price in May 2013, annual chance of sunshine, among other factors.

Florida cities were also strong candidates for those who are considering the option of owning rentals into retirement. Orange City, for example, held the highest capitalization rate of 12.9 percent, followed by Dunnellon (10.3 percent) and North Fort Myers (9.4 percent).

“These popular retirement cities will very likely be an area of growth in the housing market over the next 15 years as baby boomers retire in greater numbers,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac. “The baby boomer generation started retiring in 2011, a trend that will continue at least through 2029, ensuring plenty of demand for both rentals and owner-occupant purchases in these markets for the foreseeable future.” 

By: Esther Cho with DSNEWS