Naples, West Florida Cities Rank Among the Hottest Emerging Real Estate Markets in the Nation

Naples, Florida (iStock, Freepik, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the real deal)

Florida’s West Coast real estate market is heating up, boosted by remote working and sunny weather.

Naples ranked No. 1 and North Port was No. 2 in the Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Markets Housing Index. Three other Florida markets also made the top 20: Cape Coral, Punta Gorda and Sebastian, a city on the state’s east coast.

The index identifies metropolitan areas for buyers looking for an appreciating housing market and attractive lifestyle amenities. Florida benefited from a migration of workers who could leave their jobs in search of a cheaper life and a better quality of life.
Others may be attracted by lower taxes and relaxed Covid-19 policies, estate agents told the Journal.

Economists expect demand to remain strong.

Zillow named Tampa its hottest housing market for 2022, according to the newspaper, and Redfin’s list of the top 10 neighborhoods included eight in Florida.

Naples and its neighboring cities along the Gulf of Mexico are known for their white-sand beaches, fishing, dolphin watching, and sunny golf courses.

Naples, which bills itself as “the golf capital of the world,” is also known for its high-end homes, fine restaurants, and boutiques. Home sales in 2021 were up 26% from a year earlier, while the median home price jumped 20% to $445,000.

“Naples has always been a luxury area, but that was, I think, a well-kept secret,” said Denny Bowers, a Compass agent in Naples. “That secret is out, of course.”

Other top-ranked markets in the United States included Kahului, Hawaii, and San Luis Obispo and San Jose, California, according to the Journal’s index.

Other hot spots from the prior quarter fell. Elkhart, Indiana, Rapid City, South Dakota and Topeka, Kansas gave up the top three spots and dropped out of the top 10 as price growth stalled and homes lingered longer on the market.

[WSJ] – Dana Barthelemy

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