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

That’s correct.  Your eyes aren’t deceiving you.  Southwest Florida home prices rose $100,000 since 2013.  We could end the story right there, and it would be a beautiful story.  As you know, there’s always more to the story.

We really like where this market is right now.  We would say it is fully valued.  By that we do not mean it’s headed down.  Our market is balanced.  It’s not all the way back for some homes and for others perhaps it is.  We do not see signs of distress we saw back in late 2005 that caused us concern.

Inventory across the US is down.  Inventory in Southwest Florida went down in May to 5,369 homes.  This was down from 5,719 in April.  The number of closed homes is slightly lagging 2015 and 2016.  This is partly because of limited inventory and partly because home prices have risen so much.  Inventory was down the last few years as well, so we can’t attribute it to that.

Southwest Florida Home Prices Rose Home Prices May 2017

Lower prices means more people can afford to purchase.  Let’s look back since 2013.  As you can see by the graph, the median price of a home in January 2013 was $140,000.  In May 2013, it was $176,333.  Fast forward to 2017, in January, our median price was $227,000. That is a difference of $87,000.  The May 2017 median price was $237,500.  That is a difference of $61,167. Going back 4 years and 4 months the difference is $97,500.  Pretty close to $100k in the headline.

Southwest Florida Home Prices Rose

When we look at average prices we see January 2013 came in at $215,873.  May 2017 official numbers came in at $346,559.  This is a difference of $130,686. Maybe this isn’t fair since it’s not the same months. May 2013 average prices were $288,547.  May 2017 numbers were $58,012 higher.

Southwest Florida Home Prices Rose Homes Closed

Either way you look at it, our market has done very well since 2013.  We’ve had a good run, and there’s no reason to believe we won’t have a good market a year from now.  We may not see $100,000 price gains going forward, and that’s OK.  Our market should move in lock-step with the general economy.  As incomes rise, so should housing.  If incomes were to fall or the economy falter, it could put pressure on the housing market.

So far 2017 has been off to a great start.  The stock market has done well and housing has done well.  Consumer confidence is higher and mortgage rates have remained low.  People have money and equity they didn’t have 4 years ago, or even one year ago.  More Southwest Florida homeowners have recently gained positive equity, such that they could now sell if they wanted to.  This wasn’t always the case.

As people’s lives change so does their housing needs.  When kids go off to college parents don’t always need that large home.  Growing families can’t stay in that tiny first home they bought, and so begins the housing cycle. Southwest Florida also has baby boomers buying 2nd homes for vacation enjoyment.  We also get people retiring from Northern states.  As America changes, so too can the Southwest Florida real estate market.  We are affected by local, national, and even world events.

You can search the Southwest Florida real estate market like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our database has all the homes for sale and is updated every 5 minutes.  You won’t be bothered seeing homes that sold 8 years ago or missing new listings that just came to market.  In a low inventory market, it pays to use the best search site and ours definitely is the Best!

You can always call us too at 239-489-4042.  We’ll be happy to walk you through what it would take to buy or sell a home in SW Florida. Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!

This past week I had the chance to visit properties on Fort Myers Beach.  I’ve included a Fort Myers Beach Home Search for you here.  Here is a Fort Myers Beach Condo Search as well.

We previewed Grandview at Bay Beach.  We’ve created a special page for Grandview at Bay Beach for you here.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Gladiolus Preserve 4 Bedroom Home

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

9800 Gladiolus Preserve Cir

$ Bedrooms 2 Baths 2 Car Garage

Gated Community

South Pointe South Home

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

9950 Vanillaleaf St

2 Bedroom, 2 Bath, 2 Car Garage

 

Agents have been calling us asking if showings are down.  The answer always is some listings seem to receive more showings than others and it depends on your inventory mix at the time.  It is an interesting question though, so we did a little digging into the latest Southwest Florida showing activity in MLS.

CSS (Centralized Showing Service) is the predominant showing system used by Realtors across Southwest Florida.  We have reports and statistics we can search on using their system to glean information about showing activity.  This data can be useful to Realtors and sellers alike.

Southwest Florida Home Showing Activity $195,000 -$400,000

Here are two examples.  We tracked showing activity in the Fort Myers area for May by price range.  The average listing from $195,000-$400,000 saw 4.6 showings.  That’s roughly one per week.  Look at the $220,000 price range. Having a home listed at $220,000 rather than $225,000 saw a 57.29% increase in showings.  This tells us that is a price sensitive segment, and over pricing by just a dollar can cost a seller some showings.

Southwest Florida Home Showing Activity $400-600k Showing Report

Our next example tracked the same zip codes in the $400,000-$600,00 range.  We wanted to see if there was a significant change in showing activity.  On average, there was about a 25% drop in showings from May to June.

So why is that?  Has the market softened?  Perhaps.  However, it could just be that kids are out of school and people have concentrated on vacations, summer camps, working in the yard, etc.  We’d expect showings to be down from season.  Keep in mind, we selected the $400-600k price range.  Other price ranges may tell a different story.

The point is, your Realtor has access to all this information. For a $300k home in Cape Coral zip code of 33914, it may help to search and compare in 33914 and nearby zip codes.  If a trend emerges, this can be useful information to the seller.

If the MLS average is one showing per week in your price range, it can seem like an eternity waiting for showings.  There are ways to increase showings.

  1. Make home accessible. Turning down a showing because the home isn’t ready hurts your chances.  We had a seller turn down a showing last week and it cost them.  The buyer wasn’t available the next day, and who knows, they could have bought on that day.
  2. Consider re-positioning your home in the marketplace. Are you in a stale price range?  Is your home overpriced?  If the answer to either question is yes, you may need to take action.
  3. Freshen up your home. Consider changing the lighting to make rooms look brighter.  Clear out furniture that’s too big for the room to make the room look larger. Perhaps new paint and carpet would make a difference.
  4. Market your home. The more people who know about it the more chance you have a showing.
  5. Look at your home through the eyes of a buyer. Sometimes an owner can’t see the dirt or smell the dog because they’re used to it. Tour open houses and see how other sellers show their homes, then compare to your own.  It may open your eyes.
  6. Listen to your Realtor. Arguing your position about how great your home is versus your neighbors won’t sell your home.  The market either accepts your home or it doesn’t.  If your home shows well, is priced properly, and marketed effectively it should receive offers.  You picked your Realtor for a reason.  Listen to them.  If you’re not going to listen to them, find another Realtor.  It’s like anything, doctor, lawyer, Realtor.  If you don’t have confidence in them, you won’t take their advice.  It pays to take a professional’s advice.  It’s what you’re paying them for.

Feel free to search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com or call us at 239-489-4042  We’ll be happy to guide you through the home buying or selling process.  Always call the Ellis Team!

Ellis Team Open House

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

11807 Bayport Ln #202

Avalon Preserve

2 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage

$195,000

Gated Community

 

 

Gorgeous carriage home in prime South Fort Myers location! Tucked away amongst palm trees and lush landscaping in Tradewinds of Reflection Lakes is this stylish, but quaint home. Starting with the brick paved driveway to the entry of the foyer – you will be welcomed into an open and spacious layout with high volume ceilings and appealing textured walls. You’ll notice how the beautiful ceramic tile featured throughout all wet areas compliments the warm beige carpeting in living areas and bedrooms. Just steps away from this lovely home you can make good use of the community amenities. Go for a morning work-out in the exercise room or for a game of tennis on the weekend and afterwards cool off by taking a swim in the pool. This home is perfect for the person looking for style, comfort, and a serene surrounding. Come take a look and decide for yourself!

Reflection Lakes is located in South Fort Myers and is considered on of SW Florida’s most prime real estate locations.