homepage logo

Cape lauded as top ‘boomtown’ for 2015

By Staff | Dec 24, 2015

Cape Coral has ended 2015 the same way it began, with accolades for economic growth.

SmartAsset, a website devoted to answering tough questions about finance, has named Cape Coral as one of the Top 10 boomtowns for 2015, based on data the site analyzed.

Cape Coral was ranked No. 9. Loveland, Colo. was ranked first, with five cities in Texas making the Top 10. Booming oil production was one of the main reasons for the boom in those areas.

The site said in its analysis “Known as the ‘Waterfront Wonderland,’ the city of Cape Coral is home to more than 400 miles of waterfront property along the largest canal system of any city in the world. All that prime real estate may be one reason for the city’s explosive growth. The area’s net migration rate is 2 percent, second highest in the U.S.

“Nonetheless, real estate in the city remains relatively affordable. According to Zillow, the median sales price in Cape Coral is $182,265 (as of July 2015). For those who would rather rent than buy, the median rent is $850, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,” the site states.

Dana Brunett, city Economic Development director, said the statistics bear out that people are coming back to Cape Coral. Commercial building permits are up 13 percent in 2015 and 183 percent over 2013.

“A lot of the larger projects going up now didn’t make it in 2015 because they started in October. We were so far down because nobody wanted to stick a shovel in the ground during the downturn,” Brunett said.

Residential is also booming again as the need for apartments for young professionals are starting to go up as are the permits for single-family homes.

“We’re up 58 percent over last year and 108 percent over 2013 for residential. Cape Coral, since the 2010 Census, has added 10 percent in bodies,” Brunett said. “Apartments are sorely needed. We’re adding 400 apartments to the market over the next year, and that’s only half of what the demand is.”

Brunett said this market can handle more than 900 new apartment units per year.

“It’s considered a place to retire, a place to safely raise your family, the fact we have the Gulf, the canals, the weather and you tie that in with job growth, which goes hand-in-hand,” Cape Coral City Councilmember Rana Erbrick said. “It’s back to 2002 here where you couldn’t drive anywhere without seeing something being built.”

To find the top 10 boomtowns, SmartAsset looked at several metrics reflective of growth and prosperity for the 575 largest cities in the U.S. Local unemployment rate, as well as the regional rate of GDP growth and the rate of housing development were considered.

It also considered the net migration rate in each area, which is the rate at which people are moving to the city minus the rate at which residents are leaving.

A.J. Smith, executive editor at SmartAsset, said they were looking for towns that were “having a moment.” In Cape Coral’s case, it was the rate in which people were moving to town.

“The net migration rate stood out. It’s the second-highest in the country,” Smith said. “Overall, we saw that oil production surge. Oil prices are going down, so it will be interesting to see how that effects the ratings next year.”

A score was attained based on the number of standard deviations above or below the mean each city rated. The scores were totaled, giving half weight to the two separate measures of unemployment and full weight to the other three metrics.