LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Vacation home sales are up, with Cape Coral leading the nation with the biggest jump. But, economists say that’ll make your next vacation more expensive and difficult for locals to secure their next home.
Southwest Florida homes are selling as soon as they’re put on the market, some sold in less than 24 hours. An even hotter commodity, vacation homes. Within the last year, vacation home sales jumped by 16.4 percent nationwide, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Lee and Collier Counties are in the top 10, according to the NAR’s latest data. Cape Coral realtor Adrian Waring says he thought sales would go the other way around this time of year.
“[It’s] surprising, because I figured this time of year with hurricane season, you wouldn’t get so many people looking down here,” he said.
Waring’s clients are capitalizing on the high demand.
“And the individual that bought it, he’s turning that into a vacation rental,” he said.
NAR’s Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun says the high demand has pros and cons.
“And consequently, home prices are getting elevated very, very fast,” he said.
Home prices in the U.S. have gone up 10 percent. Vacation home prices have jumped even more than that, by 14 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. Waring has also jumped into the vacation home frenzy.
“If prices go up, it’s going to cost your more money to hold it. Does that mean you can charge more money? It just depends on the competition. The reality is probably not,” he said.
Daily Air Bnb prices have jumped by 35 percent on average within the first quarter of 2021. That’s according to Business Insider. But, Waring says after mortgage, insurance, and taxes, he’s still breaking even.
And there’s no exception for Florida renters. According to apartmentlist.com, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Cape Coral/Fort Myers went from $1142 per month in 2020 to $1220 in 2021. That’s about a 7 percent increase.
Dr. Yun says when kids go back to school, and families aren’t seeking vacations as much, prices for those Air Bnbs will go down again. But, there are no guarantees the prices of those vacation properties will decline as well.