Fastest Growing and Large Cities in Florida: Exploring Up-and-Coming Areas and Top Populated Locations

By Ciprian Morariu Published: January 11, 2024

Often called the ‘Sunshine State’, Florida has emerged as a popular tourist as well as residential destination in the country since the last few decades. Put simply, people love coming to Florida, be it for work, play, leisure or living. 

With over 20 million residents calling it home, Florida, the third most populated state in the country, is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. 

Currently placed as one of the most popular destinations for migrants, Florida is home to six of the top 20 fastest growing cities in the United States, including Fort-Myers, Winter Haven, North Port, Palm Bay, Daytona Beach and Port St. Lucie. 

Home to pristine beaches, exciting entertainment options and a diverse, vibrant culture, Florida has distinguished itself to climb up the ranks of the most preferred places to live in the country. 

Did you know that by 2030, Florida will add around 3 million residents to the sunshine state? 

Whether you are a real estate agent or broker ready to tap into the exciting market or a real estate investor looking for lucrative long-term returns, Florida is the place to be. 

After all, it’s hard to beat the pleasant climate, beautiful beaches and a strong economy, making Florida the fastest growing housing market in the country. 

From the bustling large cities in Florida and relaxed counties to the small suburbs, the state’s real estate market is inviting for different lifestyle and budget needs. 

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the current housing market in Florida and what are some of the future trends for the years ahead. 

Keep on reading till the end to find out everything you need to know about Florida’s growing real estate market. 

After reading this, you will know how you can ride the growth wave as a real estate professional, investor or a future homebuyer in Florida.

Fastest Growing and Large Cities in Florida

The Fastest Growing Cities in Florida

Introduction to Florida’s Rapidly Growing Urban Areas

The population boom in Florida is already well-documented but did you know that Florida is home to one of the most rapidly expanding urban areas in the country?

According to data provided by property listing sites and national surveys, Florida’s net migration rate, the fastest growing cities in Florida include Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Winwood-The Villages, Lakeland-Winter haven, Punta Gorda. 

These cities have witnessed a significant influx of migrants in the last year or so, with an increase in the number of domestic houses sold and a steady demand for more homes. 

Let’s take a closer look at the annual net migration data (from 2021 to 2022) available from the state’s annual surveys and statistics for the top 10 fastest growing metro areas: 

  • Wildwood-The Villages saw an increase of 8.7%
  • Myrtle Beach-Conway and Punta Gorda saw an increase of 4.9%
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven, Homosassa Springs and Cape-Coral saw an increase of 4.2%
  • North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota saw an increase of 3.9%
  • Wilmington and Ocala saw an increase of 3.6%
  • Port St. Lucie saw an increase of 3.5%
  • Deltona-Daytona Beach Ormond saw an increase of 3.4%
  • Sebring saw an increase of 3.4%
  • Panama City saw an increase of 3.2%
  • Daphne-Fairhope-Foley saw an increase of 3.0% 

As evident by the data shared above, the urban centers and metropolitan areas are at the forefront of the migrant rush in Florida. 

There are a couple of reasons at play why metro areas are attracting more homebuyers and migrants such as - favorable tax policies, thriving industries and a strong job market. 

And this is where real estate professionals have a huge part to play in catering to the needs of aspiring home buyers. But then, how to get a Florida real estate license to practice in the state?

Apart from being at least 18 years old, you must complete 63 hours of Florida real estate license course from a state-approved provider. Once done, you must sit for and pass the real estate license exam. Now, get a broker to mentor you in the initial stages of your career.

After all these steps are done, you will get your Florida real estate license to practice in the state. 

Now, let us get back to real estate topography in the state of Florida.  

Factors Driving Population Growth in Florida

Wondering what exactly is going on with the top populated cities in Florida and why are they attracting people from all across the country? 

As the state which has witnessed one of the greatest property appreciation in the history of the United States, there are several factors at play driving the population growth in Florida. 

Let’s go through some of them in detail below: 

  • Wide variety of residential options: Florida is home to a range of options for existing and upcoming homeowners. Whether you want a compact and convenient apartment or flat for your small family or a huge villa or home, you can find them all. Florida’s real estate market is able to cater to diverse lifestyle and housing needs for both budget and luxury conscious home buyers. 
  • Beautiful coastline: Home to pristine nature, Florida’s beaches are a popular reason why people, especially retirees, want to migrate to the lone star state. Be it Palm Beach or Miami Beach, investors and homeowners are flocking to buy and pay premium for beach and coast facing properties. This trend is clearly visible in the average price of luxury real estate in Miami which climbed as high as $25 million. 
  • Diverse economy: From agriculture and tourism to technology and aerospace, Florida is home to a diverse, stable economy. Since the last decade, there has been significant investments by businesses and tycoons in the state leading to a robust, sustainable economy preferred by investors. 
  • Favorable taxation: Thanks to the lack of state income tax in Florida, real estate investors continue to flock to the sunshine state for short and long term growth opportunities. On top of it, Florida ranks 26th in the list of states with the highest property taxes for homeowners, which is currently at 0.80% (compared to the national average of 0.99%). 
  • Pleasant weather: For many migrants and homeowners, Florida’s year-round pleasant and warm weather is a major reason for moving to the state. With its early warm springs and late autumn, Florida’s weather provides a comfortable living environment for all. 

These are some of the reasons why Florida boasts of being the 2nd most valuable real estate markets in the United States. 

In addition to the local migrants from New York and California, even foreign investors from Canada, Cuba and Latin America are lining up to grab their share of the proverbial real estate pie. 

Now that you know the reason behind the real estate boom, let’s take a closer look at which are the cities making the most of this rush.

Top Fastest Growing Cities in Florida

Exploring the Top Fastest Growing Cities in Florida


One of the most sought-after entertainment, lifestyle and sporting destinations in the country, Miami continues to be the most preferred city in Florida. 

Popularly known as the ‘Magic City’, Miami is home to a diverse array of tourist attractions, which are further buoyed by factors like favorable climate, pristine beaches, and no state income tax. 

A Formula 1 circuit, an Open Tennis tournament, and world class golf courses are just some of the most popular reasons why Miami is placed one of the fastest growing large cities in Florida

According to data shared by Florida housing market report, Miami’s average median home price has been 7% higher than it did last year, estimated at around $530K in December 2023.

Moreover, with an influx of migrant workers to the city, there has lately been a spike in the rental market In Miami


Current data show that Tampa with around 5000 apartments is third in the list of fastest-growing cities in the USA. 

Additionally, a strong job market has drawn in people looking for new opportunities, resulting in good growth in the real estate market. The median price in 2023 for a Tampa home stood at $415k which makes it a prized real estate market to invest in.  


The real estate market of Orlando, a popular city in Florida, is on the rise too mainly because of its stable economy and a strong job market. Projections show that the population of Orlando will cross the 50 million mark by 2030.   

There are many reasons why migrants move to Orlando, but it is primarily because of the vibrant and thriving art and culture scene of the city. 

Orlando offers great entertainment and leisure opportunities for people of all ages, making it a popular tourist and residential destination in Florida. 

Secondly, Orlando is a popular destination for skilled and talented workers, especially STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs. The city is placed amongst the fastest growing job markets in the United States. 

Among the other top populated cities in Florida, living in Orlando is relatively affordable as the median listing home price is around $375K. 


If you are a real estate investor looking to place your money safely in the sunshine state of Florida, you should consider Jacksonville as one of the top choices. 

It is one of the most populated cities in Florida, and offers a diverse range of housing options such as - apartments, villas, condos, townhouses and multi-family housing. 

Popular for its sunny weather and beautiful beaches, like Miami, Jacksonville is abundant in waterfront properties which is a very attractive real estate trait for homebuyers and investors. 

Jacksonville’s real estate market has witnessed a steady growth over the past few years, thanks to investments from big tech companies and four of the top Fortune 500 companies. 

As of 2023, the median home sale price in Jacksonville is around $317K, making it one of the most affordable markets for homebuyers and real estate investors. 

Last but not least, Jacksonville is part of one of the largest and richest counties in the country, Duval County. 

Cape Coral

Earlier considered amongst the up and coming areas in Florida, Cape Coral’s real estate market has quickly scaled to become one of the most preferred choices for buyers. 

Thanks to the steady economy, beautiful landscapes and a stable job outlook, there is a rising housing demand in Cape Coral, as more homes are being built. 

If you are a homebuyer or a real estate investor in Florida, you should certainly consider Cape Coral amongst one of the good places to live and work.