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.
Short sales can offer real value for buyers of Fort Myers area real estate. Often short sale properties are in good shape as the owner is living in the home and cooperating with the lender. Many of our buyers are finding good value in the short sale sector of the market right now.
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.
The IV has been pulled and the hospital gown is gone as the Fort Myers real estate market passed a monumental recovery milestone last month. For the first time in over two years, more than half of our sales were conventional transactions rather than distressed short sales or foreclosures.
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.
I just read an article in the New York Times titled The Roller-Coaster Ride Called a Short Sale with great fascination. It seems the post-bubble real estate challenges that we have been dealing with here in SW Florida are now reality in Manhattan as well. I don’t know about you, but it sure is hard for me to visualize many market parallels between the likes of Gator Circle or Gateway and the Upper East Side.
Just as we were getting ready to dump some tea from the Midpoint Bridge over our continued frustration with banks delaying short sale approvals……..the fairy princess of short sales has come to Southwest Florida and is approving these deals in droves!
We have a file draw full of short sale offers that we have made for clients, some stretching well back into 2009. In recent days, banks have started aggressively working many of these offers
My e-mail inbox today contained an e-mail that really troubled me, here it is with the senders name redacted:
I BUY AND SELL SHORT SALES…
Business Week reports that lenders are stepping up their efforts to collect on deficiency judgments of mortgage defaulters. The article reports that banks are seeking deficiency judgments in both short sale and foreclosure scenarios.
WGCU hosted a panel of Southwest Florida real estate experts including Dick Hogan from the Fort Myer News-Press.
One of the buyer misconceptions about our current Fort Myers area real estate market is that banks will approve ultra-aggressive, low-ball offers on short sales and foreclosures. Approving low-ball offers in Lee County has absolutely not been the operating model for lending institutions during 2009.