High-end residential sales in Cape Coral are on the rise, according to real estate industry experts.
Realmark Realty reported Wednesday that a house at 5832 Armada Court in Cape Harbour recently sold for $5.3 million. The property sold for $5.1 million, with the furniture making up $200,000 in the sale. It the second highest home sale in Lee County this year based on the Multiple Listing Service.
It is the most expensive home sold in the Cape, preceded only by its 2009 sale for $6 million.
Based on the MLS, next in line is the 2011 sale of a home at 5649 Riverside Drive for $2.4 million.
Broker Ted Stout, with Realmark Realty, listed and sold the house on Armada Court.
"The luxury market is coming back; over the last year, we have sold three of the top five residential homes in Cape Coral - $1.9 million, $1.8 million and now $5.3 million," he said in a statement.
According to the Cape Coral Association of Realtors, there were a total of 15 "high-end" residences sold last year within the Cape. High-end homes are described as selling for more than $1 million.
As of Thursday, there were 16 high-end homes sales recorded in the city for 2013.
"You can see we're already on track to double what we had last year," Paula Hellenbrand, a board member with the Cape association and a broker for Encore! Realty Services, said.
In the real estate business since 1999, Hellenbrand explained that the number of high-end residential sales fell dramatically in the Cape following the "boom" years, or more specifically from 2004-06.
"We were seeing many, many many more high-end home selling," she said.
In 2005, 73 high-end home sales were recorded, compared to only 39 the next year.
Sales in the Cape bottomed out in 2009 with seven transactions on the books.
"Since then, it's slowly been climbing," Hellenbrand said.
She attributed the shift to a rebuilding of consumer confidence in the housing market and economy.
A rise in home prices and low inventory is also playing a part.
"Buyers don't want to miss out before the opportunity is over," she said.
Hellenbrand added that the home could not be rebuilt for that price - wholesale instead of retail.
"Replacement cost is still above what you could purchase a home for," she said.
As for the future of the city's real estate, the uptick in high-end home sales is a good sign.
"The people that own these kinds of homes, they're successful business people," Hellenbrand said. "It's a good indication of what other people are going to do, as well."
"It's only up from here," she added.
The Cape offers a unique market with its 400 miles of canals. Northern transplants looking to buy are attracted to the idea of owning waterfront property where boat docks are as common as driveways.
"It's a very appealing product to sell," Hellenbrand said.
The buyer of the Armada Court home is reportedly a retired entrepreneur from Naples.
"They bought the property because of the incredible value Cape Coral offers compared to Naples," Stout said. "This home would sell for $15 (million) to $20 million in Naples, making it a steal when you shop the Southwest Florida coast."
According to Realmark Realty, the home is 18,404 square feet and is situated on four lots. It features the main house, guesthouse, caretaker's quarters, six bedrooms, six full baths and three half-baths.
There are three fireplaces, a vanishing edge pool with beach entry and waterfront views. The walls of glass, unique finishes, rare wood flooring complete the look and feel of a Tuscan manor mansion.
The garage can house up to seven cars, and the more than 560 feet of seawall with seven boat docks and two boatlifts can accommodate multiple vessels, Realmark Realty reported in the statement.