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Report: Property values increasing in Cape

By Staff | May 11, 2011

Property valuations are on the rise in the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area by nearly 2.4 percent, according to Zillow.com, but property values across the country are still in free fall and likely not to reach bottom at least until the first quarter of 2012, they say.
The online value index indicated property values fell faster in the first quarter of 2011 than in any quarter since 2008, and that values decline more than 8 percent year over year.
Cape Coral saw increases across the board, according to Zillow, with an increase in value of 1.2 percent between February and March of this year, and an increase in value of 3.1 percent quarter to quarter.
Year over year, property values rose only 0.9 percent in the Cape, according to Zillow.
Alison Paoli from Zillow said that since values plummeted so greatly in the area, that it was an eventuality that values would stabilize, or show some signs of recovery.
“Eventually there is a point where supply and demand reach an equilibrium,” she said.
Cape Realtor Gloria Tate said the Zillow numbers were “close” to what she see believes are the actual property valuations locally. Although she did not speculate as to what values will look like this year, she doubted they would decline 25 percent, or 12 percent, like they have the last two years.
“The decline has lessened to some extent,” she said.
A large influx of European and Canadian investors has helped the Cape real estate market tremendously, she said, as had groups like Take Pride in the Cape, that clean up vacant properties, and in turn, help to increase values, Tate said.
If the city can find a clear path to bringing back the utilities program, many of the vacant homes in the north would likely find buyers, she added.
“It’s difficult for me as a Realtor to say to clients that someday there will be an assessment, but not know when that assessment will kick in,” Tate said. “That uncertainty has driven properties with water and sewer to have more value.”
Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson declined comment as his office is still working on this year’s valuations. Property values are due this summer.