Hopefully all of my blog readers are also subscribers to my newsletters. I want to share some great information with those of you that aren’t newsletter subscribers.
Brenda and I were fortunate enough to be invited to attend the Bonita Estero Market Pulse at Florida Gulf Coast University on February 15. One of speakers at the Event was economist Brad Hunter of MetroStudy.
Economist Hunter provided us with encouraging data. In Collier County, home starts are up by 137%. “This is a stronger market than any other I’ve looked at,” Hunter said. Data from the Bonita-Estero region showed 641 new home starts last year, indicating a 38% increase. According to economist Hunter, this production level is double what it was in 2008. Hunter explained that foreclosures in Lee and Collier counties continue to restrain sale prices. There were 3,864 foreclosures in Lee County last year, down from a peak of 13,212 in 2009. Hunter also tempered his enthusiasm with the caveat that when mortgage rates go back to 6%, people who now can afford a $225,000 home would only be able to afford a $180,000 home.