Florida Population Growth Returns to Normal Levels

After growth screeched to a halt during the recession, people are moving back to Florida.  Researchers project 192,091 new faces will arrive in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties over the next seven years.  The coastal stretch is already home to an estimated 1.1 million people.

Lee County leads the way, growing 20.2 percent, twice the rate of Florida as a whole, to reach 773,500 people by 2020.  Collier will absorb 49,537 new residents and Charlotte 12,421.

The projections from the University of Florida are based on past growth. They’re a conservative estimate between the lowest and highest estimates. Population increases fuel economic development but also pose infrastructure and environmental challenges.

Waterfront property and activities are top selling points driving people to Florida.  Water, for drinking, swimming, fishing, but first of all for our natural habitat, is key to a healthy economy.

People move to Florida for a wide variety of reasons. It’s known as a place where they come to retire or start over, for instance. And as more arrive, housing inventory is being reduced and construction is picking up. That in turn attracts new residents. There is also no personal income tax in the state.

Florida lost a small percent of its population because of the recession. Now the state is on track to surpass New York this year if it hasn’t yet already. That would make it the third most populous state behind California and Texas.

Through 2020, Florida is projected to absorb some 1.9 million new people, pushing the population past 21.1 million.

For now growth is trending steadily upwards in Southwest Florida, albeit not at the breakneck pace seen in the early to mid-2000s. Cape Coral, the region’s most populous city, grew by 6,764 people between 2010 and 2013, UF estimates show. Nearly 160,000 reside in the Cape.

Many homebuyers are baby boomer retirees from the Midwest and Northeast, but a surprising number are younger.

But with all the growth, is Southwest Florida gearing up for another precarious real estate bubble? Lee County especially Lehigh Acres was often cited as a “ground zero” for the housing meltdown that preceded the recession. Many economic forecasters feel the region is going to see sustained growth in more of a normal market. As once vacant homes and properties left untended during the recession fill up it makes it a lot safer for the buyer.


Long-term population projections:


Charlotte County

2013: 163,679

2020: 176,100

Change: 12,421

Percent change: 7.6


Collier County

2013: 333,663

2020: 383,200

Change: 49,537

Percent change: 14.8


Lee County

2013: 643, 367

2020: 773,500

Change: 130,133

Percent change: 20.2


Palm Beach County

2013: 1,345,652

2020: 1,465,300

Change: 119,648

Percent change: 8.9



2013: 19,259,543

2020: 21,141,300

Change: 1,881,757

Percent change: 9.8


To learn more about the real estate market in SWFL contact a member of the Gratia Group team at (239) 333-2221.

Featured Property of the Week from Gratia Group: 2 Contiguous Lots in SW Cape Coral, FL

Gratia Group is happy to release a new Featured Property of the Week, 2 contiguous lots in sunny SW Cape Coral, FL.  This Cape Coral FL property for sale located at 2723 and 2727 SW 32nd Street Cape Coral, FL 33914 is in one of the most popular areas of the Cape for investment purchases.  This sunny lot is sure to sell fast!

Southwest Cape Coral is one of the most up and coming areas of Cape Coral and land and lots for sale in this area sell fast as development in the region is on the rise.  The SW Cape is home to make parks, schools and shopping making it a very hot area for families and couples.  Located just a short drive from the nightlife of downtown Cape Coral and Fort Myers, the area is quite a convenient choice for purchasing Cape Coral Fl land for sale.

To learn more about the Gratia Group Feature Property of the Week contact a member of the Gratia Group expert land sales team at (239) 222-3331.

Gratia Group Featured Lot of the Week: Freshwater 16 lot Package in Cape Coral

Investors, are you looking to make a splash in the Cape Coral real estate scene?  The Gratia Group Featured Lot of the Week is just for you!  This land package features 16 gorgeous, ready to build lots in sunny, tropical Cape Coral, Florida.  These Cape Coral lots for sale are situated on a wide, freshwater canal.  Priced at $10-12k below market value, this lot package is priced to sell and must be sold as a package with the buyer purchasing all available lots for sale.

Come invest in one of the hottest areas of Florida, Lee County.  The region is best known for world-class fishing, beaches and a warm sunny tropical lifestyle.  Cape Coral is a large family oriented community just minutes away from Fort Myers that offers beautiful parks and a wonderful school system.

To learn more about the Gratia Group Featured Lot of the Week contact a member of the Gratia Group Land Sales Team at (239) 333-2221.

2013 Lee County, FL Real Estate Wrap Up

Lee County permits to build new homes in 2013 spiked up 40 percent while foreclosures fell 45 percent in 2013 as the area’s given-up-for-dead residential construction industry roared back to life.  But with the burst of activity came some old worries: a tight labor market, ever more expensive building materials and the prospects of higher interest rates.  For the year, builders pulled permits to put up 2,386 single-family homes compared to 1,707 in 2012.

Meanwhile, statistics released by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association showed that foreclosures fell from 7,600 to 4,212 in the same period as the firestorm of failed mortgages by homeowners and investors gradually burned itself out. All in all, builders were happy with the sudden availability of work.

The market in Southwest Florida is picking up pretty good and of course there are more new builders that have taken the opportunity to break into the building market buying up most of the available Southwest Florida land for sale.  Still, as the market heats up issues are arising. There’s not a large enough labor force in the area and there have been price increases for materials as well as wages.

Several factors combined to create a more energetic market.  Chief among them was the cheap money for mortgages and the fear that they would be going up, so you have a lot of buyers, particularly young and first move-up buyers, concerned that if interest rates went up much they’d be out of affordability.  Many of those buyers had the down payment and had gone through the two-year period they had before they were allowed to apply for a mortgage again after a foreclosure or short sale destroyed their credit.

That trend was amped up by the fact that there’s pent-up demand for new housing because few new homes were built in the years since home prices collapsed at the end of 2005.  It’s not a situation that can last forever.  Clear interest rates will eventually have to increase as the Federal Reserve scales back its efforts to keep money “cheap”.  For every point the interest rate goes up, say for an average house in Lee County, a $250,000 house, that’s $20,000 less borrowing power the buyer has.  For bigger houses the effect is dramatic.

One problem that isn’t coming back soon is the prevalence of foreclosures that drove down prices as foreclosed homes came pouring back on the market after prices fell apart.  Most of the people vulnerable to a foreclosure have already lost their homes.

But ongoing economic uncertainty may have an effect on how strongly the baby boomers’ retirement plans continue to support this market as boomers decide how long to work before retiring and buying a home or lots and acreage for sale in the area.

To buy into the robust Lee County, FL real estate market contact a member of the Gratia Group Land Sales Team at (239) 333-2221.

US Land Market is Win-Win Investment Choice for Canadian Investors

Millions of Americans have lost their homes, jobs and retirement funds throughout a dire financial crisis including the vast breakdown of the housing market, which has gripped the nation since around 2007.  Many financial analysts feel that the housing market in the areas hardest hit by the real estate market breakdown like Florida, California and Nevada, has finally hit its rock bottom.  This is great news for Canadian investors looking to purchase investment real estate and investment land for sale as parcels are being sold well below fair market value.

Another sign pointing towards investment in the US real estate market is the economic conditions in Canada versus the US.  The Canadian dollar remains incredibly strong against the US dollar and given the current economic forecast for both nations and foreign exchanges, any investment in the US market will create a strong return on investment.

If you take both of these facts into consideration, the current state of the US real estate market & economy and the value of the Canadian dollar to the US dollar, buying a beautiful plot of real estate at unprecedentedly low prices is a win-win situation for any Canadian investor.

To learn more about purchasing a piece of paradise, land for sale in Florida, contact a member of the Gratia Group land sales team at (239) 333-2221.

Gratia Group Featured Lot of the Week: 4101 SW 14th Place, Cape Coral, FL 33914

Ring in the New Year with a new investment!  The Gratia Group Featured Lot of the Week is a wise investment choice for local or foreign investors in 2014.  The beautiful, sunny lot is located at 4101 SW 14th Place, Cape Coral, FL 33914 in the highly desirable Southwest Cape Coral neighborhood, just blocks from the bustling Cape Coral Parkway.

This lot is located in a highly maintained area of upscale homes with impeccable landscaping, golf courses and more, making it an easy land parcel to sell in the future for a high ROI if you are looking for investment land for sale.  Additionally, the lot has been previously cleared and is ready for building.

Own a piece of tropical paradise when you purchase this lot.  Located just minutes from white sand beaches and the Gulf of Mexico, this parcel epitomizes “Florida Living.”  To learn more about this beautiful Cape Coral lot for sale or other plots available throughout Southwest Florida, contact the region’s land sale expert, Gratia Group at (239) 333-2221.

Gratia Group Featured Plot of the Week: 5 Island Lots, Perfect for Investors!

Own a piece of island paradise with this week’s Gratia Group Plot of the week, 5 gorgeous lots located on Pine Island in sunny Southwest Florida!  The parcels must be sold together, as a 5 lot land package, making it a prime opportunity for investors.

Pine Island is a popular island destination known for its world class fishing opportunities and location on The Gulf of Mexico.  These lots and acreage for sale are located in the quaint island community of Bookelia.  With bridge access to the mainland and Cape Coral and Fort Myers just a short drive away; these plots maintain an island lifestyle with easy access to modern conveniences.

Lots included in this parcel package are:






To learn more about this lot package and other Southwest Florida real estate investments contact an expert member of the Gratia Group land sales team at (239) 222-3331.