I am considering buying a condo hotel unit in Orlando, Florida or one in South Florida. What are your thoughts on which is the better market from an investment standpoint?
That is really a wide open question that is not easy to answer. Clearly, although in the same state, these two markets are very different and yet, have many similarities. While there are no beaches in Orlando, there are more theme parks and attractions than one can visit every day for a month. Hotel inventory is second highest in the U.S. only to Las Vegas, but as more inventory comes, more attractions bringing more people to the area keep popping up. Orlando is a strong market, thriving and growing, and it has plenty of room for future expansion. Miami Beach, South Florida, has culture, sunshine, history and the beaches. It has been a resort location, popular with the "snowbirds," Latin Americans and Europeans for 100 years. Land is limited, especially on the ocean, and therefore, developers have to tear down newly acquired properties just to build something new. As a result, everything that is built is bigger, better and more luxurious to offset the land costs involved with the development. Each market's occupancy is improved by the existence of the other. Many Disney goers, will also visit the beaches in South Florida and few adults with kids who are driving down to South FL won't plan at least a day or two in the Magic Kingdom. Both are also big convention getting cities with two of the top 10 largest convention centers in the U.S. South Florida is a long-established market attracting upscale, wealthy travelers. This is the justification that developers needed to build all of the four- and five-star
condo hotels along the beach in the past few years. Orlando, by comparison, has been a timeshare market for years. They have only just recently begun marketing their first condo hotels. They have less than a quarter of the condo hotels that we currently have here in South Florida and, therefore, they may be the better investment in the short term. Less supply, more demand. Besides, you will get much more square footage for your money in Orlando than you will get here. In the long term, I do believe there will continue to be more condo hotels built in Orlando and across the whole country, for that matter. That being the case, following my same supply and demand theory, you'll never go wrong with buying on the ocean. They aren't making any more beachfront. Having said all that, the best approach to take is to determine which location, South Florida or Orlando, best suits your own personal desires for a vacation home. I don't think you can make a bad decision when these are the two geographical areas you're considering.
The above question was submitted via e-mail by a visitor to www.condohotelcenter.com. The answer was prepared by Joel Greene, a licensed real estate broker with Condo Hotel Center which specializes in the sale of condo hotel units and fractional ownerships in private residence clubs.