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The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers released the Annual SW Florida State of the Market Report in February.  Local TV stations covered the release and here are some of the stories.

WINK News 6PM Coverage of State of the Market Report 

WINK News 10 PM Coverage-Home Prices Back to 1999 Prices

WINK News 11 PM-Housing Prices and New Construction

FOX 4 News Coverage of State of market Report Release

Download the State of the Market Report  In this report we detail the Fort Myers real estate market, along with updates on the Cape Coral real estate market, Lehigh Acres home sales, Bonita Springs and Estero real estate updates, Sanibel and Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Pine Island, and all of Lee County Florida.

We also detailed bank foreclosure information, and short sales statistics, distressed property information, and we talked about the CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) designation to help owners keep their homes or sell their homes to protect their credit

We’ll be uploading more video in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Fort Myers and Cape Coral Real Estate Current Market Index
Fort Myers and Cape Coral Real Estate Current Market Index


The January 2009 Ellis Team SW Florida real estate current market index covering Fort Myers real estate, Cape Coral real estate, and Estero leveled off this past month and currently stands at 6.74, up slightly from 6.65 the previous month.  The index still shows signs of strong buying activity and overall market absorbtion.

Single family inventory for Lee County dropped below 14,000 this month to 13,740, while pendings remained relatively the same.  The Current Market Index for the entore county actually fell from 7.99 to 7.89, but we are reporting numbers in the graph for just Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate single family homes.  Single family home inventory has been falling nicely as the market has been absorbing homes to the market all throughout 2008.  Other agents are just now starting to pick up on this trend and report it, instead of the gloom and doom some have been reporting all year.

Next month we’ll be releasing our annual SW Florida State of the Market Report, which will be much more comprehensive this year.  We’ve been hard at work analysing the data and identifying emerging trends.  As usual, there will be some surprises.  We’ve spent extra time eliminating duplicate entries in various MLS systems, so we feel quite confident this new set of numbers will be the Most realistic picture of what is actually happening in SW Florida real estate.

We’ll be drilling down much deeper so you can see what’s been happening in various neighborhoods.  Stay tuned for official announcement for the release date for this very special report.

OK, who knew the video updates would be so popular?  This week’s video updates are in, and instead of doing our traditional in office video update, we decided to post some of the news stories we did last week on the local news.  This idea started out last year as a fun experiment, and what we’ve discovered is people like it and expect it.  This past week we received several e-mails and comments asking where the video updates are.

On January 6, 2009 we did an interview on WINK News 6 PM regarding Hank Fishkind’s recently released report and how he expects the SW Florida real estate market to go in the next 3 years.  We talked about affordability being back in the Fort Myers real estate market and how northern buyers are here this season and buying due to the low prices.

We also did an interview for WINK News at 5 PM and we talked again about Hank Fishkind’s stagnant growth prediction, northern buyers, and making money in real estate on the Buy Vs. the sell.  We disagreed with Hank Fishkind’s report to some extent on the SW Florida condo market.

You can let us know whether you like the TV News format better, or the simple video update like we did on September 15 in our office.  Just leave your comments to this post.

We also did news stories on NBC Today Show last September and also NBC NIghtly News with Brian Williams on October 8, 2008.

If you’d like to search for your bank owned bargain, or foreclosures in Fort Myers and Cape Coral Florida, visit out Free Search MLS website.

November 2008 real estate numbers for Fort Myers and Cape Coral were released recently and single family home sales in Cape Coral and Fort Myers were up 64% over last year, a trend we’ve seen repeated throughout 2008.  Median sales prices for Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate fell 53% from last year, down from $228,100 to $106,100.  Statewide home sales were up only 4%, so again SW Florida real estate has been leading the state in home sales.

Condo sales in Fort Myers and Cape Coral were down 21% from last year, while statewide they were only down 8%.  Statewide sales prices for condo were down 30% and condos in Cape Coral and Fort Myers were only down 20%, perhaps a reason why our sales were down.  The better the pricing the more sales we are seeing in any particular market segment.

Fort Myers Cape Coral Real Estate Current Market Index
Fort Myers Cape Coral Real Estate Current Market Index


The December 2008 Ellis Team SW Florida Real Estate Current Market Index again showed improvement from last month’s index.  The Current Market Index now stands at 6.65, down from 6.89 in November.  The lower the number the better the market is for sellers.  Transactions in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate markets were up again significantly over last year as our index predicted it would be.  Single family home sales in Fort Myers and Cape Coral were up 78% over last year’s numbers in October.

Single family inventory is down 12.42% from last year’s numbers.  In December 2007 we had over 16,000 single family homes for sale in Lee County and now that number is down to slightly over 14,000.  With sales up around 80% over last year’s numbers and inventory declining, many would say that 2008 has been a year of recovery for the SW Florida real estate market, but we cannot do so until prices stabilize.  Median prices have continued to head lower all year and this is why Fort Myers and Cape Coral has bucked the state and national trends, because value and affordability are back in the market.

In fact, prices are so far below replacement costs that first time home buyers and investors alike are scooping these properties up as fast as they come on the market.  While more foreclosures are scheduled to hit the market in 2009, many are condominiums and vacant land.  We are doing a study right now along with the SW Florida Real Estate Investment Association to determine how many Lis Pen dens filings are actual home foreclosures.  Keep in mind, a property may have multiple Lis Pen dens filings which may skew the numbers, so we may not see as many foreclosures in 2009 as some are quoting.

Local mortgage companies are reporting fixed rates in the 4.5% range today with 1 point.  Loan amounts are also on the rise, which could signal an up tick in future home buying in higher price ranges.  We don’t look for drastic upward changes to median home prices, however we do like to look at mortgage applications to get a reading on potential future purchasing activity.

We see regular negative articles and news stories about the real estate market, but the numbers tell another side of the story.  Sellers do not like today’s prices, and nobody knows where tomorrow’s prices will be for sure, however we can report there is a market at the right price and this market has been posting large gains all year.  We think many buyers and investors have figured out there are tremendous buying opportunities available now and they’re not listening to the Downers in the market.

If you really want to know how a market is doing, follow the money.  Buyers are back in this market because the prices are Right.  It’s a lot like the BCS polls.  Don’t follow what the polls say; follow the Vegas odds, because that’s where the money is.  It’s amazing how much better the money does in picking games than the experts do.  The numbers always tell a story.  The real wisdom is deciding not which expert to listen to, but which numbers you should follow.  In the SW Florida real estate market you can look at falling median prices, or increased sales.  Both tell a story, and we’ll leave it to the market to decide what the numbers mean.  We just thought we’d present another side you may not be seeing in the media or hearing from other experts and let you decide.

The Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate markets again posted significant gains over last years numbers, bucking national trends and leading the state of Florida for the entire year.  Single family home sales in Cape Coral and Fort Myers were up 78% in October.  Statewide home sales were 15% and median prices were down 24%.  Median prices in Fort Myers and Cape Coral were down 42%, and this is the reason buyers are back in the SW Florida real estate market.

I speak with top agents from all over the country and many times they tell me sales are way down, but prices have held steady.  The reality is buyers no longer want or are able to afford the prices, so while sellers may not be selling for less, buyers aren’t buying, and that’s why their sales are way down.  It’s true in just about every market where sales decline.  Fort Myers and Cape Coral has led the state in reacting, perhaps because we had to with such a large inventory of brand new homes that were on the market, and this is the major reason Fort Myers and Cape Coral is leading the state back out of this.  Our prices are compelling, not just attractive.

In the first half of 2008 we noticed a lot of first time home buyers entering the market, which was a good sign going forward because it signaled affordability was back in the market, and buyers again had confidence going forward that 2008 was a good time to buy.  In the second half of 2008 we noticed a tremendous influx of long-term investors coming back into the market.  This is another good sign as investors have realized this market is priced so far below replacement cost that when this whole thing settles down they’ll be buying at tremendous savings.  Fort Myers and Cape Coral truly is having a 1/2 off sale and it won’t last forever.

Investors know that you make money on the Buy, not the Sell.  Interest rates look like they’re falling again, and season is just about here, so 2009 could get a little interesting.  Foreclosures have paused temporarily as lenders have suspended many filings.  Inventory has not increased all year in the MLS even with all the foreclosures we’ve had.  This is a very good sign as the market is absorbing all new inventory, because it is priced to sell.  The banks losses have become new homeowners and investors gains.

Not surprisingly Cape Coral and Fort Myers leads the states in condo sales gains as well.  Condo sales in Fort Myers and Cape Coral were up 48% while the median price was down 5%.  Statewide condo sales were only up 5% and prices were down 23% from last year.  Areas like Tallahassee were down 95%, Lakeland Winter Haven 64%, Ocala 75%, and Sarasota-Bradenton 47%.  As you can see, Fort Myers real estate and Cape Coral real estate is doing very well and leading the state.

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SW Florida Ellis Team Real Estate Current Market Index
SW Florida Ellis Team Real Estate Current Market Index

The November 2008 Ellis Team SW Florida Real Estate Current Market Index showed continued improvement again in November.  We expect sales numbers to be quite positive when they are released in a few days, even if sale prices are down as has been the trend in 2008.  The index fell to 6.89 for the Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate market which is the lowest we’ve seen in years since December of 2005.

Cape Coral’s inventory declined slightly while pending sales increased again, and the CMI Index number for Cape Coral is down to 5.40  Fort Myers rose slightly to 14.56.  Lee County numbers overall fee to 8.64 from 9.16 in October.  Most of these numbers bode well for future sales activity as this index accurately predicts future closed sales and overall market health.

Condo sales in SW Florida are another story with the CMI Index currently at 22.64, up from 21.86 in October.  With season approaching we’ll see if those numbers improve in the 1st Qtr of 2009.

SW Florida Real Estate Home Sales Statistics

Fort Myers and Cape Coral saw a 128% increase in home sales over last year as reported by the Florida Associatiopn of Realtors.  Statewide sales were up 24%, but locally they were up much greater becuase affrodability is back in the SW Florida real estate market what is not priced into all Florida markets. Median sale price is Fort Myers and Cape Coral dropped to $141,400 from $231,600 last year.

Condo sales in Cape Coral and Fort Myers saw a 50% rise in condo sales over last year, while the median price dropped 17% to $185,000.

Home sale prices declined for the 4th straight month in Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate.  See our month over month prices graph. You can also view a monthly price summary by year for Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate.  We’ve also included a home sales by month for the past several years for Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

We’ve created some videos for you to learn about the SW Florida real estate market better.  Some of these videos were newscasts done on TV, while others were simply us on a video camera talking about the market in our office.  We’ll be adding more videos like the newscast we did for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams a few weeks ago, so stay tuned.

Thank you for reading our SW Florida Real Estate Home Sales Statistics update this week.  We look forward to bringing you further SW Florida Real Estate Home Sales Statistics.

This week’s guest on “The Future of Real Estate”  will be Lee County Florida property appraiser Ken Wilkinson.  Ken was the Father of Save our Homes Ammendment years ago and served on the Tax and Budget Reform Comittee that meets every 20 years.  Ken was appointed by the Governor to sit on that panel.  This panel came up with several ammendments voters will be voting on this election.  3 ammendments were taken off the ballot by a judge who said the wording was not clear to voters.  Unfortunately by law they are only allowed 74 words to describe the entire ammendment, so it’s very hard to get everything in and make it clear.

Ken will also tell us how property values have done in 2008 and what that could mean for your assessment when it’s analyzed on January 1, 2009.  The Future of Real Estate presented by The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group can be heard Saturdays at 11:00 AM on WINK AM 1240 and 1270 in Collier County.  It is also broadcast over the Internet after the show airs.

Next week we may have on Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp back on our show, so tune in next week as well.