As predicted, March turned in some stellar numbers. Single family home sales in Fort Myers Cape Coral MSA posted a 50.35% rise in sales from February 2007, and median home prices were up 4.65% to $268,000 in March.
Condominium sales in Fort Myers and Cape Coral MSA were up 48.32% from February 2007 numbers, and the median sales price for a condo in SW Florida rose 1.29% to $250,800.
Pending sales are on the upswing. Buyers in SW Florida have discovered that now is one of the best opportunities they will have in a long time. Buyers are in control with excellent selection due to an over-supply of homes and condos on the market. Buyers also enjoy low interest rates, decreasing cost of insurance, and housing affordability as prices are down substantially from 2005 levels. Buyers may never be able to enjoy all factors working at once in their favor for a long time.
In cycles past, traditionally high supplies of inventory were caused by rising inflation and high interest rates. This is not the case as this over-supply of homes came from speculators and investors who sped up supply. They also created a false sense of demand, and once that demand quit, we were left with real over-supply and normal demand.
Just because prices appear to have bottomed does not mean there won’t be more price reductions for some sellers. We know where the buyers are, and the sellers who price their homes where the buyers are at are selling. These sellers don’t need to reduce any further. The market appears pretty well set in many segments.
The sellers who are not priced where the buyers are need to adjust their price, or take their home off the market as it is essentially off the market anyway. If a home is not priced "At the Market" is is "Off the Market." Buyers will not overpay for a home that isn’t priced at today’s prices.
Buyers will jump at properties that are priced correctly. Buyers are gaining confidence again in this market. By mid-year we expect home sale prices to be even with prices from 2006. This market has followed our predictions very well since 2005 when we predicted 2006 would be a year of transition to lower prices. Last year we predicted prices would bottom out 4th quarter of 2006 and remain flat until 2nd qtr of 2007, then begin a slow rise throughout the year. It does appear that median home prices bottomed out October of 2006, and have begun a slow ascent back up.
Home prices are up 4 out of the last 5 months and are up about 7.5% from the lows last October.The Florida Association of Realtors released sales statistics today for single family home sales and condo sales. See How Lee County staks up this year Vs. last year, and how every district in the state did.