Since October 2017 listing inventory in SW Florida has risen over 25%, while at same time closed sales have fallen slightly. This has caused the months supply of inventory to rise to 5.48 months, up from 4.31 months last October.
It’s important to know this information as it’s an indicator of the health of the market and which way prices are headed. It also tells us if we’ve gotten a little ahead of ourselves in either direction.
Much like the stock market, the real estate market also fluctuates. The market is always testing limits and boundaries, and when it finds them it reacts. This is true in boom markets, bust markets, and normal variations in between.
When inventory levels got too low back in 2009 we knew the market was headed for a steady rebound, and we sure got one. It didn’t happen overnight and not all prices ranges reacted simultaneously. Nonetheless, it happened. 2005 and 2009 were extreme examples.
More realistic are the normal market gyrations most people don’t even see unless they study the numbers. If you’re a seller and you notice lots of homes in your neighborhood are on the market, and none are selling, you know what this is like. It’s possible the neighborhood just got ahead of itself compared to other neighborhoods. A simple market adjustment can usually fix this unless there is a bigger underlying issue.
While not all price ranges react the same, we can tell you all price ranges in SW Florida gained monthly supply. Not one price range fell, so this was across the board. We can say the hardest hit ranges begin at $400,000 & up. The $400-600k range shot up from 6.99 months in October to 9.20 months now. The $600-1 Million rose from 10.29 months to 14.49 months now. The $1 Million+ market rose from 14.62 months last October to 19.59 months now.
These are important numbers to know. Sellers in particular price ranges need to know how their range is doing. In a rising market you can price just ahead of the market, and if you’re wrong, the market will catch you. However, pricing too high doesn’t work in a rising inventory market. The market won’t catch you. If anything the market is leveling out or could be in for a slight reduction.
Nobody is calling for a market correction here. The fundamentals are just too strong, and nothing like what we saw back in 2005. We have end users and renters hoping to buy. Rising inventory levels can be a sign that sellers have out-priced buyer’s ability to pay for the increases. Home prices have risen, but wages may not have kept pace.
Rising interest rates can dampen a buyer’s ability to purchase as well. We stated many times how a 1% rise in rates takes away 11% purchasing power from a buyer. Do that to enough buyers and you can affect a market. We’ve seen rising rates, and we expect them to rise more.
Bottom line, if you’re a buyer, get in soon. Rising rates rob you. They’re like a thief in the night. If you’re a seller, price your home correctly, and hire the best agent you can find to market it. You have more competition now. Exactly 25.44% more to be precise. The market has stabilized. A neutral market is defined as 5.5 months supply. Anything more is a buyer’s market; anything less is a seller’s market. At 5.48 months supply, we’re about as balanced as you can get, which means prices aren’t going to move up until we work down supply.
To sell your home, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4. To research the market, find your home’s value, or get neighborhood updates, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com If you’re looking to buy, one of our happy agents will be glad to assist you. 239-489-4042
Good luck and happy selling!