Tom Demogenes
Tom and Sue Demogenes
Luxury Waterfront Team
Cape Coral, FL 33914

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September 2015


Shortage of SWFL Seasonal Rentals Gets More Severe

For the past few years we've advised clients about the shortage of rentals during our high vacation season, which has expanded from four months to six months. Each year clients contact us in a panic during high season because they didn't book in advance and found very limited, and less than desirable rental options. We are once again suggesting that you book your winter rental ASAP, not only for 2016 (which we are told by rental companies is pretty much fully booked for the nicer homes), but for 2017 as well. Clients ask us whythere are fewer rentals available than in past years. Here are some reasons:
Baby Boomers Retiring: As Baby Boomers retire they are now living full-time in their SW Florida homes/condos that they used to rent out when not using them. This has removed many nice rental properties from the market.
Improved Economy: As the economy improves, more people can afford to vacation to the Sunshine State in the winter months, and for longer vacation periods.
Shortage of New Construction: As many more people buy seasonal and full-time SWFL homes, new construction has not come close to keeping pace. In our opinion, it will take perhaps a decade before enough homes will be built to keep up to home sale and rental demand.
Typical Northern Winters: Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting another brutal winter. Enough Said!!!
Fla. "Save Our Homes" Tax Break Kicks In Again As Home Values Rise

With Florida home prices on the rise again, so is the value of the Save Our Homes property tax break. The 20-year old policy, voted into Florida's constitution, says a homesteaded property's taxable value can't rise by more than 3% a year (or the national cost of living, whichever is less).

This time around, however, Save Our Homes is unlikely to turn into "Slaves to Our Homes", where homeowners would be taxed at a much higher rate if they relocated. That's because Florida voters in 2008 approved "portability", which lets homesteaded owners to take up to $500,000 of their Save Our Homes break to a new homestead (see our web site for "portability" explanation). Tom: All properties are re-assessed at the start of each year, and because home values are rising substantially is one reason we recommend new buyers of Florida homes to close before the end of the year if possible.

Cape Coral 4th Best Large City for Retirees...Yet Once Again
Personal finance website WalletHub recently rated the 150 largest U.S. cities as "Best Places for Retirees". Cape Coral has been ranked in the top 5 by numerous recent retirement surveys. There were 24 criteria, including affordability, quality of life, health care and recreational activities. The top five cities included three from Florida. Here are the best and worst retirement cities according to WalletHub:
BEST CITIES                                                                        
1. Tampa                         
2. Scottsdale                    
3. Boise                          
4. Cape Coral                 
5. Orlando 
1. Detroit
2. Worcester, MA
3. Boston
4. Chicago
5. Yonkers, NY                      
Cape Coral New Home Permits Rise to 2007 Levels

There were 129 Cape construction permits issued in August, the highest level since November 2007 (153). Ever since the real estate crash, permits have plummeted from a high of 858 in March 2005 to as few as 10 - 15 a month during the bottom of our real estate market.

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, combined with Cape Coral's severe shortage of inventory, we estimate that it will require at least 300 new homes built each month to keep up with demand. Until such time as enough new homes/condos are built to keep up with demand, Cape Coral inventory will remain very low and prices will continue to rise, likely by double digits.

Buyers Who Want New Construction Homes in SWFL Need Patience

The average timeframe from selecting a local builder, finalizing floor plans and securing construction financing, to finally securing Certificate of Occupancy has reached the one year mark, and will likely only increase in the future. The reason for the increased time to build a new home are higher demand, lack of sufficient contractors, and more time-constraints on city inspectors. Sue: not only have we helped many clients with the new home construction process, but we are in the process of building our own new home (and another investment home shortly), so we know first hand about the process and related delays. We can guide clients toward reliable, honorable builders who provide good value.

Facts & Stats
SWFL Real Estate Season - Now 10 months or Longer: In past years our normal real estate season coincided fairly closely with high vacation season - 4 to 5 months. Our real estate market would start to slow down in June, was practically dead during July - Sept, and gradually picked up in October before hitting full-stride again in December. This year, and we expect for at least a few more years, it looks like we will have at least 10 months of strong real estate activity, with perhaps only holiday weeks being a little slow. As stated above, our vacation high season has expanded as well.

Foreclosures at lowest level in Lee County Since Housing Crash: According to recently released statistics, in 2014 Lee County had the lowest rate of foreclosures since before the housing crash began in 2007. There were 2,321 foreclosures filed in 2014, down from 2013's 4,213, and a tenth of the 26,125 when the wave of foreclosures crested in 2008. There haven't been this few foreclosures since 2006, when 1,903 were filed just as the implosion in real estate prices was beginning.
Realtor & Home Sales Stats: There are currently 1,117,550 Realtors in the U.S. In 2014 they sold 4.9 million homes, or roughly 4 home sales per Realtor. YIKES!!! Thanks to our great clientele we are fortunate to sell many more than 4 homes per year. Just in the past two weeks three clients refered family or friends to us. A high percentage of our business comes from client referrals and we greatly appreciate it. Our #1 SWFL Realtor ranking on Angies List is another source of many of our new clients.
Only Hire Home Inspectors with Errors & Omissions Insurance: We always recommend that buyers hire a home inspector prior to purchasing a home, with the possible exception of a new home that has a Home Warranty. Our top inspector carries Errors & Omissions Insurance, which protects all parties in the event of an oversight by the inspector. 

Tom Demogenes | 239-357-3312 | Contact Us 
4100 SW 27th Pl - Cape Coral, FL 33914
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