2015 was a good year for Florida, which saw its housing market improve and its economic expansion and job growth outpace the national average, according to University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith.

Price appreciation for single-family homes and townhomes/condominiums has grown at 12.4 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, and it is expected that sales will keep climbing.

“The fundamental underpinnings of the housing market in Florida continue to improve,” Snaith said. “Job growth in Florida is forecasted to continue to outperform the U.S. labor market, and with more Baby Boomers reaching the end of their working lives, this bodes well for continued population growth via the in-migration of workers and retirees to Florida.”

As a result, there will be more demand for the state and local government services that support the population and economy, Snaith said.

Additional highlights from Snaith’s Florida forecast for 2015 to 2018, available here, include:

  • Florida’s real gross state product bounced back following the recession, but growth will decelerate mildly from 2016 to 2018 due to a more restrictive national economic policy.
  • Personal income growth in Florida will be sustained at 5 percent in 2015, the same rate as 2014. It will decelerate to 4.8 percent in 2016, jump in 5.8 percent in 2017 and then hit 5.9 percent in 2018, still outpacing the national average growth for 2015 to 2018.
  • Stocks fell following the Fed’s December 2015 interest rate hikes, combined with global economic uncertainty and national financial market volatility. The Dow is down 1.5 percent compared to this time last year.
  • The decline in oil and gasoline prices boosted consumer confidence and supported spending on other goods and services. Retail spending will begin to accelerate in 2016-17 with growth averaging 5.5 percent.
  • Payroll job growth was robust in 2015 but will ease over the next three years, though Florida will continue to outpace the national average.
  • The anticipated growing labor force will pose a challenge for reducing the unemployment rate and could stall progress.
  • The Institute for Economic Competitiveness will analyze the diversification of Florida’s economy over the past 25 years in a multi-part series that will start in March 2016.

    The study will examine the value of economic diversification, how it’s measured, and the progress Florida and its regions in diversifying. The goal is to provide guidance for future efforts.

    Snaith is a national expert in economics, forecasting, market sizing and economic analysis who authors quarterly reports about the state of the economy. Bloomberg News has named Snaith as one of the country’s most accurate forecasters for his predictions about the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate, the Federal Funds rate.

    Snaith also is a member of multiple national forecasting panels, including The Wall Street Journal Economic Forecasting Survey, CNNMoney.com’s survey of leading economists, the Associated Press Economy Survey, the National Association of Business Economics Quarterly Outlook Survey Panel, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Survey of Professional Forecasters, the Livingston Survey, Bloomberg U.S. Economic Indicator Survey, Reuters U.S. Economy Survey, and USA Today Economic Survey Panel.

    The Institute for Economic Competitiveness strives to provide complete, accurate and timely national, state and regional forecasts and economic analyses. Through these analyses, the institute provides valuable resources to the public and private sectors for informed decision-making.