LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Some shocking numbers are out Thursday. The Cape-Coral – Fort Myers area leads the entire country in foreclosures. So we wanted to know, how did we get into this mess?
“You drive down the street and you see on one block of the street there are so many houses for sale, so many houses in foreclosure. It’s amazing,” said attorney, Eviana Martin.
In fact, one out of every 64 homes in the Cape Coral – Fort Myers area has a foreclosure filing. That’s according to the group, RealtyTrac.
Martin, who handles foreclosures and bankruptcies, believes investors played a big role.
“I just think that a lot of people invested into real estate in hopes to make money and they just couldn’t dispose of this property, sell this property on time to make money,” she said.
Real estate agent, Brett Ellis, also says that when the market was good, investors flooded the area probably more than anywhere else in the country.
“All these investment groups that were touting this is the place to be cause we had the affordable land, until it wasn’t affordable anymore,” said Ellis.
According to Martin, pricing did make a difference compared to other popular hot spots, such as Miami.
“There are more people from South America who came to Miami and bought those properties. People who could afford the mortgage still,” said the attorney.
And it was also about availability.
“We had more single family homes that were more attractive. More supposedly, more rentable, so therefore more investors were prone to the area,” added Ellis.
Of course now, homes that are being foreclosed on are not just investment properties. Because of the tough economy in general, a number of those are from families who just couldn’t keep up with the payments.