Sales of new homes rose unexpectedly in April to the fastest pace this year. 

The Commerce Department reported that sales of new single-family homes increased by 4.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.198 million units, the highest rate since last December.

Economists had been expecting a decline in sales, and were surprised by the news.

SW Florida new home sales are off, however resales have started picking up in recent weeks.  SW Florida real estate may have bottomed out and leveling off.  We’ve seen three straight months of price stability, and April results are due to be released anytime.

Inventory levels have risen in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and all of SW Florida, so it will take some time to burn off all that inventory even if prices are stabilizing.  Some local areas will do better than others due to inventory imbalances.

Just because the overall market may be stabilizing doesn’t mean every home will fare well.  Even in the Hot Hot market we had the last three years, some sellers were over priced.  On the way down, there’s no reason to believe that will change.  There will always be some sellers over priced no matter what the market is.  It pays to consult a professional regardless of whether the market is hot or cold.

And with relatively  low rates and excelllent selection, buyers may look back on May/June 2006 as the best time to have bought real estate in SW Florida.

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