A new study projects the state’s population will reach 34 million by 2070. This will result in another 15 percent of the Florida land becoming developed.
To put it another way: The current population of about 20 million would increase by 70 percent.
The study was conducted by the University of Florida, the nonprofit 1000 Friends of Florida organization and the state Department of Agriculture. It found some regions of the state will see a bigger boom than others. For example, on the Interstate 4 corridor almost half the land will get developed.
To preserve millions of acres from development, some argue that leaders should make plans now. A main part of these plans should be to concentrate the population boom more into urban areas.
“We’re not talking about removing the idea that you’re going to have construction or development. We’re just talking about it being more compact,” University of Florida urban planner Paul Zwick told The Miami Herald.
Florida Land Boom Impact on Cities
The report, called Florida 2070, used information from Florida county appraisers, the U.S. Census Bureau and state conservation mapping data.
The Interstate 4 corridor has the highest projected growth. The second most growth will happen in the northeast region of the state, followed by South Florida.
City leaders all around Florida have already started planning on how to manage the growth with as little impact to the environment as possible. As one example, the study found the government could set aside as much as 1.1 million acres along the Interstate 4 corridor by placing conservation easements on agricultural land.
The exact impact on the housing market remains impossible to forecast, as always, but clearly it will grow along with the population. Certainly it seems a good sign that political leaders have vowed to manage the growth. This was an area of criticism during past growth booms.
Some media outlets have projected solid growth for the state. For example, Forbes reported earlier this year that the housing prices in South Florida will continue to rise over the next few years. Home prices in the area have risen 40 percent in the past three years.
The Tampa Bay market continues to remain strong, with homes selling at an average price of about $218,000, according to WFLA.
The Tampa Bay area also shows signs of longstanding growth. Nearly 200 people are moving in every day, according to a report from CNBC. Financial services companies continue to move to the area, with Raymond James headquartered there, aloing with P Morgan Chase and Citigroup, who have large offices. The unemployment rate in Tampa is lower than the national average. Along with Orlando, the Tampa Bay area is one of the main drivers of the population growth in the Sunshine State.
Those type of signs for the near future point to a more diverse, larger housing market in the long run – just as the Florida 2070 report projects.