Fort Myers takes second in FGCU study of most overvalued rental markets

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
(Credit: WINK News)

Rent prices are through the roof, but how high are they in Southwest Florida? A new FGCU study looks at the country’s top 25 most overvalued rental markets.

The top five most overvalued cities were all in Florida. Fort Myers ranked Second. According to the study, the average price for rent in Fort Myers is more than $2,000.

If you want to buy a house or rent an apartment in Fort Myers, be ready to empty your wallet.

Tessa Moran is a college student at Florida Gulf Coast University. When she heard Fort Myers ranked second for most expensive housing, “It’s a little scary, I won’t lie,” said Moran.

FGCU Professor Shelton Weeks, a Lucas Professor of Real Estate who was part of the study was shocked by the results.

“I knew it would be close to the top based on the numbers that I’d heard from people having their rental rates increase when the lease is renewed. A bit surprised that it was actually number two,” said Weeks.

In the last year, the price of single-family homes in Lee County went up 24%. In Charlotte County, they went up 38%, and in Collier County, the increase was 25%.

All three counties saw prices go up, but sales dropped.

“When you combine it with the increased cost of construction, then purchasing becomes less of an option, forcing people to stay in the rental market longer,” said Weeks.

The study has Moran wondering if staying in Florida is even worth it. “For college students, you have to take that into account. What you’re paying right now might not be the same next year and in three years. You really have to budget your money now and kind of plan ahead,” said Moran.

Professor Weeks says it is not yet time to lose hope. “We’re seeing upper pressure on wages too. So those will eventually catch up. It just tends to be a little slower.”

According to the FGCU study, Miami and Fort Lauderdale ranked first, right before Fort Myers.

If you would like to see the complete ranking from FAU and UA, click here.

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