Pending sales lead to future closings, so studying pending sales over time offers a glimpse of what may occur in the 30-60 day future. Obviously not every home closes, but it is a good barometer of what may close.
Nationally numbers were released this past week and pending sales increased 5%. The SW Florida real estate market pending sales increased 4.11% over the previous month which is pretty much in line with national numbers.
Pending sales are down 18.67% vs. pending sales last August, and this is in line with official sales numbers. In July, sales were down 27% vs last year, so maybe when official numbers are released for August we won’t be down as bad as we were for July.
We’ve noticed a trend the last few election cycles whereby when people are uneasy about their jobs or the economy real estate sales tend to fall off just a bit in anticipation of the next election cycle. Suffice it to say the November elections are on people’s minds, and how could they not be with all the ads on television during the primaries. It is an encouraging sign that pending sales picked up in August over July. Last year August sales were down slightly over July, so August isn’t always a month where we expect them to increase.
Interest rates are at record lows, and we’ve seen buying power in the $150-$300,000 price ranges increase substantially. We believe sales could increase in this price range going forward into the next year as buyers realize they can buy much more home for far less money than they thought they could, even 1-2 years ago.
As you can see from the attached chart, inventory levels in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas have been holding steady, and this is also true countywide as well, although the numbers are larger. We’ve included a detailed pending chart as well showing pending sales from last year to present. We’ll keep reporting what happens going forward on current real estate trends in SW Florida.