Should you buy investment properties in Cape Coral, FL? We’ll focus on practical reasons you’d want to invest in the Cape Coral real estate market, rather than the generic platitudes of “great atmosphere” and “you’ll love their restaurants.”
1. Cape Coral Is Proportionally Large Student Market
Florida Southwestern State College is located near downtown Cape Coral. Edison State College is located in town. The city is within easy commuting distance of Florida Gulf Coast University and Ave Maria University. This provides a relatively large student market to cater to. However, you don’t see the same fluctuations in the housing market that you would if the only major college in town becomes less popular.
2. The Tourist Market
The Cape Coral area is so popular with tourists that they’re struggling to regulate short term rentals. However, Cape Coral law forbids rentals less than 7 days, though the area is popular with seasonal renters like snowbirds and longer term rentals to them is certainly legal. The Cape Coral real estate market is particularly attractive to those who love the ocean and don’t want to live in a dense downtown.
3. The Supply-Demand Curve
We’ve already mentioned that the city of Cape Coral was a planned community. The strict zoning limits the development of new housing stock. That in turn limits supply though demand is high. That creates faster than average rent increases that yield significant returns for investors.
On the flipside, Cape Coral didn’t build a glut of luxury condos that have caused a several year backlog of such inventory in other housing markets. Because the surrounding area is built up, there isn’t room to build a lot of single family homes that bring down existing home prices, either.
4. The Strong Rental Market
Between tourists, students, snowbirds, seasonal workers and locals who cannot afford to buy a home or condo, the Cape Coral real estate market has a strong market for rentals. However, it isn’t a market that is so hot for rental units that new construction could cause that bubble to burst.
Cape Coral has roughly a third of its population renting, a rate higher than suburbs but lower than Fort Myers proper. Rental rates won’t go down in Cape Coral as they might in Fort Myers due to redevelopment there. Nor will they be able to buy a house in the suburbs; nearly half of all renters spend more than a third of their income on housing.
5. The Likely Growth of the Rental Market
Pay scales in Cape Coral haven’t kept up with the double digit rent increases. That is in part because the large student market isn’t very sensitive to rent increases, and it is in part because they provide cheap labor that keeps wages from going up. The movement of Fort Myers residents to the relatively affordable area, too, drives up rents.
That means that the number of renters in the Cape Coral real estate market will go up while supply won’t increase the return on investment for those who invest in this housing market today. That is why rents in the Cape Coral zip code are expected to hit $1500 a month though the median income is around $50,000 a year.
6. Cape Coral Is Affordable by Local Standards
Cape Coral is affordable to renters and investors alike by Fort Myers standards. The average rent for a Fort Myers apartment is $1200 a month. A studio apartment comes in at $750 a month while a one bedroom yields around $1000 or more a month.
Many choose to rent in north Cape Coral and commute to Fort Myers, trading time for money. For investors looking at buying real estate in Florida, the $250,000 median price tag is certainly better than the much higher bill you’d get if you tried to invest in Miami.
7. The Hidden Buying Opportunities
The large number of snowbirds who visit Cape Coral seasonably provides a better opportunity for investors in the Cape Coral real estate market. Do your research, and you could buy a home from a snowbird that is going to stop traveling, whether staying home in Quebec or moving into a Miami nursing home. This demographic is notable for the number of luxury condos they hold onto.
8. When the Market Is Low, It Is Really Low
Florida in general has a strong real estate market because of its economic growth. Florida, like Texas, is attracting people from New York, California and the Rust Belt with the beautiful combination of low taxes, high employment rates and decent cost of living. Florida, unlike Texas, sees far more radical swings in property values, and it isn’t just due to the hurricanes. When Florida’s real estate market is down, it crashes.
That provides an excellent buying opportunity for those who want to invest in the Cape Coral real estate market. The inevitable upswing will yield a significant return on investment in the Cape Coral housing market. If you do want to fix and flip, the aftermath of a hurricane is a great time to buy. And unlike the Atlantic coast, Cape Coral isn’t hit with hurricanes as often. That means the Cape Coral housing market will come with lower insurance costs than Miami, too.
9. Florida Has Low Taxes in General
Florida doesn’t have a state income tax. If you shield rental real estate by holding them in a corporation, then the corporation will pay modest income taxes. Florida’s property tax rate is 1.1% of assessed value, a little less than the national average of 1.2%. City and county property taxes are on top of that. The Cape Coral property tax rate is nearly $7 per $1000 per property value. And the city is discussing lowering its property tax rate.
10. Florida Is Landlord Friendly
Florida is a landlord friendly state. For example, there is no rent control. Security deposits have no limit on how high they can be. If the rent is overdue, state laws say they only need three days’ notice to be evicted. If they’ve intentionally damaged the property, you can give them an unconditional 7 day quit notice. The same is true for repeated lesser lease violations, though the eviction in that case requires going through the court system. This makes the Cape Coral housing market a good option for those who want to invest in waterfront property over Maryland or Hawaii.
Cape Coral Real Estate Investment: Summary
If you are a beginner in the business of cash flow real estate investing, it very important to read good books on real estate. You must also learn from successful real estate investors who have retired early on in their lives by investing in some of the hottest real estate markets. The strong US real estate market shows no signs of slowing, and is slated to remain among the world’s top performers in 2019. The Cape Coral real estate market offers strong yields and nearly certain growth in property values without the wild swings and degree of risk Miami real estate market has.
Why is Cape coral one of the best markets for real estate investment?
- Diverse economy, and stable market.
- Home to 32 Fortune 500 companies.
- Over 50% of the population rents.
- Newly built SFD and duplex properties.
- Solid blue-collar areas with high rents.
- High private sector employment.
- Top 10 MSA for Fastest Job Growth (Bloomberg, Aug 2016)