Before everyone starts to panic, I should say that the city of Gainesville, Florida is not literally on fire, so please don’t call the fire department. What I mean by saying Gainesville is on fire is that the city is gaining a lot of positive national publicity right now.
The most recent press was released yesterday by SmartMoney.com, who rated Gainesville, Florida as the top recession-proof place to retire (Apparently SmartMoney didn’t get President Bush’s memo). In addition, Gainesville was rated the number the number one place to live in 2007 by Sperling’s Best Places. Of course, we can’t forget that NuWire rated Gainesville, Florida as one of the top college towns for investment.
Probably the biggest claim to fame for Gainesville is its beloved Florida Gators. The University of Florida is the driving force behind Gainesville socially, and economically, it is Gainesville’s heart and soul. Sports fans can’t help but be familiar with the Florida Gator teams who have won nearly every major NCAA championship over the past few years, which certainly doesn’t hurt Gainesville’s image on the national scene.
The vibrant university and emerging business climate in Gainesville should help it keep a fairly stable real estate market over the coming years. Florida has been on the front lines for the housing crash, but Gainesville has held up pretty well. According the NAR the median sales price for homes in Gainesville is $196,700, which is down 7 percent year-over-year. So maybe we can’t really say that Gainesville’s housing market is on fire, but considering the rest of Florida’s housing woes, 7 percent isn’t bad. I’m sure all those investors who bought up Fort Myers real estate a little late would take that 7 percent in a heart beat.