Fort Myers market update


Mayday…..mayday….. mo06

Here is a quick May Day look at a key real estate metric, pending to active(p:a) ratio, for the greater Fort Myers real estate market. I like this metric as it provides a macro view of the current market conditions.

Fort Myers residential p:a ratio = 8.2% (pending=533 active=6481)
Fort Myers vacant land p:a ratio = 5.9% (pending=63 active=1052)

Cape Coral residential p:a ratio = 7.3% (pending=418 active=5720
Cape Coral vacant land p:a ratio = 3.5% (pending=378 active=10703)

Lehigh Acres residential p:a ratio = 16.9% (pending=351 active=2075)
Lehigh Acres vacant land p:a ratio = 3.1% (pending=308 active=9869)

I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that the residential market in Lehigh is the strongest performing sector in the region right now. The Lehigh residential sector is primarily driven by price conscious buyers looking for a primary residence. The Fort Myers and Cape Coral residential sectors are significantly more dependent on second home buyers and current performance reflects a significant dropoff in activity from this demographic.

For comparison sake, during the first quarter of 2005, the majority of these active:pending ratios exceeded 30%. Although not scientific, it is not difficult to extrapolate the length of time that it will take to sell a property from these figures. I am only seeing activity on property at the very lowest price in a given sector.

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  1. Here are the residential income ratios:

    Fort Myers residential income p:a ratio 13.2% (pending=21 active=158)

    Cape Coral residential income p:a ratio 9.8% (pending=17 active=174)

    Lehigh Acres residential income p:a ratio 31.6% (pending=48 active=152)

    The Lehigh residential income sector is the hottest in the region. This is very interesting and presumably reflects the general belief that rents are heading upwards as more apartments get converted to condos. It appears to me based on selling prices of Lehigh duplex properties, that many investors are going to realize negative cash flow in the early years of ownership.

    I would welcome input from any investors active in this market.