Lee existing home sales, prices fall in October

The number of existing single-family homes sold in October in Lee County was 1,016, down 28 percent from a year earlier, according to statistics released today by the Florida Association of Realtors.

In addition, the median price of a single-family home sold in October was $90,000, down 2 percent from October 2009, the association’s report said.

Only sales assisted by a Realtor are included in the association’s numbers.

Compared to September, the number of homes sold in October was down 8 percent from September’s 1,102 and the median price was down 5 percent from September‘s $94,400, according to the association.

In a separate report also released today, the National Association of Realtors said sales dropped slightly nationwide in October as the housing market continues to battle tough economic conditions including high unemployment and tight credit.

Sales of previously owned homes dipped 2.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million units. The performance was weaker than had been expected, the national association reported.

Economists at JPMorgan Chase had forecast that sales would rise in October to an annual rate of 4.60 million units.

The median price for a home sold in October was $170,500, down 0.9 percent from a year ago, as prices continue to be depressed by weak sales conditions and a huge overhang of unsold homes.

Sales had plunged to the slowest pace in 15 years in July and then posted gains in August and September before slipping back in October. Sales in October were 38.9 percent below their peak of 7.25 million units set in September 2005 during the height of the housing boom.

The Realtors group said that the moratorium that many big lenders imposed on foreclosures may have dampened sales in October by introducing more uncertainty in the sales market. But they said a bigger problem is the tight lending standards that banks have put in place in the wake of record foreclosures. Article courtesy of the Fort Myers News Press.

Fort Myers Area second in Foreclosed Properties

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area had the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country in October, according to statistics released today by Irvine, Calif.-based housing data company RealtyTrac.

Some of the report's other findings:
- The area had one foreclosure filing during the month for every 96 housing units, second only to Las Vegas, which had one in 70.
- Other Florida metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 were Miami at No. 7 and Orlando at No. 10.
- Florida foreclosure activity showed the nation's second-highest state foreclosure rate for the third month in a row: one in every 155 housing units received a foreclosure filing, 2.5 times the national average and second only to Nevada's rate of one in 79.
Nationwide, the number of U.S. homes repossessed by lenders last month fell by the sharpest margin this year, as several major lenders temporarily halted most or all of their foreclosures amid allegations thousands of foreclosures were handled improperly.
Home repossessions dropped 9 percent from September to October.
In recent weeks, some lenders that had suspended taking action against borrowers severely behind in payments have announced plans to resume doing so, though at a more measured pace.
Banks have seized more than 909,000 homes through the first 10 months of the year and are on pace to take back more than 1 million homes this year. Article courtesy of Fort Myers News Press.