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That boom you heard is Southwest Florida building industry: It’s back

By JUNE FLETCHER | Sunday, October 27, 2013 | NAPLES

Though new homes are being built at a furious pace, real estate market analysts say they aren’t making a dent in Southwest Florida’s housing shortage.

Shelton Weeks, chairman of the department of economics and finance at Florida Gulf Coast University south of Fort Myers, said the surge is driven by the fact that home prices finally have risen above building replacement costs.

But he doesn’t expect new construction will occur fast enough to have a big effect on the resale market for at least two years.

“I don’t think it will take the edge off,” he said. “I expect a healthy market, but inventory will remain tight.”

The latest statistics from MetroStudy show that for the second quarter, annual housing starts were up nearly 42.8 percent in Collier County and 40.7 percent in Lee County from the same period a year earlier.

The firm expects housing starts to continue to increase steadily for the rest of the year.

But new home inventory still remains extremely tight at below-normal ranges: 1.2 months in Collier County and 1.3 months in Lee, the research firm said.

Meanwhile, builders are underscoring their confidence that the boom will continue by taking out new permits.

In August, they were up 30 percent year-to-date compared with the same period a year earlier in Collier County and 42 percent in Lee, the National Association of Home Builders said.

Naples real estate broker Brenda Fioretti notes that builders are building in every price range and location — except the beach, where land is scarce. Many wealthy buyers are buying an older home for its land value, tearing it down and building a custom “dream home,” she said.

Since new homes generally are more expensive than existing ones, that’s pushing some would-be new home buyers into the resale market, real estate agents say.

Currently there are more than 45 active new home communities from Estero to south Collier County, the web site says. Others will be launched soon.

Here’s a sampling of what’s available:

* * * * *

Bonita Lakes clubhouse
The clubhouse at Bonita Lakes will include a resort-style swiming pool and a separate shallow splash zone. There also will be a Har-Tru bocce ball court and lighted Har-Tru tennis courts. photo: Naples News

Ground-breaking for the clubhouse of this gated community took place in September. About 45 homes are in various stages of permitting and construction. Ten of the home designs have first-floor master suites.

■ Builder and developer: Toll Brothers
■ When started: Fall 2012
■ Number of homes when completed: 268
■ Amenities: Two pools, bocce and tennis courts, recreational facilities
■ Project size: 120 acres
■ Types of homes: One- and two-story villa and estate homes
■ Price range: Low $300,000 to upper $500,000
■ Square footage: 2,058 to 4,354

Camden Lakes, 16088 Camden Lakes Circle, North Naples

Grand opening of models will take place Nov. 2, but 15 percent of the homes have been presold. Homes are targeted to move-up buyers and empty nesters. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.

■ Builder and developer: Pulte Homes
■ When started: July 2013
■ Number of homes when completed: 150
■ Amenities: Heated pool; fitness center; half-court basketball; community gathering room; catering kitchen; outdoor barbecue grill; fire pit; pavilion, and covered verandah
■ Project size in acres: 60
■ Types of homes: 150 single-family homes
■ Price range: high $200,000s to low $600,000s
■ Square footage: 1,750 to 3,500

Esplanade at Hacienda Lakes, 8625 Collier Blvd., Naples
■ Land clearing began in mid-summer for the first residential parcel within the new 2,262-acre master planned community Hacienda Lakes. Built by Taylor Morrison, the 153-acre project will be called Esplanade at Hacienda Lakes. Pricing and home designs haven’t been set.
■ Builder: Taylor Morrison; developer: Hacienda Lakes LLC
■ When started: Models will open in early 2014
■ Number of homes when completed: 443
■ Project size: 153 acres
■ Types of homes: Villas and single-family homes with two or three bedrooms and two-car garages
■ Amenities: The master-planned community eventually will include clubhouses, sports courts, pet park, retail, offices, a hotel, a business park and a public school. About 1,500 acres will be preserve land.

Isles of Collier Preserve, southwest corner of Bayshore and Thomasson drives, Naples

On the edge of Rookery Bay, the 2,400-acre master-planned community once known as Sabal Palm will preserve half of the land. Homes will have an Old Florida design.

■ Builder and developer: Minto Communities
■ When started: January 2013; seven models opening January 2014
■ Estimated buildout: 2024
■ Number of homes when completed: 1,600
■ Amenities: Clubhouse, pool, hiking and biking trails, kayak launch
■ Project size: 2,400 acres
■ Types of homes: Single-family and coach homes to start; later estate homes and multifamily will be built.
■ Price range: low $400,000s to mid $700,000s
■ Square footage: 1,621 to 3,995

Maple Ridge at Ave Maria, 5000 Avila Ave.

The single-family homes are targeted to families; 50 have sold during preconstruction. Eight models will soon open; 10 different floor plans are offered with three-to-six bedrooms. Some lots have lake views.

■ Builder: CC Devco; developer: Ave Maria Development/Barron Collier Cos.
■ When started: June 2013
■ Number of homes completed: Four out of eight models will open in November, and four more by year’s end
■ Number of homes when completed: 1,500
■ Amenities: Clubhouse, 18-hole golf course, water park, lakes, sidewalks, parks, bocce and pickle-ball courts, amphitheater, picnic pavilions, playing fields, walking and bike paths
■ Project size: 618 acres
■ Types of homes: Two single-family collections with two- and three-car garages
■ Price range: Low $200,000s to mid-$300,000s, pre-construction
■ Square footage: 1,935 to 4,032

Mirasol at Coconut Point, 8570 Evernia Court, Bonita Springs

The first phase of seven buildings in this community is sold out, as are four of six new buildings under construction. Buildout is anticipated in three years. About half of the homes have been sold.

■ Builder and developer: D.R. Horton
■ When started: September 2012
■ Number of homes completed: Seven buildings comprising 48 units
■ Number of homes when completed: 200
■ Project size: 23 acres
■ Types of homes: Two- and three-bedroom condos and townhouses, with one- or two-car garages
■ Amenities: Pool, hot tub, rock waterfall, fitness center, game room, community room
■ Price range: high $100,000s to mid $200,000s
■ Square footage: 1,244 to 1,655

Talis Park, 16980 Livingston Road, North Naples

Former NFL player Syd Kitson and his partners bought the former Tuscany Reserve in 2011. Now 12 builders are creating homes along the Greg Norman/Pete Dye golf course. By January, phase one of the clubhouse, seven new models and 20 ready-to-move homes should be ready. The project should be built out in 2017. Ten percent of the homes have been sold.

■ Builders: Borelli Construction, Distinctive Communities, Divco Construction Corp., Fox Custom Builders, Gulfshore Homes, Harbourside Custom Homes, Harwick Homes, Imperial Homes of Southwest Florida, McGarvey Custom Homes, Randall Mitchell Companies, Sunwest Homes and Van Emmerik Custom Homes.
■ Developer: Kitson & Partners
■ When started: October 2012
■ Number of homes completed: 25
■ Number of homes when completed: 590
■ Project size: 461 acres
■ Types of homes: Villas and single-family homes
■ Amenities: 18-hole golf course, walking trails, bocce and tennis courts, pool, spa
■ Price range: $700,000 to more than $5 million
■ Square footage: 2,600 to 17,000

Treviso Bay, 9800 Treviso Bay Blvd., Naples

■ The clubhouse and sports center are near completion. Lennar Homes is building condos to executive homes ranging from the low $200,000s to the upper $600,000s; Stock Construction will build 26 luxury homes in the first phase.
■ Developer: Lennar Homes
■ Project size: 1,050 acres
■ Amenities: Arthur Hills/Hal Sutton designed golf course, bocce and tennis courts, lakeside beach, clubhouse and sports center
■ Price range: Low $200,000s to millions

Colony Golf and Bay Club, 4541 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs

This project is a gated condominium community within the Pelican Landing master-planned community.

■ Builder and developer: WCI Communities
■ When started: 2012
■ Number of homes completed: 825
■ Number of homes when completed: 1,352
■ Project size: 809 acres
■ Type of homes: Mid-rise condominiums
■ Amenities: Clubhouse with formal and casual dining; spa and fitness center; pool; tennis pavilion; beach park
■ Price range: Mid-$400,000s to mid-$640,000s
■ Square footage: 2,100 to 2,900

Valencia at Spanish Wells, 28474 Tasca Drive, Bonita Springs

A model is under construction at this gated neighborhood, which is part of the Spanish Wells Golf and Country Club. Residents will have privileges at the Tarpon Cove Yacht and Racquet Club in North Naples.

■ Builder and developer: Toll Brothers
■ When started: July 2013
■ Number of homes when completed: 128
■ Project size: 54 acres
■ Types of homes: Single-family, all with a first-floor master suite
■ Amenities: 27-hole golf course, tennis center, pools, clubhouse, fitness center; yacht-club access
■ Percentage of homes sold: Not yet open for sales
■ Price range: $300,000s to $500,000s
■ Square footage: 2,000 to 3,000 square feet

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