SW Florida Home Prices Rise

Local numbers were just released and June 2014 single family home sales were up 8.1% over last year with a median sales price of $200,000.  That’s up from $185,000 last year and up from $195,000 last month.

SW Florida Home Prices Fort Myers Real Estate Market Update July 2014
SW Florida Real Estate Single Family Home Sales

Average SW Florida home prices have been holding steady all year around $300,000, bouncing between $299,000 and $319,000.  Median prices are definitely up for the year while average sale prices are level.

Listing inventory is falling as it usually does this time of year, however it is up from last year about 5%.  This is a positive sign and indicative of a healthy market. There will always be a level of homes that never sell because they are priced too high for what they offer.  Having more inventory creates visible competition for sellers.  When prices outpace the market, buyers shut off like a hose spicket. We have not seen that, but there is invisible competition coming to the market some sellers may not be aware of.

SW Florida Home Prices and Listing Inventory
SW Florida Real Estate Market Listing Inventory July 2014

We’ve been warning sellers for months that new home inventory is arriving.  Builders have been ramping up and we know of many new homes coming to the market and available starting in September.  These new homes will add to the inventory, but they won’t show up in the numbers.  Sellers won’t necessarily know about them, but buyers will.

Nationally inventories are at their highest levels in over a year which is tempering price gains.  We could see the same here in SW Florida heading into next year.  What’s different in SW Florida versus the rest of the country is the economy.  Locally we have positive driving forces.  Companies are hiring and relocating here.  Bringing higher paying jobs to SW Florida helps our median income.  Nationwide, wages are stagnant which keeps a lid on rising prices.

Traditionally SW Florida fares well against the national real estate market, although it does affect us to some extent. Some people need to sell up North before buying here.  In the past 7 years or so SW Florida trailed the national market, so it’s kind of refreshing to lead again.

Rising inventory is leading to increased sales.  We always said if we had more inventory we could surely sell it, assuming it’s fairly priced inventory.  If a home is priced over the market then it’s not really on the market.  We wish there was an index of inventory levels of correctly priced homes.

Several years ago we invented the Current Market Index which accurately predicts home sales going forward.  We’re working on a new index that measures inventory levels by price so we can determine how much of the current available inventory is actually on the market and how much is over the market and not truly available.

Next season buyers will have choices between existing homes and new homes built and ready for delivery.  We’ll be watching to see if builders can keep up the pace with delivery homes versus building on contract for a buyer.  The bottom line is this will cause sellers who wish to sell an existing home to be competitive.

Builders can offer a new never lived in home with new features, but they can’t always offer the same location.  There will always be a premium for location, i.e. west of 41 and closer to the beaches.  Many new communities are inland so the land costs will be less.

As always, if you want to sell you’ve got to price it correctly.  Many sellers are choosing to sell and purchase something else that fits their needs better today.  Interest rates are still low so it makes sense to do it now.  When rates change, some sellers may not want to make the move because the new home will cost more to finance.

The bottom line is the SW Florida real estate market is healthy and more balanced and our economy is good.  We’ll keep an eye on shifting forces and see which way it directs SW Florida home prices and by how much.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

View our July 2014  SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

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By Brett Ellis

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

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