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City issuing more single-family home permits

By Staff | Jun 29, 2010

Cape Coral is seeing an increase in building permits for single-family homes this year.
While it’s still a far cry from the incredible boom of the last decade, so far the city has nearly matched all of the single-family permits issued in 2009, just through May of 2010.
Through May of fiscal year 2009, there were 84 single-family permits pulled, with 159 for the entire fiscal year. Through May of 2010, there have been 143 permits.
“They (builders) are seeing an increase in activity,” said Heather Mazurkeiwicz, executive director of the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association. “From an industry standpoint, it appears the quality and quantity of the real estate market might be drying up because people are looking to build their own homes.”
Aubuchon Homes recently announced it is riding a “new wave” of real estate growth, with contracts to build 15 new homes and for three remodeling projects.
Mazurkeiwicz said an increase in remodeling permits was a positive sign, as was the recent hiring of two new customer service representatives in the city’s permit department.
“I’m holding my breath,” she said. “The permitting department is seeing a steady incline that has remained steady for a few months … I’m cautiously optimistic we’re climbing out of the economic downturn.”
Unincorporated Lee County has also seen a slight increase in their single-family home permitting.
From Oct. 1, 2008, through May 31, 2009, the county issued 219 single-family permits.
From Oct. 1, 2009, through May 31, 2010, the county issued 252 single-family permits.
Joan Laguardia, from Lee County Community Development, said commercial permitting is still lagging in unincorporated areas, as it is throughout Lee.
She said that foreclosure sales are still relatively strong, and with mortgage rates still historically low, she’s not surprised that single-family home permits are creeping up.
Still, Laguardia said it’s impossible to know what it all means at this stage of the game.
“We’re not prognosticators. The only safe thing we can say is it’s not going to get any worse,” she said.
Diane Van Arsdale from Team Abuchon could not be reached for comment.