The future looks very bright for Southwest Florida property this year. The economy in this corner of the Sunshine State is enjoying a boom and as a result, the property market is also seeing a surge in sales and prices.
Florida generally experienced an excellent year all round in 2016. The state created more employment and wealth than the US generally and many counties saw their property markets return to pre-crisis levels. 2017 looks set to offer more of the same, although some areas of Florida will move up into yet another gear.
Southwest Florida economy booming
This is the case with Southwest Florida, made up of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties. With a booming local economy, 2017 is forecast to be a big year for both Southwest Florida property and its economy.
A report compiled by PNC and released at the beginning of January predicts that “the Southwest Florida economy will be firing on all cylinders in 2017”. The report bases its forecast on the strong pace of job creation in this area.
According to PNC figures, employment growth in the US as a whole will be around 1.5 per cent during this year. In Southwest Florida, job creation will reach 2.3 per cent. Unemployment in this part of Florida already lies below the national rate and PNC believes it will fall to 4.3 per cent this year.
Hand-in-hand with booming job creation goes a rise in demand for property and general services. “This strong pace of population growth fuels stronger demand for housing, health care, professional services and consumer spending on retail trade,” says the PNC report.
Southwest Florida property demand
An indication of the demand for property in Southwest Florida can be found in the latest statistics for the area. In November last year sales of single family homes rose by 9.6 per cent. Inventory levels meanwhile plunged to just 4.4 months, well below the 6 months considered to be a sign of a balanced market.
This surge in demand also pushed prices up. Single family homes in Sarasota-Manatee went up by 12.2 per cent in the year to November while those in Charlotte County rose by 9.7 per cent. The PNC report predicts a rise of 6 per cent for this year for Southwest Florida property generally.
Record year at Punta Gorda Airport
A further indication of how well the Southwest Florida economy is faring comes in passenger figures for Punta Gorda Airport. While not as big as Southwest Florida International, Punta Gorda is increasingly popular with both locals and tourists.
In 2016, Punta Gorda Airport welcomed over 1.12 million passengers, the first time the airport topped the one million figure. Most importantly for the local economy, this figure represented a nearly 34 per cent increase on 2015.
“Southwest Florida is certainly one of the main drivers in Florida generally,” says Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “The area’s proximity to stunning coastal scenery and excellent job opportunities make it a favourite place to live for families. We expect demand for Southwest Florida property to continue to boom throughout this year.”
BRIC Group, an investment company specialising in global real estate opportunities, offers US real estate investments including turnkey properties in Florida and Houston, and land plots in Florida. BRIC Group is also developing The Coral resort, in Northeast Brazil, a luxury beachfront resort with land and villa investment opportunities. BRIC Group has been creating wealth for its clients since 1996 and has offices in Brazil, Dubai (consulting office), Hungary, Spain and the US.
(Sources: PNC, Florida Realtors)