Chiquita Boat Lock Update
Cape Coral Mayor Coviello held a Mayor’s Conference in mid-July at the Yacht Club and a wide range of topics was covered. Tom was able to ask the Mayor about the status of the Chiquita Boat Lock. The Mayor stated the city expected to have the Lock removed within 12 to 18 months. Tom then asked him if there was a possibility that the lock would be only be repaired or enlarged and the Mayor quickly responded: “no, we are going to have it removed”.
A few other encouraging pieces of news that the Mayor provided was that there are 150 new businesses coming to Cape Coral every month, including a Lucky's Market which is an organic food store - at Santa Barbara and Veterans, a 110,000 sq ft senior living facility called the Atrium At Liberty Park, and three large new auto dealerships are coming to Pine Island Road, to name just a few.
2018 Property Tax Rates Released
The Lee County Assessor has released the assessed values for 2018. Cape Coral assessed values increased by 8.49%. Ft Myers assessed values rose by 7.2%, Ft Myers Beach 3.5%, and Bonita Beach 3.9%. Tom: we expect comparable property value increases for the next several years. Fortunately, Florida Homesteader's assessed values can only increase by the Cost of Living Indes (or 3%, whichever is lower . . . one of the many great tax benefits for Florida residents). If you are considering purchasing a home over the next several months it behooves you to buy before the end of the calendar year so you can lock in a lower assessed value. Assessed Values are computed as of January 1st each year. So, a buyer purchasing a home in December will pay less in property taxes every year than a buyer who purchases a comparably priced home in January, only days or weeks later. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.
95% Likelihood U.S. Home Prices Will Rise Over Next Two Years:
According to a recent report by the Housing and Mortgage Market Review the U.S. housing market has a 95% likelihood of increasing in value in the next two years. This is largely due to the low number of existing homes for sale coupled with a strong job market. The number of homes for sale hasn’t been this low since analysts started tracking the data in the early 1980’s.
The price jumps are likely to occur more rapidly in entry-level housing. Fewer people are selling starter homes to trade up to bigger houses, and that’s a trend that is likely to continue since the majority of homeowners have lower mortgage rates than they could get on a new loan. The report gives Florida homes a 92% chance of increasing in value over the next 2 years. Tom: although the price bump will originate in entry-level homes, home values in all price ranges will likely be elevated. Remember, the real estate market is always generated from the bottom and works its way up.
PACE 100% Energy Financing Program
Property Assessed Clean Energy financing is available to make energy efficiency, wind mitigation improvements and repairs. This funding is repaid through an assessment included on the annual property tax bill. In addition, property owners can make additional wind mitigating improvements that will further reduce their property risks, including roofs, stationary home standby generators, wind-rated doors, impact resistance windows and storm shutters. Some nice PACE features include:
· 100% no money down financing, not based on credit score
· Eligibility based on home equity, w/no payments for up to 17 months
· Stretch fixed payments out over terms up to 30 years
· Work is performed by certified contractors who won’t get paid until the project is completed
A Cool New Cape Coral Restaurant
Backyard beer gardens are a thing, but now you don’t have to go to the trouble of creating your own. A cool new restaurant is opening soon in the Cape. The Backyard Beer Garden took over space at 1339 Cape Coral Pkwy E, vacated by Two Amigos. The 60 seat front patio will be converted to a beer garden featuring a shady pergola and decorative flora. With 20 + craft beers and a full bar of craft cocktails, there’s sure to be a libation to suit everyone’s taste. The restaurant will be designed to resemble a backyard house party in keeping with the backyard beer garden trend. Of course, the establishment will also serve appetizers and main course meals to enjoy along with your drinks. Sue: Can't wait to try it. Sounds like a fun, relaxing ambiance.
Facts & Stats
Florida’s Energy Expense Very Low - $292 Average Monthly Cost: Wallet-Hub reports that Florida’s average monthly energy cost of $292 is very low compared to other states. This cost includes heating/cooling, cooking, and electricity (including pool). Sue: Tom and I only spend $200 a month on average for a 2,000 square f00t home.
Florida GDP Hits $1 Trillion Mark: The state Chamber of Commerce reported that Florida’s gross domestic product has topped $1 trillion, and is adding $2.7 billion to its GDP each day. The economic output would make the Sunshine State the world’s 17th largest economy if it were an independent country. Low unemployment, population growth, and tourism are the driving forces to the state’s phenomenal economy.
Many Homeowners under-insured, but Waterfront homes over-insured: Core Logic reports that over half of U.S. homes are underinsured by an average of 20%. Higher-priced waterfront homes are often over-insured, as insurers and homeowners don’t attribute sufficient value to the waterfront land.
Golf Course Closures Could Spur New Home Construction: Pellucid Corp, a golf industry trade group, reports that younger people are not replacing older generations of golf enthusiasts. This is prompting many golf courses to shut down – making room for new construction. The report states that the number of regular golfers dropped from 30 million to 20.9 million between 2002 and 2016.
The average 18-hole course sits on 150 acres, which is enough space for approximately 600 single-family detached homes. Now, because of golf facility closures, hundreds of thousands of acres of land nationwide is available for redevelopment.Tom: Our local golf courses all appear to be busy and not in any jeopardy of closing. Many Realtors are hoping the old Golf Club in Cape Coral gets rezoned for housing development. I am not one of them. I feel that as more people relocate to the Cape (10,000 per year according to the U.S. Census Bureau) the city will need enough golf courses to keep players from bringing their golf clubs and money to courses in other cities. There are still plenty of vacant lots to build tens of thousands of new homes. There are no other parcels in the southern half of Cape Coral large enough to accommodate an 18-hole golf course. Not to mention the traffic congestion that would be added to Cape Coral Pkwy if 500 or so new homes were built on the Golf Club land. I would also be happy with the space being utilized for a park with tennis/pickleball courts and other activities.
Low & Mid-Priced Home Sales Very Strong in Cape Coral - Baby Boomers Top Retirement Concerns - New $25K Florida Homestead Property-Tax Break on Nov. 6 Ballot
Cape Coral/Ft Myers 2nd “Best Place People are Moving to in 2018” - Cape Home Prices Rise $22K Over May 2017 – Ft Myers/FtMyers Beach Up $40K & Construction Costs Rising - Florida Ranks No.1 as “Best State for Military Retirees”
Cape Coral Real Estate Bounces Back from Weak 1st Quarter - Tax Reform Already Boosting Demand for Florida Real Estate - Keep Interest Rates in Perspective
Home Prices And Sales Numbers - Florida's Stringent Building Codes Thwarted Hurricane Damage - Foreign Buyers Still Loving The Sunshine State
Want To Buy A Home In SWFL While Still Living In Your Current Home? - Florida Property Taxes Are Average In Comparison To Other States - Pickleball In Cape Coral
SW Florida Real Estate Once Again Showing Strong Signals - 12 Reasons SWFL Real Estate Will Stay Strong - Be Wary Of The Builder You Choose
Cape Coral/SWFL Recap & 2018 Projections - Will Tax Reform Affect SWFL Real Estate? - Cape Coral Rated #1 Boomtown In U.S.
Why Aren't Homeowners Becoming Sellers? - Profile Of International Buyers In Florida - Local Home Market Synopsis
Interesting Florida/Cape Coral Population Stats - Despite Irma, Local Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.5% - Bubble? Nowhere in Sight for U.S. Housing Market
Irma Slows Down Sales But Not Prices - Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats To Locate World Headquarters In Cape Coral - Homesteaded Properties Will See Assessed Values Increase by 2.1%
Cape Coral Dodged A Bullet - Some Lenders Will Stop Requiring Traditional Appraisals - Homeowners Only Break Even By Selling Their Home Without A Realtor