Overall, 2013 was a great success for our local Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte real estate market and all signs point to an even better 2014. Wall Street finished strong, with just a few hiccups along the way and the economy in general is healthy. Even though interest rates are a full point up from the beginning of last year, they are still quite attractive. Unemployment continues to drop both nationally and especially here in Florida. Sometime early in 2014, our population will exceed that of New York making us number three in the U.S. We are in for a wonderful year here in S.W. Florida.
Let's take a look at the numbers. Last year we sold 2700 single family homes at a median price of $133,000, a remarkable gain of about 21% from 2012. Looking for a steal? Last year 78 of the 2700 homes we sold were waterfront 3/2s with pool and Gulf access for less than $250,000. This type of bargain can't go on for long. Sales of condominiums, town homes and villas totaled 837 units at a median price of $105,000, up a modest 5%. Vacant lot sales are on the rise, especially salt waterfront lots with Gulf access.
For 2014 we sold 255 Gulf access lots, 120 of them priced below $60,000. By way of comparison, in 2010 we totaled only 107. There has been a significant rise in the number of permits issued for the construction of new homes. New permits totaled 422, up about 79% from last year. This spurt will result in a strong price appreciation in lot prices for 2014.
As I write this update, our friends in the Midwest and Northeast are being assaulted with record breaking cold spells and blizzards and we hope they persevere, but historically such climatic misery up north results in strong real estate activity in sunny S.W. Florida and we are sure this year will not be an exception. If you are ready for your portion of the good life, come on down!