[REN #635] Job Growth in Tampa & Jacksonville, Florida

Picture of a Bench In Tampa for Real Estate News for Investors Podcast Episode #635

Real estate values are greatly affected by population growth. Population growth follows job growth so naturally, real estate investors should also follow the actions of major employers. Let’s look at where some of the jobs are going.

Let’s take a closer look at Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida.


Jacksonville, Florida is highlighted in a new report as a growth market that’s among the most affordable in the nation. The review by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company shows that Jacksonville has experienced year-over-year job growth of 3%, home-price growth of 9.7%, and a median debt-to-income ratio of 28%. 30% is considered a good cut-off point for a healthy debt-to-income ratio, so the figure for Jacksonville shows that residents may have a greater amount of discretionary income, after all the housing expenses are paid.

Those figures also put Jacksonville in second place on a list of the 25 most affordable cities with strong job and housing markets. Arch Capital economist Dr. Ralph DeFranco doesn’t expect the growth story to slow down. He says, “It’s important for potential buyers to understand that many markets remain reasonably affordable by historic norms, but this may not last much longer since the consensus forecast is for prices and interest rates to continue increasing.”

Other markets on RealWealth’s list of best cities for owning cash flow property include Kansas City in the 8th position, Atlanta in the 16th position, Tampa immediately after that. Houston in 20th and Detroit 21st.

Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay area has also earned a spot on another top 10 list for real estate investors. According to the Tampa Bay Times, it’s taken 40 years for Tampa Bay to get on that list. And it’s not just for house flippers and single-family rentals. The Times says that “big-time investors are prepared to sink millions into warehouses, office buildings, industrial space and shopping centers.”

The list is the result of a survey of real estate professionals by PWC US and the Urban Land Institute. Co-author Mitch Roschelle says of the Tampa Bay results, “What Tampa has in common with other top 10 cities is that its employment base is growing, its population is growing and the result is an engine for continued economic prosperity.” According to the Times, the annual 1.3% population growth is about twice the national average. Roschelle says the jobs are following that population growth.

He said in a Times interview, “When you have 3.7 percent unemployment (nationally), jobs chase people versus the other way around.” He says people want to be in Tampa because its affordable so companies are moving in, and so are the developers, home builders, and real estate investors.

Other Markets on RealWealth’s list of best places to own rental property included in that top 10 list are Dallas and Orlando. Atlanta just missed top billing. It ranked 11th on that list. Indianapolis was 19th.

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