Cape Coral Foreclosures Dropped at a Time Buyers Want More

by Peter Vernon on cities

Cape Coral foreclosures dropped in January, a time more buyers are arriving in the area to look for homes. The first four months of the year are considered the home buying season in Florida because of the influx of out-of-state visitors during these months.

According to realtors, the lifestyle in the area and the availability of affordable homes are the top factors attracting visitors and buyers. Out-of-state buyers routinely say that no other place can beat southwest Florida when it comes to lifestyle and the price of homes.

In 2009, foreclosure sales drove total home sales to reach record levels. Based on data from the Fort Myers Association of Realtors, about 16,000 homes were sold in 2009, much more than the combined sales in 2007 and in 2008.

In Lee County, where Cape Coral is located, a total of 1,321 foreclosures were filed in January, a decrease from the 1,616 posted in the previous month and a substantial drop from the 2,074 foreclosures posted in January 2009.

Southwest Florida realtor Marc Joseph, who gained statewide and worldwide fame because of his bus tours, said the demand for Cape Coral foreclosures has been constant and that the competition for the available inventory has been fierce, especially in the lower-priced portion of the market. He added that short-sale homes and bank-owned homes accounted for nearly 75 percent of total house sales in December.

In another report, a number of foreclosed homes in Cape Coral which have been left vacant for a long time would be restored to their former functional conditions with the $7.2 million the city received from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The city has already acquired several of the 27 homes it planned to buy and sell to eligible families.

One property was bought for $35,000 and would be fixed at a cost of about $40,000. The selling price would be $75,000, without any profit for the city. The remaining NSP money would be spent to help around 32 qualified families come up with their down payments.

Florida foreclosures got a lot of attention from the HUD because the state got more than $348 million from the second funding round, the highest received by a state.

According to Cape Coral federal grant coordinator Amy Yearsley, the city’s program to mitigate Cape Coral foreclosures will be strict in choosing buyers. She said applicants must pass income and credit qualifications and must commit to live in the properties for at least 5 years.