July 2008 SW Florida real estate sales numbers were released today by the Florida Association of Realtors which includes data for Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate. The latest data shows a home buying frenzy as single family home sales in Fort Myers and Cape Coral were up 80% over last year’s numbers. From the SW Florida Real Estate Homes Closed 2005-2008 chart, you can see home sales surpassed both 2006 and 2007 levels for the month of July. Last July there were 426 single family home sales and this July there 768 home sales. Condo sales in SW Florida increased 35% from 129 last year to 174 this year.
Median single family home sale prices in Fort Myers and Cape Coral dropped 37% from $246,100 last year to $154,900 this year. Median sale prices dropped 10% in July from June 2008 levels, and have dropped about 27% in the last two months alone. See SW Florida Real Estate Month Over Month Prices chart. Our SW Florida Real Estate Sale Prices 2005-2008 chart illustrates sales price trends for the last 4 years.
Be careful not to judge the overall market by the median price, as foreclosures are skewing the data downward in the lower price end of the market. While it is possible that multiple market segments are dropping to some degree, we really don’t see all market segments dropping to the degree the median price is. Home buyers are jumping in with both feet as they have found affordability back in the market.
We believe home sales, while at a frenzied pace right now, would actually be stronger if financing wasn’t such an issue for homebuyers. Lenders have certainly tightened the screws, and to some extent have caused the market to decline due to tougher underwriting standards. We are not arguing as to whether the banks are right or wrong, as each lender has their own specific situation to deal with and less money to lend, but it is a fact that sales are being curtailed due to tighter lending policies.
Nationally pending home sales numbers have been stronger, which hopefully will be a good sign for the future as well. We’ll keep reporting what we’re seeing in the local SW Florida real estate market, so tay tuned. Be sure to check our Fort Myers real estate website for updates on the market as well. You might also like our Housing Statistics webpage.
Click here to Search the Entire SW Florida real estate MLS. You can also view Ellis Team Virtual Tours of our listed properties. Feel free to visit our Bank Owned Bargains webpage for SW Florida bank foreclosures, and don’t forget our weekly radio show entitled “The Future of Real Estate” which you can listen to online.
Brett was recently interviewed on TV regarding what caused the local SW Florida foreclosure crisis. Click here to watch that interview.