Metrostudy’s 1Q14 survey of the Naples/Fort Myers housing market showed continued growth, with starts up 11% quarter-over-quarter to 818, and up a solid 21% over the first-quarter of 2013. The annual starts rate increased 4% from last quarter, and is up 27% from the first-quarter of 2013. The annual starts rate has increased for eleven consecutive quarters in Southwest Florida.
“Finished, vacant home supply continues to be virtually non-existent,” said David Cobb, Metrostudy’s Regional Director in the Naples Market. “Lee County has only a 0.7 month’s supply, while Collier remains below equilibrium as well at 1.7 months of supply. As in the previous quarter, this is a reflection that almost every home under construction has been sold.”
As with the rest of Florida, job growth continues its positive trend in Southwest Florida. The unemployment rates in Lee and Collier are both below the state and national average, at 6.0% and 5.5% respectively.
GL Homes, Pulte, and Lennar remain the leading builders in Southwest Florida. Riverstone, Pelican Preserve, and VillageWalk Bonita are the top three communities in the region, while Ave Maria jumps from 8th to 4th on the list. Verona Walk and Moody River Estates also make Metrostudy’s Top 10 list this quarter.
Metrostudy’s Naples/Ft. Myers market data cover all of the new housing activity in Lee and Collier Counties, excluding scattered lot subdivisions such as Lehigh Acres. Included in these data are single family detached homes, townhomes, and duplexes.
Separated by County:
Lee County: Starts and completion activity fell from the previous quarter. Annual starts are up 20% and annual move-ins are up 39% year-over-year, however. “Note that Lee County’s price distribution continued to trend towards a higher price point,” said Cobb. “Gains are noted in all price ranges above $200,000, with notable increases in the over $400,000 price point. The price of land, labor and material costs are all contributing to this upward trend in prices.”
Lot deliveries improved to 381 in the first quarter, up 29% from last year. There are 6,902 vacant developed lots, down 5% from a year ago. In addition to the developed lots, there are plans for 48,012 future lots. Many of these lots lie in the northern and eastern sections of the county, where development has been slow to recover.
Collier County: Starts in the first quarter jumped 36% from the previous quarter. The annual starts rate is also 36% higher than last year. The annual starts rate has risen for nineteen consecutive quarters, from a low of 399 in early 2009, to 1,624 in the current quarter. Completions rose 27% QoQ, and are up 45% from 1Q13.
“Builders report that the labor market remains tight, which in some cases is limiting the supply of new homes,” said Cobb. “The supply of vacant, developed lots declined 9% year over year to 4,496. The supply of vacant developed lots in “A” locations is extremely limited.”
For information contact: David Cobb at 239.220.7023
Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide. Established in 1975 in Houston, Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services that help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day. www.metrostudy.com