Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Straight From The Mayor: Looking at our business and job future in Cape Coral

This week I want to use the opportunity to address the business climate and job opportunities in Cape Coral.
From January 1, 2011 to October 31, 2011 there have been 1,738 new businesses that have applied for licenses in Cape Coral. Of those businesses, 983 are home based. 755 of those businesses are an actual store front business in Cape Coral.

Cape Coral has over 1,100 acres of commercial-developed property available for light industrial facilities, health care, information technology, and professional headquarters. Our current infrastructure and strategic location support countless business opportunities. We also have a great deal of office space that is immediately available.

Areas of Cape Coral Set Up for Business Growth
The Veterans Investment Zone (VIZ) contains large plats of undeveloped lands, as well as existing office and retail centers in proximity to the new 220,000 regional VA Outpatient Clinic. We would expect to see hotels, motels, restaurants as possible businesses moving into this area. One has to remember we will be servicing Veterans coming from a large area of the United States. This should create many high paying jobs in the medical field. On top of the businesses I mentioned above, we are probably looking at rehab centers, assisted living facilities, perhaps even nursing homes to fill this area. What that means to Cape Coral, is we are going to have a lot of high paying jobs that are going to be generated in this area of the city alone. From doctors, technicians, nurses, therapists, and more, Cape Coral should see a healthy growth in professional, medical job opportunities in the future.

A second area set for business growth is our two foreign trade zones. These zones allow businesses to import parts and components duty free, as long as they use them to manufacture or assemble products for export. This area could bring in light manufacturing to Cape Coral. These businesses will be able to operate on a duty free basis, which in turn should create an opportunity to effectively compete with any market in North or South America. These areas will allow us to tap into the South American market. There is a lot of money in South America, and this foreign trade zone could have the impact of being able to attract businesses in from North and South America, Canada, Mexico, and beyond.
Tools to Help Businesses In Cape Coral
Our Economic Development Office has created many useful resources for both new and existing businesses in our city. We have site selection resources to help businesses find a proper place to execute their business plan. Another resource we have are strong partnerships and support for business through Florida Gulf Coast University, the Small Business Development Center, and Edison State College. Tapping into the employee market and creating skilled employees, we have the Micro Enterprise Center, Southwest Florida Works, and Hi-Tech North for employee training.

Our Economic Development Office has also instituted customized incentive plans in order to proliferate high wage job creation up to $2,000 per job. We have waived change of use road impact fees for existing buildings, and have created access to county and state economic development incentive programs. If that was not enough, we also have tax incentives. Some of these tax incentives afford businesses the opportunity to not have to pay certain taxes that they would pay in other places. Some of those tax incentives would allow such relief to businesses as not having to pay the following taxes:
  • Public service tax
  • Personal income tax
  • Corporate income tax on limited partnerships
  • Corporate income tax on S corps.
  • Corporate franchise tax on capital stock
  • State level property tax assessment
  • Property tax on business inventories
  • Property tax on goods manufactured or produced in Florida for export outside the state
  • Sales tax on purchases of raw materials incorporated for a final product for resale.
As you can see, that is a long list of tax relief that will hopefully entice businesses to set up shop in our area. This lack of taxing will allow businesses that open here to more effectively compete against businesses in other areas, where these taxes are present.

When one puts all these factors together, Cape Coral has the potential of becoming a the juggernaut of Southwest Florida. Add to that, we now have our new Economic Development Director, and you can see we are poised for business growth in the very near future. This will be an exciting time for Cape Coral.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Florida Markets Dominate Top Ten Turnaround Report -- REALTOR.com

Though the past four years have seen many cities suffering from large numbers of foreclosures and a loss in home values, ten of these real estate markets are now leading the nation towards a general recovery and stability of the housing sector.

Realtor.com’s Top 10 Turnaround Town Report, based on third quarter 2011 data, includes six Florida markets: Miami, Orlando, Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota-Bradenton, and Lakeland-Winter Haven.

Each of these markets has experienced positive year-over-year median price appreciation, reductions in year-over-year median age of inventory and inventory counts, while also experiencing lower unemployment rates on a year-over-year basis. Florida’s success can also be tied to foreign buyers; the number of foreign buyers purchasing homes there increased from 10 percent in 2007 to 31 percent in 2011.

Let’s take a closer look:
Miami, FL: The number one town on the report, Miami has gone from being one of the first victims of the subprime crash to having a healthy inventory that is only half the size from a year ago. Today, Miami is only reporting one foreclosure for every 407 homes, compared to the national rate of one per every 213. And, condo sales have increased 79 percent in the first five months of this year, largely due to an influx of foreign investors.

Orlando, FL: Ranked second on the report, Orlando leads the nation in the ratio of Realtor.com searches to listings. Inventory has also obtained a balance with demand. Foreclosures hurt the market in 2007-08, but foreclosures in Orlando were down 58 percent in September, compared to last year.

Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL: Median prices in Fort Myers-Cape Coral have increased almost 33% year-over-year, according to Realtor.com’s October 2011 Real Estate Trend Data. In addition, foreclosures are down–only one in 313 homes in September–while inventory has been reduced and foreign buyers have been attracted to the area’s real estate prices. The metro ranked third on the turnaround report.

Fort Lauderdale: FL: A decrease in inventory coupled with an uptick in prices earns Fort Lauderdale the number five spot on the report. Inventory decreased almost 38 percent year-over-year, according to Realtor.com’s October data report. Prices have fallen about 46 percent since 2006, but are now going up.

Sarasota-Bradenton, FL: A total of 11 percent of all foreign buyers in Florida are in Sarasota-Bradenton specifically. Number six on the turnaround report, the market has seen a list prices increase of more than 17 percent year-0ver-year and a decrease of inventory of 32 percent according to the Realtor.com October data. The market still has a long way to go, after losing more than 55 percent of home values from 2006 to the second quarter of 2011 due to foreclosures.

Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL: A year ago, Lakeland-Winter Haven topped national foreclosure filing lists, but now the area’s distressed sale market share has decreased 46 percent. The area–ranked 7th on the turnaround list–has seen total listings decreased more than 36 percent year-over-year and median age of inventory decrease more than 17 percent, according to Realtor.com’s October data. Prices are also up 12 percent compared to last October.

Realtor.com’s Top Ten Turnaround Town Report is compiled using a formula based on price appreciation, changes in inventory, median age of inventory, searches by Realtor.com visitors, and unemployment data.

Related posts:

  1. Top 10 Early Turnaround Towns from Realtor.com: Part II
  2. REALTOR Data: Market Continues to Stabilize
  3. Top 10 Early Turnaround Towns From REALTOR.com: Part I
  4. May 2011 Real Estate Trends (DATA)
  5. REALTOR.com Data: Listings Notch Upward As Home Buying Season Starts

Read more: Florida Markets Dominate REALTOR.com Top Ten Turnaround Report | REALTOR.com® Blogs

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