If you read our article on a consistent basis you’ve been hearing about a decrease in pending sales and a potential shift in the SW Florida real estate market. Official numbers confirm a February real estate sales drop in SW Florida.
Nationally existing home sales fell 7.1% in February. Locally home sales were down 12.8%. This wasn’t a difficult prediction to make as we’ve been watching pending sales decline. The good news is we made some adjustments to our listings in reaction to the market and we’ve been able to get many of our listings under contract in March. Regardless of whether the market is up, down, or sideways, understanding the market and making changes can be the difference between success and riding the merry go round awhile longer.
Median sales prices are up 11.8% over last year. They are down 6.95% from January numbers. Average sales prices are down 1.2% from last February and down 31.23% from January. This is why we use median price as a more valid indicator than average price because it’s a more stable indicator and less susceptible to wide variations due to a few large or small sales.
February Real Estate Sales Drop in SW Florida
It does tell an interesting story though. While we hesitate to read too much into one month, we did see a fall-off in sales and prices in February. SW Florida wasn’t alone as the overall US market seems to be affected as well.
We have a new metric to track which is the total dollar volume of the local market. Obviously if sales are down it will influence this number. When prices are rising its not uncommon to see declining sales as less people can afford the higher prices. If you have lower sales you can sometimes make up for it with higher prices, but we didn’t see that this month.
Total dollar volume fell 13.6% in February. We’ll be keeping an eye on this indicator going forward and help you track it.
It pays to know the numbers. If you ask an agent how the market is doing most will give you an honest answer based upon how their own sales are going. Knowing the underlying numbers is critical. If an agent is having a good month or a lousy month it may have no bearing on what the overall market is doing. I would even go so far as to tell agents you’ll have better months if you study the market and take actions for your clients based upon what’s really happening.
New pending sales fell 12.1% in February and new listings increased 14.3%. This tells us March and April sales might not be at 2015 levels either. Keep in mind some January pending sales may get extended into March as new lending guidelines can extend some closings.
Buyers may have a few more choices if new listings keep rising. We have a pretty healthy market, but as of right now, gone are the days when the seller can name the price and the buyer had to comply if they wanted to buy. It’s a more balanced market now and sellers must justify their price. Buyers and sellers are on a level ground in many price ranges with the seller still having the upper hand in a few ranges.
If you’re looking to buy or sell, consult a professional who can guide you through the market, financing, and closing process. We’d be happy to help 239-489-4042 or visit our Free SW Florida MLS Search Site where you can search the MLS for free and do valuable market research.
Good luck and Happy Hunting!
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