Occupancy Rates Up and Rents are Dropping
The latest report on the Lee County rental market released by RealFacts of Novato, CA detailed shifts in our rental market for 2Q10. Lee County apartment occupancy rates in 2Q10 climbed 4% to 90.8%, the fourth highest in the 12 major Florida markets. Lee County rents for the same period dropped 9.1% to an average of $762/month. This decline in rental rates was the highest in Florida during 2Q10. The Fort Myers-Cape Coral market now ranks 9/12 in average rental rates in the 12 major Florida metro markets.
The biggest challenge for landlords in this market is the quality of tenants. Many who have lost jobs and homes are seeking rental arrangements. Also with our rock-bottom prices, the best qualified renters are purchasing in this environment, further skewing tenant quality. We are seeing a significant demand for lease-to-own arrangements in this market for those who have wrecked their credit via short sale or foreclosure. These types of arrangements may prove very attractive for investors with skinny or negative cash flow assets.
Here is a resource to view investment properties in the Fort Myers-Cape Coral market