Home buying in Charlotte County on the rise

Author: dave culbreth

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- Waterfront property is a hot commodity in Southwest Florida. With real estate prices bouncing back big time, there is one area experts say may still offer a bargain.

“We’re probably on the average of 20 to 25 percent less on the water than our surrounding counties,” said Bob Miller with the Charlotte Desoto Building Industry Association.

Realtor John Bockin says in the last year, 374 homes were sold in Charlotte County. That’s an increase of almost 25 percent from the previous year.

“We don’t have the traffic because we don’t have the population as those other communities,” said realtor Bockin.

Not only are the sales of existing homes on the waterfront increasing but, according to Miller, people are building many new homes as well.

“I know that the average builder in town has probably got six to eight contracts going right now versus a year ago they were lucky to have one to three,” said Miller.

The county’s code enforcement office says in the first 10 months of 2014, it issued 503 permits to build new homes.

“People come down and they say ‘ hey, show me something less than 5 years old,’ we have nothing to show them. Show me something less than 10 years old, we don’t have much to show them. And so they say, ‘okay, I’m gonna buy a lot and build a new house,'” said Bockin.

Just how many of those people pay cash?

“We run about 65 percent cash transactions in the county as a whole,” said Bockin, “and in Punta Gorda it’s about 82 percent.”

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