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Fort Myers: recovery central?

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  • | 4:25 p.m. May 20, 2011
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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As Floridians continue to watch for a true recovery in the real estate market, could the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metro area be setting the pace?

It's one thing for property sales to increase by volume; that's been happening statewide for months now. It happened again in April, too, as home sales increased 2% by volume over the year, and condo sales increased 17%, according to Florida Realtors.

But for the most part, those increases appear to be driven by continually falling prices. The median sale price for an existing single family home was $131,700 in April, down 6% over the year; for condos, the median price was $91,900, down 8%.

But in Fort Myers-Cape Coral, prices are rising along with sales volumes. Existing single-family home sales grew 3% by volume during the year there, from 1,473 closings to 1,520, and the median price went up 17%, from $101,500 to $118,900.

The condo market saw the same result: sales were up 15% by volume, to 648 closings, and the median sale price rose 5%, to $141,900.

In contrast, prices continued to fall in both Sarasota-Bradenton and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater. The median sale price for existing Sarasota homes fell 5%, while the median condo price fell 8%. And in Tampa, the median home price fell 11% over the year, while the median condo price dropped 28%.

Earlier this week, the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers reported that traditional sales outpaced distressed sales for the first time in more than two years.


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