From the Southwest Florida News-Press, it appears the building boom has slowed significantly.
'The slide in Lee County's home-building industry continued in November as the number of permits for single-family homes fell to levels not seen in almost four years.
Builders in Cape Coral pulled 152 permits, the fewest since 81 in December 2002. In unincorporated Lee County, which includes Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach, 357 permits were issued — the fewest since 299 in March 2003, according to figures released Monday.'
Have they (like the rest of Florida)(and the United States) overbuilt?
'They're pretty much in a situation of just waiting because there's so much inventory, and you don't want to add inventory" with almost 14,000 existing homes already on the market, he said.
That situation won't change until the inventory of houses starts to shrink, he said.
"They don't want to add more fuel to the fire," Timmerman said.'
And now a story about a guy who's now going to travel 90 miles to live in an affordable house in Lehigh. 90 miles round trip to Naples?!!! That is so sad.
(note: I once had a 77-mile one way commute for 2 years - it was misery, squared)
'About 77 percent of the single-family home permits were for work in Lehigh Acres, valued at about $63.4 million. That's up from October's 74 percent.
The market has stayed relatively strong in Lehigh Acres because prices there are still the lowest in the county, said John McWilliams, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties.
"Lehigh still remains the last bastion of affordability," McWilliams said.
Even in Lehigh, he said, "builders are seeking ways to tweak their home/lot packages below $200,000 because they know that's what has to happen for their building careers to continue."
Jack Bowles, 57, and his wife, Ranae, recently closed a deal with America's First Homes on a three-bedroom, two-bath house in Lehigh for $240,000. They'll move from Naples, where he works at Home Depot and they were renting a house.
Bowles said he probably got twice the home for his money than in Collier County. "In Naples, I wasn't able to buy a home for less than about $300,000 or $350,000," he said. "We spent a whole lot less than that and got a brand new home with a whole lot of amenities."
Now, he said, he has a 90-mile commute but the lower price for his house will more than offset higher gas prices.'