Affordability in question

Escalating costs are squeezing Lee County citizens

One of the major attractions of Lee County has traditionally been the affordable cost of living. Many are starting to question the affordability of Lee county with escalating costs especially in the area of housing.

The 23 percent increase in home costs from 2003 to 2004 in Lee County has been a boon for investors and speculators but is putting a major pinch on the overall population. While home prices are still low on a relative basis when compared with other parts of the country, a big challenge for Lee County is a shortage of high paying jobs.

While there are some glimmers of hope on the Lee County job front including the expanded presence of the Gartner Group, the expansion of Florida Gulf Coast University, Chicos continued growth and there is a void in the growth of good jobs.

In my opinion, much of the wealth on display around Lee County was either made elsewhere and brought here or made here mainly in the fields of real estate and development. The economy needs to expand in order to support the ongoing price escalations.

Newcomers feel price squeeze [News-Press]

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