Rising Florida home prices are being caused by low inventory levels.  Across Florida, median home prices increased 13.2% while the number of homes closed increased 8.8% In Southwest Florida, median home prices gained 16.5% in August over last year.  The number of homes closed also increased 16.5%.

Rising Florida Home Prices Statewide Numbers

We are seeing a perfect storm.  Low interest rates are driving consumer demand.  Other factors are in play as well.  Covid-19 has made people think about where they want to live, and where they want to work.  Many can work from home, so they might as well live and work somewhere they enjoy.  If they can live anywhere, they might as well enjoy the benefits of living in a low tax state.

Rising Florida Home Prices INventory Levels

When we look at the inventory levels, we notice listings always go down February through August or September.  You might notice a difference this year. Listing levels were already way down in 2019 due to a booming economy and low interest rates.  Fast forward to 2020 and we see that accelerating.  Not every part of the state is enjoying the success we are, but then again, many other counties enjoyed big price gains the last several years.  Lee County didn’t see that, so there is more room for gains than other areas of the state.

This past week the Ellis Team has worked on several multiple offer situations, both on the selling end and the buying end.  Scoring that victory for our clients requires determination and skill.  We work with buyers to structure their offer to look the absolute best it can to the seller.  Because we work with so many sellers, we know their concerns and can offer a lot of wisdom to our buyers.

Our sellers benefit greatly too.  The worst thing you can do in a market like this is take the wrong offer.  Buyers and buyer’s agents will present the story they want you to see, and it is our job to uncover the facts and separate the offers impartially so our seller can make the best decision.  Just because we have multiple offers today does not mean we will if we must put it back on the market in the future. You never want to squander a good opportunity, and yet it’s a fine line between determining whether it’s a good opportunity, or an opportunity to waste time.  This is where the wisdom of an experienced agent comes in.

The market is hot and we have rising Florida home prices. This does not mean all properties will generate multiple offers.  Proactive marketing must be employed to insure receiving top dollar.  Sure, you can get lucky, but who wants to play with luck in a market like this?  We never know how long these great markets will last. The biggest mistake most sellers make is being overconfident for too long and missing the market.  Subconsciously they hold on to the number in their head from 2 months ago all the while they’ve missed the market of the moment.

The Ellis Team has a plan.  We sit down and show you where homes have sold.  We go over the 3 things that will happen once your home goes on the market, and what to do in each scenario.  Our sellers are prepared for the market of the moment, and if the market shifts at the exact time your home is on the market, we can too.

If the buyers shift, we can adjust our marketing as we have the intelligence to us that.  Talk to Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we will be happy to discuss your options.  Even if you are not ready yet, it might help to begin talking about options should you decide down the road.  Information is power.

We also have a website where you can get a Free instant online valuation of your home www.SWFLhomevalues.com People love that website.

We are here to talk.  Brett and Sande are easy to talk to, and there is no pressure for you to do anything.  Call us and let’s chat.  You will feel better, and you’ll have some information that will help you make decisions.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

See Last Week’s Article “United States Housing Market Not Affected From Unemployment Yet

Like Southwest Florida, the United States housing market has fared very well in 2020.  A robust economy pre covid-19 and low interest rates are two factors that have fueled the real estate market locally and nationally.

We like to analyze data that may affect the market now or in the future.  When looking at national unemployment numbers we see that unemployment is falling fast and steadily from its peak in April.  The last time we saw double digit unemployment was 2009 and it took 4 years to fall just 2.5%.

United States Housing Market Not Affected From Unemployment Yet

We know that our current unemployment rates were forced by the Coronavirus outbreak and was precipitated by forced shutdowns.  It is not surprising that we are rebounding so fast and steadily., and yet we know that anyone who lost their job probably lost their ability to pay for housing for any length of time.  Thank goodness we had a good economy going into this thing.  Imagine how tough this would have been financially back in 2009.

United States Housing Market Unemployment By Age

Secondly, we like to look at who was most affected by job loss, as that may leave clues as to what is ahead for the United States housing market. The hardest hit segment is the 24 and under segment with current unemployment at 14.1% They make up 3.0% of all home sales in the United States housing market.

The 25-34 age group has 9.7% unemployment and make up about 25% of all home sales in the United States.  Lastly, we see the 35+ group with 6.8% unemployment.  They make up 72% of all United States housing market home sales.

Home Sales are Strong

This might explain why home sales have been so strong.  The majority of home buyers have been the least affected by unemployment. Low interest rates have helped offset any losses by affected home buyers.  Still, 8.4% unemployment and rising home sales may not be sustainable forever.  The good news is unemployment should not stay at 8.4% as those numbers are declining rapidly.

We plan to watch these numbers as they should leave clues about what is ahead for the United States housing market.  One potential scenario is it could hold back move-up buyers.  The 25-34 age group tends to be first time home buyers, and if a significant number hold off purchasing their first home it could impact down the road some move-up buyers who are ready to make their next move.

If the economy keeps improving and we get the service sector back to work, this should all work out.  Question marks remain how the travel and tourism segments will fare and people’s willingness to travel until covid-19 is under control.  Optimism in the vaccine and treatment fronts abound and this could help that segment recover sooner if therapeutics or prevention pans out.

Florida Looking Good for the Future

While the United States housing market may max out at some point until the economy recovers, Florida is looking rather good as many from out of state have found Florida desirable.  Florida is a net migration state from other states, so we may buck the trend if the national United States housing market maxes out someday.

At last check Lee County single family home inventory is down to 2.36 months supply of homes on the market.  Buyers must be quick and decisive to score a home in this market.  Sellers must be wise and patient, making sure they select the best offer for them, not necessarily the first offer that tried to box them into a quick decision.  This is where experienced agents come in.

Experienced buyer agents know how to make your offer as strong as possible.  Looking at it from the seller’s eyes is extremely helpful now, and therefore experience matters.

Sellers need experience now more than ever, so be careful trusting your home sale to an agent with little to no listing experience.  If you would like to speak to Brett or Sande Ellis about the process, we’re available.  Simply call 239-489-4042 Ext 4, or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get a Free estimate of your home’s value.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See last week’s article “Florida Real Estate Demand Heats Up From High Tax State Residents

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

1453 Mandel Rd

6414 Royal Woods Dr

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

7706 Bay Lake Dr

Florida real estate demand is heating up and we know it is coming from a few sources.  One obviously is low interest rates.  Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of these historic low rates if they could?  The other is heavy demand from northern buyers relocating to escape high state taxes.

Naples Relocation Patterns
Naples Florida Relocation Patterns

A recent report showed out of state buyers moving into Florida at a rate of 950 per day.  Florida has 67 counties.  You have to figure Lee County is one of the 10 largest counties by population.  It’s safe to assume Lee County is getting its fair share of those relocating from high tax states.

Let’s assume the top 10 counties are pulling half of the 950 daily relocations.  One tenth of 425 is 42.5.  Let’s cut that in half again and round that to 22.  If 22 people per day are moving to Lee County that equates to about 660 people per month.  Assuming an average family size of 3, 220 housing units would be needed per month in Lee County.

Florida Real Estate Demand Affects Housing Inventory

We have been witnessing our housing supply shrink each month as more contracts come in than new listings entering the market each month.  Lee County is down to a 2.36-month supply of homes which is the lowest I can remember in over 30 years practicing real estate in Lee County.

Florida Real Estate Demand Heats Up

Moving companies are reporting they have no more trucks available to move people out of New York City.  People cannot move out of there fast enough.  In Manhattan apartment vacancies are up 122% over last year.  Manhattan is not alone.  In fact, at Keller Williams we have intelligence that shows us where buyers are relocating from to our area.  I pulled up Naples in the system as an example to illustrate how this works.

Bonita Springs has different data from Naples which illustrates the point that each area attracts buyers from different areas.  The Ellis Team takes this data and advertises our listings in those markets.  What we find is a high level of lead conversion from those markets.  People up north are genuinely interested in leaving their state for Florida.

Everyone has their own reasons, and we hear them all.  Their reasons matter to them, and the first part of obtaining the lead is listening to the data.  When a seller hires us to sell their home, basically they are saying, “I don’t care where you find the buyer, just go out and get me some”.  Some Realtors aggressively market while other just place it on the MLS and pray someone else has a buyer.  The Ellis Team likes to go out and find the buyer.

Marketing Drives Sales

The best place to find the buyer is advertising where the buyers are.  We know many buyers are local, so we advertise heavily locally.  We also know many buyers are coming from out of state, so we advertise our listings in those cities where buyers are coming from.

I looked up the other day and we had 22 pending sales.  I wondered why we did not have 32 or 42 pending sales, and it dawned on me.  If we had more listings, we would have had 32 or 42 pending sales.  Our marketing is aggressive, and it is working.  The only thing it is lacking is inventory.  We can pare down this marketing at any time, but that would not be as fun.  We enjoy putting smiles on our seller faces when we bring them offers for top dollar.

If you have been thinking about selling your home, now might be the time.  You can call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we will be happy to sit down and evaluate your options. Or you can visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant valuation of your property.

Do not let the best market we have ever seen pass you by.  Nobody knows how long this will last.  The Ellis Team is just a phone call away.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

See last week’s article “Seller’s Market Fuels Rise in Home Sale Prices

 

SW Florida seller’s market fuels rise in home sale prices.  Hot home sales and declining inventory along with low interest rates have caused this seller’s market.

Eventually it had to show up in prices.  Median home sales increased 9.4% over last year while average prices increased 8.5%.  This is July over July numbers, not July over June 2020 numbers.  This tells us prices are on the move.

Seller’s Market Fuels Rise in Home Sale Prices

Seller’s Market Fuels Rise in Home Sale Prices

Rising prices are a good thing for home sellers, but not necessarily a bad thing for home buyers.  Waiting may be a bad thing for home buyers, but not rising prices itself.  The reason is interest rates have helped increase affordability, which means buyers can afford more purchase price for the same monthly payment.  The only thing that may hold some buyers back is the larger down payment.

We are seeing buyers asking for closing costs because they are having to put more down payment up due to rising prices.  This is one reason buyers should look to purchase sooner than later, because their down payments will keep going up with rising prices.

High Tax States Losing Residents

Secondly, we are seeing buyers purchase in Florida from other states.  New York city is losing residents in droves.  In fact, you cannot even get a U-Haul to move out of the state right now in New York City due to high demand.  Vacancies in New York City are rising fast.

New York City is not alone.  It is darned near impossible to grow a business with high taxes, shutdowns, riots, and violence.  One of these factors alone puts pressure on businesses and combined it is becoming the fatal blow.  Some people speculate these factors may result in the downfall of our cities.

Residents are voting with their pocketbook and they are getting out of Dodge.  People want to feel safe and feel like they can live and work in a place with opportunity.  Florida is one of those places people are choosing to move to, among others. The SW Florida seller’s market fuels rise in home prices.

What this means for home sellers in Florida is this is the best seller’s market we’ve ever seen.  It is always better to sell your home when there are many buyers and few sellers to compete with.  Even computer valuation models are picking up on the rising prices.  One of the best is www.SWFLhomevalues.com  You can receive a free estimate of your home’s values in seconds.  The site will even display a confidence score.  The higher the confidence score, the more accurate the valuation tends to be.

Getting Top Dollar For Your Home

Getting Top Dollar for your home is a science best left to experienced agents.  In this market you are likely to encounter multiple offers if the marketing is done correctly.  Experienced agents know how to get the most out of multiple offers and have the wisdom to know which offer to take.  One of the deadly sins homeowners make is selecting the wrong offer.  Each offer is a gamble, so selecting the right offer is critical.  It is not fun to go 45 days into a transaction and find out the buyer or the buyer’s lender cannot perform under the terms of the contract.

We receive offers all the time from inexperienced agents that have no idea the offer they wrote will not fly with the lender.  Sellers can pay closing costs, but each loan program is different.  We had to restructure a loan the day before closing because buyer did not have minimum amount down and could not benefit from agreed upon closing costs for a repair.  I asked the buyer agent to check with the lender before we agreed to the change, and she said she did.  She did not realize how something like this could kill a deal.  Now she does.  It is not her fault; she just did not have the experience to know better.

Therefore, hiring the right agent upfront can make all the difference.  We got it done, but it took a lot of work at the last minute.

Always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 to get your home sold Fast and for Top Dollar!

See last week’s article “Closed Home Sales Back on Track After Shutdown

Seller’s market fuels rise in SW Florida home prices, and it could last awhile with interest rates expected to stay low through 2021.

New Ellis Team Listings

High Point Place

2090 W First St #H2908

Reflection Lakes

7706 Bay Lake Dr

Closed home sales back on track after the covid-10 shutdown. 2020 started off with a bang, and then suddenly covid-19 hit, and Florida was under a shutdown or stay at home order.  People wondered what it would do to home sales and business in general for that matter.  We are happy to report closed homes sales are back on track after shutdown.

Closed home sales back after shutdown

In fact, July closed home sales eclipsed all three previous years.  Closed home sales could have been higher had we more inventory to sell.  3% interest rates are attracting buyers too, but now versus later.  Florida is also attracting buyers from other states.  America has decided Florida is definitely the place to be for various reasons.

The Ellis Team from the seller perspective has recently sold several properties, and quite naturally many of these homes had several offers on them.  A home marketed heavily attracts multiple buyers.  Today we will talk about what to look out for with multiple offers.

First off, if you are considering selling your home, you should call Brett or Sande Ellis.  Chances are we may already have a buyer for your home.  If we receive 4 offers on a home, only 1 buyer can win.  That means 3 other buyers still need a home.  We have a database of buyers looking to purchase right now, and possibly we could sell your home even before it hits the market.

Secondly, the offer a seller takes matters.  When you have multiple offers on a home, picking the winning buyer is a calculated risk.  If the buyer you choose doesn’t perform, you lost that buyer, and you might have lost the other buyers too.  In that time your home was off the market those other buyers could have found another home.  They are not going to sit around and see if your home goes through because they cannot afford to.  If another home meets their criteria, they need to jump on it because it will be gone soon too.

2020 is literally the best time perhaps ever to sell your home.  We have not seen interest rates this low, and we have not seen buyers so anxious to get into a home as we have during covid-19.  Covid-19 has created a nesting situation whereby people just want to hunker down at home.  They are not traveling like they used to, and their home becomes not only their living quarters, but also their entertainment center, work environment, etc.  The home is as important now as it’s ever been, and it’s affordable due to low interest rates.

Your home is a hot commodity right now.  Selecting the right agent to represent you is more important than ever.  You need an agent that can see the flaws in a deal before it happens.  That takes experience, and lots of it.  You do not want to lose a deal in the best-selling market we have ever seen.

Experienced agents know how obtain crucial facts from the buyer’s agent, and the buyer’s lender.  If a buyer does not cooperate, they probably will not win the bid.  Sellers look at the strongest offer.  The strongest offer isn’t always the highest bidder.  So much more goes into writing a strong offer.  The Ellis Team works with our buyers to write the strongest offer possible.  Because we’ve done so many seller sides over the years, we know what sellers are looking for.  Writing the offer in the best light upfront helps our buyers win more bids.

Brett or Sande would be happy to sit down with you and go over all the options in selling your home.  You do not have to do anything.  We like to present you with your options, and let you decide.

Call Sande or Brett 239-489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant value of your home for Free.  If it looks good, Brett or Sande can validate the number and make sure it’s the correct for your home.

Good luck and enjoy the best-selling market we have ever seen!  If you are thinking about, we’d hate for you to miss this market.  Great selling markets do not last forever.

See last week’s article “Targeted Real Estate Advertising Selling Homes for Top Dollar

Ellis Team Newest Listings