This past week we’ve seen some wild fluctuations in the stock market, so we thought we’d answer some questions people have.  One question we’ve heard recently is does stock market volatility affect real estate values?

Stock Market Volatility Affect Real Estate Values Stock market volatility
Stock Futures Suggest Volatile Open

The simple answer is, not really.  There is a general correlation between stock market values and real estate values.  As the economy does better, both markets tend to do better.  However, we’ve seen instances where people pull money out of the stock market and place it into the real estate market.

Interest rates tend to affect sentiment in both markets.  Rising inflation leads to rising interest rates, which both markets dislike.  Investors will sometimes pull money out of stock market and into bonds for the yields.  Therefore, the stock market doesn’t like rising rates.  Rising rates also hurts borrowers as it zaps purchasing power from buyers in the real estate market.

Stock Market Volatility Affect Real Estate Values Housing vs stock market

However, we’ve seen inverted yield curves whereby sort term rates are higher than long term rates.  This breaks most of the rules as usually long-term rates carry more risk, so investors want more yield in a longer security.  Therefore, we have to look at the reasons for interest rate and stock market volatility before drawing conclusions as to its effect on consumer sentiment and real estate prices.

On Friday February 2 jobs data came out and showed wages climbed 2.9% from the previous year which was the best gain since 2009.  This spurred inflation fears and concern that the fed would hike rates unexpectedly, which naturally draws volatility from the stock market.

The bottom line is not much has changed in the economy in the last week or so.  The only thing that has changed is stock volatility, and the realization that rates will go higher.  We’ve been talking about it for a few years, and reality is finally here.  Everybody knew this day was coming.

The tax reform has spurred wage growth.  We expect to see a tight labor market.  Some jobs are moving back to the US, while some jobs will be lost as business reorganizes.  Retail stores and banks may continue to come under pressure as online wins the day.

I wouldn’t put much attention into the stock market other than seeing how it affects your retirement savings.  The smart money is watching interest rates.  Rising rates don’t necessarily kill the stock or real estate market, but it can stifle or limit its growth.

Wage growth will dictate how far real estate prices will rise.  The stock market doesn’t go one direction forever, and neither does the real estate market.  Wages must eventually rise if you want continued rise in prices.  Rising rates stymie price growth, and rising wages can offset some of that. Unfortunately, rising wages is correlated to rising rates as they can be inflationary.

The stock market did well 2008-2016 due to free money.  It did even better in 2017 due to rising expectations in the economy.  Free money is over, and it must be.  We’re heading into a period of normal market conditions controlling the markets.  This is healthy and a good thing.

We’ll be watching inflation, interest rates, oil, and the overall economy.  We’ve got a balanced real estate market here in SW Florida. Buyers are scooping up properties now to beat those rising rates, however they’re not over-paying either.

Buyers want to buy, but not overpay.  They’re being careful and doing their homework.  Inventory is rising, but still low.  Research and market knowledge wins the day whether you’re a buyer or seller.

One of the best websites to keep up with the market is www.LeeCountyOnline.com  The database is updated every few minutes.  It not only has all the listings, it also has sold data in our market reports section.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty for professional real estate advice 239-489-4042.  If you’ve got a house to sell, ask for Sande or Brett.  Our team stands by ready to help you buy or sell, and educate you on the market.

Ellis Team Weekend O[en Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

Danforth Lakes

9103 Falcon Pointe Loop

4 Bed 3 Bath  $330,000

9013 Falcon Pointe Loop

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Parker Lakes

14811 Crystal Cove Ct Unit 1102

2 Bed 2 Bath lakefront  $225,000

Parker Lakes Condo

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Island Park Village

17813 Port Boca Cir

2 Bed 2 Bath Lakefront  $215,000

Island Park Village Condo

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Olde Hickory

9071 Old Hickory Cir

3 Bed 3 Bath Golf Course View  $360,000

Olde Hickory Golf Course Home

December 2017 closed sales increased 1.9% over 2016 in the Southwest Florida real estate market.  However, the median sales price was down 4.6% while the average sale price was down 16.3%  The slight increase in number of closings wasn’t enough to pull the total dollar volume with it, so we saw a decrease of $55 million in total volume. December Southwest Florida Dollar Volume Drops.

December Southwest Florida Dollar Volume Drops Summary Statistics

Is this concerning?  Not really.  We know that many properties were affected by the hurricane.  It stalled some sales, and it’s forced some sellers to wait due to increased time repairing pool cages, screens, roofs, etc.  I talked with a roofer this past weekend who said it will be 9 months before the roofing market returns to normal.  His advice, if you don’t need a new roof today, wait.

Prices for roofs, pool cages, screens, etc is artificially too high due to demand.  Prices will come down as the workload lessens in the future.  I talked to a builder who has delayed homes because they can’t get pools done on time or within budget.  These high costs will pass, but it will take time.

7 Day Market Watch 1-30-18 December Southwest Florida Dollar Volume Drops

We feel that the housing stats are more a reflection of disruption than anything.  We pulled the 7 day Market Watch report from MLS and what a difference a few weeks make.  We’re back to normal.  Pending sales have almost equaled new listings.  This tells us that buyers have turned on.  They are out there buying right now.

We also had more price decreases than new listings.  This tells us that sellers are getting more realistic and are reducing prices to match where the buyers are.  The price reductions are working.

Each year sellers bring properties to market in hopes of testing new highs.  Prices have risen so much that buyers are indifferent to overpriced listings.  Homes today must be priced correctly, or buyers will pass.  In a rapidly upward sellers’ market, buyers are forced to act quickly.  We weren’t seeing that a few weeks ago.  We are starting to see that now, however buyers are still price conscious.

Sellers are getting restless.  The calls into our office from sellers with other listing agents has increased dramatically.  They are unhappy with their agent for one reason or another.  We cannot list their property until their listing ends, so they’re stuck with their situation unless they work something out with their broker.

Our advice would be this.  All agents are not the same.  It pays to interview top agents and compare them.  Compare marketing plans, pricing, communication expectations, track record, references, etc.  I know it takes a little more time on the front end, however it will save you a lot of unhappy time waiting for a listing to end on the back end.

Interest rates are rising right now.  Waiting in this market is not good.  Buyers are here now and they’re buying.  You want to be priced correctly and marketed correctly.  It’s the only way to get Top Dollar for your home.  You don’t want to be the last seller standing once season ends.  That means you lost the home selling game and you’ll be looking at fewer buyers with higher rates in the future.  The time to get this correct is right now.

If you’re thinking of selling, always call Brett or Sande Ellis at the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.  Our marketing is second to none, and we’ll help you get your price correct too.  Call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 so we can get your home sold now and for Top Dollar.

To search the MLS like a pro, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  you’ll find the all the listings updated instantly.  You can even get an idea on what your home is worth for Free!

Good luck and happy home buying!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

1226 NE 5th Ave, Cape Coral

December Southwest Florida Dollar Volume Drops
Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Paseo Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Bell Tower Park Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Rising interest rates costs buyers money when purchasing a home.  It either increases their payment, or it decreases the amount of purchase to maintain the same payment.  Buyers have been warned for some time that rates would go up, and now they’re listening. Buyers flock to beat 2018 interest rate increases in 2018.

If you want to see where rates are headed, one indicator we look at is oil prices.  As the economy improves, countries consume more oil.  As oil consumption increases, it raises the cost of oil.  Simple supply and demand.   As oil prices increase, it raises the cost of inflation because so many things are tied to oil.  Transportation costs increase, so not only does it cost you more to fill up your car with gas, it also costs companies more to move their product.

Lumber goes up because there is more demand for building plus it costs more to cut it and move it due to oil.  Food prices go up because it costs more to plow the fields, and transport groceries to warehouses and eventually the stores.  Postage goes up as Fed Ex, UPS, and the USPS pay more to deliver mail and packages.  Oil influences a lot of things.

Buyers Flock to Beat 2018 Interest Rate Increases

As you can see from the graph, oil futures have been increasing since June of 2017.  The 10 yr treasury yield has been increasing since September 2017.  Oil price and interest rates are closely tied as they feed off each other.  Oil signifies inflation may rise, and inflation rises, so typically does interest rates.

Mortgages are most closely associated with the 10 Yr treasury yield.  Perhaps this is because not all mortgages remain for 15 years or 30 years.  The average homeowner typically sells and purchases another home before their mortgage is paid off.

Buyers Flock to Beat 2018 Interest Rate Increases

If you’re on the fence about when to purchase, the recent rise in interest rates may make you move sooner rather than waiting.  Even if you own a home, it may be a good time to sell and purchase that next home.

If you sell now, you have more available buyers for your home.  As rates rise, you will lose buyers to the increased costs.  And, you’ll save when you buy your next home too.  Not only will you qualify for more home today than when rates rise, you’ll also pay less when rates are lower.

Presumably you’ll get a higher sale now with more qualified buyers than you might with less qualified buyers later, and you’ll save money on the next mortgage.  It’s a double win-win for a seller contemplating a move.  Sure, home prices may still go higher, so it’s not automatic you’ll get more for your home today.  We’re just saying there will be less competition from other sellers now and more demand from buyers now than when rates rise.  It’s always more fun to sell when you’re holding more of the cards.

Rates have already begun to rise, so sellers aren’t holding all the cards they were 6 months ago.  We are seeing more inventory, which in a way is good thing because now sellers have more options when they decide to move.  Many sellers wouldn’t sell because they had no idea on where they’d go.  That’s opened up just a bit, which helps.

Always work with an experienced agent who knows the market.  If you’d like to search the MLS for Free like a pro, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the listings and is updated instantly. No more wasting your time on properties that sold months ago.  And you’ll see all the new listings instantly too.

Or Call Sande or Brett at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 to sell your home.  We have a team of experienced agent partners who can help you buy your next home too.

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!  We’re here to help!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 11 AM – 1 PM

9793 Deerfoot Dr

South Pointe South Lakefront Home
Lakefront Home in South Pointe South

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

9825 Wildginger Dr

Ellis Team Weekend Open House South Pointe South
South Pointe South Maplewood Floor Plan

 

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

14381 Hickory Fairway Ct

$410,000

Buyers Flock to Beat 2018 Interest Rate Increases

 

9071 Old Hickory Cir

$375,000

$375,000 on Golf Course

Brookshire Condo

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

13235 Whitehaven Ln #1004

$131,000

2 Bed 2 Bath Brookshire Condo

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

16804 Colony Lakes Blvd

4 Bed, 4 Bath, 3 Car Garage Pool Home in Colony Lakes

$390,000

4 Bed, 4 Baths, 3 Car Garage Pool Home

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Cypress Lake Country Club Villa

14401 Patty Berg Dr #101

Cypress Lake Country Club Villa with Attached Garage

As predicted local housing inventory rises heading into season in 2018.  This cycle repeats each year.  One of the things we are tracking is the moment buyers turn on and start gobbling up these properties.  Each year we tell people it takes until about January 15th or so for buyers to turn on.

Local Housing Inventory Rises Heading Into Season
Oct 2, 2017 Market Watch

So far, we haven’t seen it yet.  We just pulled fresh numbers as of January 15th and compared them to October 2nd, another data point we have saved.  We have some from earlier in year as well, and they look similar to October 2nd, so there is nothing magical about that date.

Local Housing Inventory Rises Heading Into Season January 2018
January 15, 2018 Market Watch Data

In each data point, sold and new pending sales are similar to new active listings.  What’s different about now is new listings have been outpacing sold properties about 3 to 1 and new pending sales 1.6 to 1.  At any other time, this would be alarming to see a sudden trend like this.

Because we know the New Year often starts off like this, we’re not sounding alarm bells, or false missile alerts.  We have enough of those lately.  We are telling sellers that have had their home on the market awhile that new listings are coming, so if their home failed to sell before the run-up in new listings, it may face difficult headwinds now. When selling a home, it’s always important to gauge the headwinds, and as we write this the buyers haven’t turned on just yet.

As the season goes, so goes the rest of the year many times.  The fundamentals for Florida are strong as an improving economy, new hiring, pay raises, and lower taxes is a good recipe for the housing market.  Add in the fact that Florida looks good compared to other states with the new tax code and we could see more net migration from other high tax states going forward.

When there are few homes for sale, pricing it correctly and getting it out on the market can sometimes be enough.  When listing inventory begins to rise, pricing becomes more crucial as does marketing.

It’s not enough to just list it on MLS and hope other agents show it.  You must reach the buyer.  The buyer has more choices, and often the buyer tells their Realtor which homes they’d like to see.  This takes increased advertising.

When we target buyers, we use several media.  We use traditional print like the newspaper, yellow pages and mail-outs as they still work.  We also use advanced online techniques to reach buyers.  Online we can identify buyers from up North that are looking to purchase down here in SW Florida.  We can also identify people in Southwest Florida that are interested in purchasing, then serve up ads likely to meet their criteria.

If you only market one way you’re not reaching all the buyers.  Of course, you must have a hefty budget as well to reach as many as possible.  We had a Realtor from Baltimore call us this past week wondering where we got our database of buyers.  He thought perhaps the state of Florida had one we bought into.  I told him no, it’s a large database the Ellis Team has garnered from extensive online and print advertising.

They say if a politician wants to win, they must speak directly to the people.  In real estate, if you really want to sell your home, you must market directly to the buyers.  That’s what our marketing does.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you should call us and see for yourself.  Once you see it, you realize there is no better way to reach your buyer.

If you’re a buyer, you should call us too.  We have access to All the listings, not just the ones you see on certain websites.  You can reach us at 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to see All the listings.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

1465 Argyle Dr

1465 Argyle Dr

 

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

13408 Marquette Blvd

Riverfront Home

Keller Williams #1 in Fort Myers

Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & the Islands announces that Keller Williams has attained #1 market share in 2017 for Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach.  Both units and $ volume.

Keller Williams #1 Units 2017

 

 Ellis Team Seller’s Club January 2018 Update

We get a lot of questions about the standard residential purchase contract versus as-is agreement.  Let’s go over the differences and how each should be used.

Standard Residential Purchase Contract Versus As-Is Agreement

First off, the seller is required to disclose known defects regardless of which contract is used.  In the old days agents always used the standard purchase contract which provides for automatic repairs of certain items.  There was always a fight about what was covered or not, so the contract was cleaned up and made more precise.

Standard Residential Purchase Contract Versus As-Is Agreement

Since the foreclosure crisis it’s become common practice to use the as-is agreement.  The as-is agreement has no automatic repair provisions, so it allows the buyer to cancel for any reason.  What invariably ends up happening is a fight about repairs.  Buyers get ticky-tacky about little things and demand they are repaired.  The seller says no, it was sold as-is and we’re not doing it.  The buyer walks and finds another property.

Meanwhile the buyer is out the inspection costs and starts all over.  The seller had their home off the market for 10-15 days and lost marketing time.  If the buyer wasn’t prepared to accept minor issues they should not have written an as-is contract.

Under the standard contract the seller is responsible for repairs up to 1.5% of purchase price for items like roof, water damage, heating, cooling, plumbing, septic, etc.  Cosmetic conditions are not covered.  And yet even with as-is contracts buyers ask for cosmetic repairs and get turned down and are left searching for another home.

Buyers are Fearful

Buyers are fearful the problems are bigger than they are, or that costs will mount.  Buying a home is an e emotional event, and fear often gets the better of buyers.  The time to talk about all this stuff is before they purchase a home.  Once buyers know what to expect, the process becomes much easier for them.

Sellers are emotional too.  They often feel like the buyer got the better of the deal in negotiations, and now they want stupid repairs on top of it!  You can hear their frustration the minute we present them with repair issues.  The as-is contract was supposed to cure all this and make contracts simpler and less argumentative.

People are people, and no contract is going to suppress the emotions of fear and greed.  So long as this is reality, it might be best to consider using the standard contract which addresses certain issues quite well.

Agents Should Counsel Buyers and Sellers

At the very least agents should be counseling buyers and sellers up-front as to expectations and the process once an offer comes in.  If buyers and sellers are properly educated, the emotions are tamed, and the experience of the agent takes over.  Each side has confidence they are being treated fairly and according to protocol.

This is one more reason for sale by owners have such a difficult time selling on their own.  They don’t have anyone counseling them on how to act and feel.  More importantly, there isn’t a neutral party the buyer trusts counseling them on how to feel and act either.  Invariably the deal blows up and both sides are more frustrated than ever.

Agents, have upfront consultations with your buyers and sellers.  If your buyer is skittish or emotional, consider using the standard contract.  It will keep more deals together for you as the contract is specific about what is covered.  The as-is contract is like the old Wild West, and in the Wild West anything goes.  And usually somebody dies.  Don’t let your contracts die needlessly.  Rely on your agent’s wisdom and experience to get through these issues.  Hopefully both sides are using an experienced agent.  Learning on the job is not fun for buyer or seller.  Experience matters.  Either use an experienced agent with hundreds if not thousands of transactions experience, or someone on a team who has access to all that experience from a team leader.  Experience isn’t costly, it’s priceless when you need it.

If you’re looking to buy or sell, always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 or visit our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com for more tips.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Parker Lakes

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

Parker Lakes Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses
Parker Lakes – Gated Community

14811 Crystal Cove Ct Unit 1102

How Much is Your Home Worth?

 

How Does Financing Impact Cost of Ownership?  We’ve found that three items have the largest impact on the cost of ownership due to financing.

The most talked about are the amount financed and the rate.  For a moment, let’s talk about creating real equity while thinking like an investor. Payments are lower on 30 yr loans than 15 yr loans so most people choose the lowest payment.

How Does Financing Impact Cost of Ownership

What if you could afford the payment on a 15 year loan?  Would it make much of a difference?  If you look at the sample chart, a 30 year loan pays down about 25% of the original loan in 15 years compared to 100% on a 15 year loan.

How Does Financing Impact Cost of Ownership?

Let’s say you have a $250,000 loan at 4.125%.  The P&I (principal & Interest) portion on a 30 yr loan is $1,211.62  That same loan on a 15 yr is $1,864.92.  But wait, there’s more.  15 yr loans carry less interest rate.  Currently 15 yr loans are at 3.5% which brings the payment down to $1,787,21 That’s a $575.59 difference per month but the law of compounding saves you much more than that.

Over 15 years you’ll pay $575.59 more per month which equals $103,606.20.  However, if you finance for 30 years you’ll still owe $162,423.19.  That’s already a difference of $58,816.99.  This assumes you have the money to payoff the mortgage in 15 years.  If you don’t you’ll continue to finance it.  If you do this for the full 30 years you will have paid back the $250,000 original loan plus an additional $186, 184.76 in interest for a grand total of $436,184.76

Had you financed this for 15 years you would have paid back the original $250,000 plus $71,697.14 for a grand total of $321,697.14  That’s a lot less than $436,184.76.  In fact, it’s $114,487.62 less.

If you have the wherewithal to finance for less time you might wish to consider it.  If you’re disciplined you might consider taking out 30 yr loan and paying like it’s a 15 yr loan.  However, you will pay .625% more in the rate and it will require discipline.

The other two factors besides length of loan is the rate and the amount financed.  A good agent can help you with both.  Knowing which lender is best for you requires some knowledge.  Each borrower has a unique set of circumstances.  Some lenders offer better rates on FHA loans than others, while some lenders specialize in conventional loans.

We have lenders that offer bridge loans, construction loans, FHA, VA, USDA, bond programs, lot loans, portfolio loans, investor loans, and foreign national loans.  If all this sounds confusing to you, you need to work with an agent that can point you in the right direction.  Sometimes as agents we don’t know your full situation.  This is why we work with lenders we can trust so we can point you to the right program for you.

Knowing the right people and who you can trust makes all the difference.  An agent might negotiate a few thousand off the purchase price for you, but if you choose the wrong lender you can pay it all back and then some simply by choosing the wrong loan.

Most buyers focus on price of the home.  We like to look at total cost of ownership.  This includes price, rate, taxes, and other fees like HOA or condo fees, CDD’s, etc.  This way you can make a fully informed decision and make that dream home become a reality.  We hear stories where that dream home turned into a nightmare home because the buyer didn’t understand the full scope of the purchase.  We want you fully informed.

You can search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It’s the best property search website in SW Florida.  However, please talk to an agent on the Ellis Team before you purchase.  Not using us could cost you thousands.  Our agents offer peace of mind.  239-489-4042.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

13235 Whitehaven Ln

Brookshire  $138,500

 

Huge Opportunity to Sell After Hurricane Irma

It’s a few weeks after hurricane Irma and already we see Lee County sellers enjoying inventory supply advantage the first week of October.  Last week we told you that the hurricane could become a tremendous opportunity for SW Florida home sellers.   Inventory was already low at 4,666 at end of August.  We predicted a possible 10% decrease in inventory which would take us down to 4,200 listings.  This week single family inventory stands at 4,248, so that assumption has come true.

Lee County Sellers Enjoying Inventory Supply Advantage

In the last 24 hours 73 new listings have come on the market, while 76 went pending.  This tells us that early in the week more people are buying than deciding to sell.  If this continues, inventory will fall even further. Each year, many home sellers decide to sell in January.  I guess they think somehow, it’s a better time to sell as more visitors are here beginning in January.

It is true, we will have more people here January through March.  It’s also true that those visitors will have many more listings to choose from than they do now.  So as a seller, is it better to sell in season, or now?

We believe it may be better to sell now.  We have lots of buyers ready to purchase now.  We have low inventory.  Buyers just do not have the choices now that they will have in season.  Sure, there are lots of buyers that do not have to buy now.  They can wait for more choices.  However, some do not have that luxury and need to buy now.  Isn’t it always better to sell when people need to buy and there isn’t much to choose from?

Imagine the stores just before the hurricane.  If you got there late and there were only a few cases of water, did you care what brand it was?  Did you care if it was 50 cents more than the brand you usually buy?  No, you needed water.  You recognized scarcity and what it would mean if you didn’t buy it.

If you are thinking about selling, you are a store right now and the shelves are kind of empty.  Maybe not completely empty, but definitely not full.  In January, those shelves will have more on them.

If prices go up in the next 3 months, many of those potential buyers may become lookers.  If you think there are lookers in this market now, wait until season.  Just because the roads become clogged doesn’t mean everyone here wants to buy.  Many look, and look for years.  If they don’t see SW Florida as a bargain, they may not buy.  If prices go up in the next 3 months, we may not look like a bargain.  And who wins if that happens?  The sellers who decided to sell when the shelves were bare and the buyers needed to purchase.

Nobody knows how the market will be next season.  We do know the market today, and there are opportunities.  The data agrees.  Please call Brett or Sande at 239-489-4042 to see how much we can sell your home for and how much you would net at closing.

If you’re looking at buying, speed is key in this market.  www.LeeCountyOnline.com is the fastest real estate search engine.  It has all the listings and is updated every few minutes, which is key when you’re competing against other buyers to score that dream home.  Always call and Ellis Team agent and we’ll help you locate and close on your dream home.  Finding it is one thing.  Actually buying it and closing it is another, and that’s where our agents shine.

We look forward to helping you buy or sell.  Let us know how we can help you.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Heritage Cove Open Saturday 1-3 PM

 

Kelly Greens Golf & Country Club Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

View All Reflection Lakes Fort Myers Homes For Sale

See Spotlight on Reflection Lakes

Now may be a good time to sell your Southwest Florida Home.  We have buyers who need housing after Hurricane Irma.

Official SW Florida real estate statistics were just released for August and one thing that stands out to us is the drop in inventory.  This leads us to believe now is an excellent opportunity to sell SW Florida real estate after Hurricane Irma.

Inventory was falling pre-hurricane Irma.  We suspect some homes on the market were damaged. If 4,666 were on the market prior, and assuming 10% sustained damage, that would take us down to 4,200 homes.

Excellent Opportunity to Sell SW Florida Real Estate After Hurricane Irma Housing Inventory

Additionally, there are many displaced homeowners and renters in the Bonita, Buckingham, and San Carlos areas that need housing.  Flooding was an issue in these areas and some homes are uninhabitable.

Excellent Opportunity to Sell SW Florida Real Estate After Hurricane Irma

After Hurricane Charley in 2004 we saw an increase in home sales.  Buyers competed for properties because people needed housing.  The same scenario could very well play out in 2017.

Our phone has been ringing from buyers and investors looking to purchase.   We filter out the sharks that want to come in and buy up property for pennies on the dollar.  They are unrealistic and they do not care about people.  They seek opportunity.  Perhaps there will be opportunity for them with the flooded out and heavily damaged homes.

We focus on homeowners and investors who acknowledge there is a need for housing and are seeking solutions to meet that need.  If your home in uninhabitable, you need housing now.  They need a home that meets their needs, and they can’t be choosy if it has everything they’d want.

Some homeowners may decide they’ve had enough. Owning a 2nd home and preparing for storms can be tough, especially if they find they’re just not using and enjoying the home right now like they thought they would.  Circumstances change.  Other buyers are looking to purchase here because they’re at a point in their life where they will come down and enjoy the home.  Enjoying a 2nd home is a cycle, and depending where you are in that cycle makes all the difference whether it’s a good time to buy or sell.

Thinking of Selling?

If you own a home and you’re thinking of making a change, please call us at 239-489-4042.  Ask for Sande or Brett.  We’ll be glad to walk you through your options.  We can tell you how much we can sell your home for, and how much you would net at the closing table after paying off all mortgages and expenses.  Then you can decide if it makes sense to sell.  Or, you can see how much your home is worth online for free!

Selling is more fun when there is less competition from other sellers.  We have low inventory right now, and in about a month we’ll see if we lost more.  Demand probably just picked up as well, so a hurricane can be a perfect opportunity for home sellers, if they’re marketed properly.

Thinking of Buying?

If you’re a buyer, scoring a home right now can be tough.  There are several buyers looking for similar listings and not enough to go around.  You can call the Ellis Team and speak with our buyer specialists who are experts at making offers look more attractive than other competing offers to the seller.  This can be the difference between buying your 1st choice or settling for your 5th choice, if there even is a 5th choice.  Many times there are just a few homes that meet your needs on the market.

In a race against other buyers, speed wins.  I’d recommend searching at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our database has the entire MLS, and is updated every few minutes.  Don’t waste time using sites that don’t have accurate or timely data.  We get calls all the time from frustrated buyers who see something on a big website only to found out it was sold months ago.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & The Islands.  239-489-4042.  We’re here to help.

Weekend Open Houses

Bell Tower Park Open House

Olde Hickory Open House

I recently read an article in USA Today about how the housing inventory shortage nationwide reached 20-year low and how it’s affecting the market.  While every market is local and is influenced by its own factors we do not work in isolation of other markets.  Therefore, national stats are also of interest to us.

For instance, if the economy is down nationwide chances are it’s affecting us here in SW Florida.  Additionally, if snow birds have a hard time selling their properties up North, they may not all be able to purchase down here.

Housing Inventory Shortage Nationwide

The article mentions there is a 4.3 month supply of homes on the market nationwide.  Locally we calculate the supply to be 4.22 months, so we’re pretty similar to national statistics.  One of the reasons mentioned in the article for the tight supply is that baby boomers aren’t likely to move in the next year.  78% of baby boomers are happy with where they live, and baby boomers own about 33 million homes.

While many baby boomers would love to move to Florida or Arizona, some are reluctant to leave family and friends behind.  While this is mentioned in the article, it’s not a trend we’re seeing locally.  It appears to us now more than ever baby boomers are eager to move and family isn’t holding them back.  Of course, we tend to deal with those that are contemplating making the move versus those that never would.

Millennials have started purchasing recently which will add to tight supplies.  We believe as baby boomers age they will begin to think about smaller homes, homes in warmer climates, or homes that meet their needs due to health reasons.  Not every baby boomer will appreciate a 2 or 3 story home up North.  Once they decide a 2-story home is no longer their best option, they may consider whether staying up North is too.  It opens the whole gamut once a move is considered.

Thankfully builders are building again.  Unfortunately, most buyers don’t know all the building developments available to them, nor which ones are offering incentives and discounts.  Most buyers don’t realize they get a better deal through a realtor than they do walking in on their own.

If they walk in and ask that question the answer will be it’s the same price whether you’re represented by a Realtor or not.  They may not tell you about incentives, and they certainly won’t tell you about competing builders in other neighborhoods.

We’re getting early word that the Fed will scale back it’s $4.5 Trillion in bonds beginning in September.  This will raise interest rates.  If rates go up we could see a buying frenzy followed by a reduction in the rate of growth in home prices.  Nationwide the S&P Core Logic  Case Shiller home price index was up 5.6% due to low inventory.  Rising rates could curtail that growth.

Either way we need more homes.  The economy is doing better and people are buying.  If you’re thinking of selling, you might want to cash in before the stream of sellers enter the market.  You can see from the chart inventory is lowest in the summer and picks back up again starting in September/October.  Why compete with all the other sellers next season when you can have them all to yourself now?

If you’d like to talk about selling your home, please call Sande or Brett at 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Or you can go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and find out your home’s value for free in minutes.

If you’d like to search for your next home check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our team can help you find your next home and sell the one you have, making it a smooth transaction.

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!  We’re here to help.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-4 PM

1339 Longwood Dr

4 Bed, 3 Bath, Waterfront Pool Home Between McGregor and River

Waterfront Pool Home-Minutes to River

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

4351 Pine Rd

4 Bed, 3 Bath Plenty of Room for RV or Boat on Property $325,000

Estero Home Perfect for RV

 

Let’s start with what we know and work backwards.  Homes priced $200,00 or less are flying off the shelves with multiple offers.  Homes up to $250,000 are as well in some neighborhoods, but not all.  This assumes the home is in good condition and priced correctly.  So, you might wonder why we’re asking the question, are changes brewing in Southwest Florida real estate market?

Buyers are still buying; however, we’re noticing they’re price sensitive now.  Prices have gone up so much perhaps it’s testing the limits of what buyers can or will pay.  Sellers are counter-offering offers and buyers aren’t just accepting that.  They are negotiating back and forth until both are happy. Some buyers are walking from counter-offers.  We’ve seen this over the years and it appears it’s no longer a seller’s market across the board.

Changes Brewing in Southwest Florida Real Estate Market median time to contract

The numbers from June seem to bear that out as well.  The median time to contract jumped 7 days in June from May’s numbers, and 9 days from last year.  It’s taking longer to get contracts on houses.  It’ll be interesting to see July’s numbers in a few weeks.

Changes Brewing in Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Median time to sell

Median time to sale also jumped to 117 days.  That’s a 11.4% increase from last year.  New listings are up 5.8% and new pendings were down 1.6% from last year.  Could these be leading indicators for sales in months to come?

So, what’s the takeaway here?  Sellers need to take a good hard look at their price and make sure they’re competitive.  If your home has been on the market awhile, it may be time to re-evaluate where you stand.  New listings could have come on the market and become instantly more attractive than your home, or other sellers may have reduced their price.  Both events can affect you.  Sometimes as little as $2,000 in some sub-markets can be the difference between selling and sitting.

We are in a price sensitive market, primarily because prices have risen and stretched home buyers thin.  They simply can’t purchase as much home as they could have a year ago.  We warned buyers this would happen.  And we’re warning sellers not to get too greedy now.

Prices are good.  Buyers are buying.  We don’t have a runaway market where the seller gets to dictate all the terms.  Buyers and sellers are on even ground right now, and price matters.  Sellers, you’re not in competition with the buyer.  You’re in competition with all the other sellers out there competing for your buyer.

Buyers, same thing.  You’re not in competition with the seller.  You’re in competition with all the other buyers out there for the best properties.  The best valued homes always sell fast. You don’t want to be late to the table and eating scraps when you could have had the best.  Be prepared. Get your financing in order so you can jump when that property hits the market.

To take advantage of opportunities in this market we’d suggest sitting down with us and going over your objectives.  As a buyer, we can show you the best homes and eliminate the rest. Wasting time on the junk takes away time looking at the good stuff.  That can be the difference between success and failure.  Let an Ellis Team professional work with you and save you time.  We have some other tips for you as well that we’ll save for when we meet.

Sellers should have the same sit-down with us.  We’ll educate you on the market, look at your competition, and show you how we market better than anybody.  This can be the difference between selling and sitting on the market.

Feel free to search homes at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our database comes directly from the MLS and is always up to date, unlike some of these other sites with bad or outdated data.

You can always call us at 239-489-4042  We’d love to help you buy or sell your next home in paradise!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Sat 1-3 PM

13812 Lily Pad Cir Gate 2 Reflection Lakes

Reflection Lakes

13812 Lily Pad Cir

3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1,474 SQ Ft 2 Car Garage-Gated Community

$250,000

 

Open Sat 2-4 PM

Lakefront Condo with 2 Car Garage

Fisherman’s Cove

10081 Lake Cove Dr Unit 101

3 Bed, 2 Bath 1,564 SQ Ft 2 Car Garage

$227,500

 

Open Sun 1-4 PM

Daniels Park 3 Bed + Den

Daniels Park

14011 Danpark Loop

3 Bed, 2 Bath 1,830 Sq Ft Gated Community

$275,000