Apartment community managers have to stay on top of national and statewide trends, but there also are some regional differences around Florida that affect the way people in each decade think about renting. Among them:
Naples – The Southwest part of the state, including Naples, has a huge U.S.-born population of 55-plus residents, many of them former corporate executives who retired to large homes in South Florida. The area also includes a large population of foreign-born families working in service jobs. The largest age group, at 55,000 residents, is those who were born in the 1940s. “Historically there has not been a lot of apartment construction in those markets,” Deutch said. “Now retirees don’t mind renting and you’re going to see more.”
Tampa Bay – The area of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater has a large population of empty-nesters, those born in the 1950s (394,000) and 1960s (416,000) whose grown children are no longer living at home. “The 55-plus empty-nesters don’t want to leave their kids,” Deutch said. “They want to stay near them in their metro area.”
Miami/Fort Lauderdale – The Southeast part of Florida is historically a strong rental market, Deutch said. The Southern portion of this region is heavily skewed to a foreign-born working population, with 53 percent of Miami residents born outside the U.S. Meanwhile, Fort Lauderdale has the largest group in this region of people who are 45 to 60 and want to “age in place.” They especially like the idea of the new “surban” centers.
Orlando – This region is heavily populated by young families and singles. The largest age bracket is those born in the 1980s (354,000), followed by those born in the 1990s (339,000), the 1960s (323,000) and 1970s (321,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
Jacksonville – The northern part of the state has a large population of young workers as well as empty-nesters. People have moved out to the suburbs to raise families, but projects under construction or consideration right now are designed to bring them back to the city center to rent or buy.