Southwest Florida real estate home prices increased 6% in April up to $249,000.  Median home prices had been $235,000 last April.  However, while the median price saw a rise, the average sale price only increased .9% over last year.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Home Prices April 2017

As you can see from the graph, in 2016 April’s numbers increased over March.  That didn’t happen this year.  The median price actually slipped $6,000 this April from March and the average sale price fell almost $15,000.

Pending inventory is down 10.1% and new pending sales were down 5.1%.  Active listings were up 4.6% although new listings were down 10.1%.

What does all this data mean for the Southwest Florida real estate home market?  We believe home prices have risen enough such that we’re in a fairly balanced market.  Our market is no longer rising because it had over-corrected and was undervalued.  Standard economic forces will be the driving factor going forward.  As we write this article today the Fed’s decision has not been announced.  It is widely expected they may raise rates .25% this week which would affect car loans and equity lines.  It may or may not affect 30 yr mortgage rates.

We do know that since the election over $4 Trillion dollars of wealth has been created in the stock market.  Home prices have risen as well.  Could we see some of that stock market money make its way over into the real estate market?  It’s happened before.

Rising interest rates typically erodes buyer purchasing power, so that’s not always good for the real estate market, although rates are low by historical standards.

Could baby boomers withdraw lofty 401k and investment money and move over to real estate?  It depends on their outlook of the stock market, interest rates, and the economy going forward.

Jobs are being created again too.  Over 700,000 have been created since the election.  This may be good news for the real estate market, although jobs are shifting.  Have you noticed retail sales are taking it hard?

Companies like Sears, Kmart, Lowes and others have struggled.  Shopping malls are closing across the country as shopping patterns are changing.  More are shopping online.

We’ll be keeping an eye on economic data as we think that will lead to consumer confidence.  We’ll also be looking at inventory supply numbers as well as builder inventory numbers.  We think there is an opportunity for builders to sell homes again.  If they build it, buyers will come.

Many local sellers would like to sell.  They just don’t know where they’d like to live yet, so they’re waiting.  In addition to touring available existing inventory, our team has been checking out new construction projects.  We think this may be the driver that unlocks home sales.  While inventory has risen some, it’s still low enough that home sellers don’t feel like they have enough choices to make a move.

It’s a double-edged sword though because as new construction inventory opens, there becomes more competition for existing home sellers.  Our economy needs both to fully thrive, but in the right proportions.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Home Prices Steady

I like where this market is right now.  The Southwest Florida real estate market is balanced depending on which price range you’re in.  If you’re thinking of making a move in Southwest Florida, give our team a call.  We know the existing inventory and the new construction projects.  You don’t pay more to use a Realtor when buying new.  Our fee is already built-in to their price.  It’s cheaper for them to pay realtors a commission than it is to advertise to bring in that many sales.  Plus, they know we have the ability to bring in more customers, so they treat our customers better.  It could cost you by not knowing all your options.

You need to know things like county versus city property taxes, CDD fees, homeowner and flood insurance rates.  These vary by location and age of the home.  We can help you sort all this out so you make a great decision.

Call our team at 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to search all the homes.  If you have a home to sell, call us and ask for Sande or Brett.  We’ll sell your home fast and for top dollar so you don’t miss that next opportunity.

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Watch the Future of Real Estate June 2017 Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update

You’ve probably read headlines recently that the real estate market shifts have occurred . Not only is it true, it’s been predicted by those that study the numbers. However, the shift doesn’t tell the whole story.

Real Estate Market Shifts
Current Inventory

Just as we’re counseling sellers about the shift we see an uptick in listing calls and buyer contracts.  So if the market is shifting, how can it be that business has really picked up in last few weeks?

Perhaps you’ve noticed in just the last week the roads have gotten busier.  I sure have.  And I went to one of those large warehouse stores over the weekend and it was packed.  My wife and I both said “They’re back.”   That’s not why we’ve seen an uptick in sales these past few weeks however.

Real Estate Market Shifts new pending sales
New Pending Sales

We believe there is some pent-up demand. Buyers are desperately seeking homes in the $300,000 or less category, and we’re also seeing good activity in the $400,000+ range as well. We know the market as a whole isn’t as strong over $400k, so activity in this range is a good sign.

Real Estate Market Shifts

We’ve been watching official numbers and we are seeing declining closed sales, precipitated by declining pending sales, and increasing inventory. The numbers don’t lie and are indicative of a shift. Combine this with falling average sales prices and declining market volume and you know the shift is real.
So now that we know the shift is real, what can a seller do? Now more than ever it’s important to do 3 things.

1. Hire Experience- Agents who have worked and thrived through shifting markets are better able to guide through the experience.

2. Price it Correctly- You never want to get caught chasing the market down.  Not all price ranges are going down.  In fact, some are still going up.  Knowing where your home stands against the competition is critical.  Knowing where the demand from buyers is as well.

3. Marketing-Some agents say you can’t market your way out of a shift and it all comes down to price.  While it’s true that if you over-price a home, no amount of advertising and marketing will sell it, sometimes correct pricing alone isn’t enough.  This isn’t a bad market.  We’ve seen those before and this is nothing like that.  However, if it were a bad market, marketing becomes important because you have to do everything you can to reach the few buyers available for so many homes.

This is a shifting market, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The market is fairly healthy.  Nothing goes up or down forever, and shifts along the way is a balancing act.  It keeps both buyers and sellers equal where neither becomes too powerful, but it can be scary if you’re on the wrong side of the shift.

Knowledge truly is power.  Knowledge leads to correct pricing.  Marketing is power too.  Marketing alone won’t sell your home, but it sure beats limited marketing.  Think of it as a sporting event. Shifts are won or lost by great coaches.  The talent on both sides are fairly equal.  Each side (Buyers and Sellers) has their set of strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to the coach to guide the team to a win.  The coaches right now are the full-time agents, and the agents with the most experience and winning track records are the ones to hire.

There’s a reason certain coaches win multiple Super Bowls. The top coaches are in demand, and teams pay them more money than first year coaches. It’s because they win, and if you’re a seller wanting to sell in a shifting market, you want to win. Hiring experience is the answer. So when the real estate market shifts, always go with experience.
We have a graphic in our listing presentation that reads “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” If you’re looking to buy or sell, call the pros at the Ellis Team 239-489-4042 or visit our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search the MLS like a pro.

 

16585 Wellington Lakes CIR, Fort Myers, FL 33908    13685 Wellington Lakes Cir

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Future of Real Estate September 2016 Market Update

 

Hopefully everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.  The Ellis Team household celebrated with friends and family with a cookout and football party.  Good times were definitely had by all, and that’s the way it should be.  Beating the post Labor Day real estate stall isn’t rocket science, but more on that after we tell you about the stall.

I started cooking the day before.  I made all the sauces, put the rub on the meat, and eventually placed the pork on the smoker at midnight.  The plan was to smoke the meat at 225 degrees for about 17 hours.  The meat must reach a certain temperature, but inevitably the temperature gains stall out at about 160 degrees for a period of 5 hours or so.  This frustrates many who are not accustomed to the stall.

The stall is that period where temperature gains cease for a long while.  This is because at 160 degrees the meat begins to sweat and cool itself.  Juice go from the center to the edges during this time period.  One way to beat the stall is to wrap meat in aluminum foil at 160 degrees and keep the heat on.  By doing so you can retain some of the moisture and cut the heating time down.

Beating the Post Labor Day Real Estate Stall

So you might ask how does all this relate to real estate?  Each year after September the SW Florida real estate market reaches a stall.  If you know it’s coming there are things you can do to shorten the time-frame of the stall.  You must power through it as buyers and sellers are counting on you.

Beating the Post Labor Day Real Estate Stall

Knowing it’s coming is half the battle.  The other half is preparation.  Just as most of the work to cook the meat was done the day before, so it is true with the real estate market.

We continue to list and sell properties.  In fact, we’re cranking some sales now at a time when county-wide sales are down.  We don’t stop advertising, and we don’t stop prospecting for buyers for our listings.

In fact, much of the work we’ve done the past few months helps us with sales during the typical “Stall” time.  Some Realtors take off in the slow months, but this is the time to put the real work in.  Championships are built in the off season.  This was opening weekend and you can tell which teams put in the work as they were the most prepared for week 1.

When we list a home in September it’s very possible we already have the buyer we obtained in July or August.  We have a database of thousands of buyers we’ve worked hard to build up.  Some are buying today, some are buying tomorrow, and some next month.  We don’t control their time frame, we only control our efforts to obtain buyers for our listings.

Often times sellers will ask us if we have a buyer for their home.  Quite often the answer is yes.  When we take a listing we bring it back to our team of agents who cross-check our database to see if we’ve got someone for that home.  Perhaps we have someone flying in on October 2nd who matches perfectly.  Perhaps we have someone now.

In any event, we market the home too, because even though we may have 3 buyers for our listing the market may have one ready, willing, and able to buy it today.  And you never know which buyer will pay the highest price.

Don’t Sweat the Stall

It’s the hard work we put in year-round that enables us to sell homes every month of the year.  So we don’t worry too much about the “Stall”.  We advise our clients on what the market is doing, and if we’re doing our job at the highest level, perhaps we can shorten our client’s time-frame and power through it for them.

If you’ve got a home to sell, we should probably talk.  It’s possible we have a buyer for it, and either way our marketing attracts buyers.  If you’re a buyer, we’ve got some great new listings coming to the market in the next few weeks.  You can search at www.LeeCountyOnline.com or call us at 239-489-4042

We look forward to working with you!  Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

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14154 Danpark Loop Fort Myers, FL
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14154 Danpark Loop

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Daniel’s Park

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Watch the Future of Real Estate September 2016

Marketing Homes in Hi Definition in SW Florida

The Ellis Team is proud to announce a new way to market real estate in SW Florida.  We are now Marketing Homes in Hi Definition in SW Florida. Technology has changed the way people view TV shows, movies, and content over the Internet.  Today companies like Netflix stream TV shows and movies direct to people’s homes or mobile devices.  People’s expectations are changing about how they want content delivered.

Marketing Homes in Hi Definition in SW Florida

For the first time the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group is bringing cutting edge technology to SW Florida and combining it with High Definition video and studio production editing.

The Ellis Team already ranks very high on Google.  Video is 53 times more likely to generate 1st page Google ranking over any other form of content.  Video provides a 41% higher click-through rate on universal results pages, and keeps visitors on your websites 6 times longer.

Videos 53 times more likely to generate 1st page Google ranking
Video Adds Higher Click-Through Rate

73% of sellers say they are more likely to list with an agent who uses video.  However, YouTube is filled with videos shot from cell phone cameras and terrible audio.  Consumers expect studio quality video, and when you provide that companies like Netflix flourish.

We think quality is important.  Video also allows us to tell a story about your home.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth?

We’ve added a drone to allow us to take full motion high definition video of your home and community.  The drone adds perspective we just can’t achieve from the ground.  We’re able to show the lake behind your home, the golf course, property boundary lines, and proximity to landmarks.  Buyers love seeing homes from a bird’s eye perspective.  We also take stunning aerial photos from the drone.

We don’t stop there.  We add professional high definition video from inside the home as well.  Lastly, we compile the inside and outside video footage into a well produced video and upload it to various websites and YouTube.

We’re adding a Featured Homes in HD playlist to our YouTube channel which is already one of the most viewed YouTube channels in SW Florida.  To date we’ve received over 200,000 video views and this number will grow quickly with the addition of High Definition Property Videos.

We’re not the first to use a drone.  We’ve been marketing our properties using video for years to great success, so video is nothing new.  What is new is combining cutting edge technology like the drone with professional video inside the home, and professional video editing to create the ultimate viewing experience for a buyer.

We think showcasing homes in High Definition is the Future of Real Estate™.  Our new website explaining the program can be found at www.HomesinHD.TV

Each video takes some time to film and produce, so if you’d like your home featured in HD, call us now so we can get you on the list.  Of course we’ll advertise your home in the newspaper and all the various places we advertise, and we think you’re going to love the new high end video we’re bringing to SW Florida.

To search the MLS visit TopAgent.com  To learn more about Hi Def video for your home visit HomesinHD.TV

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Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

Now Marketing Homes in Hi Definition in SW Florida

Most SW Floridians don’t realize that the US government raised rates on flood insurance back in 2012.  The Biggert-Waters Flood Reform Act of 2012 was signed into law July 6, 2012 and is being phased in over time.

Big Changes in Flood Insurance You Need to Know
Danger- Rising Rates Could Keep You Underwater

Big Changes in Flood Insurance You Need to Know

Realtors have been sounding alarms in Tallahassee and elsewhere because flood insurance rates under the new program could double or triple, effectively pricing new homeowners out of buying certain properties.  To make matters worse, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has reclassified certain properties that weren’t previously located in a mandated flood zone into a now mandated flood zones.

Some homeowners have never had flood insurance on their property but when they go to sell it will be required.  Some homeowners have received letters from their lenders requiring them to obtain flood insurance.

The issue is Congress is essentially raising taxes by raising flood rates and making more people buy flood insurance.  The program was losing money so something had to be done, but the Biggert-Waters Flood Reform Act of 2012 said FEMA was to provide an affordability study on what the effects of implementation would be on consumers.  That study was to be completed by April 2013 but has not been done yet.

Florida Realtors President Dean Asher spoke to the members of the Florida Cabinet recently at the request of Governor Rick Scott.  He urged the Florida Cabinet to call on Congress to act now to delay “implementation of the Act’s rate increase provisions for grandfathered and newly purchased properties, pending FEMA’s (Federal Emergency Management Agency) report to Congress on the results of the affordability study that was required by Biggert-Waters.” That still-unknown affordability study was supposed to be submitted to Congress this past April, he pointed out.

Existing homeowners were protected by phasing in the rate increase but new homeowners have no such protection.  This may limit the growth in real estate as added costs to the buyer curtail how much they can afford to pay for the home.  It’s a total cost issue.  A buyer must weigh cost of home, interest rate, down payment requirements, home owner’s insurance, condo or HOA fees, taxes, and now rising flood insurance rates.  The total cost impacts buying power, and if a buyer is impacted you can bet sellers will be too.

FEMA has recently updated its website to help consumers identify a property’s flood zone and estimate the cost of a new policy.  It can be found at www.FloodSmart.gov The website gives a large range of costs but at least you’ll get an idea of a low end and top end and a list of agents that can write flood policies to check with.

We’re not sure what effect states can have on the federal government, so it’s probably safe to assume flood rates are going up and it may impact all of us in some form. We welcome any attention the State if Florida can give to the US government on this issue.

New disclosures to purchase contracts have just been released for new sales contracts.  Be sure to factor in the new changes as it could affect your cost of ownership.

To search the MLS for properties go to www.TopAgent.com or give us a call at 239-489-4042     Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!

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Banks Revving Up For More Short Sales

Because Bank of America is the largest servicer of residential loans in the United States, it seems quite reasonable they would have the largest number of foreclosures and for a few years that was true. A few years ago Bank of America announced it was stepping up its efforts to assist homeowners with short sales in hopes of decreasing the amount of foreclosures. It takes time to ramp up, hire, and train enough people to lighten that load, and it used to be said that Bank of America was the worst at processing short sales. That can’t be said any longer as they actually closed more short sales in 2010 than foreclosure sales, and since they automated and moved their short sale process to Equator, an online sales management software tool, the process has become streamlined and much quicker.

No, we didn’t say Ecuador, a country in South America. We said Equator, an online tool qualified agents can become certified in to assist homeowners complete sales transactions. Not every agent will handle a short sale, nor should they. A short sale is a very complex transaction where the bank, or banks, asks for specific documents to help them make a decision on whether to accept less than the full mortgage payoff.

Banks Revving Up For More Short Sales
SW Florida Listing Inventory

This is a very complicated process because there are tax implications for some homeowners and investors, and the banks may sometimes ask for deficiency judgments in others. It gets really complicated when 3rd party liens are placed on the property, like HOA liens or judgments against the creditor. These must all be identified and negotiated as part of the process.

Listing agents are reticent to list these properties as they are more time intensive, and there is no guarantee the bank will agree to a short sale. Further complicating the process, the bank surely won’t agree unless every I is dotted and T crossed to satisfy their guidelines. This generally requires a hardship letter explaining why a short sale should be considered, a letter of authorization authorizing the agent to deal with all the various debtors and lien holders, bank statements, etc. Short sales also take time, as you may be dealing with a primary lender, the investor behind that loan, FNMA, a PMI company, and perhaps a 2nd loan and investor or a home equity line of credit.

Buyer agents are also reticent to show short sales as they’ve discovered some sellers are not a candidate to sell short, or the listing agent isn’t qualified to take the sale to closing. The short sale isn’t a sale to practice on, it must be done by skilled, tireless agents with experience and extensive training with the banks. If you’re a short sale seller, be sure to interview your agent and make sure they are a CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) or similar designation and have lots of experience working with different banks. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Nationstar, BSI Financial Services, ASC, and others use Equator and expect the agent to be qualified on that system. Others, like Aurora, SunTrust, Ocwen, etc. use their own proprietary system to consider a short sale and the agent must know how to reach each and identify what each lender requires. Ideally this information should be obtained at the time of listing, not when a contract is accepted as this will further delay the process. Learning on the job isn’t a great option for buyer or seller, so working with a listing agent who has experience closing these sales helps all.

Banks today are even reaching out to agents asking to help with our short sales. Two of the largest banks are sending their customers letters on how they may be able to short sale rather than lose their property to foreclosure and they’re even recommending qualified agents to assist. A short sale is not something a For Sale By Owner can do, nor is the bank looking for that.

As you can see by the graph, approximately 31% of all single family home listings today in Lee County are listed as short sale. Listing inventory is going down, and so is short sale inventory because successful short sale closings are going up.

If you’re on the brink of affording your home or property, talk to a short sale expert. It’s amazing that of the foreclosures, 71% of the homeowners never reached out to anyone for help. Help is available, and a short sale is much better on your credit. With banks today getting better at the short sale process, it pays to ask for help. Call your agent today and ask if they can help. If not, don’t hesitate to call us and we’ll see if we can get you help now so it’s not a crisis tomorrow.

The Ellis Team currently has 3 CDPE’s on staff. A CDPE is a Certified Distressed Property Expert, which requires intensive training and extensive short sale experience to attain. To help gear up for the increased short sale demand, the Ellis Team at RE/MAX recently hired Marisa Morgan who worked many years as a long time banker with Bank of America and also in the title business. For years Realtor clients came to her asking advice on how to properly package short sales so the bank would accept them. She sat down and met with several sellers so they understood the process, so it makes sense to add Marisa’s experience to SW Florida’s premiere team to help sellers sell their short sale properties.

Brett discusses short sale issues with Marisa on this week’s Future of Real Estate show entitled “Banks Gearing Up for More Short Sales in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, SW Florida” Video.

Let’s face it, as agents we’re either promoting properties to sell or educating the public about changes in the real estate market or tips professionals know that the public may not. For years agents used traditional print marketing, TV, radio, billboards, mail outs, signs, banner advertising, and more. Many of these are still very effective and they’re used by large and small companies to this date, however video has exploded on the scene as a medium anyone can use to further illustrate a message.

Ellis Team at RE/MAX in Fort Myers YouTube Channel
Ellis Team YouTube Channel

Newspapers are using video as a way to compete with TV stations. Large news organization post videos provided by viewers, Viewers become extra eyes in the field. Courts are using video from police cars, and defendants are using video to tell their side of the story.

Video doesn’t replace older media, but it does open up new ways of reaching consumers. The Y generation would just as soon search the Internet and watch videos about a subject than watch the news or visit a library, so reaching younger consumers requires change. If I comment to my children I’m having difficulty hooking something up, they’ll have a YouTube video up in about 15 seconds thoroughly explaining the task. I guess those bad instructions in the box don’t matter so much now.

High definition video cameras make it easy to produce video. The trick is proper lighting and sound. We’ve created some high quality videos and some quick videos that tell a simple message about the market without all the bells and whistles. What we’ve found is viewers don’t seem to care about the bells and whistles as long as the video is informative, timely, and matches what they’re looking for.

We’ve created a YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/brettellisfl Currently we have 113 videos uploaded and about 45,000 views. Our property tours are located on another channel, so these 45,000 views are simply people tuning in to hear about the market or timely news affecting real estate.

Marketing really works when you tie all the media together. For instance, our print ads show our website. Our website has links to our YouTube channel, property tours, MLS search, and more. Our MLS search has links to the others as well. In this way we get all the marketing tools we invest in to work together, in concert. Together these tools can be so much more effective than if we just used on over the other.

Consumers are like cable TV viewers. If you’ve ever flipped channels you’ll notice there are a lot of things on at any one time, and they’re competing with each other. Younger viewers like MTV, while older viewers might like the History channel or national news. There is a place for each, and while they cross over, each definitely has a certain target demographic.

Marketing is similar. Each method could potentially reach everyone, but realistically there are target demographics, and getting them to work in concert with each other increases frequency and reach. It also sends out a message to the public when they see you more than one place. They think you’re everywhere. No matter where an agent puts their marketing dollars, the message is critical. It pays to be clear, concise, and topical. The public enjoys getting this information in print, on smart phones, and certainly in video form.

Look for video to play an increasing role in the dissemination of real estate information. Video will help companies and agents differentiate themselves and allow consumers to decide who they best want to do business with. It could be the information, the look, the professionalism, etc. Video opens up an array of ways a consumer can evaluate who they do business with and assist in making a choice. And if you ever want to know how to unclog a sink or hookup a BluRay player, consider doing a video search, or ask a 10 year old.

Tune in to the Future of Real Estate.  This week’s show is the April 2011 SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

 

It’s been over a month since we reported on single family home sale prices in Lee County, so we thought we’d provide an update.  Many people are questioning prices right now as tax notices went out recently, and many have been shocked at some of the new value assessments imposed by the Lee County property appraiser’s office.

Keep in mind that value assessments from the property appraiser’s office reflect values as of January 1, 2010 and not today’s values.  Its possible values have risen or fallen since January 1 depending on where you live.  Values do not move in tandem in perfect harmony.  Certain sectors of the market lead others, and when one moves another will follow to keep from having too much disparity.

SW Florida median Sale Prices
Home Sale Prices in SW Florida Fort Myers, Cape Coral

I could devote a whole article to this phenomenon we call “bunching” but we’ll save that for another day.  Since January, we’ve seen countywide price increases through April where median home sale prices peaked at $101,500.  Median sales price by definition means half the sales occur below that price and half occur over that price. Median sale prices have fallen since April to $93,500 which you can see by the chart.  New sales numbers are scheduled to be released September 24 which was after this article was written, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on sale prices and closed sales volume.

We did see an increase in pending sales last month which is a good sign going forward for closed sales, but pending sales were down about 19% from last August, and about the same for September, so official September sales would not surprise us if they came in down from last year.

Nationally unemployment is at 9.6% and the housing market is stalled, which does affect the SW Florida real estate market to some degree as northerners may be putting off selling in tougher times and moving to Florida.  Additionally, unemployment is a whopping 13.7% here in Lee County and rising, which does not help demand for housing, especially in the $150,000-$400,000 range.  The bottom of the market has indeed firmed up and homes listed below $100,000 are often scooped up quickly with multiple offers.  Homes priced much higher take longer as investors cannot flip them, the rents don’t always cash flow, and there aren’t enough 2nd home buyers to pick up that slack.

Season will be approaching again soon, and last year our northern friends did buy.  We’ll keep an eye out and see if that trend continues this year, and it very well could because the $150,000-$400,000 homes are still bargain buys, and everybody loves a bargain.

We’ll also report on pending sales in a few weeks.  Our guest on our Internet TV show will be Lee County property appraiser Ken Wilkinson.  We plan to ask him about housing values, and how to read the 3 columns in the trim notice to determine where your taxes will be for this year when tax bills are due in November.  The show is posted at Topagent.com

Interview wih Lee County Property Apprasier Ken Wilksinon

Segment 1

Segment 2

Pending sales lead to future closings, so studying pending sales over time offers a glimpse of what may occur in the 30-60 day future.  Obviously not every home closes, but it is a good barometer of what may close.

Nationally numbers were released this past week and pending sales increased 5%.  The SW Florida real estate market pending sales increased 4.11% over the previous month which is pretty much in line with national numbers.

Pending Home Sale Graph Fort Myers-Cape Coral
Pending Sales Fort Myers Cape Coral Florida Area

Pending sales are down 18.67% vs. pending sales last August, and this is in line with official sales numbers.  In July, sales were down 27% vs last year, so maybe when official numbers are released for August we won’t be down as bad as we were for July.

We’ve noticed a trend the last few election cycles whereby when people are uneasy about their jobs or the economy real estate sales tend to fall off just a bit in anticipation of the next election cycle.  Suffice it to say the November elections are on people’s minds, and how could they not be with all the ads on television during the primaries.  It is an encouraging sign that pending sales picked up in August over July.  Last year August sales were down slightly over July, so August isn’t always a month where we expect them to increase.

Interest rates are at record lows, and we’ve seen buying power in the $150-$300,000 price ranges increase substantially.  We believe sales could increase in this price range going forward into the next year as buyers realize they can buy much more home for far less money than they thought they could, even 1-2 years ago.

Inventory Levels in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Lee County Florida
Single Family Home Inventory Levels - pending Sales

As you can see from the attached chart, inventory levels in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas have been holding steady, and this is also true countywide as well, although the numbers are larger.  We’ve included a detailed pending chart as well showing pending sales from last year to present.  We’ll keep reporting what happens going forward on current real estate trends in SW Florida.

Be sure to check out our SW Florida Real Estate Market update for September directly from our Future of Real Estate Channel.

We interviewed Lee County Florida Sheriff Mike Scott on this week’s show.  Sheriff Scott answered tough questions on Arizona’s controversial immigration law, how his officers conduct traffic stops and how they handle possible illigal immigrants.  We also asked Sheriff Scott his thoughts on terrorism, border control, patrolling SW Floridas’s waterways, the manatee, red light cameras, school resource officers, working with ICE, and recent reports his office may need to cut 5% of his annual budget.

Lee County Florida Sherrif Mike Scott and Brett Ellis
Lee County Florida Sheriff Mike Scott and Brett Ellis

Sheriff Scott answered every question asked by Brett Ellis.  The show is broken up into 3 segments, and you can find all 3 here along with descriptions of each segment. Future of Real Estate Video with Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott.