HOT Economy in Orlando and Tampa

Posted: April 27, 2016 | Categories: News | General Info
By Highland Homes

HOT Economy in Orlando and Tampa Orlando's economy is on the rise thanks to thriving real estate, higher education, technology and tourism sectors

The summer months are approaching and Florida’s temperature is on the rise. And, the weather in this sunny paradise isn’t the only thing that’s heating up. According to recent reports from the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the economies in Orlando and Tampa are on the rise and show no signs of slowing down. From big deals and wheels to real estate that’s a steal, here’s what you need to know about Florida’s booming economy!


Real estate is on the rise. With a population of more than 2.26 million and growing, residential real estate is steadily climbing in Orlando, where sales of single-family homes have increased by 12 percent since 2014. Even with an eight percent increase in the median sale price, homes in Orlando are still extremely affordable. In fact, Orlando was recently named one of the best cities for investing in real estate (along with nearby Tampa). If you’re considering making the big move to either of these areas, you can rest assured that you’re making a sound investment by buying a new home in Florida.

Higher education. Schools such as the University of Central Florida, Seminole State College, Barnes and Noble College and Valencia College are looking to make Orlando their home in the near future. This scholarly expansion is bringing thousands of new jobs and millions in revenue for the city.  UCF, for example, is looking to obtain funding for a $207 million downtown Orlando campus for about 10,000 students. This project would create 4,070 jobs, provide $255 million in wages and salaries, and construction of facilities would generate $575 million in gross economic income with a return on investment of $400 million a year in addition to the major contributions to the future local job force.

Techie paradise. According to the Florida Business Journals, Orlando is on track to become one of the hottest place for technological growth in the nation. With a combined $405 million in annual payroll, tech giants like Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Siemens bring power to the local economy and will continue to drive inspiration and efficiency to their surrounding environments. Small innovative tech firms are also making a splash in the area, and are being noticed by several programs and funding groups that want to ensure the success of these startups.

Tourism is tops. Often called the “Theme Park Capital of the World,쳌 Orlando is one of the most-visited tourist destinations with a tourism industry worth an astounding $60 billion annually. In 2014, more than 62 million visitors made their way to the Sunshine State to revel in Central Florida’s many theme parks, conventions, and natural attractions. Those numbers are expected to rise in the next couple years, as Walt Disney World Parks, Universal Studios, Sea World, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort are all making some major changes and exciting additions that will boost tourism, the economy and the job market in a continued upwards right direction.

Big deals and giant wheels. In the last couple years, Orlando has made some major deals. The U.S. Tennis Association announced plans for a $60 million headquarters facility in Lake Nona, which will make the area the new “Home of American Tennis.쳌 The multi-million I-Drive 360 project is already making waves in the area as well. In addition to a Madame Tussauds Orlando wax museum and Sea Life Aquarium Orlando, this new entertainment destination houses the larger-than-life Orlando Eye which offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, theme parks, nature views and even Cape Canaveral on a clear day. Other big deals include a 27-story iSquare Mall + Hotel and an overhaul of I-4, one of the Orlando’s most travelled interstates.

Tampa Bay:

HOT Economy in Orlando and Tampa Downtown Tampa is home to burgeoning real estate, banking and restaurant scenes

Real estate. The Tampa Bay regions is also on the grow, with 2.9 million residents and growing residential and commercial real estate markets. Tampa Bay’s residential real estate market is looking up as single-family home sales increased 6.9 percent from 2013. The median sale price of homes has remained steady, which means Tampa continues to be one of the best cities for investing in real estate.

Banks are branching out. Bank earnings in the area are increasing, which signals a positive outlook for the industry and its customers. Combined, Tampa Bay’s 33 community banks had a 33.5 percent rise in net income in the first three months of 2015. These gains indicate that businesses looking for credit are likely to find receptive lenders.

Active commercial real estate. A testament to those gains in business loans is the area’s commercial real estate industry, which is currently active across all business sectors. Local and national companies are beginning to move and expand, and rents are starting to rise which will in turn benefit the local economy. Industrial development is also hot right now, as Amazon has two warehouses in the Tampa Bay area and retailers such as Earth Fare and Cost Plus World Market are currently scouting the area for their new locations. Downtown Tampa is experiencing a renaissance with major development of a mixed-use district between Channelside and downtown, which will include retail, residential, hospitality, restaurants and office space.

Super markets, super revenues. Publix, which is consistently listed on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s list of the largest companies in Tampa Bay, is on track to shatter some major revenue records. Currently, Publix’s workforce totals 167,000 with 33,000 employees in the Bay area, and it plans to invest more than $1 billion this year in new technology, stores and remodels, which means more jobs and more revenue for Tampa Bay.

Good eats. The Tampa Bay restaurant scene is on the up and up, with several new home-grown concepts garnering tons of online attention, positive reviews and strong sales. Chain concepts that represent a variety of tastes and price points are opening all over the area as well.

The Bay’s big deals. Florida’s growing population, the quest for commercial real estate and corporate headquarters, and a burgeoning technological startup scene are all driving factors in some of the Bay’s biggest deals in 2015. One of the most significant deals in 2015 was the $140 million purchase of local software and services firm, Acclaris. The medical school at the University of South Florida is planning a new campus in the area, which will provide an added draw for a young and talented workforce to the up-and-coming downtown area.

With all the economic growth, the increasingly strong job market, and theme parks and culinary playgrounds in your backyard, there’s never been a better time to consider making your home in Orlando or Tampa Bay.

Highland Homes is pleased to call Tampa Bay our home, with our corporate office headquartered in Lakeland, Florida. We build quality, affordable new homes designed to fit your lifestyle, needs and budget in a number of conveniently-located communities throughout Metro Orlando and Tampa Bay. With more than 30 unique home plans priced from the mid $100,000’s to $300,000’s and hundreds of options to personalize your new home, you’re sure to find the perfect home in an area that has everything you need, and more.

To find your new home in Orlando or Tampa, call our New Home Specialists or visit the Highland Homes website.

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