WCI establishes real estate app

When Canadians Martin and Sheila Kleiman want to see progress on the home they’re building at Pelican Preserve, they’ll just tap a button on their free iPad.

The couple will know when construction workers pour slabs of concrete, and they’ll view photos when the frames go up at their two-bedroom, 1,700-square-foot Fort Myers home — all from their summer residence in Ottawa.

The Kleimans are using the newly launched MyWCi application to stay up-to-date on the construction process and to learn about happenings at Pelican Preserve. The app is loaded on free iPads WCI Communities is giving to those who purchase a new home in four developments in which it’s building residences.

Many real estate firms are launching applications and new technologies, but WCI may be among the first builders to introduce its own application and give away tablet computers.

Buyers at Pelican Preserve received the iPads as part of a pilot program in February. Now, clients building homes at Tiburon in Naples, Manchester Square in Naples and Venetian Golf & River Club in Venice also are receiving the iPads as gifts.

Homes in the communities range from the low $200,000s to $300,000s, save for Tiburon, where prices begin at about $700,000.

The Bonita Springs-based builder is working with the Apple store at Coconut Point in Estero to get more recently released iPad 2s to fulfill its backlog. When supply catches up to demand, the company estimates it will have given away between 60 and 80 of the portable devices, said Connie Boyd, vice president of communication and public relations for WCI. Retail price for iPad 2s begins at about $500.00. Courtesy of News Press. Search Fort Myers Real Estate.

Fort Myers Real Estate Resales Increase

Home resales increased 6.2 percent in the Fort Myers area market in March.

Members of the Realtors Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach Inc. reported 1,556 single-family home sales last month. That was up more than 31 percent from the resales made in February 2011.

The median price — the price at which half the homes sell for more and half for less — increased slightly to $92,816 in March, up from $92,000 in February and $90,000 a year ago.

Pending home sales, or new contracts, also jumped last month. There were 3,660 contracts written in March, up from 2,603 in the same month a year ago.

Combined, foreclosure and short sales — sales made for less than the bank is owed to avoid foreclosure — continue to comprise the bulk of the market. But traditional sales saw a gain last month and made up more than 45 percent of the total market.

The statistics reflect home sales made with the help of a Realtor through the Realtor association’s multiple listing service, or MLS. Search Fort Myers Real Estate

Home sales strong in Cape Coral Florida

Homes are selling in Cape Coral.

Inventory for single-family homes is down more than 4,300 homes compared to four years ago, said Paula Hellenbrand, past president of the Cape Coral Association of Realtors.

In fact, there aren’t enough homes to keep up with interested buyers.

“We have made a major impact on the market,” said Hellenbrand, who also is the broker/owner of Encore! Realty Services. “It’s all about supply and demand. There is a higher demand and lower supply ... The market is fantastic, it’s the best it’s been in five years.”

Steve Koffman, a broker and Realtor with Century 21 Sunbelt, believes the lower inventory is partly due to banks having pulled 22 percent of foreclosed homes off the market in the fall to go back through the process and ensure all procedures were followed correctly.

He said the question is whether those homes will be placed back on the market all at once, or if they’ll trickle in a few at a time. Either way, business in the Cape has been good, he said.

Koffman’s Century 21 team was ranked third in the country and first in Florida last year for sales within the company. Over the past few weeks, his agents have sold three million-dollar homes. Normally, only one sells each month in all of Cape Coral, he said.

“There are definitely a lot of people looking for homes right now,” Koffman said. “... Price is driving everything ... Foreclosures are selling twice as fast as regular home sales.”

About 60 percent of homes that have been selling recently are foreclosures and short sales, Koffman said.

But that doesn’t mean other homes aren’t selling, too. Hellenbrand said it’s definitely a seller’s market on the lower end of the price spectrum and that well-priced listings are selling quickly.

The market of homes priced under $150,000 is strongest right now. And the market moving up toward $250,000 also is strong, but not as strong, she said. Homes priced in the $250,000 to $500,000 range have about five to six months of inventory, Hellenbrand said, while homes from $500,000 to $1 million have more inventory that there is demand. Courtesy of the Fort Myers News Press. Search Fort Myers Real Estate