Fort Myers heads the list of “Top 20 Cities for Foreclosure Discounts,” according to an analysis by RealtyTrac. While the housing market continues to recover into 2014, there are still good deals to be found on foreclosed homes with built-in equity in Fort Myers as well as many other parts of the U.S. Fort Myers had 203 foreclosure sales for the period June-November 2013. The average price of the home was $135,409, which was 65% less than the average assessed value of $254,526.
Fort Myers was cited in a recent CNN/Money article as one of seven US markets with half-priced McMansions. The Fort Myers area was heavily impacted by the housing market downturn and it is not uncommon to find homes selling for half their peak bubble value.
The Montreal Gazette highlights the significant number of Canadians buying property right now in the State of Florida. In the 12-month period from mid-2010 to mid-2011, 10% of all homes sold in Florida were purchased by Canadians.
Canadians, Granadians, Australians and Botswanians (maybe not but it rhymes!) and residents of the entire global community are targeting our very own Cape Coral as a place to invest in real estate. As covered by Wink News, Trulia recently reported that Cape Coral was the third most popular US city after Los Angles and New York for foreign investment. This is quite remarkable as Cape Coral and its 154,000 residents is dwarfed by New York and its population of around 8 million and LA with just under 4 million citizens.
While no one is going to confuse the current market with the investor insanity of 2005 and 2006, there is a growing buzz of investor activity in the Fort Myers area market. Many of these investors are targeting distressed single-family homes that need some spiffing to be resold to a traditional buyers.
Over the past few years, Cape Coral has been one of the areas in the nation with high rates of foreclosures. This foreclosure phenomena can be attributed to significant speculative investing during the real estate boom years.
DailyFinance has an interesting interview with Lee County Clerk of Courts Charlie Green, the architect of our controversial foreclosure rocket docket. The purpose of the rocket docket was to rapidly move the mound of foreclosures in Lee County through the legal system.
The Associated Press ran a story yesterday titled Where fewer foreclosures are now bad for business which featured Lee County and detailed how the slowdown in the foreclosure pipeline is bad for business. The irony of this premise is thick enough to cut with a knife…..yes our economy has become dependent on foreclosure transactions to keep sputtering along.
NPR covers the Lee County foreclosure rocket docket
The Washington Post covers the Southwest Florida foreclosure crisis with a powerful photo essay detailing some of the challenges in the market. At present, nearly 2/3 of our real estate transactions involve either bank-owned foreclosure or short sale listings. Valuations for distressed properties have in many cases dropped to levels below half of what these properties sold for during the real estate boom.
Wow what a surprise to see an article about the Gator Circle neighborhood of Cape Coral in the News-Press this morning. Gator Circle was Cape Coral’s poster child neighborhood for the real estate boom and subsequent bust.
During the real estate boom, I was truly amazed at all the entry-level spec homes that were under construction in this neighborhood by the likes of First Homes and Adams Homes. Investors were gobbling up Gator Circle starter homes like there was no tomorrow.
A new book, Exiles in Eden: Life Aong the Ruins of Florida’s Great Recession, offering an insiders view to the Florida housing crisis is hitting the shelves this week.
The Fort Myers area is prominently covered by author Paul Reyes including a look at a mostly abandoned, upscale gated community. A book about the housing bust would not be complete without an examination of Lehigh Acres, where the authors parents purchased a vacant lot in 1969 on the $10/month plan while honeymooning in Miami.