Rental prices falling in some of Southwest Florida; Collier County not included

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

There is some good news when it comes to those pesky home prices. In Fort Myers, rent is down about 1.5% year over year. It peaked around this time last year.

Despite the good news, Collier County residents say they don’t see a change. To alleviate the strain, some find a roommate or an extra job. Others move out of the area.

A rent researcher said the prices renters pay in Collier County now should be considered a new normal.

Many people in Collier County can no longer afford to have a place to themself. “Right now? No, not in Naples,” said Joan Crawford.

Renters know the cost of living in Collier County isn’t cheap. 

Rent expert Jon Leckie said the rental market is ‘Cooling’ nationwide and statewide, which means the numbers are still rising, but at a much slower pace.

“On a yearly basis, they’re rising slower. Month over month, they are down,” said Leckie.

Rent prices are still high in Collier County. Naples and Marco Island are among the top five markets with the largest yearly rent increase. So, what does cooling down mean to renters?

Leckie said to look at the numbers now as a new normal. “I like to call [it] a new floor, they reach a new sort of base level from which to grow.”

Elizabeth Radi represents the Collier Tenants Union. She said the new normal for rent would cause major problems for households already struggling to make ends meet.

“There’s going to be a mass exodus because once they realize that this is the reset. This is the market value across the board, and it’s not going to change. They’re losing hope, and once that happens, they’re leaving,” said Radi.

“It’s a little bit scary. It does make me very concerned for the population overall,” Crawford said.

Radi said there is no hope that rents will come down to the affordable rates we saw pre-pandemic. Once investors know how much they can get for homes and apartments, it’s unlikely they’ll go much lower than that.

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