Lee foreclosures up in June
Permits for homes highest since March
The number of both mortgage foreclosures and permits pulled for single-family homes in Lee County both popped up in June, according to reports released Friday.
In separate reports by municipalities, a total of 126 single-family permits were pulled. It was the highest since 131 in March. Only Fort Myers Beach's number was not available.
Meanwhile, lenders filed 468 mortgage foreclosure lawsuits in Lee County in June, up from 345 in May but down from 890 in June 2010, according to statistics released by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association.
It was the highest number since 656 were reported in October.
Jeff Tumbarello, director of the investment association, said the higher number bears watching, but doesn't necessarily mean a second wave of foreclosures is coming.
"If we have another increase next month it's certainly time to start watching it," Tumbarello said. "One month doesn't make a trend."
Meanwhile, 773 foreclosed properties were sold at public auction in June, almost the same as May's 774 and sharply down from June 2010's 1,318, the report states.
Foreclosures spiked sharply after Southwest Florida's housing bubble burst at the end of 2005. The all-time high month for foreclosures was October 2008 with 2,665.
Building permits have been bumping along at a low level - usually around 100 a month - for the past two years. In the boom, there often were more than 1,000 in a month.
Roger Schutt, developer of both Calusa Ridge LLC on Pine Island and Celebration Cape in Cape Coral, said three new homes were permitted in Celebration Cape in June and one in Calusa Ridge.
Buyers tend to be looking for a vacation or retirement home, and a lot are paying cash, Schutt said. The market's looking better than it has for awhile, he added.
"I think we're starting to turn that corner. I think we're going to have a reasonably strong summer," Schutt said.
Unincorporated Lee County and the municipalities in the county issue separate reports on permits:
UNINCORPORATED COUNTY: 45
CAPE CORAL: 22
BONITA SPRINGS: 14
FORT MYERS: 41
FORT MYERS BEACH: NOT AVAILABLE.