Fla. economy expected to grow next 3 years

Housing market improving

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida's improving economy is being led by an improving housing market. Even though the numbers look good on paper, there are still a lot of concerns.

"In less than two and a half years, the private sector has generated over 330,000 jobs," said Gov. Rick Scott.

A University of Central Florida report shows the state economy is expected to grow steadily over the next three years, but not at a rapid pace. The Florida Chamber of Commerce says either way, growth is good for Florida.

"Would you rather have a lot more money in your pocket or a little more dollars over time? Reality is, we need both. We need a lot of movement in the right industries," said Tony Carvajal, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber Foundation.

At the same time, home sales are rebounding.

"This is a very positive trend. It's not just a blip on the screen," said John Sebree, Senior VP of Florida Association of Realtors.

But the rebound isn't necessarily good news for people buying.

"The teacher, the first responder, (they are) the ones that you want to live in the neighborhood they serve and they can't get in because financing is still very tight," Sebree said.

Cash sales are almost always an issue for home buyers needing financing. That's because after the housing burst, there are typically fewer issues with cash sales than financing.

In Florida, nearly half of home sales are bought outright with cash.

"That's a tough situation for the young couple that really want to buy and start a family, if a cash buyer can beat them out," said Sebree.

In addition to home sales, nearly seven out of 10 condo sales are cash sales in Florida.

According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, more people are still moving to the Sunshine State. By the end of the year, the state is expected to be the third largest in the country by leapfrogging New York.