Is there a shift in SW Florida real estate market? Many agents I’ve talked to have complained that buyers thus far this year lack a sense of urgency. They’re making offers at times but then shutting off to counter-offers. For some listings, there are no offers at all.
Last year it was common to have multiple offers per property. Prices were rising and Realtors could price homes ahead of the last known sale. This year might be different. We’ve noticed a slowdown of offers on homes priced about $275,000 and up. One Realtor we talked to this week has noticed a slowdown on homes over $200,000.
Is the stock market affecting the real estate market? Some speculate yes, others aren’t so sure. Sometimes there is a flight to tangible assets like real estate when the stock market is in trouble. Other times the stock market affects consumer confidence and people are afraid to do anything.
Let’s look at some of the numbers. Just because Realtors start talking doesn’t mean the numbers bear out their suspicions.
Last year there were 1,537 new pending sales in February. As of February 9th, 2016 there are 217 new pending sales. The average list price of those pending sales are $280,569. We know that closed sales were down 2.8% in December. Unofficial January numbers suggest sales were down 12.7%
This confirms that so far this year new pending sales are off as well. Of the pending sales, average price is down. We won’t know what these pendings close at until they close, and of course we’re not dealing with a full month. In December, the average closed sale price was $333,735. Official January numbers won’t be released until later this month. If the rest of the month holds true, it would confirm strength in the lower price ranges and lack of urgency above $280,000.
What should sellers do with this information? They could wait and see if this is a temporary lag in the market. This sometimes happens as season picks up steam the latter half of February and into March. Or, sellers could reposition their home in the marketplace and be the first ones out in case buyers remain unmotivated.
In January we listed two condos in Reflection Lakes and sold both within a matter of days. Just because the overall market may see a shift doesn’t mean all properties are affected exactly the same.
If you’re putting your home on the market, it pays to look at what has sold and what your competition looks like. Look at it objectively like a buyer would. If you have had your home on the market, look back and see how you made your initial determination. Did you price ahead of the market expecting the market to increase?
Look at it like a basketball game. Just because your team had a good 1st quarter doesn’t guarantee you a solid 4th quarter. To win you have to be better at the end of the game, not just at the start. If your home has been on the market and not selling it’s either the marketing or the price. And even if it’s the marketing, chances are it still might be the price as well.
I’ve been tracking a few listings that interviewed with us and went with another Realtor who listed at a higher price. In each case, those properties are still on the market and they’ve reduced the price down to where we initially said. They are still on the market, and if buyers remain indecisive, they may end up reducing more.
Sometimes it’s best to be the first one out than to languish on the market and compete with all the other sellers reducing their prices. Of course, Season could kick in any moment and clear out the inventory shelves.
Check your competition for yourself at our SW Florida MLS Search Site or call us at 239-489-4042 We can help you sell your home and find your next home as well.
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