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Short Supply of New Construction Homes in SW Florida

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 1:26pm.

New Construction Homes in SW FloridaNaples and Ft. Myers buyers are rapidly depleting the new home construction market. From the first fiscal quarter of 2012 to the same time period in 2013, housing starts were up 47.5% and inventory of new homes fell to 1.5 months. The last fiscal quarter of 2013, the supply dropped to less than 1 month which indicates that nearly every new home was under contract or closed. Builders are seeing a one year cycle in some new construction neighborhoods and many communities are seeing a waiting list for new lots and phases to open.

Grade "A" lots that are finished and developed for new builds are continuing their decline also. In the fourth quarter of 2013, 11,227 total lots were available (not all are in the Grade "A" section, which as we said, are conveying rapidly) which is a 42 month supply, down from the high of 164 months in 2009. Both Lee and Collier County’s Grade "A" lots are all spoken for as of this writing.

Builders are raising prices also, citing rising labor and land costs. Homes in the $200,000 range are rarely available and prices are escalating in the $250,000 to $400,000 categories. The south Lee county area, which includes Estero and Bonita Springs, is experiencing a real shortage of available properties for buyers to consider.

Many buyers who were planning trips to the area for selecting a new construction home are now buying sight unseen in order to lock in the current pricing. With the Southwest Florida Gulf coast experiencing an increase in local hiring and the expected increase in second home and retirement home purchases, many buyers are even more serious then before about making the decision to buy now.

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