Thinking of Moving to Fort Myers or Naples?
Discover what living in SW Florida is like.If you're thinking about moving to the Fort Myers or Naples area and in the process of researching various locations around the state, you're in the right place. This page has been assembled to help you gain a better understanding of SW Florida, what Fort Myers and Naples offers residents in terms of lifestyle, amenities, employment and healthcare. We also encourage you to reach out to Jenna Scharf, our Fort Myers & Naples relocation expert as she is glad to answer any questions you may have about the area, including the real estate market, housing prices and annual living costs.
About SW FloridaThe Fort Myers area is one of the fastest growing areas in the entire state. With a population of 92,245, Fort Myers is home to top-rated beaches, a thriving business environment, local museums and attractions, as well as an active events and social scene. With an average temperature of 74 degrees year-round and 271 sunny days each year, Fort Myers offers its full-time residents an outdoor playground to enjoy activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, golf, boating and fishing.
Experience Fort Myers, some of our local attractions as well as the beauty of nearby Captiva and Sanibel Islands. Make sure your volume is on.
SW Florida Awards & AccoladesThe Fort Myers and Naples areas commonly receive awards and accolades for its top-rated beaches, strong business climate, quality healthcare and overall high-quality of life. Below are recent mentions per year.
Naples Named the #1 "Safest Place to Live" in the Country - US News & World Report
Naples / Immokalee / Marco Island Region Named as the #1 Emerging Housing Market Nationwide - Wall Street Journal
Naples and Fort Myers Rank as the #2 and #7 Best Places to Retire in the Country - US News & World ReportNaples Named a Top 10 Best Place to Live in the U.S. - US News & World Report
Top 10 Reasons to Relocate to Fort Myers & Naples
- Fort Myers is the Fastest Growing City in Florida
According to U.S. Census Bureau data for the period of July 2020 through July 2021, Fort Myers officially ranks as the #1 fastest-growing city in Florida and the #6 fastest-growing city nationwide for large cities whose population is 50,000 or more. View the fastest-growing U.S. cities list.
- Fort Myers & Naples are Very Safe Places to Live
The Naples and Fort Myers areas have long been popular retirement destinations on Florida's west coast, but they are also very safe places to live. Recently, Naples and Fort Myers were recently ranked as the #1 and #3 safest cities to live in the country by US News & World Report for 2023. These rankings are based upon crime reports per 100,000 people of U.S. metro areas. View the safest U.S. cities rankings list.
# City, State Average Home Price Average Age 1 Naples, FL $580,568 65.4 2 Port St. Lucie, FL $373,928 42.7 3 Fort Myers, FL $358,982 40.9 4 Portland, ME $474,535 36.5 5 Lakeland, FL $280,831 40.8Average Home Prices as of Mar 2023.
- Fort Myers Real Estate Offers Good Value
Both Fort Myers and Naples have gorgeous waterfront property, top-selling master-planned residential communities (Babcock Ranch in Fort Myers and Ave Maria in Naples) and high-rise condos with breathtaking views of the Gulf and natural Florida. The biggest difference between the two communities is the affordability of the real estate. At the end of February 2023, the median home price in Fort Myers is $358,982 whereas the median home price in Naples is over 200K more at $580,568 which makes Fort Myers a great value by comparison. For exact housing prices and a list of available homes matching your criteria, contact Jenna Scharf, our Fort Myers and Naples relocation expert listed on this page.
- SW Florida is the Ideal Outdoor Year-Round Playground
SW Florida is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts with an average temperature of 74 degrees year-round and 271 sunny days each year. If you enjoy a great workout in the Florida sunshine, try kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding through natural mangroves and experience Florida wild birds and abundant sea life. There’s also lots of waterways, local islands and sand bars to explore by boat. Lastly, if you prefer to improve your golf game, SW Florida has lots of popular community golf courses to check out.
- SW Florida Has a Strong Economy & Job Market
The SW Florida employment and job market has been very strong in post pandemic with a current unemployment at only 2.9 percent (June 2022). The top industries in the region include hospitality and tourism, healthcare, education, trades, retail and professional services. The biggest and largest employers in Lee and Collier counties include Lee Health System, county school districts, local city governments, Publix Supermarkets, Anthrex, ACI worldwide and ASG Technologies.
- Top-Rated Fort Myers & Captiva Island Beaches
The beaches of SW Florida are among some of most beautiful and most popular in our state and are commonly top-ranked by TripAdvisor, USA Today and other ranking pulications. Fort Myers Beach, lined with its waterfront restaurants and open-air bars, is a popular beach attraction for many. Sanibel, and nearby Captiva Island to the north, are home to some of the best beaches in the world for shelling. Shelling is the art of locating, observing and collecting sea shells. Fort Myers Beach | Sanibel Beach.Fort Myers Beach ViewSanibel Beach View
- SW Florida Offers Great Dining Options
The SW Florida area offers a full array of casual outdoor eateries to elegant, five-star restaurants. There are also many new, trendy craft breweries and beer gardens to visit. These locations offer a very casual environment, are typically pet-friendly and many even offer daily live entertainment. Downtown Fort Myers, Cape Coral (near the bridge), Fort Myers Beach and downtown Naples are some of these trendy places to check out!
- Fort Myers & Naples Have Endless Events to Check Out
SW Florida offers its residents an active scene of year-round events, great musical performances and outdoor festivals to check out. In addition, there are also many popular community events that take place each year including Artfest Fort Myers, The Southwest Florida Music Festival, Crafts on the River, The Craft Beer & Music Festival, The Fort Myers Beach Pirate Fest, The Naples National Art Festival, Baconfest Naples, The Everglades Seafood Festival and many more!
- SW Florida Offers Top-Rated Healthcare
When moving to SW Florida, it's important to know that you have quality healthcare available to you for both emergency and preventative care. The top-rated hospitals in Lee and Collier Counties respectively are NCH Healthcare System and Lee Memorial Hospital. Both commonly rank as best hospitals in the state of Florida each year.
- Fort Myers is a Great Small City to Start a Business
With a growing population, Fort Myers makes a great small city to start a new business. In 2022, WalletHub ranked Fort Myers as the #5 best small city in the US (out of 1,300 small-sized cities) to start a business based upon 18 important factors including average growth, number of small businesses already in the area, investor access as well as the cost of local labor. View the best small cities to start a business rankings list.
Your Fort Myers & Naples Relocation Expert
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The Fort Myers & Naples Real Estate Market
Market outlook, trends and relocation advice by Jenna Scharf.
We have a big demand for housing here in the Fort Myers/Naples area as many are fleeing the Midwest, New York, and New Jersey for better weather and lifestyle! Although our housing inventory continues to remain very low at roughly a 3 months' supply (vs a six months’ supply in a balanced market), we are now beginning to see a slight increase in new listings hitting the market in the spring of 2023, which is a healthy sign to see. However, at the same time, we are also seeing where buyer demand is decreasing as some are unwilling or unable to purchase at our current price levels due to the now higher interest rates and rising inflation.
Fort Myers / Naples Market OutlookMy outlook for the Fort Myers and SW Florida housing market in 2023 is that demand will continue to remain strong. Even though we’ve seen a slight pullback in buyer demand, we still have plenty of cash buyers already living here in Southwest Florida that want their own piece of paradise, in addition to those relocating here. Also, post hurricane Ian, investors are now stepping in and snatching up some of our distressed waterfront properties at attractive prices. Therefore, my forecast for the Fort Myers housing market is that it will remain relatively strong and stable next year, and doubt that we would see any significant drop in values.
Market Trends I'm ObservingBased upon current economic conditions, I am now seeing a market trend emerge whereby most homes are now sitting on the market for a couple weeks before selling. This is giving buyers a little more leverage over sellers meaning that buyers typically no-longer need to offer over ask price and are now able to negotiate a healthy inspection and due diligence period. I am also seeing where buyers are often able to get their financing /appraisal contingency accepted as well as buyers being able to negotiate a few dollars off list prices or even negotiate some seller repairs prior to closing.
My Relocation AdviceThe biggest piece of advice that I can give buyers is if you're thinking of buying, don't wait! If you're financing, be pre-approved and ready to go. Know how much money you'll need to put down and talk to your agent about strategic ways to make your offer more appealing to sellers. Even with interest rates rising, they are still historically low by comparison. It's still a great time to buy and to achieve your goal of home ownership!
Fort Myers & Naples Relocation Reviews:
Read what Jenna's past clients are saying.
"Jenna was fantastic in our search for the perfect home. We were shopping from our home in NJ and she cleared her weekend and had several listing lined up for us to look at once we got to Florida. She was flexible and we revised our search as the weekend progressed - she was able to line up new properties for us to view. At the end of the weekend we found our perfect home."
"Jenna was great as she spent an entire weekend helping us find a home. We flew down from Wisconsin and by the end of our 3 days together Jenna helped us buy a home. Through the whole process with us in Wisconsin, Jenna was our eyes and ears made our purchase as stress free as she could us being 1500 miles away. She was great im so glad we got to work with such a great young lady. Thanks Jenna!"
"My wife and I would highly recommend Jenna Scharf. We were searching for a winter home in Fort Myers and we were several states away. When we narrowed our search, we flew down and Jenna took us to several homes. She was amazing and incredible crafting our offer and making it happen fast. We could not have done this without her!"
View All Fort Myers & Naples Relocation Reviews