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Cape area No. 1 in foreclosures – again

By Staff | Dec 13, 2008

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area claimed the highest rate of foreclosure activity during November, according to a report released this week from Realty Trac, a California-based company that tracks foreclosed properties.
In the metro area, one in every 59 housing units received a foreclosure filing — a default notice, auction sale notice, or bank repossession — in November, making it first among the 230 metro areas nationwide included in the report.
Statewide foreclosures were down 9 percent from October, but Florida foreclosures still ranked second behind Nevada and was up 68 percent from November 2007.
The glut of foreclosures is bringing in buyers, with prices plummeting as banks attempt to offload homes.
According to First American Core Logic, a company that collects and analyzes real estate information, there were 944 single-family homes sold in the metro area in October, compared to 823 in October 2007. Prices, however, were down more than 23 percent from last year, with the metro area’s median sale price dropping to $147,250.
“I believe that we continue to see more buyers,” said Gloria Tate, a real estate agent with Raso Realty.
Gary Tasman, executive director of the Cushman & Wakefield commercial real estate firm, said he thinks Gov. Charlie Crist’s plan to issue a voluntary moratorium on foreclosures Dec. 1 led banks to fast-track foreclosures in November, artificially inflating the state’s numbers.
While the moratorium will last 45 days and Tasman maintains foreclosure activity will be down the next three months, home prices may decline as a result of a plan by Lee County Clerk of Court Charlie Green to push more foreclosures through the system.
“In my opinion, (prices) will go down just because of the supply and demand functions,” Tasman said.
Green maintains the plan to fast-track foreclosures won’t deflate home values.
“No, they’re going to hit the market anyway so why prolong it and drag out the situation?” Green said.