While Florida still has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, July 2014 showed a drop of 30% over July 2013. Home sales in Florida have been somewhat flat and property prices have begun a slow increase. Southwest Florida home sales, and homes sold in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Rotonda, Venice and Sarasota have gained in price, the uptick is not dramatic. Because foreclosures are dropping and mortgage companies are often renting homes or renovating them, the sale price of foreclosure properties in Southwest Florida is not a great deal different from person to person sales. In addition, person to person sales are much easier to negotiate and an owner / seller is much more likely to cooperate if a buyer needs an extra week to close or another consideration.