FORT MYERS, Fla. - Foreclosure filings hit the lowest point in months during October; just 566 filings in Lee County. But fewer filings isn't affecting the booming foreclosure sales market.
"Business is really business as usual for us," said Trent Ferris, VP of Auction.com, which hosted an auction of 61 southwest Florida properties on Monday night.
Some are first time home buyers, many are investors, with some even bringing their own real estate agent.
"The auctions are bit of a show, the people who attend these auctions have to pay close attention, take a look at these house, make sure they're getting what they're paying for," said real estate agent David Drumm of Cape Coral.
Even with fewer foreclosure filings, many other homes are finishing with foreclosure, and available for purchase or auction.
"All of the properties that do come to the auction, they've been through the foreclosure process. Some of them as long as a year ago," Ferris said.
Real estate companies are also noticing gradual changes.
"We are seeing prices inch up on foreclosed homes," said Gregg Fous of Market America Realty in Fort Myers. "Inventory is getting depleted. Certainly this moratorium by the banks is helping that."
Several banks put foreclosures on hold last month to look at faulty paperwork. The Lee County Clerk's office said that played a role in the drop in filings in October. At Market America, it also meant banks pulling a handful of foreclosed homes off the market, but they expect the paperwork fix will eventually help sales.
"We like the fact there will be no problems once they clear this paperwork," Fous said.
Leaving many more deals available for interested buyers.
"Now you can capitalize on the fact you've got interest rates at phenomenal lows," Ferris said. "And you come to an auction with auction pricing."