Now that the 4th of July has passed, we’re entering the summer real estate market in SW Florida. Aside from showing properties in the rain, traditionally the summer has been very good with many of the locals moving up, down, or sideways when they have more time after a busy tourist season.
Of course, the past few years the locals haven’t been making nearly as many moves as many are upside down on their current mortgage, or just flat out don’t like today’s prices. There is no doubt today’s prices are too low, in fact artificially too low, but nonetheless in real estate today is all we have to work with.
Because foreclosures have dropped dramatically due to a number of legal reasons, there has been less pressure on the lower end of the market, thus raising median prices. We’ve included another graph to put prices in perspective.
Many times we like to look at velocity of the market and measure the volume, much like Wall Street does with stocks. Volume has been excellent, and would be much higher if we had more inventory to sell. Lack of inventory will cut down on the number of transactions, and we’ve already felt it.
Agents are all too well aware that many properties receive multiple offers. Buyers on the other hand are skeptical when their agent tells them they need to come in at or over asking price on many properties. In all markets there will always be some properties that are over priced, and a buyer need not ask over asking price if the property is over priced as chances are another buyer isn’t going to come along and scoop it up, unless it’s a one of a kind property, and even then it may not sell.
All too often agents tell me their buyer isn’t listening to them. This past week two agents lost out on two of our listings because we had multiple offers and one of the buyers didn’t realize what they needed to do until it was too late. One of the properties had been on the market a little while so I’m sure the buyer figured their agent was just giving them a song and dance to try and get a sale, but as the listing agent I can assure this was not the case.
Even though this property had been on the market perhaps a few months, the property got hot when all other inventory like it had disappeared and this became the best thing on the market in its location and price range.
All real estate is local, and just because you hear nationally or a particular state is a little slow doesn’t mean everywhere is. In fact, our market was getting crushed when the rest of the country was still prospering. While our market isn’t fully healed, we are seeing price increases when much of the rest of the country has just been going into a slump, which is further evidence that all real estate is local.
Over the July 4th weekend we had several showings and several offers come in on our properties, which is encouraging for the balance of the summer. Again, these past few years have been anything but traditional, but it’s nice to know that local temperatures aren’t the only thing that’s hot right now. Buyers are here. What’s lacking has been property to sell, and inventory will probably tell the story going forward for the balance of the year. We’ll keep watching, and keep reporting.