Foreclosures in Lee County were low in October, while permits to build single-family homes remained robust.
Lenders filed 108 foreclosure lawsuits against borrowers in Lee County court during the month – down from 114 in September and 179 a year ago, according to statistics released Monday by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association.
Meanwhile, there were 335 permits pulled throughout the county, municipalities reported Monday.
Bob Knight, president of Cape Coral-based Paul Homes, said the building activity is obvious, but “we’re not even up to a normal speed.”
Heading forward, the construction industry’s biggest challenge, he said, is the lack of skilled labor.
“Trades that never had problems are having problems,” Knight said, citing insulation installers and stucco masons as examples. “The new generation isn’t necessarily jumping into this business like they used to.”
Many people had to leave the industry during the Great Recession, reinventing themselves and forging ahead in other fields. The construction trades have been slow to recover, but Knight thinks younger folks should consider the industry as a viable option.
“There’s a lot of money that can be made,” he said.
During October, contractors pulled 114 permits to build single-family houses collectively valued at more than $23 million in unincorporated Lee County and the Village of Estero. That compares to 118 permits issued in September and 75 issued in October 2014, according to the Lee County Department of Community Development.
Single-family home permits in Lee County, according to municipal reports, were: Cape Coral, 101; Fort Myers, 78; Bonita Springs, 38; Sanibel, 3; and Fort Myers Beach, 1.