Housing Options Continue to Expand Around Lake Wales As Prices Rise
Scenic Bluff Phase Two Almost Ready For New Home Construction
Last updated 11/14/2021 at 4:31pm
Lake Wales's newest housing subdivision is rapidly being developed on the high ground just west of Lake Wales High School. Scenic Bluffs Phase Two will offer 55 single-family homes on a site facing Old Scenic Highway.
In a nod to the extraordinary housing shortage facing much of the nation, prices have risen sharply for new homes, pricing many first-time buyers out of the market. New homes in the development will start at 1400 square feet of living area and be priced "starting in the mid-200's," according to signage on the site.
Still-low interest rates have sparked interest for homebuyers even as a global supply-chain problem has hampered the delivery of building materials and appliances. Interest rates for 30-year home loans are presently hovering at 3.08%, a slight drop this week, but rates are expected to rise as the Federal Reserve begins to tighten lending policies in coming months.
The combination of low rates and high demand has driven plans for multiple housing projects around Lake Wales, where an abundance of "green field" sites offer developers plenty of options. Projects are planned at every point of the compass around the city.
Scenic Bluff has the advantage at the moment, being first out of the ground with a new subdivision even after they are concluding construction on the final homes in Phase One. Utilities have been installed at the site, and crews are presently constructing the streets, which will connect to Old Scenic Highway and the unimaginatively named "North City Limits Road," a moniker which hasn't correctly applied in many years.
Other projects are expected to break ground around the city in coming months. The Lake Wales City Commission is currently considering the adoption of a new "impact fee" that will create a fund to enhance transportation around the city. That "Mobility Fee" may be added to six existing fees that help to fund water, sewer, police, fire, parks and library services. The fees help to assure that current residents are not taxed to pay the expenses incurred to serve new homes and residents.
The City also collects fees on behalf of Polk County for emergency medical services, education, transportation, and jails.