The unit selling price of apartments in Lee County has risen again.

Drift at the Forum, a 194-unit apartment complex at 3417-3425 Forum Boulevard in Fort Myers, sold for $62.5 million on Feb. 4, making it one of the biggest sales ever. from the beginning of 2022.

The unit price of $322,164 eclipsed the Lee County record of $315,000 per unit set in December when the nearby 288-unit Encore Vive at the Forum sold for $91 million.

MREF III AND IV are the limited liability companies that made the purchases. These appear to belong to Momentum Real Estate Partners of Miami. Company executives could not be reached for comment.

The land the apartments were built on last sold for $4.25 million in December 2019, according to property records, before construction.

This week, the apartment complex released a letter about new ownership and management groups.

“It’s not hyperbole. Florida has been a star since the pandemic began in terms of growth. And Southwest Florida has been the jewel in Florida’s crown. -Matt Simmons real estate appraiser at Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons

Leases for the resort start at $1,700 for one bedroom. Amenities include a swimming pool, yoga room, fitness center, one-hole putting green, pool table, and movie theater.

That the record price per unit continues to fall and rents continue to rise came as no surprise to Matt Simmons, a real estate appraiser with Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons of Fort Myers.

“There’s still more to come,” Simmons predicted. “I know that sounds crazy. How high can these prices go? Although you are looking at the highest prices, it is just as shocking to the people who come to rent these units.

Stock market volatility has prompted some investors to put their cash elsewhere: tangible assets such as apartments.

“We flooded the economy with money again,” Simmons said. “That’s what happens in an inflationary environment. The last thing you want to do is sit there. Your purchasing power continues to decline every day. So they turn it into a tangible asset in a growing market like Southwest Florida. This is not hyperbole. Florida has been a star since the pandemic began in terms of growth. And Southwest Florida has been the jewel in Florida’s crown.

Investors who saved their money at the start of the pandemic are looking to spend it now. As the supply of available assets continues to fall, prices continue to rise.

“Investors, they have to deploy their money,” Simmons said. “When you start looking at the tertiary markets, Southwest Florida, again, because of our growth, is so attractive.

“On the other hand, you can play the inflation game trying to get your hands on tangible assets like this, period. You look at what the costs are. of work.

“We see prices skyrocketing. It depends on the costs. The costs are not going anywhere in the short term. You start looking at what the replacement cost would be. How much would it cost to replicate that in five years? We are going to be in a position of increasing costs. I can capitalize on something that will be worth more no matter what.