The real estate market in the greater Fort Myers area has been dominated by foreclosure and short sale activity. This REO activity has driven significant price declines in Southwest Florida real estate.
In the third quarter of 2009, home prices in the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area dropped on average 40%. This 40% decline led the nation for the 3rd quarter.
We are seeing a major shift upmarket in foreclosure activity. At this time last year, the largest pocket of foreclosure activity was centered around single-family starter-type spec homes in Cape Coral neighborhoods like Gator Circle and in Lehigh Acres. Investor heavy condo developments like Bellasol, Cypress Landing and Sail Harbour were also heavily impacted with foreclosures. Many of these lower-priced homes and condos REOs were snapped up by a new set of investors with an eye towards generating a cash-flow positive rental income stream
Today, significantly more foreclosures are hitting the market in upscale communities like Miromar Lakes, Bella Terra and Gateway. With more amenities which drive higher condo and HOA fees, these properties are less attractive to investors to purchase as rental property. Second home buyers are definitely the target for this high-end class of foreclosures. Our team has been extremely busy this fall showing this class of property to out-of-town buyers. Several have liked what they have seen and are buying upscale foreclosed homes and condos.