The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers has created some custom graphs to illustrate the nature and scope of the SW Florida Real Estate Market.

Our first graph, shows the number of homes closed by month for the years 2005-2007, and you can see the first few months of 2007 are down drastically over 2005 and 2006.  We expect these numbers to increase each month in 2007, however we don’t expect them to return to 2005 levels.

Our next graph illustrates home prices in SW Florida real estate by month.  As you can see, prices are above 2005 levels and trailing 2006 levels.  As 2005 was a year in which prices rose, we epect this number could fall below 2005 levels anytime in the next few months.

Our last updated custom graph shows price changes by month instead of looking solely at the past year.  We think this graph is particularly useful to spot trends.  Home prices rose last November, December, and January of this year.  February of 2007 gave back a large portion of the past 3 month increases in SW Florida.

Of course you can view many updated statistics in the SW Florida real estate market by visiting our Southwest Florida Housing Statistics page.

Lee County Florida saw a record number of property tax appeals for the 2006 tax year.  2,896 property owners appealed their taxes, while only 250 were granted.

It’s not surprising people would appeal their 2006 taxes as property values increased dramatically in 2005.  2006 tax assessments are based upon property values set Jan 1, 2006.  2006 was a year in which property values declined, but much of the decline wouldn’t be included in the 2006 tax bills as it was based upon Jan 1, 2006 data and not November data when tax bills actually came out.

2007 property tax assessments should be lower as they will be based upon January 1, 2007.  Keep in mind that there are two components to your final tax bill, the assessed value and the millage rate.  Politicians set the millage rate, and the property assessor sets the assessed value.  While assessed values should go down, we don’t know what the millage rate will be for 2007, so stay tuned.

Lennar profit dropped 74% due to slower sales in the Western and Central regions.  Home builders are facing competition from sellers in the resale market, which is affecting profitability.  Builders have been reducing prices as sales have slowed.  Sellers don’t always have to sell, they can stay and live in their home.  Builders must build and sell, as that is their business so they’ve been much more sensitive to pricing in the market.

Julie Scott of Bank of America joins the Ellis Team in sponsoring SW Florida’s only weekly radio show on real estate, "The Future of Real Estate."

The show airs weekly on AM 1240 in Lee County and AM 1270 in Collier County Saturday’s at 11:00  It is also broadcast online on NBC’s website, as well as ABC’s website.  It is also Podcast on iTunes.

Next week we’ll announce another new sponsor.

The Florida Association of Realtors released sales numbers today for SW Florida and the entire state of Florida.  Single family home sales were down 38% in Fort Myers and Cape Coral from last years number and the median sales price was down 9% from $280,300 last year to $256,100 this year.  Naples sales data not available as the Naples Board of Realtors has stopped reporting sales numbers to the state.

Condo sales in Fort Myers and Cape Coral Florida were down 24% and the median sales price was down 31% from $356,600 last year to $247,600 this year.

In a few days we’ll post charts which illusttrate month by month sales numbers, as well as month over month numbers so you can put these numbers in perspective.

A local TV station called the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers and said they had a report from another local Realtor that the past few months were record months for sales.  They wanted our opinion on that statement.

We told them we have seen increased buyer activity and sales, but the word record is a strong word and we don’t think we’re back to record levels yet, or anything close to that.  What we can say is that buyers are recognizing that homes are affordable again, and back in their price range after 1.5 years of price drops.

Interest rates are also low, and expected to rise about 1/2 percent the rest of the year, so waiting can actually cost a buyer.  Buyers are also noticing that the homes that are priced correctly are disappearing fast. 

If you’re in the market to buy, you can’t wait or another buyer will beat you to it.  The best properties are selling.  That’s not to say that all properties are selling, because they are not.  Some sellers still have not adjusted to the new reality.  The sellers that have adjusted are already sold, their home is pending sale, or it will be soon.

In the next few days we’ll report on home sales in the Fort Myers Cape Coral real estate market.

The past few weeks we’ve been working hard selling homes and condos in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate market in SW Florida.  This past week we double dipped a home in Daniel’s Park, sold a townhome that had been on the market awhile in Oakcrest Villas, and placed several other homes under contract.  Double dipping is a real estate term which describes when an agent is both the listing agent and the selling agent, essentially double dipping both ends of the transaction.

We’re getting close to closing our $1 million + home in the Forrest that was only on the market a few days. 

In a few days we’ll be updating our SW Florida Real Estate website which will reflect new sales numbers put out by the Florida Association of Realtors.  It will be interesting to compare and see if the overall market is enjoying the flurry of activity, or if it’s isolated to top producing agents who are still marketing heavily. Consumers can search the Fort Myers Cape Coral MLS.

We expect market activity to rise thoughout the balance of 2007.

The Ellis Team was recently named the top agents in the state of Florida by RE/MAX.  The Ellis Team closed more transactions than any other single agent or team in the state of Florida, so it really was quite an honor to receive this award.

In addition to closing the most transactions in the state, the Ellis Team also was awarded Top 5 in the entire state in Sales Volume. This too is significant because Fort Myers Cape Coral real estate prices are not nearly as high as other areas in the state.  We here in SW Florida typically have to close more transactions than places like Naples, Boca Raton, etc.

RE/MAX International hosted their annual real estate convention, inviting over 120,000 agents to attend. RE/MAX is the top real estate company in the world.  Brett Ellis of the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers was a featured speaker.  Brett spoke to top agents from all over the world on the topic of "Blogging for Fun and Profit."  Brett was accompanied by Linda Davis, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Realty Group in Connecticut, and Michael Russer, Mr. Internet and international conusltant.

The presentation was also filmed by RSN, (RE/MAX Satellite Network) for further training.  RSN beams educational programming and training via sattelite to all RE/MAX agents worldwide, and via RE/MAX University.