Lake Nona, airport property values expected to skyrocket after Brightline launch

ORLANDO, Fla. — Property values close to Brightline’s station at Orlando International Airport are expected to climb significantly after the high-speed rail service launches this summer, Orlando Regional REALTOR Association President Lisa Hill said.


Hill explained that she expects companies to relocate some hybrid workers and their families to Orlando from South Florida, while other families could choose to buy a second home with easy access to the train service.

“You’re going to start seeing a lot of the companies now looking at us as a [single] metro,” Hill said. “If you go to Miami, a lot of times you sit in traffic for two hours to get somewhere. So, I think that you’re going to see people really enjoy the fact that, you know, they can work while they’re on the train.”

Hill and her organization’s expectations stem from research that showed property values in Miami zip codes with Brightline stations grew twice as fast as zip codes without stations since 2018. Rents also outperformed when stations were nearby, signaling a population shift toward transit.

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Hill said the ability to work and avoid traffic, paired with the lower ticket cost than a plane flight elevated Brightline’s potential to act as a catalyst.

It would add to an already ongoing trend, though. Agents said there has been an uptick in families relocating to Central Florida from Miami due to the relatively inexpensive housing market. Hill said some South Florida agents have begun listing properties in Central Florida due to their home territory’s lack of space.

“They go to Miami for the beaches… whereas Orlando, we have the attractions,” Hill said, adding that her organization wasn’t able to predict exactly which types of workers would come over, or why.

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Timing-wise, Hill said the Miami growth spikes happened in the first few years after the stations opened, relatively quickly but not overnight. She said she expected the same for Orlando.

Several factors at play could add to that. Florida’s recent passage of the Live Local Act makes commercial properties around the airport and Lake Nona more attractive to developers seeking to meet Florida’s housing demand.

“What we’re seeing is more multifamily new construction versus single family,” Re/Max CEO Nick Bailey said. “We’re seeing some local zoning changes to account for that, to bring in some of the multifamily.”

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Bailey said the 2023 housing market was off to a strong start, and values in the entire Orlando area were holding steady over the prior year, showing no signs of a crash many younger would-be buyers hoped for.

Bailey had previously said he expected 2023 to be a “rebalancing” between buyers and sellers, who have had all the power for several years.

Hill predicted the Brightline station’s pull could upset that in some communities as it’s close to areas that are hot spots for short-term rental properties and other investment purchases.

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However, relief was still expected for other parts of town.

“I think in your local market, especially, the sellers are still in favor, but they are negotiating more than they have been in the past,” Bailey said.

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