SWFL Still a Nationwide Leader in Foreclosures

LEE COUNTY: According to Realty-Trac, a real estate tracking firm, the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metro area ranks second nationwide in the rate of foreclosures.
According to the firm, one of every 14 homes in Lee County received at least one foreclosure filing in the first half of 2009.
Lee County followed Las Vegas, Nevada which had the highest rate of foreclosure with one in every 13 homes facing foreclosure.
Lane Houk, head of the Lee County Foreclosure Taskforce, estimates Southwest Florida's foreclosure crisis will get worse before it gets better.
"I think you're looking at 12 to 24 months away for real sustainable recovery," he said.
Houk says double digit job loss, adjustable rate mortgages and homeowners tapped out of their savings will be the reason for a new wave of foreclosures.
"I sit with people in this office in tears, people who have said 'I peeled away my 401K, my retirement, our savings, we've asked family.' At some point, you just reach you're breaking point," said Houk.
The Lee County Clerk of Courts has a backlog of 24,000 foreclosure cases.
The daily average of foreclosure filings is down to about 80 new cases a day - a 25-percent drop since last year. Courtesy of the News Press.

Foreclosures, single-family home permits both up in July

Foreclosures were up in July even as builders pulled more permits for single-family homes, according to statistics released today.There were 1,877 foreclosures filed in July, compared to 1,756 in June, according to the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association.

Meanwhile, builders in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and unincorporated Lee County reported that more permits were pulled for single-family homes in July than the previous month, according to reports today by those municipalities.In the county, 33 permits were pulled compared to 24 in June and 49 in July 2008.Cape Coral had 24 permits, compared to 20 in June and 22 in July 2008.Fort Myers had 42 permits, compared to 25 in June and 19 in July 2008.The county also reported that in July:• Permits were issued for eight multi-family units, compared to two the previous month and 24 in July 2008.

Commercial permitting was valued at more than $2.1 million for five permits, compared to nearly $130,000 in June and more than $2.6 million in July 2008.The numbers were a far cry from the fevered pace at the height of the residential construction boom in 2005 when more than 1,000 permits a month were routinely reported countywide. Article courtesy of Fort Myers News Press.