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It’s almost the New Year. In 2016 economic growth will continue to chug along, employment will continue to increase, and homebuyers will continue to feel confident in purchasing a new home. Here’s a closer look at the trends that will have the greatest impact on the Florida housing market.

New homes will come back big time.
New home construction was one of the hardest-hit industries after the housing bust. Single-family home construction increased 10 percent this year and is expected to rise another 23 percent in 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That coincides with healthy sales. New home sales grew 15 percent this year and are forecast to jump 26 percent in 2016.

Buyers will want green and smart homes.
Homebuilders are increasingly incorporating eco-friendly features into projects to meet growing demand largely from affluent baby boomers who prioritize energy efficiency, a healthier indoor environment and durability. More than half of builders say they are working on green projects, according to a study from Dodge Data & Analytics for the National Association of Home Builders. Those percentages are expected to rise over the next five years.

Homeowners will want natural amenities.
Today’s homebuyers are drawn to living healthier, and nature-based amenities top their list. They have spent much of their lives in cars and offices and now want fresh air and walkable neighborhoods within easy reach of parks, beaches, waterways, sporting facilities and other preferred outdoor adventures. They want to be able to cruise the neighborhood on their bike or jump on their boat for a fun day on the water.

For those seeking a new address in Florida, The Islands on the Manatee River might just fit the bill. Located on the Suncoast, The Islands is a private waterfront community that captures everything to love about the Florida lifestyle. Situated on 225 pristine acres, The Islands features estate-sized homesites with private docks, picturesque harbors and navigable access to the tranquil waters of the Manatee River.

While many parts of the country head inside during the cold winter months, residents of the Sarasota/Bradenton area in Florida are blessed with warm weather year round. If you’re lucky enough to be spending your winter on the Suncoast, here are five not-to-be-missed winter activities:

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