9 Core Realty Featured Lot of the Week: Lehigh Acres Parcel Perfect for Investors & Developers

Lakeridge Lehigh AcresThis week’s 9 Core Realty Featured Lot takes us just east of Fort Myers, to Lehigh Acres, Florida and a huge parcel of undeveloped land.  Located at 212 Lakeridge Blvd. Lehigh Acres, FL 33972 it is close to golf courses, shopping and restaurants and is a perfect Lehigh Acres Land lot for investors & developers.  Listed for the extremely low price of $29,000 and being located in such a desirable area of Lehigh Acres, this lot is expected to sell quickly.

Lehigh Acres is a diverse community of approximately 80,000 residents.  Just 12 miles east of Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres boasts ponds, lakes and canals.  With 175 miles of canals and 16 well-stocked lakes, Lehigh Acres is a perfect place for both fishing enthusiasts and beginners alike to call home.  For a change of pace, the Gulf of Mexico and its nearby barrier islands provide spectacular saltwater fishing opportunities, with bountiful grouper, mackerel, redfish, snapper, snook and trout.  Lehigh Acres’ is also home to four championship golf courses.  With parks, lakes, tennis, and safe roads for bicycling or walking, this charming suburban enclave is the ideal community for families or seniors seeking an affordable and laid-back lifestyle.

To learn more about this lucrative Lehigh Acres lot for investment purposes contact a member of the 9 Core Realty team at (239) 333-2221.

The Housing Market in Lee County is Back!

In February 2009, five years ago, The New York Times offered a story under a Lehigh Acres dateline: “In Florida, Despair and Foreclosures.”  The first sentence was not just a report but a harbinger of unhappiness still to come: “Despair has moved into this once middle-class exurb of Fort Myers.”  That sentence might have been written to introduce horror stories about other exurbs or suburbs or the cities of the Southwest coast themselves, Naples or Bonita Springs, Fort Myers or Cape Coral or Port Charlotte.  The real estate market, which had suddenly begun to resemble an unhappy rodeo bull, had thrown the economy of the region, the state and the country on its head.

But that was then. Now, the unemployment rate hovers around 6 percent and real estate statistics continue to rise as well.  From south to north the numbers have changed. Buyers, significant percentages of them, are “end users” as the parlance goes, not just investors, but whoever they are, many are buying land in Florida with cash.  Mortgages are secured only with solid credit, and now in each market here, slowly shrinking inventories have reached roughly a six-month supply, a comfortable base from which to do business.

But numbers are always tricky and sometimes even misleading.  Since inventory is down prices are rising at 8 to 12 percent, depending on where one is in the market.  If you want to sell a home below $200,000 (the sweet spot is $150,000) you will be happy to be in a seller’s market because the inventory is four to six months. If you are selling between $200,000 and $350,000, you’re in a pretty even market.  But if you own a home valued at above $350,000, the inventory is 12 to 18 months and buyers are still in control.

To learn more about the Lee County real estate and purchasing Lee County real estate contact a member of the Gratia Group Sales team at (239) 333-2221.

Florida Population Growth Returns to Normal Levels

After growth screeched to a halt during the recession, people are moving back to Florida.  Researchers project 192,091 new faces will arrive in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties over the next seven years.  The coastal stretch is already home to an estimated 1.1 million people.

Lee County leads the way, growing 20.2 percent, twice the rate of Florida as a whole, to reach 773,500 people by 2020.  Collier will absorb 49,537 new residents and Charlotte 12,421.

The projections from the University of Florida are based on past growth. They’re a conservative estimate between the lowest and highest estimates. Population increases fuel economic development but also pose infrastructure and environmental challenges.

Waterfront property and activities are top selling points driving people to Florida.  Water, for drinking, swimming, fishing, but first of all for our natural habitat, is key to a healthy economy.

People move to Florida for a wide variety of reasons. It’s known as a place where they come to retire or start over, for instance. And as more arrive, housing inventory is being reduced and construction is picking up. That in turn attracts new residents. There is also no personal income tax in the state.

Florida lost a small percent of its population because of the recession. Now the state is on track to surpass New York this year if it hasn’t yet already. That would make it the third most populous state behind California and Texas.

Through 2020, Florida is projected to absorb some 1.9 million new people, pushing the population past 21.1 million.

For now growth is trending steadily upwards in Southwest Florida, albeit not at the breakneck pace seen in the early to mid-2000s. Cape Coral, the region’s most populous city, grew by 6,764 people between 2010 and 2013, UF estimates show. Nearly 160,000 reside in the Cape.

Many homebuyers are baby boomer retirees from the Midwest and Northeast, but a surprising number are younger.

But with all the growth, is Southwest Florida gearing up for another precarious real estate bubble? Lee County especially Lehigh Acres was often cited as a “ground zero” for the housing meltdown that preceded the recession. Many economic forecasters feel the region is going to see sustained growth in more of a normal market. As once vacant homes and properties left untended during the recession fill up it makes it a lot safer for the buyer.

 

Long-term population projections:

 

Charlotte County

2013: 163,679

2020: 176,100

Change: 12,421

Percent change: 7.6

 

Collier County

2013: 333,663

2020: 383,200

Change: 49,537

Percent change: 14.8

 

Lee County

2013: 643, 367

2020: 773,500

Change: 130,133

Percent change: 20.2

 

Palm Beach County

2013: 1,345,652

2020: 1,465,300

Change: 119,648

Percent change: 8.9

 

Florida

2013: 19,259,543

2020: 21,141,300

Change: 1,881,757

Percent change: 9.8

 

To learn more about the real estate market in SWFL contact a member of the Gratia Group team at (239) 333-2221.

Housing Market in Florida Continues to Grow

Florida’s housing market continued its upswing in October 2013, with more closed sales, higher median prices, more new listings and a stabilizing supply of homes for sale, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors.

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,728 in October 2013, up 6.5 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis Report.  Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Meanwhile, pending sales, contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed, for existing single-family homes last month rose 3.4 percent over the previous October, and new listings increased 16.4 percent.  The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $169,000, up 16.6 percent from the previous year.  The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September 2013 was $199,300, up 11.4 percent from the previous year.  In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $428,810; in Massachusetts, it was $325,000; in Maryland, it was $256,672; and in New York, it was $230,000.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 8,598 units sold statewide last month, up 3.1 percent from October 2012.  Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos last month eased slightly, down 3.6 percent compared to the year-ago figure, but new listings rose 9.8 percent.  The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in October was $130,000, up 22.1 percent over the previous year.

Inventory was at a 5.5-months’ supply in October for single-family homes and at a 5.6-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.19 percent in October 2013, up from the 3.38 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Report-August 2013

It looks like the recession of the housing industry is in full recovery especially throughout Southwest Florida.  Unemployment remains high in many areas of the country and GDP growth is slow.  But the housing market is looking good.

Higher demand paired with lower inventory has led prices to increase across the board.  This limited inventory is mainly due to two factors: years of repressed new home starts and lower foreclosure rates.  Land sales throughout the region including Cape Coral land sales are seeing growth in sales numbers and sales prices.  It’s as simple as the law of supply and demand.  When demand outpaces supply, prices rise. The proof is in the pudding of our current housing market.

Though mortgage interest rates have begun to creep higher, they continue to stay near historic lows.  Following the restructuring of the lending industry at the end of the last decade, banks are doing a much more thorough job at screening borrowers.  People know they’ll need to jump through hoops, and they are prepared.  What we are seeing right now is a pool of buyers that are qualified and ready to move into homeownership.  This pool continues to grow.  Buyer traffic is up 29 percent from last year, but inventory is down 10 percent.

When searching for real estate invesments, it’s easy to get excited when you see this rise in prices.  It’s time to dust off those properties purchased at the bottom of the market and start getting ready to sell.  If you weren’t lucky enough to grab any of those great deals, don’t despair there are still many great lots and land available for sale.   To learn about land for sale in Florida contact a member of the 9 Core Realty land sales team at (239) 333-2221.

It’s a Hot, Hot Summer in the Lehigh Acres, FL Real Estate Market

The Summer of 2013 has been hot to say the least and we aren’t talking temperatures, we’re talking real estate.  The market in Lehigh Acres, a city of 86,784 in Lee County, is on fire this summer with land and home buyers finding great deals throughout the 95.98 square mile town especially on lots and acreage for sale.

Hit hard by the decline of the real estate market in 2008, Lehigh Acres has seen a large resurgence in its real estate market over recent years.  Land and home values are up and selling near market value, making it a great sellers’ market.  On the flip side, there are many great existing homes to be found at low prices through short sale and foreclosure, although they are becoming fewer and farther between.

For the first time since 2007, property values in Lee County are projected to have increased, at nearly 2 percent, with almost all 91 taxing districts seeing its numbers in the black.  Lehigh Acres real estate also has the highest projected increase in overall valuation in Lee County at 5.66 percent.

One of the perks of the Lehigh Acres market is the amount of vacant, available land for home building and investment purchases. There are many great land deals to be found throughout the city. gratiagroup.com is a top seller of Lehigh Acres land and lots and has an extensive property catalog of lots include dry and freshwater.  Visit us at www.9CoreRealty.com or call us at (239) 333-2221 to discuss your Lehigh Acres land needs!