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October 2016 Market Updates

Cape Coral Again Leads Nation in Highest Rental Rate Increase
 
With competition stiff for a limited number of entry-level homes, investors are finding the single-family rental market to be strong for consumers who are opting to continue renting rather than buy. In a new report, RentRange, a housing market analytics firm, ranked the top 25 U.S. markets for rental rate rises on single-family homes between the second quarters of 2015 and 2016. Florida and California dominated the list, with Cape Coral again having the highest increase in rental prices. Below are the top five markets:
 
1. Cape Coral-Fort Myers: 26.1 % annual rent gain
2. New Orleans: 20,6%
3. Seattle-Tacoma: 16.6%
4. Deltona-Dayton Beach- Ormond Beach, Fla: 15.7%
5. Port St. Lucie, Fla: 15.2%
 
Tom: Rental prices will continue rising until home inventory increases. As I've mentioned often, this will only happen when more new homes are built.
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Environmental & Political Pressure to Clean Caloosahatchee River
 
In the past several weeks there has been significant positive news about efforts to clean the brown, murky Caloosahatchee River and restore it to its former glory. Below are just a few of the encouraging events that are taking place on this very important cause:
 
 
 
$1.9 Billion Everglades-Restoration ProjectThe U.S. Senate, by a 95-3 vote, approved legislation authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to move forward on a $1.9 billion Everglades-restoration project. Engineering projects are designed to reduce the need for harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee by sending more water south into the Everglades, instead of east and west into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. The bill now heads to House, which is widely expected to approve it.
 
 
Now or Neverglades Declaration: Tens of thousands of individuals, companies, conservation organizations, public figures and politicians have joined to fix the Lake O water issue. In response to the current water crisis, on August 9th, Florida Senate President-Designate Joe Negron announced his plan to expedite the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir to store water that can be sent south to the Everglades and Florida Bay, thereby helping protect the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.
 
Truth Tour: an educational group reaching out to environmental organizations and local and state civic groups, delivering the message about the effect of the Lake O discharges into the river systems. One of the group's main focuses is to get people to sign the "Now or Never Everglades Declaration",(mentioned above). 
Tom: for several months our water quality has been my major concern regarding our real estate sales business, our local real estate investments, and most importantly...our Quality of Life. Based on steady & noticeable improvement in the water, combined with extensive efforts by so many groups, I'm extremely optimistic that the worst of our water problems are in the rear view mirror.
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Caution - Protect Your Florida Homestead
 
 
Homestead fraud is increasingly being investigated by Appraiser offices across the state. There are some major financial benefits to having a homestead exemption in the Sunshine State, but there are also very specific restrictions to have those benefits. One of the biggest no-no's for homesteading (aside from the standard requirements which can be read on our web site) is renting out your home, even a portion of it. If you rent out your homesteaded property a portion of your exemption can be adjusted, or your entire homestead exemption can be eliminated.
 
 
 
Here's what the assessor's office advised us regarding renting out a home: For 2 years after purchasing the home, the owner is allowed to rent the home out for up to 30 days per year (but only for two years). Renting out longer than that will cause them to lose their homestead exemption. Florida Homesteaders don't have to reside in the home for any set number of days out of the year, but they cannot have any other residency based exemption on another home. For complete Florida Homestead Rules go to: http://www.leepa.org/exemption/generalexemptioninfo.aspx
 
 
Refinance Concerns as well: Homeowners renting out their homes or rooms through services like VRBO or Airbnb can face difficulties refinancing their mortgages, The Wall Street Journal reports. Bank giants like B of A and Well Fargo reportedly subject borrowers who rent their homes to additional scrutiny when owners try to refinance - and some borrowers find that they aren't eligible for certain types of loans or they have to pay higher interest rates. Lenders typically maintain tighter underwriting standards, such as requiring larger down payments and higher interest rates, for investment or second home properties. B of A says it does not offer home equity lines of credit on investment properties.
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Cape Real Estate Still Flourishing - Ft Myers Slows Down Slightly
 
Even during the traditionally slow summer real estate months, Cape Coral sales have been strong. Average home prices in the Cape hit $267,000 in September., the highest level in over eight years and $33,000 higher than in Sept 2015, a 14.5% increase. Inventory is still surprisingly low, at 3.7 months. Last September six homes in C.C. sold for under $100 K, and 24 homes sold for under $125 K. This September only two C.C. homes sold for under $100 K and only five homes under $125 K.
 
 
 
Ft Myers home sales have slowed a bit and inventory increased to 5.1 months. Average Ft Myers home prices were $296,600, a more modest 3.5% increase from a year ago. Tom: Pending home sales indicate that we are headed for a relatively strong October & November, which would mean we are now in a "12 month real estate season", compared to the norm for decades in SWFL, which was a 5 to 6 month real estate season.
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100 Years Ago: Larger Families, Smaller Homes
 
Homes built in the last six years are 74% larger than those built in the 1910's, according to Property Shark, a real estate information site. In that 100 year span average households have fallen from 4.5 to 2.5 people. The study notes that homes in some cities, such as San Antonio, Orlando, Nashville and Dallas are about twice as large as they were 100 years ago (more than 2,600 sq ft). A century ago Boston had the smallest homes, which averaged 909 sq ft, followed by San Francisco (1,150 sq ft) and Miami (1,179 sq ft).
Sue: Guess the folks jumping on the recent "tiny house" bandwagon (there are shows on HGTV about them) are bucking the trend towards larger homes - personally I think they're crazyyyy. I'm happier with home sizes today vs. what they were 100 years ago!
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CAPE CORAL LUXURY HOME'S SALE PRICE HIGHEST IN 3 YEARS
 
In September, a three-year record was broken when a 5 bedroom, 7 bath, 6128 sq foot waterfront Tarpon Point home sold for $2.8 million, after just 100 days on the market. This would be a $10 million house in Naples. In Cape Coral you get the same waterfront, the same boat access and same view but at a much lower price point.
 
A Cape Harbour home that sold for $5.3 million in 2013 is still the Cape's record holder. If you missed out on this one in 2013, good news. It's on the market again!
 
 

September 2016
Fla Has 4 Top 10 Retirement Cities - Unique Condo Community Being Developed in Downtown Fort Myers - Update on Chiquita Boat Lock Removal

August 2016
Atlanta Braves Eye Training Camp In Collier County - Frontier Airlines Will Service Punta Gorda Airport - Cape Coral Mid Year Stats

July 2016
Assessed Property Values Released By Appraiser - Caloosahatchee Releases Update - National Builder Eyes Former Cape Golf Course

June 2016
Too Soon To Retire But Don't Want To Pay Future Higher Prices? - Real Estate Owned Via Self Directed IRAs - Flipping Is Out; Long Term Investing In

May 2016
Cape Coral Racks Up More Top 10 Ratings - Gallup Survey: RE The Best Investment - Retirees Come to Cape Coral In Droves

April 2016
Cape Coral 2nd Highest Growth Rate in U.S. - Red Sox & Twins Spring Training Brings Buyers to SWFL - Forbes Ranks Cape Coral 8th Best in Nation for Retirement

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

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Tom & Sue Demogenes

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