It has been over a year since we saw dismal economic conditions in our community arising from the pandemic. However, in 2021, we have seen a number of notable economic indicators indicating a strong recovery in the region and the state.
In writing this article, we consulted the Florida Gulf Coast University Regional Economic Indicators Report, a resource published every month by a team of economists at the university.
The real estate market in Southwest Florida continues its hot streak as single-family home prices increase by double-digits. Overall, prices have increased between 35 and 44 percent from May 2020 to May 2021 throughout the region. Total single-family sales have nearly doubled during the same time period, as shown by a 90 percent increase from May 2020 to May 2021.
We noticed several reasons for this hot real estate market in Southwest Florida, many of which have resulted from the effects of the pandemic. For instance, there have been a number of out-of-state buyers from many Northern states that continue to drive prices upward. This is likely due to tight restrictions from Northern states, while states like Florida have been more relaxed in its reopening efforts.
Single-family home listings have decreased dramatically by 77 percent due to strong buying activity in the region. However, single-family building permits continue to increase to combat the housing shortage. There have also been a number of multi-family housing projects throughout the region, many of which have been completed or will be completed in the next few months.
The labor market in Southwest Florida also continues to improve from unemployment highs in 2020.
After double-digit unemployment following initial lockdowns in 2020, unemployment has fell below 5 percent throughout the region. This is an indication that the local community continues to rebound as the economy expands.
Southwest Florida’s current unemployment rate of 4.6% was lower than both Florida (4.9%) and the United States (5.8%) as a whole. As we continue to see a general rebound throughout the country, Southwest Florida seems poised to thrive.
Since travel was essentially halted in mid-2020, tourism has rebounded nicely in the past year. Airport activity continues to increase from lows in 2020, but numbers have not matched activity from previous years. However, as restrictions continue to be lifted across the country, it is likely that airport activity will continue to increase for upcoming seasons.
Additionally, while airport activity was down from previous seasons, tourist tax revenues have recently increased to new highs. This is a fair indication that the economy is healthy and rebounding compared to 2020.
Vernon Litigation Group will continue to provide updates and analyses on Southwest Florida as we recover from the effects of the pandemic. If you have any questions on managing your small business at this time, please give us a call at 239-319-4434. We are more than happy to help you.