2019 Lay of the Land Market Report

Introduction by Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM

Cover of the 2019 Lay of the Land Market ReportWe ended 2018 with the momentum of one of the longest economic expansions in our nation’s history. At our last conference as we looked ahead to 2019, there was some concern as to whether we might see signs of change. Markets are cyclical, after all, and a correction will come sometime, we just don’t know when. But, yet again, the economy looked great 2019 and the expansion continues.

The Tax and Job Cuts Act of 2017 produced conditions for national growth and activity in all sectors of the economy, including real estate. People are feeling good about life, and we are seeing the positive effects across all categories of real estate, including recreational space.

At a more local level, Florida also benefits from ongoing net in-migration of 900 people per day and a population growth rate second only to Texas. Our population will grow by over a million people within three years and they come here for the reasons they have always come – sunshine, water and low taxes. Since people need to live somewhere, go to restaurants, get medical care, and see movies, we continue to experience growth in the Florida real estate market.

Florida’s real estate history has been one of boom and bust, but it does feel that this expansion is more measured than in the past. Today, people are more sober in their approach to growth. We don’t have an oversupply of lots and lenders have tighter controls. This discipline should buffet us when there is a market correction.

But we don’t see any potential headwinds in the economy to indicate that we will experience a correction in 2020. Of course, there are always unknowns, like the impact of the fear of the coronavirus or possible shocks inherent in Presidential elections. But profitability and corporate earnings are up and we don’t expect any significant changes. In short, 2020 should be a great year.

About the Lay of the Land Market Report

Now in its ninth-annual edition, the Lay of the Land Market Report continues to be the single source of verified Florida land sales information. We provide data to landowners that can be accurately interpreted and applied, leading to more informed, relevant decisions.

Targeting ten property types in our report, we work diligently to capture all land sales for each category. We partner with a network of appraisers and land professionals to vet the data and bring you accurate information. The result is the most comprehensive view of Florida land values in the industry today.
Even as we continue to improve the process of our data collection, we remain committed to the privacy and anonymity of individual landowners when illustrating transaction information. We list no buyers or sellers in this report.

The Lay of the Land Market Report is the culmination of a significant investment in process, technology, and people. We appreciate the experienced and impressive team of appraisers, land professionals, and staff who contributed many hours and considerable effort to produce this publication.

As we strive to improve this report, suggestions to increase its usefulness to you, the landowner, are welcome.