In the May 2012 issue of the Foreclosure News Report, we will feature the "10 best places to buy foreclosures in 2012."
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro residential real estate market made the short list.
Cape Coral’s property bubble burst six years ago, sending a wave of affordable foreclosures to the shores of Southwestern Florida. Prices have fallen so far there that bargains abound and bidding wars are now commonplace in post-recession Florida, according to Marc Joseph of Marc Joseph Realty, a veteran broker in the area.
Everything considered, there’s a “major shift” taking place in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro real estate market, he noted.
“Conventional sales are way up, while short sales and REO sales are way down,” said Joseph, referring to the shrinking inventory of distressed property. “In March, there were 759 conventional sales, 209 REO sales and 232 short sales. Six-three percent of March sales were conventional sales. Prices are starting to rise too.”
He said he’s seeing a lot of snow birds from the northeast and repeat investors coming into the market. “There’s a lot of out-of-state buyers from the northeast who are purchasing foreclosures — mostly with cash,” he said. “Inventory levels are down. Things have gotten tight.”
Not only are snow birds and investors driving the foreclosure market, but prices are on the rise, he said.
Citing data from the Florida Gulf Coast Multiple Listing Service, Joseph said prices are spiking. “One year ago, the median sold price was $92,816. Now, homes are selling for $124,000.”
But he warned that there are still some headwinds. “Last year, the backlog of foreclosed homes reached 23,000,” he said. “The backlog — or shadow inventory of foreclosures — is down to 9,000. Until I see that number decrease, we’re not out of the woods yet.”
Still, he remains optimistic. “There’s still a large stockpile of foreclosures, but this is a vibrant market. Bottom line: it’s a great time to buy. The sun is still shinning here in Florida. And I’m buying things for myself.”
Readers, can you guess which markets made the Top 10 list?
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