Fort Myers seemingly has it all — sunny beaches, great weather, and spring training to boot. So how can you take advantage of all of these amazing benefits — either as an investor or as a homeowner? Here’s everything you need to know about the Fort Myers real estate market in 2021 and 2022:
Why Move to Fort Myers?
Moving isn’t something you should undertake without first doing your research to make sure it’s the right fit. Perhaps you’ve heard about all the people moving to Fort Myers and are wondering what all the hype is about. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here are just some of the reasons why people are moving to Fort Myers, Florida:
Weather: Fort Myers’ location in southwest Florida means that it has incredible weather year-round. In December, the average high temperature is 76 degrees and the average low is 61 degrees — a large contrast from the freezing temperatures found in the northern United States.
Activities: Fort Myers’ location also means that it has tons of beach access. Sanibel Island is a particularly popular beach destination that’s just a quick trip from Fort Myers. There are plenty of beautiful nature reserves for hiking, golf courses for golfing, and theme parks for family fun. Furthermore, if you’re a baseball fan, Fort Myers is the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins.
Taxes: Fort Myers is located in Florida which means that you don’t have to pay any state income tax. And while other costs may be higher — such as homeowner’s insurance or even property taxes, they usually still end up being lower than in other states.
Jobs: Fort Myers has seen healthy job growth despite the pandemic. There are many jobs available in the government, health care, and hospitality sectors in Fort Myers.
If you’re still not convinced, then perhaps U.S. News & World Report will! Fort Myers has been ranked as the 2nd best place to retire and the 58th best place to live in the entire United States.
Why Invest in Fort Myers?
Fort Myers isn’t just a great place to live, it’s also a great place to invest. But don’t just take our word for it — here are some reasons why you should invest in Fort Myers:
Real estate in the Fort Myers area is relatively affordable compared to both statewide and national standards with a median home sale price of $300,000.
There are more investment opportunities than meets the eye in Fort Myers. This is because about ¼ of properties are vacant at any given time thanks to snowbirds and tourists.
Condos in the Fort Myers area are considered a particularly good investment since you’re able to access beachfront property at a more affordable price with these units. Condos make up about ½ of the market so there’s plenty of opportunities here.
Properties in the Fort Myers area are newer than many other locations — with more than 40% being built in the last 20 years. This means that maintenance and upkeep costs will be lower for investors for a better rate of return.
The Fort Myers’ Buyer’s Market
Here are some important statistics and numbers that you need to know about the Fort Myers’ buyer’s market:
According to Redfin, the Fort Myers housing market is considered “very competitive” with a score of 70 out of 100. This means that many homes get multiple offers, some with waived contingencies.
On average, homes sell around asking price and go pending about eight days after listing.
The average sales price of a home in the Fort Myers area is $305,000 — a 22% increase since last year.
Currently, there are nearly 2,000 homes for sale in the Fort Myers area that range in price from $9,900 to $11 million.
The Fort Myers’ Renter’s Market
Here are some important statistics and numbers that you need to know about the Fort Myers renter’s market if you’re looking to purchase an investment property and rent it out — either for the long term or for the short term:
The median rent price in Fort Myers is $1,650 a month.
There are around 900 rental properties for sale in the Fort Myers area with rent prices that range from $539 to $159,500 a month.
Fort Myers has a wide range of properties that can be used as rentals — including apartment complexes, single-family homes, and duplexes.
Large apartments are the most common housing type in Fort Myers — account for 43.73% of the city’s housing units.
Generally speaking, studios and one-bedroom apartments in Fort Myers rent for about $700 a month, two-bedroom apartments rent for about $900 a month, three and four-bedroom apartments rent for about $1200 a month whereas single-family homes can rent for more.
Short-term rentals are permitted in Fort Myers although they must be registered with the city and you also must pay the same bed tax that hotels do.
Some of the best Fort Myers neighborhoods to invest in include Iona, Cypress Lake, Jacaranda, San Simeon, Paseo, Oakmont Village, Whiskey Creek, Botanica Lakes, Pelican Preserve, Lehigh Estates, Arborwood, and Heritage Palms.
The Future of the Fort Myers Real Estate Market
According to real estate experts in the Fort Myers area, the real estate market is already showing signs of a correction. The insanity of the pandemic-area real estate market was simply unsustainable. Buyers grew tired of the sky-high prices and multiple offers with no contingencies. And while the popular phrase “what goes up must come down” remains true when it comes to growth rates, don’t expect a legitimate crash or a popping bubble to significantly impact prices in the area.
To try to meet some of the high demand for housing in Fort Myers, residential lot sales have increased and more homes are being built. All of these factors combined will contribute to a “cooling off” of the Fort Myers real estate market. As a result, right now is a perfect time to buy in Fort Myers while interest rates are still low but there’s less competition in a market that’s going to remain desirable for years to come.
How to Take Advantage of the Fort Myers Real Estate Market
If you’re looking to take advantage of the Fort Myers real estate market before it’s too late, you need to act now. The first thing you need to do is to get pre-approved by a lender. This will make you a more informed and serious buyer. Getting pre-approved will help you set your budget and start your home search.
So how can you get pre-approved? For the best results, you need to approach a number of different lenders to find the lowest rates. During the pre-approval process, you will need to provide each lender with documentation to demonstrate your eligibility. For instance, you will need to provide W-2s or 1099s, income tax returns, bank account statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements, and debt statements.
From there, you’re ready to begin your house search! If you don’t want to navigate this market on your own, then you should work with an experienced and reputable real estate agent. Ask family and friends if they have any agents they would recommend. Your agent will show you homes that meet your needs and hopefully you will find one that checks all the boxes!
Once you have found the perfect property, you need to act fast in the Fort Myers real estate market. Just because the market is slowing down doesn’t mean that you can take your time or submit lowball offers. Records show that homes in the Fort Myers area sold for approximately the asking price on average in August 2021 — so making your offer right at asking price is likely the best approach in the current market.
If you want to go above and beyond (and you can afford it) you may want to consider offering a bit above asking to give your offer an edge just in case there are multiple offers at asking price. At the end of the day, follow your agent’s advice as they will have expert recommendations based on the market, neighborhood, and comparative properties.
The Final Rundown on the Fort Myers Real Estate Market
Reach out to the lending experts at Vaster to get in on the Fort Myers real estate market before it’s too late! We can help you determine the best loan product for your needs and get you to the closing table in no time.