New Home Construction on the Rise

Contractors pulled 106 permits to build single-family houses throughout Lee County in June as a glut of existing product kept prices too low for home building to take off.

June's number was up from the 88 issued in May and the 94 in June 2009, but still bouncing along the bottom in a trend that's been going on since the bottom fell out of the home-building market in 2006.

Michael Timmerman, a Naples-based senior associate with Fishkind & Associates, an Orlando-based economic consulting firm, said few houses are built because the price of an existing home remains so low that new houses generally aren't competitive in price.

As a result, he said, prospective buyers usually choose an existing home.

That won't last forever, he said. "I would expect to see an increase in those permitting in 2011 because the price of existing homes is slowly increasing."

Municipalities and the unincorporated county all do their own permitting. Here's the breakdown:

• Unincorporated Lee County: 46

• Cape Coral: 23

• Fort Myers: 23

• Bonita Springs: 11

• Sanibel: 2

• Fort Myers Beach: 1

In the unincorporated county, permits were issued for four multi-family units, compared to eight in May and two in June 2009.

Six permits were issued in June in the unincorporated county for new commercial buildings collectively valued at $4.9 million, compared to $2.9 million in May and $129,250 in June 2009.

News Press 07-10-2010