COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — The Naples Area Board of Realtors reports that home sales in Collier County rose to 12.8% in April 2019 from the same time in 2018.
This is despite a fear from realtors that potential home buyers might start looking elsewhere after county leaders decided in March to begin issuing warnings and fines to owners of some short-term rental homes. The decision was based on numerous noise complaints from homeowners living in neighborhoods with short-term rentals.
"I think it made the entire market nervous, because even though we've converted to more of a year-round market, we still have a lot of the transient people that enjoy season," said Naples realtor Tiffany McQuaid.
McQuaid said those short-term renters not only boost the local economy by bringing dollars to businesses such as restaurants and shops, but also help the real estate market in another way.
"It's what I call getting your feet wet," she said. "People come down, try it out for a month, and inevitably convert into purchasing something."
McQuaid believes that lower prices and interest rates are helping fuel the buyer's market.
"Interest rates are super low right now, anywhere from the mid-threes to the low fours," she said. "The average sale price dropped to $340,000 from $360,000, which was last April's number."
Collier County Commissioners seem to be backing off the crackdown on short-term rentals. They plan to discuss any future direction in how to handle complaints at their regular meeting Tuesday.