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County housing program hails 2012

February 19, 2013
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program of Lee County has announced 2012 was a successful year. Thanks to this unique affordable housing program, 37 individuals and families were able to purchase NSP homes within the county. In addition, the program brought work opportunities for the contractors, their employees and sub-consultants who carefully renovated each home before Lee County placed the single-family property on the market.

At an average sales price of $107,908, these rehab homes were quick to sell to NSP-qualified buyers.

"The goal of NSP is to stabilize neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis," said NSP of Lee County program manager Shawn Tan. "With home sales and prices going back up and foreclosures declining, we like to think that NSP played an important part in accomplishing this goal."

During the year 2012, NSP of Lee County provided a total of $251,858 in closing cost assistance and over $1.3 million in mortgage assistance to NSP homebuyers.

The positive real estate trend in Lee County is palpable on many fronts. The median price of existing single-family homes in Lee County rose 33 percent to $137,000 in November compared with the same month one year ago, according to data from Realtors. The price surge continues as cheap foreclosures and short sales become harder to find. Traditional sales made up nearly 68 percent of all sales in November, according to the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach.

In Lehigh Acres, one of several NSP target areas, single family home resale inventories decreased by 60 percent since 2010. Distressed properties, such as foreclosures and short sales, decreased dramatically - from 42 percent to 22 percent of the total market. The median listing price of existing single family homes in Lehigh Acres increased by 40 percent per square foot during the last two years.

During 2013 and until the beginning of 2014, workers participating in the NSP of Lee County can look forward to rehabbing another 20 Lee County properties that will then be sold to already approved NSP applicants. County staff also expects to close out the NSP grants as the program funding reaches its conclusion. This means 20 more proud homeowners can look forward to enjoying the benefits of the NSP Porgram.



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