Fort Myers-Cape Market Hot on Trulia
USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA
Naples didn’t make the cut on Trulia’s list of the top 10 real estate markets poised for growth in 2017. But Fort Myers and Cape Coral did, with the metro area coming in at No. 2 as one of the “hottest real estate markets to watch” this year.
The story that goes with the ranking, lauded the area for its weather, high job growth and sharp drop in vacancy rates over the past year.
“And then Fort Myers, Florida is home to baseball’s Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins during spring training every year, which boosts the economy even more every spring,” said Pat Eberle of RA-SO Realty in Cape Coral.
Four other Florida markets made the list: Jacksonville (No. 1); Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach (No. 3); Tampa-St. Petersburg (No. 5) and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (No. 10).
The list is based on five key metrics: high affordability, strong job growth, low vacancy rates, home searches on Trulia – and a big population of Republicans (because of Donald Trump’s surprise win in the presidential election).
Naples’s absence from the rankings doesn’t seem to be all that concerning to area Realtors and brokers.
“I’m OK with not being on this list. We saw in 2005, when we were one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, that it was not necessarily a good thing. Our market over corrected downward in 2006 and 2007,” said Mike Hughes, vice president of Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Naples.
Hughes hopes to never see that kind of correction again.
“In a red-hot market, you get a lot of investor money rolling in,” he said. “Flipping properties at higher prices becomes more common. Some properties get treated almost like a stock as they are bought and sold multiple times.”
Dominic Pallini, president of the Naples Area Board of Realtors and broker/owner of Vanderbilt Realty of Naples, said he’s not surprised Naples didn’t make the cut.
Naples is more of a vacation/tourist area and more of a second-home market than other areas on the list, he said.
“The median home price in Naples is a bit higher than in other parts of the state and Naples doesn’t offer the number of employment opportunities of a large city. I believe that those are the reasons why Naples did not meet the criteria of the top ten.”
Phil Wood, president of John R. Wood Realtors in Naples, said it’s logical there would be more real estate searches on Trulia in larger metro areas, giving them an upper hand in the rankings. He expects 2017 to be a great year.
“In 2016, the Naples market was not as hot as the year before,” he said. “However, things heated up in the last two months of the year and we expect 2017 to be one of the best ever, especially if the stock market continues to rise.”
Hughes hopes to see a “nice steadily climbing real estate market throughout the year.”
“We had a good year in 2016,” he said. “I think most of the local real estate community feels that 2017 will be even better.”
Pallini said he’s looking forward to a great 2017 with “many transactions.”
“The consumer confidence level has risen since the election and the economy has responded positively, as shown by the stock market, which is at an all-time high,” he said.
Pending and closed sales in the greater Naples housing market continue to increase as high season kicks into gear, indicating a “robust real estate market in our future,” Pallini said.
NABOR expects to release its final market report for 2016 on Jan . 20. The report tracks housing trends and sales made by its! members in Collier County, excluding Marco Island. It does not include new home sales.