- July 9, 2015
WEST ORANGE — There was an audible gasp from the audience when Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh flipped between two aerial photos of the Summerport community.
The first — from 2001 — depicts the small beginnings of growth in the Horizon West community. Some of the roads are etched into the land, and a few rooftops dot the perimeter.
Fast-forward to 2015, and the image — chock full of homes, businesses, schools and, perhaps most importantly, even more land cleared for future growth — supports Singh’s assessment of real estate in West Orange County.
“The state of West Orange is beyond strong,” he said. “This area is in overdrive.”
Singh’s statement came at his 2015 State of West Orange County Real Estate presentation Sept. 17, at West Orange High School. The event included a panel discussion that featured Singh; Scott T. Boyd, owner and president of Boyd Development Corporation; Mark Hayes, president of Isleworth/Stockworth Realty and Tavistock Group companies; Tom Moore, district demographer for Orange County Public Schools; Joe Nunziata, co-CEO of FBC Mortgage LLC; and Dr. Niral Patel, founder of Windermere Medical Center.
With strong sales figures in 2014 — 1,655 new homes sold (totaling $626 million) and 2,056 re-sales (totaling $938 million) — and another 2,300 new homes already in the pipeline, Singh is confident of West Orange’s continued success.
“Orange County, as a whole, saw $3 billion … of new construction,” Singh said. “The lion’s share of that is represented by West Orange County. West Orange and Lake Nona are two of the fastest-growing areas in Orange County, perhaps the state (and) even the country.”
Further comparisons between West Orange and the rest of the county reveal more evidence of this trend. Although West Orange residents constitute only 13% of the Orange County’s population, they are responsible for 25% of its residential-tax base, Singh said. The average income of a West Orange household is $86,000, compared with $47,500 in Orange County.
Even more encouraging: Singh reported a sharp decline — 53% — in foreclosures from 2014 (9,443) to 2015 (4,999).
“West Orange is a unique area of significant impact,” he said. “There is still plenty of developable vacant land in West Orange, and this is what makes this area potent.
“We have a strong community of business leaders,” Singh said. “We have a strong community of entrepreneurs, of government officials who are vested in seeing this area succeed.”
Contact Michael Eng at [email protected].
WEST ORANGE SIZE AND SCOPE
176 square miles
19 miles from north to south
9 miles from east to west
WEST ORANGE DEMOGRAPHICS
Average Household Income: $86,000
WEST ORANGE OWNERSHIP VS. RENTAL
WEST ORANGE FORECLOSURES
FROM THE PANELISTS
“We look around and we see downtown Winter Garden, which is a great community … We think one of the reasons people love to visit the Winter Park … and the Winter Garden areas is because of the place that those communities have made. We trust that someday, here in the next two to three years, people will come to Hamlin and talk about the great outdoor spaces we plan to develop.
— Scott Boyd, owner and president of Boyd Development Corporation
“When we bring people to West Orange County, it is amazing the response (we get). … The demand is out there. It is crazy how people love to come here. This is not Dayton, Ohio. I can say that because my mother-in-law is from Dayton, and I’m from Dayton, and we both left to come here.”
— Mark Hayes, president of Isleworth/Stockworth Realty and Tavistock Group companies
“As a rule of thumb, we capital plan for 10 years out. However, we’ve been directed to determine our school needs beyond those 10 years. … We have about 20 sites in the Horizon West area that have been reserved for many years. We’re in a really good position there.”
— Tom Moore, district demographer for Orange County Public Schools
“There is not a better time than right now to get into the housing market. … When you have 30-year fixed rates in this high 3s … now is the time to jump into the market.”
— Joe Nunziata, co-CEO of FBC Mortgage LLC
“One of the biggest problems in health care has become the lack of access to care and also the lack of full coordination of care. … Two things I focused on. First: We’re going to give access to patients, and we’re going to coordinate their care better. Secondly: I’m going to focus heavily on saving the patient money, because no one is really looking out for the patient.”
— Dr. Niral Patel, founder of Windermere Medical Center