“Builders are simply following where more Americans are moving,” says George Ratiu, a senior economist and manager of economic research at Realtor.com. “These are fast-growing cities, with a lot of lifestyle amenities and a lot of young people and professionals moving in. Builders have recognized this and are trying to catch up to this incredible growth.”
Single-Family New-Home Construction Permits in 2022: 5,318
Median Single-Family Home List Price: $309,950
Around the center of Florida, halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Ocala has a booming, new-home construction market.
“Ocala used to be a sleepy little community, mostly centered around horse farms and horse riding,” Ratiu says of the area. “And because of the rising costs throughout the rest of Florida, like in Orlando and Miami, it’s become a [homebuying] destination for a lot of people—and not just retirees.”
With 370,000 residents, Ocala is the smallest metro on the list of areas with the most new-home construction. It’s also one of the least expensive places on the list. Per square foot, homes in Ocala are about 9% less expensive than the U.S. average.
Home shoppers here can find a new four-bedroom home—on a half-acre lot and with a two-car garage—for just over $300,000.