The October 2008 Ellis Team Current Market Index shows slight continued improvement in the SW Florida real estate housing market. The index went down to 7.27, down from 7.75 the month prior. The lower the number the better it is for sellers, and the higher the number the better for buyers.
Cape Coral real estate led the way with a market index of only 5.93, down from 6.38 in September. Fort Myers real estate stands at 13.13, down from 13.76 in September. There is currently 15,570 single family home listings in Lee County, up from 15,530 in September, so listing inventory is remaining relatively steady. Pending sales in SW Florida rose to 1700, which is a very good sign going forward.
It’s important to keep in mind that many of these sales are a result of foreclosures hitting the market at affordable prices. These listings are replacing short sales that were not sellable, and once they become sellable and affordable, the market gobbles them up.
It is still a tough environment for agents though as marketing costs remain high, gas prices remain high, and sale prices are half what they used to be. Add in financing troubles and many times the agent has to sell the home more than once to get that one sale. So bottom line is margins are tight, workload has doubled which adds administrative costs, and prices are down. This is perhaps why there is a flight to quality by home sellers to top agents capable of selling in a tough market. The same is true with mortgage professionals and title professionals, as only the strongest have survived in this market.
We are noticing seasonal vistirs again, and may are inquiring about buying this year as prices are much more to their liking. They’ve held off in past years waiting for the bargains, snd this year will be the year of bargains for our northern friends.
We beleive there may be pent-up demand from northern buyers as we are still receiving calls from our NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams report we did last week showing affordability is back in the market, as well as The NBC Today Show we did a few weeks ago. We also did a piece this past week for ABC-7 News on Sales up and Home Prices Down.