View Full Version : North Port became the region's ground zero

08-23-2007, 12:34 PM
Post-boom hangover lingers
Once ground zero for speculation, now in the throes of an epic slump :D




NORTH PORT -- The first thing you notice as you drive the hundreds of miles of crumbling roads :shock: in this once rapidly growing city is the enormous number of "For Sale" signs.

Every 9th or 10th house is either listed for sale or will be as soon as foreclosure proceedings are concluded. :shock:

All told, as many as 2,000 of North Port's 20,600 homes hang over the market, grossly distorting any semblance of balance between supply and demand, data from the Sarasota County Multiple Listing Service, RealtyTrac.com and Port Charlotte property appraiser Dennis Black shows.

"Drive any block in North Port and you will see four or five 'For Sale' signs in every direction," said Michael Tenn, a Daytona Beach resident still trying to sell the house his grandmother moved out of last year. "Everybody is trying to get rid of property." :D

A few years ago, it was just the opposite.

Speculation was rampant and home prices were bid up rapidly on the theory that retiring baby boomers would pay anything for a place in the sun.

North Port became the region's ground zero for speculation. 8)

With a huge surplus of lots and a government that saw growth as a way to redefine North Port as more than an affordable bedroom community, investors found the city the perfect place to flip houses to new buyers at ever-increasing prices.

It is a game that was played throughout Florida and across the United States during the boom. In North Port, it proved especially attractive because of the lower cost of land and houses, which allowed people of more limited means to play.

Now that the boom is over, North Port is suffering more than any other place in Southwest Florida. Its economy is based on home building and real estate sales, and those industries are now at a virtual standstill.

The victims of the bust are myriad.

Builders have pulled out or seriously curtailed their construction. Some are in the throes of bankruptcy while others have slashed payrolls.

That drop in workers means the businesses that were dependent on them as customers are also suffering. Shops and restaurants, tied to the building trade, have seen their sales drop as fast as the decline in home sales.

Many investors are trying to sell homes but are stuck in the city's enormous glut of offerings.

08-23-2007, 03:14 PM
Ok the problem is not North Port. The problem is that all of the investors that thought they would make a killing came in and bought houses that were 2 years out of completion. Meanwhile you have family's building homes and they see a potential to make money so they take out their equity that they have in a home for 12 months. Equity that you would never have been seen until 7 ot 10 years. Next thing you know, BAM there ARM went up and they lose their home. Not just here in North Port but nation wide.