Lee County, FL. Values / Market Outlook

Lee County, FL. Property Values:Lee County, FL.2007: $96.4 Billion2008: $84.5 Billion2009: $63.5 Billion2008-2009 % Change: -24.8%Cape Coral, FL2007: $21 Billion2008: $15.7 Billion2009: $10.4 Billion2008-2009 % Change: -33.5%Lehigh Acres, FL2007: $7.19 Billion2008: $6.362009: $3.372008-2009% Change: -46.9%Fort Myers, FL2007: $7 Billion2008: $6.8 Billion2009: $5.2 Billion2008-2009 % Change: -23.4Local Unemployment Rate in Lee County, FL. in May 2009 was 12.4%How crazy are these numbers? What goes up, must come down right? The local real estate market is actually turning before our eyes into a sellers market due to the affordability returning to the market. The only contributing factor I see for this is the moratoriums.Media outlets and so called "Experts" (no one at the Fort Myers News-Press has ever been confused with being an expert) all are hyping the fact that properties are getting multiple offers and bidding wars are back again. Buy Now, Buy Now they all scream. Most of the hype is right, or is it?Fannie Mae alone, has more assets that haven't hit the market then Obama has ideas on ways to raise taxes on everyone. If anyone knows about the Elliot Wave, could this be the False Bounce? Is NOW THE TIME TO BUY or is that just a catchy slogan by the local real estate board who is trying to keep members from leaving the industry and taking their annual dues with them?
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  • I agree Nedy. The marke is not bouncing back. It is just that we went through a strong Winter selling market, much like the traditional ones we always have. The Summer would be dead if not for the fact that buyers with financing, who were being beat out of REOs by cash investors, are trying to get the properties they want to live in. Additionally, REOs have dwindled. This has combined to give a false stabilization of market values. I prognosticate that the market will dip some more if many REOs are on the market too soon. Some of the banks and investors know this and would like to avoid prices dipping more, and would like to let properties more slowly, if they can, in order to stabilize the market more. But the human nature of this is that when more properties are posted, the buyers will be there and we can expect more bidding... for a while. The first event could bouy values and the other could cause another dip in values. The lower valued properties may not go much lower, but higher priced properties will lkely come down lower. There are more foreclosures to come and we will see then. It is still a good time to buy. If you plan to live in a home for a couple of years, you will likely see some value come back...if you are able to buy and have a job-- unemployment also adds to the effect (actual unemployment is closer to 14% when you factor int he underemployed adn those not drawing unemployment). When you have so many people out of work, foreclosures and property transfers tend to increase, then you see people not spending more, and then commercial properties sitting vacant will start falling and foreclosed on, then a new cycle hits, and, yes, it can get worse.
  • I saw the report in the local TV news channel indicating how in Cape Coral it was now a seller's market in the $250K price point and below. My thought was, for how long? Your % change/decline are right on with what I was using in my reports until recently as now I indicate that prices are going up in certain areas but make it a point to clarify how it's not clear if the market is stabilizing or has stabilized since the unemployment rate is still high and the economy remains weak. REO properties are in high demand but since the inventory has dwindled down it has created a frenzy and multiple offers causing prices to go up. I feel that this change is temporary and could be a false bounce just from what I’ve been hearing regarding the ‘shadow inventory’ then again, I do not have a crystal ball.

    Also, due to this REO inventory shortage it appears that short sales are becoming more appealing just like non distressed properties priced like REO’s. Buyers, although still cautious, are buying and moving on to whatever they can get as long as the price is right and if the REOs are out of reach due to fierce competition and high demand for them. Then again, even some REO’s are not priced like such.
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