is Lakeland FL market good for rentals?

13 Replies

Hello,

I just move to Tampa Area. I'm looking for buying rental properties. I was looking at Lakeland area. Does it have good potential? I know it is in the middle between Tampa and Orlando. I just wanna know insights about it.

Thank you

Good Afternoon @Yerik Akhmetov

It is a great market between Orlando and Tampa, I am currently working with my team building a large apartment complex there. The AirPort just recently entered into and agreement with Amazon, Publix is headquartered there, as well as undergoing a large industrial space boom. You can by semi truck ship anywhere in the state from Lakeland and that driver can return home to Lakeland that evening due to its central location. Let me know if there are more direct questions I can help with, it is a great up and coming city market.

They are also undergoing alot of planning for public space such as the new park by the RP Funding center.

@Yerik Akhmetov - yes, Lakeland is a fantastic market. 

What @Stephen David Smith Jr. said for sure, lot's of job growth and a truly central location. 

There has been crazy YOY rent growth and homes are still relatively affordable.

Lot's of new added jobs due to the location, but many of those are manufacturing, industrial and warehouse - which bodes well for an investor looking for a stable pool of renters.

Definitely find a realtor who knows the market well as there are areas you'll want to steer clear of.

Lakeland is a very interesting place. It is divided essentially into 4 areas geographically. (NW,SW,NE,SE) People living in each area tend to stay there for a significant portion of their lives as a preference. 

As a submarket of Tampa and Orlando, to a lesser degree, it pretty much goes how those markets go. Prices are up and Lakeland will creep up right behind them. Growth has been doing pretty well and prices are relatively low in terms of value compared to the two larger markets. 

There is also a higher inventory from what I have seen recently of those small duplex, triplex, quad buildings that work really well for house hacking and/or beginner investors as compared to the Tampa market. 

@Yerik Akhmetov

As others have stated, the fundamentals are solid 

Data backs these claims up


Incomes have gone up over the past few years

The median year built for housing units has gone up due to new construction

As for the rental market, renters make up 43.7% of households

Hope this helps   

At this point I'm looking at the more rural areas of Central Florida because the rapid price appreciation in the bigger cities. Lakeland is ideal if you can snag something at 1% or better, but unfortunately it's one of the 9 Florida metros (among the top 25 nationally) that have seen the most price appreciation since 2012. 

I agree with what everyone said.  I am from Plant City which is next door to Lakeland.  My wife is from Lakeland.  We do most of our investing in Lakeland.  One thing that was left out is there are some high crime/drug areas of Lakeland so make sure to familiarize yourself (the Trulia crime map is a good guide).  

Lakeland has been a strong rental market since 2008 and continues to be a good place for decent returns.  Recently, Bartow, Winter Haven, Mulberry and some of these smaller towns continue to produce great numbers.  I've even flipped properties as far south as Ft. Meade. 
Stay away from east (Combee Rd) Lakeland and you should be ok.  The city is divided into two parts north and south.  I-4 is the boundary.  North side properties are typically newer and less expensive while you get more expensive and established neighborhoods and the downtown area in the southside.  The universities also provide great opportunities, but the father east you go, the closer you need to examine the neighborhood.
Good luck

Originally posted by @Gavin Welch :
Lakeland has been a strong rental market since 2008 and continues to be a good place for decent returns.  Recently, Bartow, Winter Haven, Mulberry and some of these smaller towns continue to produce great numbers.  I've even flipped properties as far south as Ft. Meade. 
Stay away from east (Combee Rd) Lakeland and you should be ok.  The city is divided into two parts north and south.  I-4 is the boundary.  North side properties are typically newer and less expensive while you get more expensive and established neighborhoods and the downtown area in the southside.  The universities also provide great opportunities, but the father east you go, the closer you need to examine the neighborhood.
Good luck

Can you expand on your thoughts about Mulberry? I saw a great CoC return there but it seemed too good to be true.