The city of Oviedo is the most expensive place to rent a home in Central Florida, according to rental website RentCafe.com’s Florida October Rent Report.
Rentcafe.com based its monthly rent report on data from Yardi Matrix, a software company that tracks real estate changes in real time.
According to the report, average rent in Oviedo for was $1,788, up $58 from last year. Comparatively, the national average is $1,476.
Oviedo Mayor-elect Megan Sladek said she's not surprised.
“We have more parkland per capita than any other town in Central Florida and it’s Seminole County,” Sladek said. “We’ve got great amenities, tons of new restaurants coming into town, our schools across the board are outstanding, and you really can’t go wrong anywhere you live in Oviedo.”
Sladek said Oviedo is the closest city to the University of Central Florida and offers easy access to highways and downtown Orlando while maintaining a family-friendly, peaceful, small-town feeling.
"A lot of people want to move to Oviedo and there simply are not enough units here for people to live in," Sladek said. "The demand from UCF continues to put pressure on Oviedo. We're the closest town to UCF even though we're a different county and have a different city name. We are closer than downtown Orlando to the UCF campus."
Sladek said demand is high and supply is low. Only a couple hundred apartments near the Oviedo mall are yet to be developed but no other housing is in the works.
Sladek campaigned on anti-growth and promised not to approve any new residential projects seeking to change the comprehensive plan.
“I think continuing to build would not be in the best interests of the people who are already here,” Sladek said. “We need to protect the quality of life that those residents who have made this their home already, and honor the property rights of those who already have rights around town. But to start changing property rights to increase residential density and a lot more multi-family, that would really mess with the vibe here in Oviedo.”
Sladek said she does not see Oviedo getting involved with subsidizing additional housing.
Long-time Seminole County realtor Kim Coburn, of Remax Town & Country, added that Oviedo can also command high rental rates because housing -- apartments, condos and houses -- are new and luxurious.
Orlando came in second on Rent cafe’s list, averaging $1,442 per month for rent.
"[Apartments or homes in downtown Orlando] do compare but they're much older," Coburn said. "The location is great if you work in downtown Orlando. The nice thing about Oviedo and Winter Springs is because it's a great area and very close to the major highways but it's also a newer feel. So you've got newer construction, you've got luxurious apartment complexes luxurious homes for rent and townhouses for rent. I think a lot of people would prefer that than a tiny little place in downtown Orlando."
Coburn, who has been a real estate agent in Central Florida for 37 years, said rental rates in Oviedo are so high that some families have chosen to move out of their homes and rent them out for a profit.
Rent Cafe lists Ocoee as the third most expensive averaging $1,432 per month in rent, followed by Winter Garden, Winter Springs and Kissimmee.
Titusville has the cheapest rent in Central Florida, averaging $876 per month, according to the Yardi Matrix data.
Coburn said Central Florida’s rental market is also hot because so many homes are under construction and families need a place to stay until their home is completed.