“Lee County foreclosures in September fell to their lowest level since the housing market collapsed in 2006 while home permits continued a slow, cautious recovery, according to statistics released Wednesday.
Lenders filed 166 foreclosure lawsuits, down from 204 in August and 239 in September 2013, a report by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investors Association states. Jeff Tumbarello, director of the association and owner/broker of Steelbridge Realty in North Fort Myers, said its unlikely foreclosures will return to their previous highs anytime soon because the majority of sales in the past four years have been made without mortgages.
"It's a sustainable market that's growing and that's driven by cash," he said, noting that "If you bought a house in 2010 in Lehigh Acres for $50,000, they're running in the $120,000s now." Foreclosures bottomed out in October 2005, when 127 were filed.
They reached a high of 2,665 in October 2008 before gradually falling until settling until the 200-300 range over the past year. Meanwhile, builders pulled 270 single-family-home permits in September – one more than in September but sharply up from 172 in September 2013.”
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