The headline in today's business section jumps out to say that the Glut of (vacant) Homes in Lee and Collier Counties (Florida) is SHRINKING. Now I just wish that the headline was on page one of the main section, like all of the negative reporting has been, but I'll take what we can get!
Yesterday I was working up a listing price for a luxury home in central Cape Coral. We had tried unsuccessfully to sell the home a year or so ago and had very little interest from anybody, regardless of price. The owner rented it out at a negative cash flow for a year. Recently a municipal utility expansion project had the street all torn up. So now there is an assessment on the property, but it does have enhanced water, sewer and irrigation water systems. In doing my comparison shopping on the MLS, I discovered several similar models from the same luxury home builder, all located nearby. All were recently sold or pending sale. Surprise! There are people buying these upscale homes! And the prices are not that bad. At least, not in context. all of the homes would have brought $600-700,000. back in the day, and now they are under $400,000. That's less dicount than we see on houses that were $250,000 and now sell for $80,000.
Recently, I assisted in the purchase of two homes by an investor friend. He was looking for something under $100,000. in Cape Coral, which should not have been much of a problem according to the MLS reports. Over a period of three weeks, We got him two homes, one slightly over $100,000, but I was amazed at how many offers we lost because of multiple bidders. It is like a feeding frenzy for the bank-owned homes (REOs).
Short Sales are still difficult because of slow bank response to offers, but that is another story. when will the big banks catch up....or wise up? Finalizing a short sale is a lot less painful to all concerned than going all the way down the foreclosure road.....in my opinion, of course.
Somebody said in their blog recently that If you are looking for a bottom, better look in your rear view mirror. I like the way that rolls off the tongue and it sounds more true every day that goes by.