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A few weeks ago our real estate market update told you how new pending sales were on the rise and how that could lead to increased sales in February and March.  Official new pending sales in February were up 21% and overall pending inventory was up 8.6% in February 2015 over last year’s numbers.  That sounds pretty encouraging for upcoming March sales numbers when the final numbers come in.

I’ve talked with real estate agents that didn’t feel like this January or February was particularly great, but agents tend to judge the market based upon their own sales versus the market’s sales.  I can say back in January and February and some buyers did seem on the fence and indifferent, but the numbers don’t bear that out.  The numbers suggest buyers were bullish.

March Real Estate Market Update

March is a different story.  Buyers in March do seem interested and are buying.  It will be interesting to see what official sales numbers look like.  We have our first indications of inventory levels and sales levels from February.  Official numbers were just released this week.

Real Estate market Update Homes Closed

Single family home sales this year were 861 compared to 779 last year and 886 in 2013.  They were 992 in February 2012 but we had more inventory to sell back then.

If you look at the Active Inventory graph you’ll notice our inventory is well below previous year’s levels. In fact, single family home inventory is down 6.1% last year, and if you remember we were complaining about low inventory levels last year.

Single Family Active Inventory Real Estate Market Update

Median sale prices are up 6.5% this February and averages sale prices were down 2.

6% We generally use the median home prices because it is more stable and less influenced by one or two large sales.

We think agent’s attitudes will be up in March for two reasons.  The first is the numbers indicate the market is doing well.  Secondly, buyers on the street have stepped up in March and the feeling on the street is positive.  There’s an old saying “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” This time around I think the facts will match the stories.

We like to stick with the facts, although I know it’s human nature for people to work off emotions.  There’s another old joke that asks the question “Do you know the difference between a recession and a depression?”  The answer is, when your neighbor is unemployed it’s a recession.  When you’re unemployed it’s a depression.

The same goes for agents.  When their business is up the market is good, and when their business is down the market must be down.

When you’re interviewing agents, be sure they’re using market statistics and not general feelings.  General market sentiment can be powerful, but there’s no substitute for actual real estate market facts.

If our numbers are down and the market isn’t, we don’t tell people the market is down.  We know we just need to work harder.  When the market is great, it’s not the time to slack off either.  Here’s one last old saying I’ll use.  “It’s time to make hay while the sun is shining.”

Bottom line is there is no substitute for hard work.  My grandpa and dad said if you were a hard worker you were a “Hoss”  There’s also no substitute for facts and market knowledge.

When you combine market knowledge and hard work you have a recipe for success.  You’ll notice some sellers will sell in a tough market and some sellers will not sell even in a Hot market.  The difference is knowing the facts and doing the right thing at the right time.

We can help you do the right thing today.  Simply call us at 239-489-4042 or visit our website at www.Topagent.com  You can ask for “Hoss” and one of our team members will get to work for you.

Feel free to search the MLS at www.Topagent.com or call us to get your home sold. 239-489-4042

Visit our new San Carlos Park Homes page or Search for San Carlos Par Homes Here san-carlos-park-homes-for-sale

 

Consumers, lenders, title companies, and real estate agents probably don’t all realize that big changes are coming down the pike and it will affect real estate closings in a big way later this year.

Big Changes Coming to the Closing Table

You’ll be hearing more about this issue this Spring and Summer as these new rules go into effect for closings starting August 1, 2015.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which is a new entity instituted by the Obama administration dictates that mortgage documents are locked in at least 3 days before closing.

Big Changes Coming to the Closing Table

Lenders will have to use the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure form and this form must be given to consumers three days before closing.  Any change to the form requires the clock to start over which means many closings will be delayed.

Some would argue this concept would change the common practice of lenders sending mortgage documents to the title company the day of closing which forces buyers to scramble to get a wire or cashiers check just before closing and this is a good thing.  They’d be right, in part.  That would be a good thing, however there will be some unintended consequences and perhaps some lawsuits arising out of the implications of implementation.

This new rule shifts the burden from title companies to lenders to disclose the TILA.  Lenders have not been used to communicating with all sides of the transaction.  Typically that’s been the role of the title agent.  Lenders had a hard enough time getting a file from clear to close to their closing department and then on to title company.   This now adds an extra layer, and if they weren’t great before, they’ll be less than average going forward.

Realtors and sellers will gripe because any change will change the closing statement, which could dictate postponing closing.  How will a seller plan for a closing on a certain day when they must turn around and close on another property the same day?  Any change to the first closing resets the clock and postpones it three days, which will postpone subsequent closings.  I remember one day years ago where we had 5 simultaneous closings on the same day.  We had the buyer and seller on all 5 properties and we ran into an issue on closing number 3 at the closing table.  If #3 didn’t happen, 4 and 5 wouldn’t either and we had buyers and sellers with packed trucks all waiting to close.

Today this closing might not take place.  We scrambled with the loan officer and made it happen, but that absolutely could not happen after August 1.  The buyer has no say in the matter either.  These are new Federal regulations and no matter how much a buyer or seller is impacted by the new rules, it won’t matter.  Buyers and sellers will be sweating out closings hoping lenders have the disclosures in on time and all documents ready for closing.  If you like going to Vegas, you can bet with certainty that many closings will not happen on the day they’re supposed to.  It’s just a fact and Realtors, buyers, and sellers better load up on their chill pills now, because there will be high demand and short supply on those pills around Aug 2nd.

Don’t forget Bella Casa is having a close-out sale this weekend.  Special incentives and financing are available on brand new 1, 2 and 3 bedroom luxury condos in South Fort Myers.  Call our office for details 239-489-4042 or stop by the sales center located on Plantation Rd 1/4 mile North of Daniels.  Open Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-6

Feel free to search the MLS at www.Topagent.com or call us to get your home sold. 239-489-4042

Bella Casa Close-Out Event

Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums Fort Myers, FL

Don’t forget this weekend is the Big Bella Casa Luxury Condominium Close-Out Event

 

Southwest Florida real estate pending sales increase was up 13.8% in January over last year.  This is a positive sign moving forward.  Ironically closed sales were also up 13.8% in January over 2014, so February and March sales could also be up when those numbers are later released.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Pending Sales Increase

Last December we wrote an article titled “Here Comes the Listings, Here Comes the Sales” The gist of that article was that we could sell more properties if we just had more listings to sell.  We don’t have a demand problem, more like a supply issue.  In October and November we noticed listings had picked up so we speculated sales might pick up, and it was true.

In January 2015 new listings picked up to 2,111. We haven’t cracked 2,000+ since January 2014.  If you look at new pending sales from last year, they really kick into high gear in March, April, and May.

We could very well see that again this year.  It’ll be interesting to watch sales numbers come out for February.  If history holds true, new listings will decline a bit in February and March while pending sales may begin to rise slightly in February and make a big jump in March.

Southwest Florida real estate new pending sales

We think this may hold relatively true again this year.  Buyers seemed to lack urgency in February but we’re noticing urgency in March.  Buyers are more serious and the contracts are coming in.  We won’t focus so much on the February numbers as they may be flat or up or down somewhat.  We’re really focusing on what happens in March.  Those numbers won’t be released until about April 21 or so and that’s when we’ll get a good indication of the market.

Cash buyers are picking up again too as is usual this time of year.  Cash sales are up to 49.6% of sales which is down from 56.1% January 2014.  We expect these numbers could rise in February as well because they did last year.

Median sale prices were up 5.6% in January to $190,000, up from $179,950 the previous year. Median days on market are down to 39 days.  It was 46 days January 2014.  This suggests a strong housing market.  Most economists predict good times ahead for Florida for the foreseeable future.

If you’re thinking of selling check out our online home value tool at www.Topagent.com  It will give you an approximate estimate of your home’s value.  Of course, there is no substitute for a professional viewing your home on the inside and comparing against similar sales.  We can do that too.  Simply call us at 239-489-4042 and we’ll be glad to schedule an appointment.

If you’d like to search for your next home or condo in SW Florida, you can.  It’s online.  It’s fast, free, and easy to use, and the best part is you can do it anytime day or night.  Just go to www.Topagent.com and begin searching.  As always, if you have questions we’re here to help.  We know you may just want to search on your own and not talk to anyone yet.  Everyone is at a different part in the decision process.  We’re here to help even if you’re just thinking if it’s possible all the way to I need to buy today!

Either way you’ve probably got questions and we’re happy to answer them.  No pressure.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Builder Close-Out Event March 21 Bella Casa

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By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

While selling real estate is a complicated process with lots of details, selling blue skies and sunshine is easy, especially to our Northern friends who have been buried by another brutal winter.

Top Rated SW Florida High Schools

One question that we get asked a lot by people relocating to SW Florida is what are the schools like?  People are deeply concerned about the quality of education their children will receive, and about their resale value.  Up North, the school district may be the largest determinant of their neighborhood’s value.

Top Rated SW Florida High Schools

People are happy to learn that SW Florida does very well in the state of Florida.  In fact, a new study came out from Niche that ranks the top public high schools in Florida.  Niche also ranks colleges, private schools, and elementary and middle schools.

Many people know that Fort Myers High School has consistently ranked in Newsweek’s Top 100 High Schools in America and that in 2008 Fort Myers High School awarded the most I.B (International Baccalaureate) diplomas in North America and was #8 in 2011.

What many may not realize is Fort Myers High School isn’t the only top high school in SW Florida.  In fact, there are 5 top rated SW Florida high schools on the Niche Top 100 in Florida list.

17. Fort Myers High School

29. Naples High School

57. Gulf Coast High School

62. North Fort Myers High School

97. Barron Collier High School

We’ll concentrate on the two Lee County Schools for just a moment.  North Fort Myers High School ranked A- in academics and A in student culture and diversity.  They ranked B+ in teachers, extracurriculars and activities, and sports and fitness.

Fort Myers ranked A in academics, student culture and diversity, extracurriculars and activities, and sports and fitness.  They ranked A- in teachers grade.

Naples ranked A in academics, student culture and diversity, and sports and fitness while ranking B in teachers and health and safety.

Cypress Lake Middle School has long been ranked as one of the top middle schools in the state however this year they didn’t rank in the top 100 according to Niche.  Three Naples middle schools ranked in the top 100, #60 Pine Ridge Middle School, #71 North Naples Middle School, and #96 Gulfview Middle School.

Pelican Marsh Elementary scored highest in Lee and Collier County at #73 in state and Osceola came in at #78 Seagate Elementary came in at #88

Good schools are a staple of a healthy community and a talented and educated work force.  SW Florida has excellent schools all the way up to graduate and post graduate at Florida Gulf Coast University as well as degrees from Florida Southwestern State College.

We have a complete list of high schools on our website with links to each school.

It is impossible for SW Florida to grow into a culturally vibrant community without solid education, and we can all be proud of the education offered here in our area.

A link to the complete Niche Florida rankings can be found:

Best Public High Schools in Florida

Best Public Elementary Schools in Florida

Best Public Middle Schools in Florida

You can also search for your dream home at Topagent.com  We have lots of homes close to schools and universities so have fun searching.

 

 

 

Introducing Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums in Fort Myers

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

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Fun Things to do in SW Florida

New Construction For Sale

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By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

Now May be Best Time to Sell Your SW Florida Home

Most people in SW Florida realize the real estate market has been recovering for some time now.  So many either lost their homes or felt like they were in prison trapped in their own homes because they had negative equity.  For the past two years more and more homeowners have been able to sell due to rising equity. Today we’d like to discuss why now may be best time to sell your SW Florida home.

Find out how much your SW Florida home is worth Fort Myers real estate

We still find a large number of home sellers who are surprised that they can finally make a move.  Some like that they are in positive equity positions again and sell while some believe the market is increasing so why sell now?Now May be the Best Time to Sell Your SW Florida Home

Home prices in Lee County are up 44.16% in 2 years.  That’s a remarkable jump but that rate won’t continue.  Here are some facts that might help you decide if now is the right time to sell your home:

  1. The price of your home has gone up and so has the price of your replacement home. If you’re considering selling in Lee County and buying another one locally, waiting can cost you money
  2. Interest rates are going up. We’ve already noticed a slow creep and they’re expected to go higher in the next 2 years.  Not only will rising rates limit the buyer pool of your home, it will increase borrowing costs for your next home should you choose to finance.
  3. Insurance rates are climbing on older homes. Insurance companies may raise rates on homes with older roofs, plumbing, and electrical wiring.  It may cost more to stay in your older home than a newer home.
  4. Maintaining an older home can be costly. You may have to spend money on a new roof, appliances, paint, pool, and more in the next 5-10 years.  Some sellers elect to put that money into a newer home instead of throwing money at an older home that costs more to maintain and insure.
  5. Your window for opportunity may be shrinking. As interest rates rise your options may dwindle.  It may cost you more to move in 3 years so you decide to stick with what you’ve got.  You’re stuck with an aging home that costs more to insure and maintain simply because you missed the interest rate window.

If you’re unsure about what your home is worth or if now is the right time, we have answers for you.  Simply call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX at 239-489-4042 and we’ll discuss your options.  Everyone’s situation is different and we can guide you through the maze. We can give you detailed pricing estimates and discuss all the factors that affect you.

Why Now May be Best Time to Sell Your SW Florida Home Fort Myers Real Estate

We also have an online computer model that gives you an estimate of your home’s value.  It rates your neighborhood, provides a list of comparable sales with the date your neighbors sold and the sold price per square foot, and an estimate of your home’s value.

Simply go to Topagent.com and click on the Find Out What Your Home is Worth link.  It’s simple and Free.

As always, if you’re serious about making a move there’s no substitute for speaking with a professional.  We’re happy to talk.  We’re here for you either in person or online.  We hope you appreciate our efforts to bring you quality information and we hope that when you decide it is time to sell, you’ll consider calling the Ellis Team at RE/MAX. If you think now may be best time to sell your SW Florida home, we’ll handle you with care. 239-489-4042 or TopAgent.com

Good luck and Happy House Selling!

Introducing Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums in Fort Myers

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Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

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By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

Last week we discussed economic forces that will affect SW Florida real estate.  Much of this information was shared at the CCIM Outlook Conference in January.  Dr Lawrence Yun was the keynote speaker and he was a wealth of information.  Lawrence is the chief economist at NAR (National Association of Realtors) This week we’d like to focus on renting versus buying real estate.

Lawrence had some slides for the commercial brokers about how rising interest rates will eventually cause cap rates to rise, but there is a cushion so they may not have to rise immediately.  Rising cap rates can negatively affect property values.

Lawrence also presented data how rates are expected to rise starting this year and how that will affect mortgage rates.

Renting Versus Buying Real Estate Monetary Policy by Federal Reserve

If you look at the Monetary Policy graph you’ll notice that the Fed has kept the Fed Funds rate at 0%.  The Fed Funds rate is the rate banks and depository institutions lend balances to each other overnight.  I won’t bore you with details on how this works, but suffice it to say 0% is pretty low.

0% also isn’t the norm and those rates are not going to hold.  The Fed has halted its Quantitative Easing Program and the Fed Funds rate is most likely next.  This will affect mortgage interest rates going forward.  The 10 yr Treasury bond yield stands about 2.4% and is expected to rise to about 2.9% this year and 4.2% next year.  Mortgage rate changes are closely tied to the 10 yr bond yield changes.

Renting Versus Buying Real Estate

Rents are rising rapidly now and are expected to further rise.  As interest rates go up, this will put further pressure on rents to rise.  Landlord’s borrowing costs go up which forces them to attempt to raise rates if they can get it.  Rising rates also forces more buyers to rent as they qualify for less mortgage payment, which adds to the rental pool.  This in turn helps landlords raise rents.

owners equivalent rent renters rent

The best time to buy is before the mortgage rates start climbing.  When they do buyers finally get it and there is a buying frenzy, because nobody wants to pay higher rents or higher mortgage payments.  With low inventory it’s not a good scene to be caught in a buying frenzy when rates start to rise.  This puts an increase on prices, at least temporarily.  When the demand subsides, you as a buyer are left with the picked over houses nobody else want and higher rates to boot.

Jobs are rising in Florida.  If you’re renting right now you should seriously consider your options.  Last week we showed a graph how owning real estate is one of the drivers to accumulating long term wealth.  Let your new home do the heavy work for you.  You’ve got to live somewhere anyway, so why not pay yourself first instead of your landlord?

Can you really count on Social Security and Medicare being there for you when you retire?  Most people today say No!  Call the Ellis Team at RE/Max Realty Group 239-489-4042 and we’ll guide you through the process.  We’ll even get you pre-approved for a mortgage and show you the steps it takes to purchase.  Don’t wait until your lease is up.  Don’t wait for rates to rise!  Your options dwindle the longer you wait.

Feel free to search the MLS at www.Topagent.com  Don’t hesitate to call us for help or with questions. 239-489-4042  We’re here to help you get on the path to homeownership and wealth.  It’s not complicated when you have a professional in your corner guiding you every step of the way.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Introducing Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums in Fort Myers

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Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

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By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

This past week I had the distinct pleasure to offer my insights at the annual CCIM Outlook Conference at Harborside Event Center.  While I was waiting to speak I had the pleasure of sitting with Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist from NAR, and headline speaker at this year’s event.  Dr Yun and I talked about economic forces that will affect SW Florida real estate.

Lawrence and I chatted about what he sees affecting the SW Florida real estate market and the economy as a whole.  He was kind enough to share his presentation so I thought I’d share a few of his slides and recap some of his thoughts.

Economic Forces That Will Affect SW Florida Real Estate

He was very bullish on housing as a way to develop wealth.  He showed some slides that illustrated how much wealth Americans have today versus the past.  One slide that caught my eye was a comparison of renters vs. homeowners.  Homeowners have used their home to build wealth.  Many homeowners have accumulated enough wealth to own their home and put money in the stock market.  Most renters live paycheck to paycheck because they’re not accumulating wealth.  This is one reason they’re not benefiting from a rising stock market either.

Economic Forces That Will Affect SW Florida Real Estate

Rents are rising and he sees rising rents for the foreseeable future.  I really wish I could share all his graphs but suffice it to say buying a home makes a lot more sense than renting if you can qualify for a mortgage.

Dr Yun also shared a jobs graph for the Fort Myers – Cape Coral market.  Jobs have been rising in the area since 2009.  This is one reason our housing market has stabilized and has healed.

Fort Myers Cape Coral jobs growth

Dr Yun expects treasury yields to increase .4% in 2015 and 1.3% in 2016.  He predicts mortgage rates will be 6% by 2016  As we know, each 1% rise in interest rates takes away about 9% purchasing power for the buyer, so rising rates can put a squeeze on how much buyers can afford.

Lower oil prices have helped to add purchasing power to today’s buyer, so if oil stays low, it could offset the negative affect of rising rates.

He did say that if oil stays low that one of 3 leaders of Iran, Russia, or Venezuela would not survive.  Lower oil prices are helping US consumers but it’s putting tremendous pressure on leaders of those countries.

GDP has been below 3% for 9 straight years, so not everyone is feeling good times.  We also have about 6 million less working in US than before the recession.  Our economy is creating jobs but not fast enough.

Dr Yun expects SW Florida to flourish for the next 3 years.  We’re in a good spot and things are looking rosy.  He didn’t predict after 3 years.

He pretty much sums up what we’ve all been feeling here in SW Florida.  Jobs are up, housing prices are rising, and things are looking better going forward.  There are some things that may slow growth down, but for most part SW Florida is in for good times.  Just don’t get used to 30% gains in real estate. Locally median single family home prices rose 8.6% in 2014, and that’s just fine with us.  That’s a more sustainable climb than 30% every year.

To search for your home on MLS go to www.Topagent.com  If you’d like to sell you can also check out the site and get your home’s value.  Remember to Always Call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042  We’ll handle you with care!

Introducing Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums in Fort Myers

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

Other Bella Casa Website

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

Each year we provide a SW Florida Real Estate State of the Market Report based on year-end numbers and current trends we see in the local SW Florida real estate market.

Fort Myers real estate cape Coral year end sale prices SW Florida Real Esttae

SW Florida Real Estate State of the Market Report

Today we’d like to update you on sales prices and inventory levels.  As you can see from the Year End Prices graph, prices have been moving upward since 2009.  The median sale price in 2009 was $90,400.  Compare that to 2014 median price of $190,000 and you can see that prices have more than doubled in just 5 short years.

We have circled the last year on the graph to call to your attention something we’ve been saying for awhile.  While our market is as healthy as it’s been in years, we could be returning to a period of more moderate growth, which is a good thing.  As we learned from the previous Boom, the market cannot sustain 15-20% prices increases forever.  Everybody knows that.  Traditionally 3-5% is the average, and we’ve been beating that by wide margins.  This was OK because in our opinion the market over-reacted and fell too far, so it had a ways to go on the upside.  Prices were well below replacement cost and that too cannot last forever.

SW Florida Real Estate State of the Market Report

Inventory levels are still below what they were in 2012 and 2013.  Inventory has risen recently but it always does this time of year.  Inventory levels bear watching in 2015 and the levels of inventory could foretell future pricing.

Most experts agree that somewhere around 5.5 months supply of inventory is a healthy balanced market.  It is not either a sellers or buyers market but rather neutral.  As you can see from the Months Supply graph the overall market sits at exactly 5.5 months supply.

We are seeing increased closings this past December versus previous years, so inventory is going to have to climb to feed the beast.  If it does not, prices could rise quickly again this year.  If listing inventory does rise, prices could rise moderately.  Or, the market could turn off to keep inventory in check.  Time is the ultimate variable here, as time cures all ills.  Lack of time in a competitive market creates rising prices.

Season is the time of year we test the market’s mettle. Starting in January prices begin climbing, so we’ll be watching the next few months to see what rate prices rise and at what rate listings climb or decline.  Listings tend to decline starting in January or February as pending sales deplete available inventory.

It’s safe to say we’re in a supply/demand market right now.  We’re watching several variables that could influence the market but none stand out as imminent right now.  The President’s capital gains increase proposal is probably dead on arrival in Congress so that’s a none-issue right now.

Gas prices are down so buyers have more disposable income.  That won’t last forever but it does help in 2015.  Count on the Ellis Team at RE/MAX to study the market and report any changes.

If you’d like to search the MLS, feel free at www.Topagent.com  If you’re considering selling, give us a call at 239-489-4042 or send us an email at Brett@topagent.com  We’d love to help you!

Thanks for reading the SW Florida Real Estate State of the Market Report.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

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By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

2014 was another banner year by all accounts.  Year end sales numbers for SW Florida real estate market indicate a recovering market in 2014.  This makes several years in a row of double-digit or near double-digit gains.

For the record the official numbers suggest a 8.6% increase in median single family home sale prices in 2014, up from $174,000 in 2013 to $189,000 this past year.

Year End Sales Numbers for SW Florida Real Estate Market

Year End Sales Numbers for SW Florida Real Estate Market

Average sale prices rose 8.1% to $283,529.  Year end sales numbers for SW Florida real estate market are the median of the entire year and not necessarily the final December statistics.  One month sales figures can be deceiving and seasonal, so we take the entire year.

Active inventory fell 12.6% for the year, with inventory currently at 5,394 compared to 6,169 last year.  All year we’ve been telling readers we’re in a low inventory market.  Inventory has been rising the past few months but we’re still down significantly from last year.  Inventory always rises heading into season and typically peaks out in late January or sometime in February.  It’s hard to keep inventory when the sales begin popping in season.

SW Florida Real Estate Current Active Inventory January 2015

Each year we tell our sellers sales can be quiet up until about Jan 15-20, and then all heck breaks loose.  Our team has noticed a definite uptick in buyer calls.  2015 season looks to be on par with previous years.  We’re getting some good listing calls too.

We’re going to need some good listings at the rate these buyer calls are coming in.  I spoke with an agent this week at another firm who had an open house this past weekend and 25 customers came in.  Her business is picking up this week and she can’t keep up.

We’re doing an open house tour this week in Cape Coral.  We’ll have 3 homes open on Sunday.  We do our open houses a little bit different so buyers can see several like kind homes.  2 are direct access waterfront homes and the 3rd is located on a fresh water lake with gorgeous views.  Check out our ad in the News Press HomeFinder for times and locations.

If you look at the Year End Prices graph you can see where were are in the recovery process compared to the peak in 2005.  We’ve got some ways to go before we reach that plateau.  If you look closely you can see the price rise in 2014 slowed just a bit.  Nobody can say with certainty what prices will be next year.

All I know is last year we predicted another year of gains, and we should have more gains this year as most signs look good going forward.  The rate of gain may slow, and that is a good thing.  It’s unhealthy to have double digit gains year after year.  Average gains are usually 3-5% per year and we’ve been beating that.

Rising interest rates usually temper buyer buying ability.  Sometimes it spurs more activity from buyers who want to get in at lower costs.  We’ll keep our eyes on interest rates in 2015 along with some other key variables.

In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful market.  If you’re a seller, now is the time to call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042  If you’d like to search the MLS, check out www.TopAgent.com  You can search the entire MLS, or feel free to speak with one of our friendly agents.  Be sure to read all our market updates on our Blog which can be found on our website.

Read last Week’s Article Bella Casa Luxury Condos in South Fort Myers

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

Other Bella Casa Website

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

A few weeks ago we focused on gated communities in Fort Myers.  This week we thought we’d focus on new construction condos in South Fort Myers.

Bella Casa luxury condos in South Fort Myers

Bella Casa Luxury Condos in South Fort Myers

We did a search in MLS for new builder product and 24 properties came up.  The lowest priced listing we could find was in Bella Casa for $137,000.  In fact we have a listing in Bella Casa for $134,716 and 2 bedroom 2 bath unit at $155,778.

Bella Casa luxury condos is a gated community in South Fort Myers with a resort style pool and spa, state of the art fitness center, clubhouse with club room and an outdoor living room under truss with a two sided fireplace and lighted tennis courts.  The best part might just be the low maintenance fees of only $213/mo which makes Bella Casa affordable.  Garages are available in some buildings as well.

Bella Casa luxury condos is located on Plantation Rd off Daniels, so it is conveniently located close to Gulf Coast Hospital, Minnesota Twins Spring Training and the Lee County Sports Complex, shopping, airport, and US 41 and I-75.  The builder has 36 units left for sale.  There are some rented units for investors too who would like to purchase a luxurious condo with low fees and built-in income.

What makes Bella Casa luxury condos so unusual in today’s market is the combination of newer construction, garages, gated community with amenities, and low maintenance fees in South fort Myers.  Typically a community might offer one or more of these features, but rarely all of them.

Bella Casa Luxury Condos in South Fort Myers Aerial View

Bella Casa luxury condos offers 1 Bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom units. Many have lake or preserve views.  For more information call our office at 239-489-4042 or visit our website at Topagent.com

Bella Casa Condominiums in Fort Myers is a saved search on our website which makes it easy for you to see what’s available in MLS.  Did you know that you can search for a home or condo in MLS directly from our website?  You can, and we make it easy.  Virtually every property in MLS can be viewed on our website at Topagent.com  Keep in mind not all new construction is listed in MLS, so that’s why our team works hard to keep up on inventory.

It’s quite possible the home you’re looking for is under construction and not in MLS at the moment.  The Ellis Team has a team of buyer specialists devoted to keeping up on the market and listening to your needs.  Quite often we listen and match buyers up with properties they didn’t even know were on the market.

As leaders in the SW Florida real estate market we try to find out about opportunities first, and we work hard to keep up with the changes.  Because we work with a lot of buyers our specialists are out there regularly visiting projects so when you call we may have some ideas for you worth checking out.

Take Bella Casa luxury condos for instance.  There may be 4 new construction units on the MLS and a few re-sales and yet active Realtors know the developer has models open daily and more to choose from, but they’re going fast.

We hope you enjoy reading about communities we’ve focused on recently like Bella Casa luxury condos and Reflection Lakes.  If you have a community you feel has a lot to offer let us know and maybe we’ll write about it.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

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