New economic data just released shows US new home construction up 16.9% in December, and it’s not enough to balance a backlog of demand.  A separate report shows that from 2012 to 2019 builders built 5.9 million new single-family homes.  In that same time frame, 9.8 million new households were formed in the US.  That is a shortage of 3.9 million homes.

New Home Construction Up 16.9% in December and It’s Not Enough

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis we saw households forming and little to no new inventory being built because of the credit crisis.  Sure, one of the reasons we had the crisis in the first place was because flippers built homes without end users in mind, so we had perhaps an over-supply.  They were just flipping to another flipper. That crisis lasted several years with little home building.

New Home Construction Up 16.9% in December

Since then builders have been cautious about building anything on spec.  Fast forward to today.  We have a booming economy, low interest rates, and households still forming.  In other words, nationally we have a shortage that needs to be made up.

States like Florida are seeing an influx of buyers moving here because of our tax structure.  Let’s face it, Florida is attractive on several levels, not the least of which is great weather and sunshine.  What’s new are the tax advantages.  While Florida has always enjoyed tax advantages due to no state income tax, new tax laws have brought to light just how out of balance some states are.

For instance, high tax states like New York, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut are bleeding residents, and tax revenue as they leave.  They are leaving in droves to lower tax states like Florida and Texas.  One report suggests lower tax states gained $32 Billion in adjusted gross income.  The booming economy has helped states collect about 6% more revenue overall, but states with lower taxes are doing better than the ones with higher taxes.

In the south, construction was only up 9.3% versus much higher in other regions.  This tells us Florida has more need for building construction, and this could be putting upward pressure on home prices.  Of course, higher prices do not work unless you have rising incomes to support it, and a booming economy.

Despite political turmoil, financial markets seem to shrug off impeachment hearings as not serious.  If impeachment allegations were serious, the markets would not be stable like they are today, and the financial markets and housing markets would swing into chaos.  The markets are betting all signs are pointing to status quo and no real changes coming to Washington.

Interest rates remain low, and oil prices have been steady despite regional tensions.  With an influx of new residents to Florida, we see a need for new construction in Florida.  Many homeowners in SW Florida would sell their home if they had a place to move to that meets their needs.

The Ellis Team has noticed an uptick in buyer inquiries into new construction opportunities.  Some buyers only want to look at new construction.  Many others don’t want to wait and focus on resales, while others look at both because they are flexible and searching for the best opportunity.

It’s important to work with a Realtor when buying new construction.  The commission is built-in, so you don’t save it if you buy on your own.  You also don’t get the expertise of an experienced Realtor who can guide you on options, locations, and designs that will maximize resale value when you go to sell.  Making good decisions upfront can save you thousands later.

Lastly, builders won’t always tell you about incentives.  For them you are just one sale.  A good Realtor can bring them many sales, so they hear about the incentives offered. Just this past month alone our team has helped several buyers save thousands and helped them make great decisions that will help them years down the road when selling their home.

If you have a home to sell, Always Call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re looking to buy, our team of buyer specialists can guide you, whether it’s a new home or resale.  Visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to see all the homes on the market in real-time.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Ellis Team Luxury Division of Fine Homes and Estates

We are proud to announce the formal opening of the Ellis Team luxury division of fine homes and estates.  While we’ve had a separate luxury division in the past, recently we’ve marketed luxury homes under the Ellis Team brand to great success.  We’ve been able to do this because our vast local marketing and our online presence which also has a global reach.

Ellis Team Luxury Division of Fine Homes and Estates

We’ve sold luxury homes without focusing on it.  What if we thought bigger?  What if we were intentional about it?  We work with a company that sells billions of dollars each year by its luxury agents and we haven’t tapped into that power, until now.  In fact, KW luxury agents sell $71 Million dollars of real estate each day.  That’s a lot of real estate, and that’s only 2,400 luxury agents worldwide producing that volume.

You must qualify to become a Keller Williams luxury agent by having multiple home sales in the top 5% of your market area.  We’ve been approached over the years to join this powerful group.  Sande and I both qualified, so we decided to investigate it further.  Our business has been growing steadily and we’ve been selling luxury listings through our own efforts.

Upon further investigation it became clear there were additional benefits we could offer our clients.  Luxury agents refer clients to other luxury agents.  By joining KW Luxury International, we now have access to the top agents in the world.  When they refer their high-end clients, they want to know they’re working with an agent on the other end that has experience and can handle high-end clientele. We are part of an online community that talks everyday about luxury issues.

If you’re going to market luxury property, it’s best to market globally.  We now have access to list luxury homes in the international MLS, so agents across the world will now see our luxury listings.

Additionally, we partnered with some of the premiere publications throughout the world.  Ellis Team luxury listings will now appear in these publications that reach affluent buyers.  Our listings are translated into 28 languages and appear in more than 80 countries.  The average income and net worth of these readers is astounding.  We’ll be happy to sit down with you and show you where your home would appear and what that could do for you.

We now have two separate brands online to market from.  This does not mean we are abandoning our traditional sales.  We’ve been growing as a team and we look forward to selling more properties this year than ever.  We are expanding our luxury reach by creating this separate division.

These two divisions work well together because some luxury buyers open businesses here locally and employ local workers.  This helps us all.  Other luxury buyers purchase 2nd or 3rd homes for vacation, which helps our tax base without adding to services required by the county.

You may not see all our luxury listings in all of our local ads, just as not all of our local listings qualify for the international ad campaigns.  Many of these publications set minimum price standards to appear in their publications.

The luxury division helps our traditional sales as it exposes us to more affluent buyers worldwide.  Many of these buyers purchase upscale luxury listings.  Some prefer value and purchase here in SW Florida because of that value.  The additional exposure to this clientele opens up SW Florida to more sales opportunities, both in the upscale market and the traditional market.  There is no better way to reach luxury buyers than the partnership we just formed with KW Luxury International.

If you have a home to sell, please call or email Brett or Sande Ellis directly.  We can expose your home to more buyers than other agents and get you Top Dollar for your home.  Please call 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Ask for Sande or Brett, or email us at Sande@topagent.com or Brett@topagent.com, and we’ll see you at the top!

See last week’s article “Ellis Team sales Smash Records Again in 2019”

Feel free to search luxury listings at our SW Florida Real Estate search site.

Find out what your luxury home is worth instantly

Ellis Team sales smash records again in 2019. Our marketing is working.  In 2018 Board of Realtors sales were down 8.5% for the year.  In 2018 Ellis Team sales were up 53.73%.  2019 official numbers aren’t out yet, but we do have YTD numbers through November.  The Board of Realtors are down 1.2% for the year while the Ellis Team sales are up 18.82% That’s on top of the 53.73% sales gains from last year.

Ellis Team Sales Smash Records

Ellis Team Sales Smash Records Again in 2019

What’s our secret?  It’s a combination of things some would say is the secret sauce.  First off, we believe in marketing.  The Ellis Team survived back in the foreclosure crisis when a lot of other Realtors went out of business because we never stopped marketing.  Sure, times were tough, but we made it, and we sold a lot of homes.  In fact, the National Credit Union Association and Bank of America met with us and hired us because of our marketing and track record of getting homes sold, even the tough ones.

Thankfully, those days are long gone.  Marketing works in good times and bad.  When the market shifts, most agents hunker down and cut costs.  Sales go down when they cut marketing and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It’s wise to constantly evaluate what works and adapt to new methods and advertising channels.  We’ve done that, and today we reach more buyers through our advertising than ever before.  Our clients thank us because our listings sell.  In fact, Ellis Team listings sell faster and for more money than the average sale in MLS, and one reason is the extra exposure we can give our listings.

Ellis Team Luxury Division

The Ellis Team just opened our luxury division.  We can now offer additional marketing to luxury listings that increases our local and global reach. Talk to Brett or Sande Ellis if you have a luxury listing you’re thinking of selling.

Sande and Brett have a lot of experience selling in SW Florida and we’ve developed some proprietary systems that help our team stand out.

There’s much more, but the final point we’ll make today is our people.  We only hire the best.  Agents and Ellis Team managers go through a lengthy and exhaustive interview process to be on our team.  We look for people with drive, a willingness to learn, and values that match our own.  We don’t settle, and neither should you.

Best in Real Estate Fort Myers

Perhaps that’s why the Ellis Team has been voted the Best in Real Estate 4 years in a row in the News Press Readers’ poll.  Real estate is all about relationships.  We’re not here just to sell more homes.  We’re here to make a positive impact on each of our client’s lives.  Some buy or sell for happy reasons, and some for sad reasons.  Whatever your reason, we listen and care.  We devise solutions based on your needs, and your time frame.

The market is heating up.  Our phone is ringing, and the sales are coming. We understand that some agents’ business is down, so their perception is the market must be down. For agents that have a plan and are executing that plan, business is good.  As a seller, you want an agent that’s using the latest technology and marketing to reach more buyers for your home.

Marketing is the Key

The real estate industry is changing.  Generating leads has become more costly and time intensive.  Agents try to buy leads from providers because they don’t want to spend money on marketing or time lead generating.  We call that hitting the “Easy Button”.  When you do that, you’re always susceptible to the provider changing the terms and diluting the leads by selling same lead to many agents.  This is why agents are struggling.  There is a better way. Do your own marketing and own lead generating.  Yes, it takes time, skill, and courage.  In the end, it works, and sellers will hire you for it.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be happy to discuss ways we can help you.  Even if you just have a simple real estate question, we’re here to help.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a Free instant online home price evaluation.

See Last Week’s Article “Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida?

Could home sale price gains become a trend in SW Florida?  It could, and here’s why.  SW Florida hasn’t seen true price gains the last few years for whatever reason. And that’s OK with us.  We always felt if there was a recession and price correction, SW Florida would be somewhat insulated as we didn’t participate in price run-ups like other counties in the state.  Now that the economy is taking off and interest rates are low, all signs seem go for the Florida real estate market.

Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida

This creates an opportunity for SW Florida.  While all of Florida is benefiting from the booming economy, low rates, and low taxes, SW Florida may have more room to grow than other counties that have already experienced price gains.  Just as certain stock industries appreciate at various rates, so can local real estate markets.

High tax states like New York and New Jersey sometimes flock to the East coast of Florida, while Midwestern states like Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, etc. tend to migrate to the West coast.  Even that is changing though.  Part-time and full-time residents from East coast of Florida are coming over to West coast as well.  People want value and quality of life when deciding where to live, and SW Florida offers both, and it’s beginning to get noticed.  Our values are great, and traffic is so much better than the big cities.

Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida?

Median home prices are up 5% this November vs. last November and average prices are up 1.6% Year to date median home prices are up 2.4% while average price are down 2.2%  We’ll be watching the next few months numbers to see if a price trend emerges.  The last few weeks we’ve written extensively on how the SW Florida real estate market is changing.  All these indicators point to a strengthening real estate market, and we love the potential of this market.

Stock pickers frequently look for the undervalued stocks in an industry, or the diamond in the rough.  SW Florida was forgotten about for whatever reason, and we think that’s about to change.  Will we see double digit growth?  Doubtful and we’re not looking for that.  We love steady, sustainable growth with quality of life.  SW Florida doesn’t want to become Miami West.  We have our own laid-back character and charm, and most want to keep it that way.  You can’t stop growth, but you can be smart about it.  Proper planning for roads, bridges, water quality, wildlife, shopping, etc. makes a big difference.

Near the end of January, we’ll have final 2019 numbers, and when final numbers are in, we believe 2019 will be a great year.  Home sales should eclipse the past 4 years, prices should be up, and inventory should be down.  If this holds true, we’ll have a better idea of how 2020 will shape up.  History only tells us where we’ve been.  It doesn’t always tell us where we’re going.  To know that, we either have to read the tea leaves or pull out our crystal ball.

It is hard to read the tea leaves if you don’t know exactly where you’ve been, where you are today, and what factors are influencing the market currently.  We have a pretty good handle on all three, and final 2019 numbers combined with January preliminary sales data will go a long way to telling us how season will go.

If you have a home to sell, always call Brett or Sande Ellis at the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant free analysis of your home.

We hope the holidays were kind to you and we look forward to serving you another year in real estate.  Please let us know how we can help you.

Good luck and Happy Home Selling!

See Last Week’s Article “November Closed Home Sales up 6.6%