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Homes remain out of reach for many

Gina Edwards, Deirdre Conner and Kori Rumore of the Naples Daily News analyzed real estate transactions culled from property appraiser records to show how the real estate market has shifted. In 2003, in Collier County, Fla., almost 60 percent of single-family homes on the market — more than 4,500 — sold for less than $300,000. By 2005, the under-$300,000 market had shrunk to 22 percent of single-family home sales. "This when two-thirds of all Collier households make less than $75,000 a year and can't afford more than a $300,000 home." Affordable housing became a pressing crisis when Collier lost traditionally affordable neighborhoods to skyrocketing prices. Similarly, in 2003, 43 percent of single-family homes in south Lee County, or more than 1,250, sold for less than $200,000. By 2005, only 11 percent of single-family homes, or fewer than 370, sold for under $200,000 in south Lee.

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