Property Hotspots in the USA
Florida, with its mellow Caribbean climate and long coastline, its permanent sunshine and easy access by air, is the top state for overseas property buyers. It attracts the greatest number of British buyers too, though it also pulls in a great many Americans, especially retirees.
Orlando is the most popular destination for British people looking for a holiday home they can rent out to others when they’re not using it. The majority of construction in the Greater Orlando area was the result of Disney’s development of the nearby Disneyworld Orlando, and most housing stock therefore dates to pre-2007, after which construction in the area slowed down almost to a standstill. Consequently, brand new homes are sought-after rarities commanding relatively high prices. A typical resale stucco villa with garage and covered pool often still retails for around $100k though, and the biggest influence on the price of a property isn’t size or age but proximity to Florida’s many theme parks.
The Orlando market still has great prices in the form of short sales and foreclosures, there is strong competition for the best deals and it’s always a good idea to thoroughly inspect the property and its records for signs of defects, disrepair or debt before getting into anything binding.
Florida’s Gulf Coat, including Sarasota, Breadenton, St Petersburg and Clearwater, is the second most common destination for British investors. The coastline has several small barrier islands and these have themselves become famous resort destinations whose names are familiar to millions: Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key.
These areas are the cultural hub of Florida, featuring thriving arts, music and theatre scenes amongst much else. For those who aren’t attracted by the culture, though, the area also boasts some of the world;s finest beaches, gazing out across the Gulf of Mexico.
Homes directly on the beach or waterfront command premium prices, beginning around $400k, but the homes themselves may be older builds. Newer constructions found just a short distance from the coast an sometimes feature brand new villas for $170 and up. Resale condominiums typically go for around $50k and villas for just over $100k.
Further south along the coast, Fort Myers properties are typically priced around 20% lower than homes in the Sarasota and St. Petersburg areas. Travel south again, to affluent Naples, and prices once more rise considerably: Villas start at $300k and condominiums in the low $100ks. Meanwhile, Miami is booming again, with high-end, brand-name condominium developments attracting strong demand from international buyers.
for Sale in Florida
Outside Florida, British second-home buyers a re considerably rarer, outnumbered by expatriates and American second-homers as well as permanent residents in most places. Prices, however, remain low – surprisingly so to British eyes.
The most popular destinations for Brits moving to America full time to live and work are California’s big metro areas and New York. Both areas have extremely high property prices in the areas where Brits tend to want to live. In New York’s Manhattan or Brooklyn, or LA’s Santa Monica area, prices are on a level with London and Paris, at $400k for a typical two-bed apartment.
Once you get beyond these areas, though, prices fall quickly. Three bedroom houses along the New York-Boston coast road routinely sell for under $200k despite their beautiful surroundings and easy access to both Boston and New York.
New England is one of the hotspots for British buyers outside of the Florida sunbelt, especially as a retirement spot, for those who plan to operate hotels and B&Bs, or for work in and around the Boston metro area.
Properties with a view over San Francisco Bay are notoriously expensive but only a few miles inland, positively palatial homes are on sale for around $150k.
While some inhabitants of America’s coastal metropolises think of the interior as ‘flyover states,’ there’s no need to share their attitude. The states of the Great Plains are losing their traditional farming economies, but tourism, wildlife and fishing, hunting and outdoor sports are replacing them. As they do, property prices rise and homes sell, in Wyoming, Montana and North and South Dakota. Colorado has always been a popular destination because of its skiing, and high-end properties abound, in the Aspen region especially.
Arizona and Nevada offer some great bargains too, and you can be close to Las Vegas’ buzz for less than you might think. It’s also worth investigating Texan property, where Austin offers cosmopolitan living within easy reach of rugged wilderness and small town properties are often inexpensive.