Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the residential market outlook to the CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Real Estate Outlook Conference.  This conference is comprised of the Top commercial specialists in Charlotte, Lee, and CollierCounties along with community leaders like Mayor Randy Henderson of Fort Myers, Jim Nathan president of Lee Memorial Health System, a VP from Hertz, and Wilson Bradshaw president of FGCU among others.

The commercial market lags the residential market.  Residential went down before commercial did and therefore came out sooner.  CCIM experts were happy to report commercial is again on the rebound.  2013 was a very good year for residential which bodes well for commercial going forward.

Home Sale Prices Rising Nationwide

Nationwide housing prices rebounded in December quite nicely over the previous year.  Detroit saw the largest increase in the RE/MAX national housing report followed by Las Vegas.  Fort Myers came in with a 24% median price increase in December, and for the year Lee Home Sale Prices Rising NationwideCounty saw a 28.31% gain over 2012 numbers.

In December there were reports nationwide of a slowdown in home sales but many states have reported this may have been a weather related issue as treacherous weather has wreaked havoc on airlines, schools, and businesses up North this year.

The North’s bad weather could be SW Florida’s good fortune as we have seen in years past bad weather up North leading to more home sales down here.  In fact, yesterday I heard Carnival cruise lines announced they sold more cruises in January than any other month in history.  With blizzard conditions this week and forecast conditions again next week, this might be the last year for some suffering through this weather.

Lee County is working on bringing more companies to SW Florida, and with record breaking bad weather, maybe we’ll attract entire companies rather than just disgruntled homeowners looking to make a change. This would be huge as we’d be adding jobs to the area to go along with increased residents.

While the SW Florida real estate market may not see 28% price gains this year, 2014 looks to be on track to be another great year. If another company or two like Hertz or Gartner decides to relocate here it could turn into a fantastic year.

We’ll be keeping our eye on several wild cards which could affect our market.  Weather up North is one of them, along with the national housing market, interest rates, the overall economy, consumer confidence, business hiring and unemployment, and company relocations.

Realistic sellers have an excellent chance to sell their home right now.  We have seen some over-pricing occurring in this market and we’re watching these listings sit on the market.  A Seller’s market is an excellent time to sell but not a license to over-price.  Over-priced homes do not sell.  Believe it or not, back in 2005 and 2006 many sellers failed to sell because they were greedy and missed an opportunity.  Oh my, would they love to have those days back!

If you have a home to sell, call us at 239-489-4042.  We can help.  If you’re a buyer, it pays to work with someone who knows the market.  To search the MLS go to www.TopAgent.com

Good luck and Happy Selling/Buying!
To search the MLS for properties go to www.TopAgent.com or give us a call at 239-489-4042 You can even search for waterfront property in Fort Myers, Cape C oral, or all of SW Florida    Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours .

Visit our Google+ Business Page

 

 

Last week we reported that home prices were down the past few months but not to get too concerned as they were expected. This week we provide a graph that illustrate median home prices and average mean home prices so you can see what we’re talking about. What Price Ranges are Hot?

What Price Ranges are Hot Median and Average Fort Myers Cape Coral Florida home sales

Each year our home prices increase in season because we have more affluent buyers here purchasing more higher end properties than we do other parts of the year, and this pulls the averages up and sets the tone for the year. When we have bad seasons we really have to watch the summer months to spot any meaningful trends. Last season was another good one, so we’ve had a few good ones in a row,

It’s not unusual for prices to retreat after the season, so we look at year over year prices out of season and we see prices are still up over last year by the same percentages as they were in season, so we’re fine.

Now let’s delve into which price ranges are hot. As you can see from the price range chart, the $400,000 $599,999 range is the hottest with a 82.5% gain. This is not only true for the July 2013 data but also many months prior, so we can definitely say the $400-600k range is doing well. Really all the price ranges except for maybe the $300,000-$399,999 range is doing particularly well. This could be for the same reasons the less than $100,000 range isn’t doing well. We have little to no inventory anymore at the lower price range. They’ve graduated up, so those same sales are occurring in the higher ranges. It’s entirely possible many of the $300k+ range homes have graduated into the $400k= range and thus more homes are selling in that range.

Fort Myers real estate sales by price range Cape Coral

I tend to think some of that is possible, but more likely we’re seeing strength at the bottom of the market and the upper middle of the market as those that can afford $400-600k either have local businesses on the mend in SW Florida or they are out of town buyers buying second home and retirement homes.

We are also seeing some relocations coming into the market and buying property, although companies like Hertz are recognizing that fewer existing employees took the relocation offer and instead their recruiting and hiring more outside employees to take jobs here in SW Florida.

Hertz will hire some locally, however many are coming here and being recruited from other companies with certain specialty education and job history in the field. It doesn’t really change how many people Hertz brings in but it does change from where they bring them. Less of these employees coming to Hertz are actually from Hertz.

Last November we started seeing spikes in the average sale price in Lee County Florida and it wasn’t until February of 2013 before we saw significant price swings here in SW Florida, so we may have a few months more to go before we start seeing if a new price trend emerges for next year. Inventory is still tight, so with any economic luck we’ll be in for another good season, assuming we have enough inventory to sell this upcoming season. Feel free to search the MLS at TopAgent.com. Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours .

Visit our Google+ Business Page

 

Official real estate sales numbers were recently released by Florida Realtors and as expected, median and average prices for single family homes rose again in April.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Continues Its Upward Trend
Median Sale Prices 2012-Present

The median sale price rose 29.8% over last year from $140,199 to $182,000 this year.  The average sale price rose 23.1% from $237,281 last April to $292,201 this year.  Prices have definitely risen this season; however they typically do this time of year.  We are comparing numbers of last year at same time, so it’s a legitimate 30% increase over last year.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Continues Its Upward Trend

April 2013 prices are up over March numbers which is also typical.  April’s $182,000 was up over March’s $168,000.  Going forward we’ll have to watch as last year prices hit their plateau before steadying out the rest of the year.

 

Home prices by price category in SW Florida
SW Florida Home sales by price category April 2013

When analyzing by price range again we see a drop in closed sales below $100,000 simply because there isn’t much inventory there as home prices have graduated higher.  Those some entry level or investment homes are just higher in price again this year.  Finding sub $100k priced homes is difficult at best.

When prices are rising people automatically assume it’s across the board and they can add 30% to last year’s home value regardless of what price range their home is in.  This simply is not true, although we have seen increased sales in almost every category.  The over $1 Million category continues to struggle.  The SW Florida real estate market is on the rise, but the overall economy may be holding back super premium prices combined with excess inventory in the $ 1Million+ category.

We’re really seeing excellent sales in the $200,000-$400,000 range.  That’s the sweet spot right now in Southwest Florida.  This may change in time, but right now that’s it.  With companies like Hertz moving to Estero and another company I’m hearing rumors about, this sweet spot could do very well for years to come.

Eventually the over $400,000 range will pick up more as well.  It’s doing OK, but if you remember back to the hay days, it seemed any new home in South Fort Myers was $400,000 and up.  Now you can get a pretty nice home for $400k.

The financial markets were spooked last week Fed reports that some Fed governors support raising interest rates by ending the government bond buying spree if we see continued economic development.  This would essentially raise rates.  While this will happen one day, I doubt there’s enough support to do it now.  This will eventually cut into buyer’s buying power when that happens.

Nationally home prices were up 10.2%.  SW Florida is absolutely leading the nation right now.  We did so back in the run-up.  The difference today is its sustainable and we’re still at or near replacement costs.  Back in the upswing in 2005 we were so far over replacement cost.  We were artificially too low in price for the last 7 years and the market has been correcting the past 3-4 years now.  Look for continued strength as we have positive economic news locally.  Keep your eye on national economic news and interest rates and we’ll let you know if we hear more details about landing another big company.  It really makes no sense to report on that unless and until it happens.  As you might have read, the Hertz deal almost didn’t happen, so we never believe anything until the ink is on the paper.

To find out what your home is worth online visit www.SWFLHomeValues.com  To search the MLS, visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and happy house hunting.

Visit our Google+ Business Page

 


Last week we reported that prices were up in March over last year’s numbers and listings were down, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

This article won’t tell the whole story either as no one article could, however we would like to dig a little deeper and explain some factors influencing the market.

Over the years foreclosures and short sales weighed down the market, and in fact prices became artificially too low as homes were selling well below replacement cost. This has impacted builders not being able to build until recently. Prices have risen such that some home builders are able to build again.

Inside the SW Florida Real Estate Market Numbers

 

As you can see from the graph, traditional sales picked up 8.2% while foreclosures fell 34.5% and short sales fell 45.1% This has led to an increase in prices as the artificial factors influencing prices to the down side are drying up. Median sale prices for traditional sales are up 9.5% over March 2012 numbers and foreclosure prices are up 18.9%. Both pale in comparison to the 42.7% increase in the media sale price of a short sale. You can see the downward pricing pressure has abated, and the rising tide is lifting all boats, even distressed sales.

Estero, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers and Cape Coral home sales by price range
Home Sales by Price Range

Inside the SW Florida Real Estate Market Numbers

If we dig deeper and look at closed sales by price range you’ll quickly notice homes priced under $100,000 are down sharply. That’s not because there isn’t demand but rather limited supply as prices have outgrown this category.

You’ll probably notice the biggest winner is the $250,000-$300,000 category as sales jumped 43.7% in this range alone. Sales are down in the $150,000-$200,000 range simply because it’s getting harder to find those homes on the market. Most of these same homes have graduated into the over $200,000 range from last year.

Most all price ranges saw increases except for the over $1 Million category. Even though the overall market is improving, the overall economy remains a drag on expensive luxury homes. There is still a market, but not a market in which to over-price. All price ranges are sensitive, and the $ 1 Million+ market is no exception. We would expect to see some increases in the over $1 Million range going forward.

Typically activity increases the first half of the year and data is only month by month through March. April may turn in some really good numbers too. Many sales occur through Easter and Easter was early this year. Visitors seemed to remain heavy at the beaches and Sanibel and Captiva even after the heavy selling season. This could bode well for tourism dollars and help local residents who run businesses here.

In April, May and June we’ll see the final results of those February and March sales, so stay tuned. Listing calls are picking back up again, at least here at the Ellis Team. Inventory is down so now is a good time to sell even if we don’t have as many visitors here looking today as we did a few months ago. Many may come back in the summer and complete a purchase because their interest was piqued back in season.

If you’ve got a property to sell, please give us a call, we can help. Our marketing works. In some price ranges we literally have difficulty finding more than 2 or 3 properties that match buyer’s criteria. We can be reached at 239-489-4042 or visit our website at Topagent.com

Today the Hertz Corporation announced it is relocating its world headquarters to Lee County Florida which will bring over 700 jobs to SW Florida at an average wage of $102,000.  This will help an already improving real estate market in the Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Estero real estate markets.