RealtyTrac LogoHome prices in Collier and Lee County have increased considerably in the past two years, but fall far short of their pre-recession levels.

A recent study by housing data firm RealtyTrac, using April sales figures, shows that the median sale price for homes in Collier County is still 38% below the peak of $390,000 which was reached in May of 2006. Home sale prices in Lee County reached their highest level in January of 2007 and are still 44% below the $256,000 paid at that time.

Median home prices bottomed out in Collier County at $150,000 in October of 2010. Lee County median prices reached their low point of $74,900 in November of 2010.  According to RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist, Home prices in Southwest Florida can still be considered bargains when considering historical data.  “There are still a lot of homeowners who bought near the peak who are experiencing negative equity,” he said. “But for buyers, it’s encouraging news. Home prices in Southwest Florida are at relatively low levels.”

Adds Jim Barbour, of Pollard & Hedrich Realty Inc.,” Many buyers today are surprised at how quickly home prices have risen. They fail to take into account that prices had reached an artificial low in 2010 through 2012, much like the artificially high prices from 2006 through 2007.” Barbour continues “Inflation is another price factor that is rarely considered.  We’re now eight years out from the housing price bubble and collapse, and although the market has a long way to go to reach pre-recession prices, it will take even more time to reach the valuations seen during the high period of the boom when comparing the buying power of a dollar in 2006 to the buying power of a dollar down the road.”

 

Nationally, median home prices increased in April to the highest level since December 2008.

“U.S. median home prices have now increased 21 percent since hitting bottom in March 2012, although they are still 28 percent below their pre-recession peak of $237,537 in August 2006,” Blomquist says. “There are a surprising number of markets, however, where median home prices have surpassed their previous peaks since the Great Recession ended in June 2009.”

Since the recession ended in June 2009, median prices of residential property have surpassed pre-recession and recession levels (Jan 2005 through June 2009) in 53 counties, representing 19 percent of the 274 U.S. counties with a population of 200,000 or more where sufficient home price data is available.

New home price peaks were reached in the last two years in 28 counties, representing 10 percent of the total 274 counties analyzed, and seven counties reached new home price peaks in April 2014.