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April 2016

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Cape Coral: 2nd Highest Growth Rate in U.S. for 2015 - Forbes
Ranked only behind Austin Texas' 3.15% population & economic growth for 2015, Cape Coral's 2.84% increase was the second highest growth rate in the country, according to Forbes.com. Even better, Forbes projects that Cape Coral will have the highest population/economic growth rate for 2016, at 2.15%. What is even more impressive about the Cape's rankings is that city's numerous "seasonal" or part-time owners are not included in the growth rate.
A Little Cape Coral History
When the Rosen brothers turned swamp and pasture land into buildable lots for homes, they next needed buyers to purchase those lots. As a means of attracting potential buyers and entertaining them while in town, they opened Cape Coral Gardens in 1964. Located at the end of Pelican Blvd in SW Cape, the attraction included a "Waltzing Waters" dancing fountain show that blended colored lights, water jets that rose 85 feet into the air, and classical music. Trained dolphin shows, a zoo and an enormous rose garden with 40,000 rose bushes (said to be the largest rose garden in the world at that time), were also features of the park. Near the entrance was a replica of the Iwo Jima statue, the second of three of these statues made. 
To the dismay of Cape Coral residents, Cape Coral Gardens lasted only six years. Many of the dolphins died of pneumonia and other diseases. The roses were extremely difficult to maintain. Cape Coral Gardens had served its purpose though. The last show was held on the night of Labor Day 1970 with nearly a thousand people watching. The Iwo Jima statue was moved to Cape Coral North First Bank, then ultimately to where it remains today, near Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve. A few descendants of the original rose bushes can still be seen at the Cape Coral Historical Society Museum.
Sue: I would have LOVED to experience Cape Coral Gardens! If you're interested in learning more, there's a fascinating book detailing the history of Cape Coral - Lies That Came True by Eileen Bernard
More Americans Heading South
According to a report by Realty Trac, a rising number of Americans are heading to southern states, lured by warmer weather, affordable housing, lower taxes and less congested cities. New Census Bureau data confirms that since 2014 alone, more than 1.4 million people have moved to the Sun Belt, mostly from the Northeast and Midwest.
Florida is especially feeling a heat wave of new residents. For the first time in a decade, Florida added more people than California, which helped Florida emerge as the third most populous state behind California and Texas.
Local Home Prices Continue to Rise - Inventory Drops Sharply
Just last month, SWFL home inventory had risen to a comfortable level of 6 1/2 months. Cape Coral home sales were so strong in March that inventory dropped to 4 1/2 months. So, in a span of just a month we've gone from a "neutral market" back to a "seller's market", especially in the lower price range. Home prices in Lee County towns rose by 6 - 8 % over March 2015. Homes listed at fair market value sell quickly, and close to asking price. Tom: I estimate that inventory is going to stay relatively low over at   least the next few months, which will keep home prices heading higher.
Red Sox & Twins Spring Training Brings Buyers To SWFL
The Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox Spring Training games bring much enthusiasm and economic benefit to our region. The Twins opened their 26th Spring Training at Hammond Stadium this year. Many mid-westerners make their way south each year to combine vacationing with seeing their beloved Twins play some Spring baseball
Open since 2012, the Boston Red Sox Spring Training facility, JetBlue Park – also known as Fenway South, brings droves of loyal New England baseball fans to Southwest Florida every spring. Located on Daniels Pkwy, east of highway I -75, near SWFL International Airport, the park seats 11,000 potential new investors and homeowners. Both teams regularly sell out their Spring Training games.
Many Ft Myers neighborhooods and businesses greatly benefit from out-of-state visitors to both parks.  Although further away from the parks, communities such as Estero, Bonita Springs and Cape Coral have also profited.
Forbes Ranks Cape Coral 8th Best In Nation for Retirement
Cape Coral was chosen by Forbes as one of the "25 Best Places To Retire In 2016". The city of more than 160,000 came in at number eight, and is one of four Florida cities that made the list, the others being Clermont, The Villages, and Largo.
Forbes' primary objective is to identify places that provide the best retirement value. Forbes cited Cape Coral's strong economy, cost of living and low serious crime rate among its pros. One of the cons is the "low walkability" for the city. Forbes sorted through information on about 500 communities  to compile the list.
Facts & Stats
Freddie Mac: 2016 Will be Strongest Housing Year in a Decade: Freddie Mac's chief economist projects that 2016 housing starts and home prices will reach their highest levels since 2006. The main reasons behind the bullish forecast: Low mortgage rates, improving job market and a gradual increase in housing supply.
Coming Soon: Online Property Insurance: Universal Insurance Holdings, one of Florida's largest residential property insurers is introducing a web portal that will enable consumers to directly purchase, pay for and bind property insurance online. The "direct-to-consumer" insurance model has proven successful for other insurance products, including auto insurance.


March 2016
Lake Okeechobee Update - Naples Happiest City In U.S. - Cape Coral Burrowing Owls

February 2016
6 Reasons FLA Is Best State For Retirement - Forbes Names Cape Coral In Top 10 Best Investment City For 2016 - Population Stats Cape Coral.

January 2016
2015 Real Estate Highlights - FL Tops List Of Most Desirable States - National Accolades For Cape Coral

December 2015
24/7 Wall Street Ranks Cape Coral in Top 50 Cities to Live - SW Florida Home Price Growth Highest in Nation - Cape Ranks High Among Florida Cities for Families & Jobs

November 2015
Strong Sellers Market - Annual Rents Rise 23% - Economists Predict Strong Market Through 2017 

October 2015
Cape Coral's R.E. Rebound 2nd Strongest In Nation - SW Florida Now a 12 Month R.E. Season - Chiquita Boat Lock Impact

September 2015
Shortage of SWFL Seasonal Rentals Gets More Severe - Fla. "Save Our Homes" Tax Break Kicks In Again - Cape Coral 4th Best Large City for Retirees

August 2015
City Council Votes to Eliminate Chiquita Boat Lock - U.S. Home Prices Hit Historic Highs - High Cost of Waiting to Buy

July 2015
Best/Worst U.S. Cities for Retirement - Cape Coral Inventory Falls to 2.6 Months - Homebuyer's Most Important Concerns When Looking For a Home

June 2015
New Homes A Good Option - Two SWFL Beaches in Dr. Beach Top Ten - Lee County Housing Market Continues To Climb

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