Our Market

Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast is an emerging destination market with explosive growth potential.

Ideal demographics reside and visit the area, and access to the Gulf Coast of Florida has been made easier than ever with the addition of regional and international airports and increased flight options. Howard Group properties’ convenient location within southern Walton County (recently named the sixth-fastest-growing county in the nation in US census) and Okaloosa County provides access to a perfect blend of permanent residents, secondary home owners, and visitors—making our developments ideal for retailers and restaurateurs looking to expand.

Beach on the Gulf of Mexico

Permanent Residents

  • There are 922,000 permanent residents within a one-hour drive to South Walton (Pensacola to Panama City market).
  • Walton County has seen a 35 percent growth rate since 2000—double Florida’s overall growth rate.
  • Walton County was voted fifth in a survey of “Where America’s Money is Moving” by Forbes.
  • The Destin area was named in the Top 10 “Recession Resistant Cities for Real Estate” by Forbes.

Secondary Homeowners

  • An estimated 60,000 “second homes” are owned in the South Walton and Okaloosa County region.
  • South Walton County homeowners fall into the nation’s top wealth demographic.


  • Northwest Florida has 32 million visitor nights, serviced by four airports.
  • Visitor expenditures in South Walton total more than $2 billion in economic spending and have a $3 billion economic impact annually, with dining and shopping expenditures topping the list just behind accommodations.
  • The average party size of visitors is four to six people with an average stay length of seven nights.