2013 Lee County, FL Real Estate Wrap Up

Lee County permits to build new homes in 2013 spiked up 40 percent while foreclosures fell 45 percent in 2013 as the area’s given-up-for-dead residential construction industry roared back to life.  But with the burst of activity came some old worries: a tight labor market, ever more expensive building materials and the prospects of higher interest rates.  For the year, builders pulled permits to put up 2,386 single-family homes compared to 1,707 in 2012.

Meanwhile, statistics released by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association showed that foreclosures fell from 7,600 to 4,212 in the same period as the firestorm of failed mortgages by homeowners and investors gradually burned itself out. All in all, builders were happy with the sudden availability of work.

The market in Southwest Florida is picking up pretty good and of course there are more new builders that have taken the opportunity to break into the building market buying up most of the available Southwest Florida land for sale.  Still, as the market heats up issues are arising. There’s not a large enough labor force in the area and there have been price increases for materials as well as wages.

Several factors combined to create a more energetic market.  Chief among them was the cheap money for mortgages and the fear that they would be going up, so you have a lot of buyers, particularly young and first move-up buyers, concerned that if interest rates went up much they’d be out of affordability.  Many of those buyers had the down payment and had gone through the two-year period they had before they were allowed to apply for a mortgage again after a foreclosure or short sale destroyed their credit.

That trend was amped up by the fact that there’s pent-up demand for new housing because few new homes were built in the years since home prices collapsed at the end of 2005.  It’s not a situation that can last forever.  Clear interest rates will eventually have to increase as the Federal Reserve scales back its efforts to keep money “cheap”.  For every point the interest rate goes up, say for an average house in Lee County, a $250,000 house, that’s $20,000 less borrowing power the buyer has.  For bigger houses the effect is dramatic.

One problem that isn’t coming back soon is the prevalence of foreclosures that drove down prices as foreclosed homes came pouring back on the market after prices fell apart.  Most of the people vulnerable to a foreclosure have already lost their homes.

But ongoing economic uncertainty may have an effect on how strongly the baby boomers’ retirement plans continue to support this market as boomers decide how long to work before retiring and buying a home or lots and acreage for sale in the area.

To buy into the robust Lee County, FL real estate market contact a member of the Gratia Group Land Sales Team at (239) 333-2221.


Gratia Group Featured Plots of the Week: HUGE 22 Lot Package for Investors

GG PhotoAre you an investors looking to break into the SWFL real estate investment scene or are you an expert investor in the regions robust investment market?  If, so the Gratia Group  Featured Plots of the Week will make you jump to buy!  The Featured Plots this week are an incredible package of 22 ready to build lots for sale in Florida’s Charlotte and Sarasota Counties.  These two counties are currently experiencing the highest rate of growth in all of SWFL, making investment purchase ideal.

With over 28 miles of white sand beaches, over 20 world class golf courses, access to some of the best fishing and boating opportunities in Florida, over 70 parks, nature preserves & recreation areas; Sarasota and Charlotte Counties are perfect places to call home making your investment property apt to be sold quickly and at a high ROI.

Act fast!  With an average lot price of only $3, 940, builders purchasing at a rapid rate in both counties and prices slated to rise in February 2014, the time for investors to get in on the Gratia Group Featured Plots of the Week is running out!  To take advantage on these inexpensive Florida lots for sale, contact a member of the Gratia Group land sales team at (239) 333-2221.

US Land Market is Win-Win Investment Choice for Canadian Investors

Millions of Americans have lost their homes, jobs and retirement funds throughout a dire financial crisis including the vast breakdown of the housing market, which has gripped the nation since around 2007.  Many financial analysts feel that the housing market in the areas hardest hit by the real estate market breakdown like Florida, California and Nevada, has finally hit its rock bottom.  This is great news for Canadian investors looking to purchase investment real estate and investment land for sale as parcels are being sold well below fair market value.

Another sign pointing towards investment in the US real estate market is the economic conditions in Canada versus the US.  The Canadian dollar remains incredibly strong against the US dollar and given the current economic forecast for both nations and foreign exchanges, any investment in the US market will create a strong return on investment.

If you take both of these facts into consideration, the current state of the US real estate market & economy and the value of the Canadian dollar to the US dollar, buying a beautiful plot of real estate at unprecedentedly low prices is a win-win situation for any Canadian investor.

To learn more about purchasing a piece of paradise, land for sale in Florida, contact a member of the Gratia Group land sales team at (239) 333-2221.

Gratia Group Featured Lot of the Week: 4101 SW 14th Place, Cape Coral, FL 33914

Ring in the New Year with a new investment!  The Gratia Group Featured Lot of the Week is a wise investment choice for local or foreign investors in 2014.  The beautiful, sunny lot is located at 4101 SW 14th Place, Cape Coral, FL 33914 in the highly desirable Southwest Cape Coral neighborhood, just blocks from the bustling Cape Coral Parkway.

This lot is located in a highly maintained area of upscale homes with impeccable landscaping, golf courses and more, making it an easy land parcel to sell in the future for a high ROI if you are looking for investment land for sale.  Additionally, the lot has been previously cleared and is ready for building.

Own a piece of tropical paradise when you purchase this lot.  Located just minutes from white sand beaches and the Gulf of Mexico, this parcel epitomizes “Florida Living.”  To learn more about this beautiful Cape Coral lot for sale or other plots available throughout Southwest Florida, contact the region’s land sale expert, Gratia Group at (239) 333-2221.