Housing construction increased by 52 percent in 2012 compared to 2011 in Collier and Lee counties, a new report shows.
And a resurgence of home building has been under way since the summer of 2009, with a forecast for higher levels of construction in the next year in Southwest Florida, states a report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm.
In the last three months of 2012, builders began constructing 625 homes, compared with 411 four quarters ago.
"We expect starts to increase steadily during the quarters to come," said Brad Hunter, director of Metrostudy's Naples/Fort Myers market. "The level of under-construction inventory has risen sharply, reflecting the recent surge in demand in Lee and Collier counties."
In Lee, starts of single-family homes increased 41.5 percent from the last quarter of 2011 to the last three months of 2012.
And Collier County builders began construction on 284 homes in the final quarter of 2012, which is up 67 from a year earlier.
Fort Myers-Cape Coral in top 20 U.S. metros for foreclosure activity
The Fort Myers-Cape Coral market ranked No. 18 nationally in foreclosure rates for 2012, according to a new RealtyTrac study.
Florida cities accounted for eight of the 20 highest metro foreclosure rates, led by Miami at No. 5. Joining Fort Myers-Cape Coral and Miami in the top 20 were Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at No. 6; Orlando at No. 8; Tampa at No. 12; Lakeland at No. 13; Jacksonville at No. 14; and Ocala at No. 19.
Except for Fort Myers-Cape Coral, all Florida cities in the top 20 documented increasing foreclosure activity from 2011 to 2012, reported the Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac. Foreclosure rankings are based on default filings, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.
For all of Lee County, there were 7,606 new foreclosure filings in 2012, up more than 40 percent from 5,417 in 2011, according to county clerk records. That compared to 10,481 in 2010 and 21,277 in 2009.
Last year, Collier County saw 2,892 new foreclosure filings. That was up more than 27 percent from 2,270 in 2011, but down more than 48 percent from 4,395 in 2010, county clerk records show. In 2009, there were 8,203 filings — the most seen in the county since the foreclosure crisis hit.
Broadcaster is keynote speaker at ceremony
Marcellus Alexander Jr., executive vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters, will visit Naples on Friday.
Alexander is the keynote speaker for the third annual Face Awards, which recognizes Southwest Florida individuals and businesses that embrace and promote the positive values of diversity and help others. The event is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Waldorf Astoria, 475 Seagate Drive.
Cost is $90 per person. Tickets are available at www.faceswfl.com.
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