Unofficial numbers show SW Florida real estate sales rose in June. Official numbers will be reported July 20, so as we are writing this article early in the week we have to go with internal numbers that show sales rose in June even as inventory numbers fell once again. We lost another 230 units of single family home inventory as many have been questioning where are the foreclosures banks said were coming.
From the beginning we questioned how many foreclosures would hit SW Florida as the distressed inventory directly impacts our market. Nobody seems to have a firm answer other than to say more are coming, and we don’t doubt that. The question is to what degree.
While sales rose in June, pending sales are down as we simply don’t have as much inventory to sell. Foreclosure sales in Fort Myers rose by 16 homes while Cape Coral foreclosures fell by 19 homes. Lehigh Acres foreclosure sales rose by 7.
This past week we were assigned 3 more foreclosure listings, so perhaps this is the beginning of the banks being able to release inventory. Banks have been hamstrung as legal proceedings have shown many of the banks didn’t follow proper legal procedures to foreclose on certain mortgages in certain states, and it’s caused banks to go back and start many foreclosures over and cancel hearings on others until they sort out where the mistakes were made and correct them.
In light of this legal situation, banks have increasingly been more diligent at handling and agreeing to short sales as it may take much longer for the bank/investor to be paid back partial principal if the home is tied up for months or years in foreclosure. We feel there is no advantage to holding back inventory and the sooner we sell all distressed inventory the sooner our market can recover. Others feel by holding back you can prop up prices. We believe in an attempt to prop up prices you ultimately prolong the recovery and keep prices down for longer than if you just take the medicine and deal with it.
Without naming names, we have seen some entities holding back, but this may also be that they can only show so many losses at a time on the balance sheet.. For the most part, most banks are bringing inventory to the market as quickly as they legally can.
As of today, foreclosure listing inventory is up over last month. Fort Myers has 35 more units on the market, Cape Coral has 22 more units on the market, and Lehigh Acres has 15 more units. This could be a sign that banks are releasing. One month doesn’t make a trend, but it is a reversal in direction and July 2011 could be the beginning of that last wave to hit the market.
We’ve just added a new Cape Coral Real Estate Blog in German for our German readers. Be sure to check back for timely real estate information and videos in German. Sharyl Leifeld is a buyer specialist on the Ellis Team who speaks German and promotes education to German’s about the SW Florida real estate market.