The Southwest Florida region's rapid growth in people keeps on ticking.
The additional traffic is a dead giveaway but now the data is in: Southwest Florida is one of the fastest-growing regions nationwide.
The region, Charlotte, Collier and Lee, added 24,000 residents from 2017 to 2018, up 1.91% from the previous year, according to a recent U.S. Census estimate. More growth? The tri-county area population, now at 1.3 million people, has grown 19.5% since 2010, or 228,000 people, according to Census data analyze by real estate data firm CoStar. That’s faster than other Southeast regions, such as Charleston, S.C., and the second-fastest in Florida, behind Orlando.
The CoStar report puts the growth in comparison context, including these nuggets:
• If the three counties made up an individual U.S. metro area, it would rank as the No. 43 largest nationwide, ahead of Richmond, Va., and behind Memphis, Tenn.
• The seventh-fastest growing metro area in the nation over the past eight years is Cape Coral-Fort Myers. The Naples- Immokalee-Marco Island area is a separate MSA;
• The region’s growth is up more than 600 basis points over the Florida average growth rate.
In addition to more cars on the roads, the rapid increase in people has led to a rise in multifamily housing projects, well-documented as the boom shows few signs of abating.
For one, at least 6,100 apartment units have been delivered this cycle, according to CoStar data, with another 2,600 units in the pipeline. “A continued high rate of population growth is expected to boost multifamily demand in the region,” reports CoStar, “as well as elevate Southwest Florida’s appeal among multifamily developers nationwide.”