Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Ozzie and Harriet. Now it’s Harriet and M5 because Ozzie suffered a terrible loss and was replaced by M15.
Southwest Florida Eagle Cam
Thousands of people tune in to watch the newest eaglets that are hatching on live video. This morning one has hatched and we’re still on watch for the 2nd. Tune in to find out why so many are watching the Southwest Florida eagle cam. I hear on Facebook many are not sleeping and staying up to see what’s happening.
Read the story of Ozzie who dies fighting for his love. SW Florida was heartbroken, but life moves on. The world has been fixated on the love affair by 3 bald eagles, Ozzie’s death after a nasty fight with M15, and new eaglets. I guess this is life in the animal kingdom, and because of the famous Southwest Florida Eagle Cam we’ve been able to tune in and witness it all over the past few years. And this is why this weekend is such a big event.
Let us know when you think the 2nd egg will hatch. When will the Eagles fly? Watch as they hatch and as their parents feed them. Watch owls attack them and their parents protect them. We hope you enjoy reading about the story of Ozzie, Harriet, M15, and the new eaglets.
A financial term you’ll regularly hear bandied about is “Money in Motion.” Money in motion creates opportunity when money is active and circulating and things become stagnant when people sit on their money and save. We like to measure the Southwest Florida real estate money in motion by the number of home sales there in a month and multiply by the average sales price. It gives us a clue as to the overall activity in the market.
When home sales are up and prices are down, they offset each other. When both are down, money in motion is down. If both are up, the money in motion is most assuredly up.
As you can see by the chart, the total dollar volume in November was up 20.6% That’s the good news. For the better part of 2016 money in motion has been down. This is why agents have been complaining that their sales and earnings have been off.
Home sales have been off all year to the tune of 15-20%. Prices have been up against last year’s numbers but they’ve been flat all year. We haven’t really seen significant price gains in the market since November 2015.
Sellers measure the health of the market simply by the direction of prices. Some agents do too. Experienced agents look at the whole picture; prices and number of sales. By multiplying and tracking the two, you can identify trends in the market. Understanding each component of the money in motion principle helps explain what is happening and why which leads to what the market may do in the future.
Money in Motion
Home sales picked up in November. They were up 16%. Average prices picked up too, up 3.6% What helped with prices is last year’s numbers were adjusted down. Unless something changes, year over year prices will be flat going forward. If this remains true, total dollar volume will be influenced more by number of sales than price gains.
2017 will be more positive than 2016 in our opinion. We can’t say whether it will come in the form of price gains. Expect transaction volume to increase as more sellers decide to sell. We have a balanced market right now where neither seller nor buyer have the overall edge, except in certain price ranges. See last week’s article Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Increases in 4th Qtr.
There is renewed optimism in the economy post-election. 2016 was a year where consumers and business sat on their hands. Both seem poised to start moving again. We could see more sellers begin to trade-up, or move to a different lifestyle home.
We could see more baby boomers buy 2nd homes in Southwest Florida. Retirees may flock here because their 401k’s have been doing well. No matter the reason, increased money in motion creates opportunity. Interest rates are rising, and the Fed has signaled last week’s rate hike won’t be their last. In fact, they predict 3 more rate hikes in 2017. Borrowing costs will be higher going forward.
The early bird gets the worm. Actually, late birds will get the worm too, it’ll just cost them more if getting a mortgage.
We’ll be tracking the money in motion for you in 2017. Sellers need agents more than ever as competition heats up amongst sellers. Buyers need agents too to assist them in sorting out total cost of ownership and factors which could affect the buyer.
Website Saves You Time
If you’d like to get a head start you can search for your dream home at www.LeeCountyOnline.com Beat out other buyers to hot new listings. Save your search and let the system notify you of hot new properties that match what you’re looking for. Or let one of our buyer agents help you search, just give us a call.
If you’re a seller, please call us at 239-489-4042. Ask for Sande or Brett. We handle the marketing for the Ellis Team and we can help you achieve Top Dollar for your home in 2017.
Good luck and Happy House Hunting!
December 2016 Ellis Team Seller’s Club Report
Congrats to Pam Belcher our Ready For a Yeti Contest Winner!
The Southwest Florida real estate inventory supply increases in the 4th qtr. All price ranges except two increased with the most pronounced increases occurring in the $400,000 and up range.
In December, the $400k-600k range shot up almost 2 months from 9.34 months in September to 11.15 months currently. The $600k-$1 Million shot up from 12.57 months to 14.69 currently. That’s over a 2 month jump. The biggest jump occurred in the $1 Million+ range where there was a 17.03 month supply back in September. Today that number stands at 21.04 months. That’s almost a 4 month jump in supply just since September.
Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Increases
It pays to know where your home stands in the supply chain. It tells you how aggressive you must be when selling your home. The overall market stands at 5.65 months which is a healthy number. People read headlines and hear there is a 5.65 month supply, so homes must be selling fast. They figure with homes selling so fast it’s probably easy to stick a sign in the yard and sell it.
Even at the lower price ranges there are still many homes that do not sell, because they are over-priced. If they were priced correctly and properly marketed, they would sell. The demand is there, at the correct price.
As we go higher in price the demand is still there, it’s just that the supply is even greater. Recently more homes are coming to the market than are selling, hence why we have increasing supply. We can’t look at the overall market and assume all homes are selling the exact same. Just as we can’t assume that all cities in Florida are behaving the exact same. Real estate is local, and it is segmented.
Certain cities or neighborhoods sell better than others. This can be due to economic factors, or perhaps location. The closer to beaches, or top schools can affect values.
Lee County is getting ready to change how children are selected for schools starting in 2018. This may put an end to the zoned system and busing system as we know it. Children will go to schools closer to where they live, and this could affect values.
Segments also affect the market. Sometimes the low end is red-hot, and other times the mid to upper markets make a comeback. Generally speaking, the lower the price the greater the demand as more people can afford lower prices. Not everyone can afford high-end real estate. Just because Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Increases in some price ranges doesn’t mean it increases for all ranges. In fact, a few decreased.
Right now we have an affordable housing crunch in Southwest Florida. Rents are high, and so are median sales prices relative to what the average working person can afford. It makes it difficult to find housing close to where you work. We saw this back in the housing boom too. This doesn’t mean our market is over-inflated. It just means there is a cap to how much more and how fast it can rise until incomes pick up.
The big price gains may be over, unless the economy comes roaring back. Our US economy has essentially had free money for the past 8 years and it’s done nothing except help the stock market. If jobs and economic activity return like it’s believed they will post-election, our real estate market could be in for more good times. If nothing changes, we could be in for flat to modest gains.
We think 2017 is going to be a year of change. Home sales may pick up even though rates will continue to rise. Proper pricing and aggressive marketing will become even more important, and the people who act quickest will save the most money when rates rise.
You can search the MLS for Free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com. Our database has all the homes, and it’s updated every 5 minutes directly from the MLS. It will even notify you of new homes or price changes if you save your search. You can always call us at 239-489-4042 and we’ll be happy to discuss your buying or selling options.
Southwest Florida listing inventory rises in October to 5,157 units, up from 4,829 in September. That is a 6.79% rise in just one month. We went back to last year and noticed listing inventory rose 6.09% those same months, so inventory is rising a bit faster this year.
Home inventory was up 16.64% this past September over 2015 and in October it’s up 17.42%. We’ve been mentioning all year 2016 has been a leveling off and balancing market, so rising inventory isn’t surprising. In fact, it was predicted.
November statistics won’t come out until next week. We’ve been studying preliminary numbers and from what we can tell, median and average sales price are going to be fairly even. Perhaps a small gain on median price and small loss on average price. However, we can only track Lee County numbers submitted to our MLS.
If our numbers are correct we may see an uptick in number of closed sales in November. Also frustrating is the fact that they go back and adjust last year’s numbers, so that can influence predictions as well.
Southwest Florida Listing Inventory Rises
We searched active homes on market on December 13th and we found 5,104. If we add back in the pending and contingent listings we have 5,955. We’ll be watching the official November stats when they are released next week. As you can tell from the chart, the trendline is up slightly.
Some people believe we’ll see more homes hit the market as interest rates rise. Others believe we may see less as sellers may decide to stay in their low-cost mortgage. I can tell you one thing. If you currently own and your home no longer works for you, the time to list is now.
We need to get your home sold and you into your new home before rates rise again. They’ve already risen about .75%. This will cost you more to finance the same amount, so waiting will cost you tens of thousands over the life of your new loan.
The Ellis Team is also busy meeting with potential sellers. We counsel sellers on how to get top dollar for their home and how their home should be positioned and marketed in the marketplace. Sellers are finding out there is a difference and listing with the wrong Realtor can cost them thousands.
Don’t list with a Realtor that doesn’t bring you top dollar. You might ask, what’s our secret for getting top dollar? We’d love to show you. It’s not by accident, it’s by design.
Let us sit down with you and show you how our 30+ years in the market combined with today’s latest technology and aggressive marketing is making a difference for our sellers. If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.
Our team is growing. We have thousands of buyers in our database looking to purchase. If you’re an agent looking to grow your business, give us a call. If you’re a potential seller looking to sell before rates go up, give us a call too. Put our experience and wisdom to work for you.
We’ve been through changing markets before. Rising rates change the game and knowing how to help buyers and sellers can be the difference to keeping your deals together and saving everybody money. You can call us at 239-489-4042. If you’re considering selling, ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.
Good luck and Happy House Hunting!
Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update December 2016
We’ve been warning all year that rates are set to rise. The fed has signaled that it was ready to raise rates at their December meeting after the election. The markets didn’t wait, and rising interest rates affecting borrowers has risen faster than people expected. Since the election rates have risen about .6%.
It’s complicated, so let’s just say the Fed sets short term rates and rates banks use to borrow from each other. The mortgage market works off the 10 Year treasury note, and that is market driven. The price for 10 year treasury notes has fallen, meaning the yield is going up.
Rising Interest Rates Affecting Borrowers
What does rising rates mean for the SW Florida real estate market? We’ve mentioned ad nauseam that a 1% rise in rates robs a buyer of 11% purchasing power. Since the election rising rates have made the average home price about $16,400 more expensive. Unfortunately for sellers this won’t be going in their pocket. If the market would have beared $16,400 more for each home it would have already done so. Rising rates just stole $16,400 from the seller.
The question now becomes, can the buyer afford that? If they can’t, it will cut demand. If the buyer was maxed out before, they will have to pay $16,400 less today for the same home they could have paid more for a few weeks ago. The only thing that changed was interest rates.
Rising rates may spur the market to move. It should. Buyers who were on the fence should buy now! We’ve been warning them and this day has finally come. It costs buyers to wait.
We may see more sellers enter the market as well. Sellers are getting hit at both ends. Not only are buyers losing purchasing power to buy their home, the seller is also losing purchasing power on the next home they buy if they’re getting a mortgage. Waiting has cost sellers, and when they realize this day is finally here more will act. As more homes enter the market, there will be more competition amongst sellers for buyers. It becomes a triple whammy for sellers.
What can sellers do? I wouldn’t wait for all the other sellers to figure this out. I’d get my home on the market now before rates go higher and before listing inventory increases. Inventory has already been increasing this past year, and it could increase. Getting ahead of this is always better.
Hire the Top Marketer in Your Area
Secondly, I’d hire the best agent I could who advertises a lot. Some agents have gotten by without a lot of advertising, but that all changes in a rising interest rate environment and increasing inventory. With rising interest rates affecting borrowers like it is today, time is of the essence. You need an aggressive agent who’s been through a changing market before. Some of the newer agents haven’t.
Call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042 and Sande or I will be happy to determine your market value and discuss your options. Or, you can go on our website www.LeeCounyOnline.com and search the MLS or get an idea what you home might be worth with our Free online home estimator.
Rising rates isn’t all bad. It’s a sign the economy may heat up. Wall St is bullish on a better economy and better jobs here in the US. I stopped in an investment house the other day and asked them their outlook. They are bullish in 2017.
Many Realtors are bullish too. We think we’ll see more transactions as more sellers decide to sell. A good economy fuels more buyers, even if rising rates tempers price gains. We could still see rising prices, or stable prices. The jury is still out. For the past 11 months prices have not risen a dime.
2017 will bring change. Buyers and sellers need to know what that means for them. Unfortunately, plan on increased borrowing costs. Expect to see increased inventory, and more sales. Sales have been off this year, and with increased inventory comes more opportunity.
Buyers, now is the time to talk with your Realtor and your lender. You can call us at 239-489-4042 and we can help you with both.
Recently the Ellis Team has sold a few For Sale By Owners in addition to our normal sales and it got us to thinking. What if we could help more For Sale By Owners sell their home? We thought about it and we came up with the Ellis Team For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program.
We’re creating a special website of For Sale By Owner listings. Sellers can still market their property on their own and if they find a buyer, great. They also get some additional marketing by the Ellis Team and a chance to open their home to a larger audience.
Sometimes For Sale By Owners just want to try selling their home themselves. They want to save the commission, and they don’t personally know a great Realtor, so why not try selling themselves first?
If I had a house to sell and didn’t know the real estate business like I do, I’d probably try to sell my home on my own too. Who can blame an owner from trying to put the most money in their pocket from the sale of their own home?
We’ll put the For Sale By Owner in a special section of our website. This informs our database of buyers that we have other listings not in MLS that might suit the buyer. Many buyers are leery of working with a FSBO because they feel at a disadvantage. Buyers don’t have someone guiding them through the process, writing the contract, organizing inspections, financing, etc.
All of the listings in the For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program offer guidance to the buyer so they can feel more comfortable purchasing one of these homes. It also opens up the inventory to homes they might not have seen otherwise. Most For Sale By Owners are hard to find and not well advertised. They rely on for sale signs and inexpensive websites and social media to sell their home, so buyers could miss out on opportunities.
For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program
All listings in the For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program have agreed to work with an Ellis Team agent should we find a buyer. This is a win/win for the seller and buyer. The owner can still attempt to sell on their own and they receive benefit of working with us to an expanded group of buyers.
Statistics show over 90% of For Sale By Owners give up and hire a Realtor. All we ask is that if the owner gives up and later on decides to hire a Realtor, they agree to interview the Ellis Team for the job at that time. They don’t have to hire us, just give us a shot.
The Ellis Team has brought thousands of buyers and sellers together over the years and this program just expands on that. We can even work out a program if the seller finds the buyer we’ll help for a nominal fee.
Check out the Ellis Team For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program online. We’ll be adding For Sale By Owners and information to the website in the coming weeks. Buyers can check out these upcoming by owner listings too in case it meets their criteria.
We Find the Buyers
This new program is in addition to our full blown, cutting edge marketing system of our listings. The Ellis Team sells homes 19.7% faster than the average agent and we sell our homes for more money. Our marketing goes out and finds the buyer instead of waiting for the buyer to find your home. We put more money in our seller’s pockets, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
If you’re thinking of selling, give the Ellis Team a call. We’d love to sit down with you and interview for the job. And if you’d like to try it yourself first, give us a call anyway. We can be your backup plan if the home doesn’t sell. As long as you’re interviewing Realtors, you might as well interview the best!
Feel free to search the MLS, get neighborhood market reports, and find out what your home is worth at www.LeeCountyOnline.com Or call us at 239-489-4042. Ask for Sande or Brett.
Good luck and Happy House Hunting!
SW Florida Real Estate Market Update December 2016