Southwest Florida Housing Market Strong and Steady

exterior1

Real estate website Trulia.com named the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas of the Southwest Florida housing market as the second-hottest real estate market to watch in 2017. This is great news for both buyers and sellers in the Southwest Florida area.

In naming the “hottest real estate markets to watch in 2017,” Trulia.com took various factors into consideration, including weather, job growth, and rates of vacancy over the past twelve months. Housing market experts say the Southwest Florida area was averaging approximately 18 months of housing inventory five years ago, making it a challenging market overall. Since then, the area has seen a surge of growth and the current state of stability and growth in Southwest Florida is expected to remain.

University of Florida’s most recent consumer survey results indicate a consumer sentiment reading of 99, the highest rate since March 2002 and the second-highest rate since November 2000.

“Overall, Floridians are far more optimistic in March than the previous month. The gain in March’s index came mainly from consumers’ future expectations about the economy. Importantly, these views are shared by all Floridians, independent of their demographic characteristics and socioeconomic status,” says Sandoval. “These expectations are particularly strong among women and those with an income under $50,000.”

Consumer sentiment in Florida is likely supported by positive economic news. The labor market in Florida has forged forward, with more jobs added on a monthly basis for over six years. The unemployment rate in Florida remained at five percent in February, which represents the most recent data reported. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Florida ranked third out of all states in the nation as far as personal income growth, with a rate of growth of 4.9 percent in personal income from 2015 to 2016.

Across the United States, economic activity and the labor market have continued to grow and strengthen, and household spending has reportedly increased. “In general, the economic outlook is very positive and the positive sentiment will aid the economy to expand even further,” says Sandoval. “The vast majority of housing markets across the nation remain healthy and are projected to stay that way through 2018,” says Dr. Ralph G. DeFranco, Global Chief Economist at Mortgage Services of Arch Capital Services, Inc.