Citrus Groves in Florida: Important Factors for Real Estate Investment

September 26, 2023   |   Citrus
oranges hanging from a tree

Should you invest in Florida citrus groves? Explore some of the latest industry trends and how to determine the overall value of a citrus grove for sale.

Two bright oranges and three orange blossoms are boldly displayed on the center of most Florida vehicle license plates. For centuries, oranges and citrus groves have been an integral part of the Sunshine State’s iconic image.

When it comes to real estate, several factors surrounding land value and industry trends have greatly affected citrus groves as an investment decision. It is important that investors and other real estate interests understand these factors before investing in citrus groves in Florida.

Determining Citrus Grove Value

The value of citrus land in Florida is influenced by a multitude of factors, making it a nuanced investment choice. Here are six key factors that play a pivotal role in assessing the worth of a citrus grove:

  1. Fruit Value: The primary determinant of land value is the type of fruit grown on the land. Factors such as fruit variety, per-acre yield, fruit quality, and whether the fruit is marketed as fresh or processed significantly impact land valuation.
  2. Current Crop: Whether the current citrus crop is included in the land sale can affect its value. A mature, productive crop adds immediate value to the investment.
  3. Tree Age and Condition: The age and condition of citrus trees, including the quality of their rootstocks, are essential considerations. Well-maintained, disease-resistant trees can contribute to a higher land value.
  4. Infrastructure: Improvements to the land, such as wells and irrigation systems, are crucial for efficient citrus cultivation and can increase the property's worth.
  5. Water Rights: The amount of water permitted for use by the governing water management district is another critical factor. Adequate water resources are vital for sustaining citrus groves.
  6. Proximity to Urban Centers: The proximity of the grove to a city is also a key determinant. Closer proximity to urban areas can increase land value as it may hold the potential for future residential or commercial development.

Industry Trends

Citrus groves in Florida have witnessed several trends and developments in recent years, influencing their attractiveness as real estate investments, Here are some key trends identified in SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler’s Lay of the Land Market Report:

  • Residential and Commercial Development: Many citrus groves, particularly those located in historic farming districts, hold significant land value beyond citrus cultivation. They are increasingly sought after for residential and commercial development, making them valuable long-term investments.
  • Not From Concentrate (NFC) Juice: The demand for "Not From Concentrate" (NFC) orange juice remains strong within the industry. Although the market has seen steady inventory levels, Florida faces competition from high-quality NFC juice imports from Mexico and Brazil.
  • Citrus Greening Challenge: Citrus Greening disease continues to pose a significant challenge to Florida's groves. Ongoing efforts to combat the disease involve experimental practices and the use of resistant/tolerant rootstocks and scion varieties.
  • New Fruit Varieties: The University of Florida IFAS and USDA continue to release desirable fresh and processed fruit varieties, offering opportunities for growers to diversify their crops and adapt to changing market preferences.

Download the Lay of the Land Market Report

Citrus as a Real Estate Investment

Investing in citrus groves in Florida offers a unique blend of agricultural real estate opportunities. While the value of citrus land is influenced by various factors, there is still great investment potential for immediate returns or long-term development.

As the citrus industry evolves to address challenges like Citrus Greening disease and changing market demands, it is important to stay updated on these developments. If you’re ready to explore citrus grove investments in Florida, contact an expert at SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler today.

Many of the brokerage’s experienced advisors specialize in citrus grove investments and can provide you with valuable insights and opportunities.

To learn more about how to find the right real estate investment for you, please call SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler at 877.518.5263.

Learn More

Click to learn about the citrus production process in Florida. View past and future episodes of "Zoning In" on our YouTube playlist.