The historical core areas of Southwest Florida – Naples, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers – have become highly developed and expensive, which has impacted those who are seeking more affordable options. But that price barrier has created ample opportunity in other parts of the state.
As chairman of SVN’s National Land & Development Services Product Council, I have identified the better opportunities for growth and affordability in Florida. With that in mind, following are the five hotspots for more economical living in the northern section of Southwest Florida:
Manatee County: As Sarasota begins to build out and becomes cost prohibitive, the southern part of neighboring Manatee County presents an attractive alternative. There are thousands of lots available north of the Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch area. Manatee County also features easy access to Interstate 75 and quick and convenient drive times to Tampa and Sarasota.
North Port: The average age of residents in North Port is 40, and the city has developed an exceptional public-school system. This is an ideal area for young families who are looking for high-quality schools for their children and affordable housing.
Port Charlotte: Average home prices here are less expensive than surrounding areas, and ideal for retirees. Port Charlotte is located about halfway between Sarasota and Ft Myers, and has more than 165 miles of waterways, providing access to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico.
Punta Gorda: This area offers high-end living along the banks of Charlotte Harbor, but it also has its share of affordable housing. One builder noted that Punta Gorda is suited for retirees who have been priced out of Naples and Marco Island. The city’s airport is also undergoing extensive expansion. Forbes selected Punta Gorda among the 100 “Best Small Places for Business and Careers.”
Cape Coral: Like Port Charlotte, there are very few master-planned communities in Cape Coral, but it offers great access to water. There are more canals here than in Venice. Because of its affordable housing, it is growing by leaps and bounds. Forbes named Cape Coral, FL among the “25 Best Places to Retire.”
If you’re looking for the best opportunities remaining in the Sunshine State, either those that I mentioned or others that might fit your needs, call me 941-961-7109 or send me an email at [email protected]. An affordable market is out there … if you know where to look.
Ashley Barrett Bloom is with SVN Florida Commercial Real Estate Advisors and has been in commercial real estate since 1999. Bloom along with his partner J. Chris Malkin services his clients providing national exposure with local expertise utilizing SVN Florida Advisors in 20 offices throughout the state of Florida.