Airline boost for buy to let property investors

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More flights from UK to US state of Florida

The news that major airline British Airways is set to increase its frequency of transatlantic flights from London Gatwick to Tampa, Florida, to a daily service spells good news for those thinking about investing in a holiday home in the sunshine state, it is claimed.

Responding to client demand British Airways, currently the only long haul carrier flying direct to Tampa, will increase from five flights a week to a daily service making it even easier for Brits to reach the popular holiday hotspot.

‘Florida remains one of the most sought after vacation destinations especially for families due to the guaranteed sunshine and wealth of activities and entertainment available,’ said Ray Withers, director of Florida property investment experts, Property Frontiers.

‘Over 16.6 million passengers passed through Tampa International Airport in 2010, over 1.2 million last month alone and therefore the news of BA’s increased flight frequency is certainly a positive sign for the future of the state’s tourism industry,’ he added.

And it’s not only Floridian tourism which is seeing signs of revival, the state’s property market, hard hit by the economic downturn, is widely believed to be at the bottom of the cycle with increases in the number of sales recorded in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year.

Some industry commentators point out that it is savvy buy to let investors who are capitalising on this as an opportunity to purchase prime American real estate at up to 70% below peak prices. The latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that investors represented 17% of home sales across the US in 2010, the majority of whom are cash buyers.

‘It is the affordable entry level which makes the current stock available in places such as Davenport, just one hour’s drive from Tampa, so attractive. Median house prices in Florida are now at $121,900 (Metrostudy, Feb 2011), a significant fall of 53% from the $257,800 median in June 2006 at the height of the boom,’ explained Withers.

One established resort development in Davenport, Regal Palms, is receiving serious interest from British buyers keen to snap up the three and four bedroom fully furnished townhouses available from just $99,000.

The just released high quality properties are located only 10 miles from Walt Disney World and 19 miles from SeaWorld and Regal Palms. The project has a two-acre swimming pool complex complete with lazy river, waterslides and sundeck making them ideal family holiday homes.

According to Withers, with an experienced onsite rental management company in place and average occupancy rates of 64% forecast, owners can be confident of receiving income when they are not using the property themselves.

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