LAKELAND, Fla. — Lakeland ranks as the top location in the United States to buy a house in 2019, according to and its team of economists.

  • Some homes selling in matter of hours
  • Some home sales coming from residents downgrading, also commuters
  • New home construction booming
  • More Polk County stories

Some homes are selling in the Lakeland area in a matter of hours.

“This house was on the market for a day at $130,000 and we had six offers on it,” said Realtor Jen Lysak-Lay about a home on Cobbler Square Lane. 

Lay said it’s no surprise. She recently sold another home to Alan and Ellen Genung for a little less than $300,000.

The couple said they liked the neighborly feel of Lakeland. 

“We came from San Antonio, one of the suburbs of San Antonio, and I wanted to be where there was fewer cars,” said Ellen Genung. 

Lay said a lot of the home sales in Lakeland come from residents downgrading and/or upgrading their homes, and also commuters.

“We’re seeing a lot of people who are getting employment in Tampa or Orlando who don’t want to pay the Orlando and Tampa prices, “ Lay said.

Home construction boom  

Lay said the company she works for, Keller Williams Realty Lakeland, sold nearly 2,900 homes last year. 

“Last month, we had a record month for December.  We sold 256 homes in December. That’s insane. It’s awesome,” Lay said. 

Staff at Highland Homes said new home construction is booming, too. 

“We’ve been seeing repeatedly over the last three or four years 20 percent increases, which pretty much speaks for itself,” said Kareyann Ellison, Highland Homes Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  

The company currently has six new home developments going up in the Lakeland area. Ellison said they closed on 400 new homes in 2018 in Polk County — nearly half of them were in Lakeland. 

Mayor Bill Mutz said there’s plenty of reasons people from near and far are flocking to his city.

“When you see the community development that’s going on, the downtown growth that’s taking place, some of the creative spaces we produce, it’s no wonder that its at least a thriving market," Mutz said. "To be number one in the country is very rewarding."