BY ALEX SODERSTROM | StaffWriter
Homebuyers and renters have flocked to the suburbs, but Orlando's urban areas still boast the best neighborhoods, according to a new report.
Niche released its 2021 Best Places to Live in America, which ranks the best suburbs and neighborhoods in the U.S. on a variety of factors including public schools, housing, diversity and nightlife as well as how good it is for families.
These kinds of lists can help draw residents to the Orlando region, especially as many expect the area to see a flood of domestic migration this year. New residents can generate new business for local companies and buy local homes, which contributes $77,291 to the local economy with every sale, according to the National Association of Realtors.
One Orlando neighborhood cracked the top 100 nationwide. The suburban area around Orlando's Lake Highland Park that Niche calls the Park Lake/Highland area landed at the No. 97 spot in America and No. 1 for Orlando, ranking highly in families and nightlife categories. The only categories it scored lower than an A in were public schools and housing, with a B in both.
Here is what Niche had to say about the neighborhood, which has a population of 2,564:
Park Lake/Highland is in Orange County and is one of the best places to live in Florida. Living in Park Lake/Highland offers residents an urban feel and most residents rent their homes. In Park Lake/Highland there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals live in Park Lake/ Highland and residents tend to have moderate political views. The public schools in Park Lake/Highland are above average.
Most of the top neighborhoods are concentrated near downtown Orlando. While outlying suburbs have been the biggest beneficiaries of the housing boom during the pandemic, cities are not dead, John Burns Real Estate Consulting Managing Principal Lesley Deutch previously told Orlando Business Journal.
As Covid-19 vaccines become more widespread and pandemic-related restrictions loosen, a migration back to urban areas may happen, she said. “There's a big opportunity to move to cities now because they're a lot cheaper than they used to be.”
Orlando ranked on Niche’s 2021 Best Cities to Live in America report, landing at No. 67 with an overall grade of A. The city was No. 32 for Best Cities for Young Professionals in America, with an overall grade of A.
Orlando Business Journal Managing Editor Susan Lundine and Tampa Bay Business Journal's Brendan Ward contributed to this report.