Cape Coral/Ft Myers 2nd “Best Place People are Moving to in 2018”
A recent report from U.S. News & World Report ranks Lee County second nationwide on its list of “The 25 Best Places People Are Moving to in 2018”. The county’s population spiked over 14% from 2012 to 2016, behind only Myrtle Beach, S.C. Florida locations dominate the list.
Florida’s population is over 21.3 million according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimate. It will exceed 22 million in 2020 and could hit 26 million in 2030. The last Census Bureau estimate for Lee County, in July 2017, was nearly 740,000, so it's likely over 750,000 now...and growing by the day
The largest future growth areas of the county are Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres, where there is plenty of space to develop. The Cape’s population, estimated at 180,000, is expected to reach 400,000 at buildout. Tom: A majority of the County's population increase comes from the Cape. Approximately 10,000 new residents will be moving to the Cape Coral each year for the next decade, according to the U.S Census Bureau. This does not include the city’s many “seasonal owners”.
Cape Home Prices Rise $22K Over May 2017 – Ft Myers/FtMyers Beach Up $40K & Construction Costs Rising
Cape Coral: Average Cape home prices increased from $267,000 last May to $289,000 this May, a comfortable 8% increase. This is the second straight month of noticeable price gains after a lackluster first quarter. High-end home sales slowed, as is customary for this time of year, but low to mid-priced homes continue with strong sales numbers.
For the second month in a row Cape home sales reached over 500, inventory still at 3.5 months, and the list-to-sale price is steady at 97%. Mid to high-priced homes are selling with a deeper discount and lower-priced homes are selling closer to 98 – 99% of asking price. Overall, we have a healthy market without overly steep price increases. Our early projection of 7 to 8% Cape home price increase for 2018 is back on track
Ft Myers and Ft Myers Beach: home prices increased by $40,000 in May over the same month last year, from $323,000 to $363,000. Home sales in May for these towns increased from 404 last year to 431 this May.
New Construction Costs: Due to a sharp rise in material costs and steady increase in labor costs, local builders are forced to raise the prices of their new homes. Builders are advising us to expect at least 5% price increases for the year, and more likely closer to 10%. One of our preferred builders had to increase prices by $20,000 just in the past few months. Tom: the price bump on new construction homes will raise the price of existing homes in our area.
Florida Ranks No.1 as “Best State for Military Retirees”
WalletHub’s 2018 Report on Best & Worst States for Military Retirees ranked Florida as the best state in the U.S. for retired veterans. WalletHub compared the 50 states and District of Columbia across 27 key indicators of retirement-friendliness toward veterans. The data included job opportunities for veterans, housing affordability and quality of VA hospitals. Sue: of all the yearly recognitions bestowed on our great state, this is one we are most proud of
Outdoor Projects Boost Resale Value
If you’re considering remodeling before listing your home be sure to take a look at your yard too. If it could use some sprucing up, your outdoor space is a wise place to spend some time and money according to the National Association of Realtors and National Association of Landscape Professionals. Realtors ranked a healthy green lawn at the top with a 267% recovery of project cost at resale. Next, Realtors named well cared for shrubs, trees and flowering plants (overall landscaping).
Tom: Having remodeled or staged hundreds of homes for ourselves and clients, we can’t overstate the importance of “curb appeal”. A high percentage of prospective buyers will drive by a home before scheduling a showing with their Realtor. If the home is not appealing from the outside many buyers will never get to view the interior. A well-manicured lawn, along with healthy shrubs, trimmed trees and a fresh coat of mulch or landscape stones (free of weeds of course) will return 250 – 300% of the cost…and help the home sell in a shorter period of time. We guide all of our clients as to the wisest improvement expenditures, and we’re pleased that almost all clients have accepted our suggestions.
Have You Tried These Cape Coral Restaurants?
If you’re new to town or a long-time resident looking for a Cape restaurant you haven’t tried, The News-Press’ restaurant critic Jean Le Boeuf recently named his top 10 Cape Coral restaurants. Here they are in ascending order:
10. Gusto Cucina Italiana 229 Del Prado Blvd N – Homemade Italian fare.
9. Ariani 1529 SE 15th Ter – A Cape Coral fixture since 1982. Italian food from scratch.
8. Fish Tale Grill 1229 SE 47th Ter – The freshest seafood, located next to Merrick Seafood market.
7. Gather 5971 Silver King Blvd – Waterfront! Beautiful décor yet comfortable with an international menu.
6. Rumrunners 5848 Cape Harbour Dr – Also waterfront! Open since 2003 it has become a Cape Coral classic with its “tropically eclectic” menu.
5. Cork Soakers 837 SE 47th Ter – Same owners as Rumrunners but more casual with unique pub fare. Famous for their deviled eggs.
4. Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery 927 Cape Coral Pkwy E – Opened in 2012 by a Cape Coral native. Best known for their “thoughtful” cocktails and awesome burgers.
3. Taverna Wood Fire Kitchen 1227 Miramar St – “The best restaurant you never heard of”. Crisp chew wood-fired pizzas and hand-made gnocchi are top draws here.
2. Nice Guys Pizza 1334 Cape Coral Pkwy E – A hipster-basement-esque setting with inventive cocktails infused with unique ingredients like raisin syrup or lemongrass. Signature pizza is prosciutto & chili-infused honey.
1. Point 57 3522 Del Prado Blvd – Beautiful and modern décor with a visually impressive bar. Menu leans towards Southern classics with a twist.
Sue: There are a few on this list that I haven't tried so I'm excited to expand my horizons.
Facts & Stats
Florida Economy Remains Extremely Strong: Florida’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 3.9% for the past eight months. Furthermore, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that real gross domestic product in Florida increased 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The real estate and leasing industry and the construction industry contributed the most to the increase
Lenders Hesitant to Relax Income Rules For Self-Employed: After the financial beating that banks took during the last recession, lenders are a lot more cautious about lending to “gig economy” workers. Examples of gig economy professions are independent contractors or freelancers such as photographer, handymen, and craft selling. 20 - 30% of the U.S. population works job-to-job now, and that is projected to rise to 40% or higher by 2020. Job-to-job income appears to be less reliable, and many banks exclude this income on loan consideration. This often requires a higher down-payment or the ability to qualify without the job-to-job income. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are working on ways to make qualifying easier in the booming “gig economy"
Tide Turned: U.S. Homeownership on the Rise Again: Rising wages, loosening credit standards and demographic shifts are all creating momentum for owning rather than renting, according to a recent U.S. Census report. Homeownership rose to 64.2% in the first quarter of 2018, up from 63.6% in the first quarter of 2017. Prior to 2017 homeownership had steadily dropped after the Great Recession. The challenges that remain for renters are rising interest rates, limited inventory and higher home prices.
U.S Home Prices Surpass 2006 Peak: Overall, home prices are 6.3% higher than their peak in July 2006. U.S. home prices plunged when the housing bubble burst, hitting bottom in February 2012. Since then, prices have rebounded 46.5%. Tom: It's great news that the nation as a whole has passed the last peak. Most people strongly doubted me (many questioned my sanity) when I mentioned during the bottom of the market that in all of history the new peak has always surpassed the previous peak, and this market would eventually follow that trend. Now, we need for SWFL to catch up to the last peak. We are still 20 -25% below our previous peak of January 2006, but we're steadily getting there.
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
Can't Find the Perfect Model Home to Build? - We Have Solutions - Investors Focusing on Build-to-Rent Homes - Cape Coral in Top 100 Cities For First-Time Homebuyers
Be Very Careful When Selecting A Local Builder - Cape Home Inventory Drops To Three Months - Zero Down Loans Make A Comeback
Home Sales Still Strong For Low & Mid-Priced Homes - Cape Coral Named One of the Best U.S. Cities for Boaters - Homeowners Sue Zillow Over Low Home Value Estimate