Entry-level housing in the Naples real estate market is more of a challenging find these days, both in the existing home market and in the new home market. From my research, single-family homes in Naples’ newest communities start around $400,000.

According to the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR®), the inventory of existing single-family homes in the Naples real estate market priced below $300,000 fell 31% in July 2015 compared with the same month one year ago and there’s only a two-month supply based on the current sales pace.

As the economy recovers and the labor force grows, more affordable areas east of Interstate 75 will benefit, including the new town of Ave Maria, which is attracting several buyers despite its remote location and the considerable time it takes to get there from Naples. “The huge escalation in price in Naples have priced a lot of working families out of Naples,” said Randy Thibaut, CEO of Land Solutions in a recent article in the Business Observer.

Because of this, existing communities along the Immokalee Road corridor have experienced a surge in buyers. “It’s east of the interstate, but the reservoir of remaining land is all around Ave Maria and it is owned by Barron Collier Companies or Collier Enterprises,” says David Cobb regional director for the South Florida region of market tracker Metrostudy.

The numbers aren’t lost on developers. For example, Collier Enterprises, another branch of the Collier family, has partnered with Canadian residential developer Minto Communities to build 4,000 homes and a 150,000-square-foot in the area between Naples and Ave Maria. The Collier Enterprises-Minto project, formerly called Big Cypress but now referred to as Rural Lands West, will have enough room for 10,000 homes and 1.9 million square feet of commercial space on 4,000 acres, roughly the same size as Ave Maria. The first homes are scheduled to be built in 2018.