LEE COUNTY MARKET SNAPSHOT

MULTI-FAMILY & SINGLE FAMILY
June 2019

Welcome to our Lee County Multi-Family and Single Family Market Snapshot! Hopefully, you will find the summary provided to be informational and helpful with your rental investments.

Rental / Single Family Home Market Analysis

A quick Snapshot of the market in Lee County. This summary provides housing information relating to proposed growth, new development activity, sales trends, population trends, apartment rental analysis, and economic indicators.

  • Occupancy for most of Southwest Florida submarkets remain high for multi-family space. According to the Ft. Myers News-Press 2019 Market Watch, approximately 4,800 apartment units are under construction or will soon come out of the ground.
  • Lee County housing market saw a decrease for the April in year-over-years sales of single family -6.8%, but a nice increase over March with 1,362 closed sales, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors. Year-over-year sales were up by 6.9% for condos and townhomes, recording the highest number of closed units since at least 2010! The condo and townhouse market is on fire!
  • When looking at closed sales by price point, the numbers were mostly up for condos and townhomes for all price ranges in between $50,000 and up, compared to 2018. For single family there were both increases and decreases across all the different price points. The hardest hit was the $1,000,000 and above price point and the $100,000 to $149,000 price point.
  • The latest economic numbers continue to indicate a growing and seasonal regional economy. Positive signs include an 8% increase in airport activity between February 2018 and February 2019, a 2% increase in taxable sales for January 2019 versus January 2018, and a 6% increase in tourist tax revenues in February 2019 compared to February 2018.
  • Total airport passenger activity for Southwest Florida exceeded 1.4 million in February 2019, an increase of 8% over February 2018, and 7% above the previous month.
  • Southwest Florida continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. Southwest Florida continuing to experience significant gains in population with a 2.16% gain (or 27,379 people in 2017 over 2016). This is three times the national population growth rate.
  • According to the Ft. Myers News-Press four Florida cities made U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the most desirable places to live in 2019. With median home prices at $210,200 and a median annual salary of $41,300, Ft. Myers came in at number 14.

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LEE COUNTY MARKET SNAPSHOT MULTI-FAMILY & SINGLE FAMILY February 2019

Welcome to our Lee County Multi-Family and Single Family Market Snapshot! Hopefully, you will find the summary provided to be informational and helpful with your rental investments.
Rental / Single Family Home Market Analysis
A quick Snapshot of the market in Lee County. This summary provides housing information relating to proposed growth, new development activity, sales trends, population trends, apartment rental analysis, and economic indicators.

Occupancy for most submarkets in Southwest Florida remains high for multi-family space. Rental rates indicate moderate improvements in almost all submarkets, with Cape Coral, Lely, and East Naples showing the largest increases in average rent per month prices over a rolling 12 month period.

Annual rent growth levels in Cape Coral-Fort Myers began to accelerate in early 2013 as limited construction and strong demand allowed operators to pursue aggressive pricing strategies. Rent growth remained around 6% to 11% from late 2012 through mid-2016. Since then performances have been moderated from those highs. In 3rd quarter 2018, same store rent in Cape Coral-Fort Myers increased 0.4% quarter over quarter and 4.2% year over year. Nationwide, there were also signs of a cooling property market. The rate of rental-price growth continued to slow across several markets. Nationwide, rent prices were up 3% on average, year over year.

New apartment supply has historically been minimal in Cape Coral-Fort Myers area but deliveries have picked up substantially since 2015. Over the past 11 quarters, annual completion volumes ranged roughly from 800 units to 1,200 units, with inventory expansion averaging 2.2% annually over that time.

Lee County’s housing market saw a dip during the month of December 2018, according to the latest statistics released by Florida Realtors. December showed a -15% decrease in the number of closed sales for single family homes, and a -23.6% decrease from townhomes and condos, compared to the same time last year. Median sale prices were up slightly for both, 5-6%. Inventory is on the rise for both. The number of active listings jumped up 19.8% for single family homes and 11.9% for townhomes and condos compared to 2017. The time properties spent on the market in December, was 63 days for single family homes and 78 days for townhomes and condos.

Southwest Florida’s economy continues to display signs of a robust growth. Improvements include a 31% increase in total airport activity between Irma affected September 2017 and September 2018. Lee County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3% in October 2018. Projected growth for the five county region averages 1.3% growth per year resulting in a population increase of 41.8% from 2018 to 2045, adding over 547,000 residents and bringing the total to 1,857,272. Lee County’s population is expected to grow 1.3% per year.

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LEE COUNTY MARKET SNAPSHOT MULTI-FAMILY & SINGLE FAMILY October 2018

Welcome to our Lee County Multi-Family and Single Family Market Snapshot!  Hopefully, you will find the summary provided to be informational and helpful with your rental investments.

Rental / Single Family Home Market Analysis

A quick Snapshot of the market in Lee County.  This summary provides housing information relating to proposed growth, new development activity, sales trends, population trends, apartment rental analysis, and economic indicators.


  • According to the Fort Myers News-Press in an article written on September 19th, 2018, Lee County property values increased county-wide by about 6.6% over the past year. Increased values mean that many homeowners will pay a higher tax bill.
  • According to the apartment report, published by RealPage Inc., current occupancy rates for the Fort Myers/Cape Coral market remain at approximately 96%. Monthly apartment rental rates average at $1,268 per month or $1.30 per square foot. The supply of new apartment units per year of 569 units exceeds the annual demand of 418 units, by 151 units per year. This could signal a softening in the apartment market.
  • Lee County’s housing market experienced positive change during the month of August, according to the latest statistics released by Florida Realtor. Year over year sales were up quite a bit for both single family homes and townhomes and condominiums. Estero was the hottest market.
  • Last month there was a 10.3% increase in the number closed sales for single family homes, and a 17.9% increase for townhomes and condominiums, compared to the same time last year. Median sale price for single family homes were $251,000 in August 2018 compared to $239,900 in August of 2017, median sale price for townhomes and condominiums were $180,000 in August 2018 compared to $175,000 in August 2017.
  • Southwest Florida’s regional economy continues to display signs of growth across all measured sectors. Improvements include a 9% increase in airport passenger activity between June 2017 and June 2018, a 6% increase in taxable sales for May 2018 versus May 2017, and a 17% increase in tourist tax revenue from June 2017 to June 2018.

 

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LEE COUNTY MARKET SNAPSHOT MULTI-FAMILY & SINGLE FAMILY

January 2018

Welcome to our Lee County Multi-Family and Single Family Market Snapshot!  Hopefully, you will find the summary provided to be informational and helpful with your rental investments.

Rental / Single Family Home Market Analysis

 A quick Snapshot of the market in Lee County.  This summary provides housing information relating to proposed growth, new development activity, sales trends, population trends, apartment rental analysis, and economic indicators.

Apartment rents have grown over the past five years. Consistent and healthy expansion of newly created payroll positions has kept demand for apartments strong and vacancies low, which gave operators substantial pricing power.

 

Some top and middle-tiered rental rate units have experienced a slowdown in rate increase as a result of robust completion volumes and momentum in the for sale market. Research indicates that the apartment market will do well but at a somewhat more measured pace in the future. We expect solid rental rate growth of 5.5% to 6.5% over the short term. Occupancy rates are averaging 95%.

 

Passenger activity for the three local airports totaled 44,271 in September 2017, representing a decrease of (84,745) from September 2016. The decline reflects the anticipation and destruction caused by Hurricane Irma.

 

The unemployment rate for the five county region again edged downward in October 2017 to 3.5 percent, down from 3.6 percent in September 2017 and from 4.9 percent in October 2016.

 

According to October 2017 Total Realtor, sales of single family homes in Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties rebounded from the impact of Hurricane Irma in September 2017, increasing by 24 percent. However, median prices in October 2017 were down between 3% and 6% compared to September 2017.

 

Condominium sales were up slightly from 414 to 420 over the past year. Closed condominium sales were up for many price points, however saw a dip in the range of 200,000 through 599,999. New pending condo sales were up 23% year over year.

 

Southwest Florida’s real estate market endured unusual numbers in the last quarter of 2017 due to Hurricane Irma. The construction industry is consumed with renovation and preservation of existing product. It will take more time to evaluate the effects of Hurricane Irma on Southwest Florida’s real estate market.

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Benefits of Hiring a Property Management Company

Managing your own rental property is an attractive business these days. Get a tenant, collect rent, and increase income. Managing your own property can be very costly and time consuming, especially if you are an out-of-state owner.  There are many values in letting a local property management company handle your rental property for you (i.e. saves you time, maximizes your income, peace of mind and protects your investment.) Here are 6 main reasons to hire a property management company…

Finding The Right Tenants. Experienced Property Managers see hundreds of applications yearly, so our trained eyes are more likely to notice potential red flags when reviewing an applicant. The tenant screening process which includes local/national criminal background check, credit check, verifying with the registered sex offender registry, residential verification and employment verification, can improve your chances of landing a reliable tenant.

Exposure. A Property Manager will know exactly where to market your property and how to craft compelling advertising materials—a significant advantage when it comes to filling your properties quickly and avoiding long vacancies. The MLS database is a perfect example of the one edge you will have on all other private landlords. The MLS database is a program for Realtors to share and view all properties available in the area with other Realtors.

Knowledge of Landlord/Tenant Laws and Regulations. Property Managers are licensed professionals that are required by law to continue education on current laws, regulations, statutes and discrimination. A Property Manager can help you avoid lawsuits by keeping up-to-date and in compliance with these regulations.

Rent Collections. Collecting rent on time every month is the only way to maintain consistent cash-flow and your tenants need to understand this is not negotiable. By hiring a Property Manager, you place a buffer between yourself and the tenant. This allows the Property Manager to be the bad guy who has to listen to excuses, chase down rent and when necessary, evict the person living in your property.

Full Service Maintenance. Property management companies have relationships with maintenance workers, tradesmen, contractors, suppliers and vendors. These relationships are difficult for an independent Landlord to duplicate. Not only will your Property Manager get you the best work for the best price, they’ll oversee any necessary maintenance projects or capital improvements.

Saving Your Time. By having a Property Manager take care of the day-to-day aspects of running your income property, you’re free to spend your time identifying further investment opportunities or otherwise furthering your career.

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Malt Realty has managed properties for investors for over 40 years and servicing owners like you, longer than any rental management company in Fort Myers. Malt Realty strives to get you the maximum rental rates with responsible residents with our complete team of professionals. We are dedicated to maintaining positive, long-term relationships with Owners, Residents and Community Associations.

 

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by | November 22, 2017 · 4:07 pm

Hurricane Irma 9-10-2017

Hurricane Irma is well past Lee County and the residents of Lee County are cleaning up their properties from the extensive landscape damage that was done by the storm.  It will take several months to get the cleanup completed if not longer.  The government agencies, landscape crews, and tree companies are all working almost 24-7 to get this job done. irma-track-us-worse-cases

Following the storm many of us reflect on events that led up to the storm.

9/4/17 – Monday Labor Day – Weather reports Hurricane Irma is headed to SW Florida and requests residents to start preparing.

9/5/17 – Tuesday – The projected cone indicates the entire state is in the cone.  Weather reports continued track toward SW Florida, Collier and Lee counties on hurricane watch.

9/6/17 – Wednesday – Weather reports now project a westward movement toward SW Florida, several mandatory evacuations for Marco Island and parts of Collier County.  Many businesses close to allow staff to prepare for the storm.

9/7/17 – Thursday – Weather reports Hurricane Irma cone of projected path has been narrowed to SW Florida and news is urging people to leave.  Most businesses and banks are closed.  Residents of both Collier and Lee County are evacuating via I-75.

9/8/17 – Friday – Weather reports Hurricane Irma making a shift toward Collier and Lee Counties with a direct hit predicted close to the Naples area including the potential of a significant storm surge.  More areas in Collier and Lee County have mandatory evacuations.  There is a massive exodus of people leaving the state.  I-75 was bumper to bumper and it is difficult to obtain fuel and water.

9/9/17 – Saturday – Weather reports continue to advise a direct hit on Collier and Lee County and advise residents to relocate if home is in a storm surge area or to go to emergency shelters, if they have not done so it may be too late.    Emergency storm shelters are proving safety to approximately 32,000 residents.

9/10/17 – Sunday – Hurricane Irma makes landfall on Marco Island as a category 4 storm at approximately 3PM.  Massive wind and rain.  The storm lasted approx. 2 hours.  Approx. 6:30 PM – The sun comes out and people leave their homes to assess the damage.  Most people have no power, and many have no running water.  Several areas of Lehigh Acres and Buckingham had over 4-5 feet of water.

9/11/17 – Monday – Most businesses and all banks and schools are closed.  For the most part residents stay in their homes and in their yards cleaning up due to downed power lines and traffic signals are not operational on the streets.

9/12/17 – Tuesday – Some stores start to open, even if only for a few hours so residents can get some supplies (if available).  There is widespread landscape damage to Lee and Collier County.  Fuel for automobiles is a major problem due to lack of supply.

9/13/17 – Wednesday – Some more businesses open, including restaurants if power has been restored. Most offices have no internet or power.  Malt Realty Property managers mobilize to assess damage to investors properties.

9/14/17 – Thursday – Most business are open, if only for part of the day.

What many of you do not know is the residents and tenants experienced:

Fire trucks going up streets announcing for them to evacuate their home immediately.

Packing, moving, camping, dealing with no electricity while the temps outside soar to the mid 90’s.  Many lost income also.  Most of us lost food in the refrigerator.

Malt Realty staff was back in full force walking properties Thursday 9/14/17.   Our office contacted each and every tenant and each and every owner as quickly as we possibly could.  Our office did not have internet or telephones so we made due with our cell phones! Many tenants had evacuated the area so it was difficult reaching them.  Once our office could assess the damages we contacted the owners to advise if any damages.

We are still writing work orders for damaged screens, roof leak repairs, fences down, broken windows.

Malt Realty attempted to keep in contact with owners and tenants prior to and after the storm.

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Filed under Fort Myers, Hurricane Irma, Property Management, Rental Management, SWFL

Spotting and Avoiding Rental Scams

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Searching for an annual rental in Lee County can be stressful. To help with the process, consider using a professional Property Management Company such as Malt Realty. One benefit of using a professional is avoiding falling victim to a rental scam.

Rental scams are not always easy to spot. Scammers know that finding a rental is hard work and that a good deal is hard to pass up. Below is a list of best practices on spotting and avoiding scams:

  • Wire money – The easiest sign of a rental scam is when someone asks you to wire money via Western Union, MoneyGram or Prepaid Visa card.  Don’t send money for any reason.
  • Request money before viewing property – It is not common to pay a lot of money for something sight-unseen. If a landlord expects you to pay a lot before you lease an apartment, there is a reason to be concerned.
  • They say they are out of country – Though some scammers will readily meet tenants in person, many, especially those operating from over-seas, will not. A personal meeting with the landlord will allow you to screen out some con artists. Insisting on a local landlord or Property Management Company will lessen the risk of fraud.
  • The landlord seems too eager to lease the apartment to you. Many landlords want to know your credit score. They may also want further information such as criminal background check and employment verification. If a landlord doesn’t seem interested in any form of tenant screening or appears too eager to negotiate the rent and other lease terms with you, it’s suspicious.
  • You feel unwarranted sales pressure. If a landlord acts too pushy, it can be a red flag.

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Preventing the most sophisticated scams can be hard, but the following tips will help minimize your risk.

  • Never dealing in cash – Most criminals will insist on difficult payment forms to reduce trace of payment. If you refuse, they will seek an easier victim.
  • Demanding a written lease – Lease should still be in writing to prevent fraud and to lay out the rights and responsibilities of the parties. Not only should a tenant require a written lease, the tenant should also demand a copy of the lease signed by the landlord.
  • Never renting sight-unseen – So many bad rental situations begin with a tenant signing a lease for an apartment without seeing it. Viewing an apartment helps prevent fraud and also ensures that the tenant is aware of the condition of the unit.
  • Meeting the landlord in person –A personal meeting with the landlord will allow you to screen out some con artists and will also allow you to get an impression of the landlord’s personality. Though many out-of-town landlords are legitimate, insisting on a local landlord or Property Management Company will lessen the risk of fraud and usually leads to better service.
  • Identifying the actual owner – When considering an apartment, take some time to do a Google search. Google the address of the apartment and also the landlord’s name and the name of the management company.
  • Using a Property Management CompanyMany rentals in Fort Myers are managed by licensed real estate agents and it is not uncommon for tenants to have their own agent. Having an agent represent you is a substantial safeguard because there is less risk that a scammer will list a property with an agent and also because if you are scammed you can hold the agent responsible. Keep in mind that some scammers claim to be agents and really sophisticated ones even manage to hijack the agent’s accounts and substitute their contact information. All licensed real estate agents in Florida must be registered with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

 

Malt Realty is one of Southwest Florida’s only full service real estate businesses serving both rental property management and home sales. In effort to STOP internet fraud, we highly recommend that you DO NOT send funds to someone who cannot allow you to enter the home for a showing. If you live out of the state and cannot verify a rental, we urge you to perform a Google search on the address. This should reveal the true rental listing agent. You may want to drive by the property to see if there is a sign indicating the true rental listing agent, although many association communities do not allow signage.

 

Have you been a victim or spotted a rental scam? Share your story and tips in the comments below!

 

Sources:

https://www.trulia.com/blog/common-rental-scams/

http://bc-firm.com/avoiding-rental-scams/

 

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