The good news for the residential real estate market in southwest Florida is that the number of distressed properties on the market is down. Foreclosures and short sales have continued to decrease from the housing market collapse which began in 2008, according to recently released data from the first quarter of 2016.
RealtyTrac, which compiled the numbers, indicated that foreclosures have now been below pre-recession levels for three consecutive quarters. The decrease is a sign of health for the housing market in Naples. Reflecting this, residential home prices in the area remain strong.
But not all is well if you are struggling to meet your mortgage obligations. Fortunately, while the housing market presents some difficulties for homeowners wishing to get out from an unmanageable mortgage payment, there are options.
Foreclosures and short sales still occur
In February, foreclosures and short-sales for single family homes fell to 11.49 percent of all closed homes, compared to 23.94 percent at the same time last year.
Foreclosures in Collier County fell over 27 percent for the first quarter of 2016. Overall, there were 341 foreclosures of single-family homes in the first part of 2016 in the county, compared to 470 a year ago.
High prices, low sales
Partially due to the lack of distressed homes in Naples, home prices in the area remain high. Compared to the rest of the state, few single-family homes in the area cost less than $200,000. The average single-family home in Naples is $271,250, which is an 8.5 percent increase from 2015.
Home values in Naples are the highest in Florida; Cape-Coral-Fort Myers is in the top half-dozen.
While high home prices are good news for homeowners, the increase in pricing comes with a decrease in sales. That means that homeowners behind on their mortgage payments and wishing to sell may find a quick sale difficult. It is considered a buyers’ market in Naples, as inventory is currently outweighing demand, meaning buyers can be more selective about the homes they choose to purchase.
Need help with foreclosure defense?
Several economic factors may put homeowners struggling to meet their mortgage obligations in a difficult spot. Selling quickly and downsizing may not be feasible. Wage stagnation, coupled with slow job growth, means finding a higher-paying job is not easy either.
The good news is that those homeowners have options. Because home prices remain high but sales are low, banks may consider a loan modification or deed-in lieu of foreclosure, rather than a traditional foreclosure, which can be expensive and time-consuming for all parties.