The Florida Association of Realtors released official home and condo sales numbers for the month of August. Median sale prices were down 41% for single family homes in the Fort Myers Cape Coral area from last year. See SW Florida Real Estate Sale Prices 2005-2008 and were down 5.16% from July’s numbers. See Month Over Month % Price Change Chart Fort Myers Cape Coral Florida.
Median home sale prices in Cape Coral and Fort Myers have fallen 30.84% in three short months, from a median price of $212,400 in May to a median price of $146,900 in August. Home sales were up 31% over last year with 684 sales this year Vs. 520 last year, but home sales were down 11% from July 2008 numbers. Financing has become increasingly difficult for many homebuyers. Even though affordability is back in the market, many good credit homebuyers cannot qualify due to changing underwriting standards and amidst a capital crunch on Wall Street.
It’s also important to note that foreclosures are driving the median home sales price down more so in areas with higher concentration of foreclosures, like Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral. Fort Myers has not see the concentrated number of foreclosures like the previous two areas, and home prices have not suffered as much in many areas in Fort Myers because of that.
Anywhere we saw rampant speculation building; we saw rampant cases of investors/speculators walking away from their investment. Most of these homes were built in 2005 and 2006 with no end user in mind. The speculators were convinced they’d buy as many houses as the banks would lend money on and flip them to a buyer or another speculator for large profits. This strategy worked until we ran out of bigger fools, and the whole strategy came crashing down, taking lenders with them, as well as legitimate end users who bought in that time frame.
Now banks and Wall Street are in trouble and asking the taxpayer for a bailout. Most people are strongly against this idea, and yet the government is probably going to have to get involved in some capacity whether we like it or not to protect a domino effect of financial institutions from crumbling under their past poor decisions.
It’s not right, but it is where we’re at today, and unfortunately we may all have to pay for the sins of others.