South Florida was one of the first “bursts” in our nation’s real estate bubble. It appeared to be one of the first markets to hit bottom. Now South Florida seems to be leading in the recovery according to the latest report from Realtor.com.
Realtor.com’s Top 10 Turnaround Town Report, based on third quarter 2011 data, shows six of the top ten turnaround markets are in Florida: Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota-Bradenton, Lakeland-Winter Haven, and Fort Myers-Cape Coral. In fact, the report cites that Fort Myers-Cape Coral has seen a 33% year over year median price increase!
The Sanibel and Captiva real estate market, though proximate to Fort Myers, has not had the dramatic changes as our neighboring cities. I believe our lack of speculative development and unique value as a barrier island have insulated us from both wild price increases and subsequent catastrophic drops in value. Though we have had a handful of foreclosures, Sanibel has not experienced the wave of foreclosures that swamped Cape Coral and Fort Myers.
This Fall on Sanibel, we have seen an early start to our Season with renewed interest from buyers. Properties at the lower price points have been selling, and we see more activity in the premium housing than in the past few years. Hopefully this trend will continue.