Cushman & Wakefield bullish on Southwest Florida

June home sales rose 8%.
June home sales rose 8%.

Southwest Florida’s economy is strong and its residential real estate markets are sturdy, brokerage Cushman & Wakefield said in a research report on the area.

Unemployment rates have declined as companies have created new jobs in hospitality and business services, and “the Southwest Florida economy continues to exhibit strong growth, in contrast to the U.S. economy,” the brokerage reported.

Realtors in the three coastal counties of Southwest Florida – Collier, Charlotte and Lee – reported an 8 percent increase in June sales of existing single-family homes, compared to the same month last year.

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In Lee and Collier counties alone, builders have put up 10,188 new housing units since 2010, almost half of them in the last two years.

Census Bureau figures through July 1 show that Cape Coral is the largest city in Southwest Florida with about 170,000 residents, followed by Fort Myers (70,918), Bonita Springs (49,299), Naples (20,968) and Marco Island (17,460).

“The primary reason for the surge in new housing is a result of a reduction of existing inventory that backed up during the recession,” Cushman & Wakefield reported. – Mike Seemuth

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