The SW Florida real estate market again shows some positive signs, as median single family home prices in Fort Myers / Cape Coral area increased 5.67% in April over March. March posted 4.65% increase, which means median prices have increased about 10% since February 2007. Median prices are definitely on the rise, as illustrated by our SW Florida Real Estate Month Over Month Graph.
Sellers should be careful not to over react to this positive news, as it is only one indicator. The entire breath and scope of the market isn’t moving upward, simply the median price. We knew the median price would be the first to stabilize. Median price is simply a measure of half the homes selling for more than a certain number and half selling for less than a certain number. Many homes are selling, but only the best priced homes are selling, and homes priced above the market will sit on the market. Median price is just one indicator.
Another indicator is how many homes are selling. Home sales fell from March levels, which is typically the case until the market heats back up again in the summer. Our SW Florida Real Estate Homes Closed Graph illustrates this point. Single family home sales were down 37% from last years levels, and down almost 10% from March 2007 levels.
As you can see from our SW Florida Real Estate Sale Prices 2005-2007 graph, sale prices have caught last years levels. This is important, because the media will now start reporting prices are edging higher. The more accurate indication is month over month changes which have been rising 5 out of the last 6 months, but that was lost in the reporting because sale prices were down against last year, which seems to be the media industry standard. Now that we’ve broke out of that mold, which we predicted would happen sometime mid-year 2007, the media will start reporting prices are up, even though they’ve been going up for months.
The overall direction of the market is encouraging, but all the stars are not in alignment yet. What we’d like to see is inventory levels decreasing more than it is, sales increasing over last years levels, and prices stabilizing across all market segments. This hasn’t happened yet, but it will in time. The market is cleansing itself. We expect a gradual improvement in numbers throughout the balance of 2007 overall, even though some segments will continue to struggle into next year. Particularly hard hit will be new subdivisions where investors still make-up a majority of the homeowners. We need end users to stabilize this market, and that is occurring as pricing has come down significantly.
Condo sale prices were down 24% in the Greater Fort Myers Cape Coral area from $322,500 last April 2006 to $244,100 April 2007, and the number of sales were down 14%, from 259 last April 2006 to 223 April 2007. Condo sales were actually up slightly from March levels, 223 in April 2007 Vs. 221 in March, and prices were down from $250,800 in March 2007 to $244,100, a 2.67% decrease.
Statewide, single family home sales were down 26% and median prices were down 3%, so Fort Myers and Cape Coral did better than the state average in price and worse in sales. Statewide, condo sales were down 19% and median condo sale prices were up 3%, Fort Myers Cape Coral did better than the average for numbers of sales and worse than average in median sales prices.
You can see how Fort Myers and Cape Coral single family home sales did this year Vs. last year and compared to the entore state. Also view Condo sales in Fort Myers and Cape Coral report.