Housing Crash

ftmyersdowntown.jpg

Regular readers of Polis know that I report about real estate for The New York Times, which I often do outside of the city and therefore don’t say much about it here. But in reading an article about a rather dire housing market forecast from Moody’s Economy.com, I was struck by this graph:

The second biggest decline is projected to occur in the Fort Myers, Fla., area, a fall of 18.6 percent from the peak in the final three months of last year to a low-point for prices that is projected to occur in the second quarter of 2007.

I just so happens that one of the pieces I wrote for the Times earlier this year reported on the insane condo building boom going on in Ft. Myers, and cast a skeptical eye on whether or not this was going to be a successful strategy for turning the downtown around, which is very pretty but virtually empty (I took the above pic in February, the height of tourist season). Apparently, skepticism was in short supply when all these condos were approved by the city — something like thirteen high-rise towers in a year and a half, if memory serves. Click here for a PDF of the Times article.

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