Sande, Mike, and myself just returned from the annual Star Power convention.  While we were away, the National Association of Realtors and the Florida Association of Realtors released market statistics for June.  We also had the opportunity to speak with other top agents from across the world about their market, and some of the ideas they’re using to market in these changing market conditions.

As you can see from the SW Florida Real Estate Homes Closed 2005-2007 chart, closed home sales have remained relatively constant, while Southwest Florida inventory levels have dipped only slightly.  Median sale prices have dipped as well, as illustrated by the SW Florida Real Estate Sale Prices 2005-2007 chart.  In fact, median home prices is SW Florida fell 9.80% for single family homes in June.

Here are links to view the entire June 2007 State of Florida Home Sales report and the June 2007 State of Florida Condo Sales report.  Be sure to check out our SW Florida Housing Statistics Page for even more stats and historical data.

Howard Brinton spoke at the conference and said the definition of a seller is those that actually sell.  Unfortunately in this market, not every property on the market is priced properly to actually be considered on the market.  If you’re priced Over the market, you’re not really On the market.  So the question becomes, how many homes are really on the market.  What we can say is that 600 give or take single family homes are on the market each month, because 600 or so are actually selling.  Those 600 sellers are actually pricing their homes where the buyers are, and they don’t need to reduce their price because they’re priced where the market is.

The other 15,000 or so Wanna be’s do need to re-position their homes in the marketplace if they wish to sell.  We have established there is a marketplace to sell homes.  The issue is, most home sellers in SW Florida do not like what that number is, and continue to be Wanna be’s.  I don’t like hearing that the entire market needs to come down in price, because that’s not really the case.  The Wanna be’s do need to adjust, and they just seem like the entire market because there are so many of them.

I spoke with Russell Shaw, a top Realtor in Arizona, about the Phoenix market becuase his market was so similiar to the SW Florida real estate market on the way up.  In fact, I called us sister cities because our appreciation numbers were so similiar in 2004 and 2005.  Phoenix metroploitan area now has about 50,000 single family home listings on the market, and 16,000 new construction homes being built.  It’s no coincidence that Phoenix is struggling similiar to what were seeing.  In fact, AZ agents noticed just recently a speedy drop in home prices as home sellers became more realistic about actually selling.

Patrick Lilly, a Manhattan New York Townhouse specialist, has experienced a similiar market.  He has noticed recently though that Wall Street has taken notice of the stock market’s over valuation and real estate’s under valuation.  In the past few weeks he’s sold several $3 Million + condos to wall street investors who recognize that real estate is better valued now than the stock market, and he thinks this could be the beginning of the top on Wall Street and the bottom on Main Street.

There is good news and bad news in this months Current Market Index Report.  First, the good news.  I decided to pull this data a few days earlier than normal because I will be out of town.  The good news is that traditionally, pendings pick up in this part of the month, and I didn’t give the extra 3 days for that to happen, which would lessen the CMI Index number if this pans out.

Secondly, I’ve noticed a fair number of duplicate listings for the past several months in the data source we’re using.  We’re using an Alliance database which allows us to pull in from several MLS sources.  The disadvantage is that many Realtors across SW Florida are inputting their listings into multiple MLS’ which duplicates the reporting to the Alliance.  The good news is there are far fewer listings than 15,000 being reported.

Lastly, listing inventory is dropping, even with the duplication of listings, so this can be viewed as a good sign.

Now for the bad.  The CMI number is rising because pendings are dropping slightly more than the listings are dropping.  A rising CMI number is not good for the market, and it has been rising each month as you can see from the chart.

Secondly, when you duplicate active listings, you also duplicate pendings, and some of these numbers being reported may be too high as well.

This may be a sign that weary home sellers have simply given up trying to sell.  Sales have not picked up yet like we would like, and some sellers may be taking their home off the market, or are giving the home back to the bank.  These listings could eventually come back on the market, but it will be some time as banks take forever to make decisions on short sales and the foreclosure process is slow.  And don’t look for banks to offer deals on these properties either.

Builders have been making tremendous deals, if you know where to find them.  The good news is the deals will end soon as builders have done a good job of unloading inventory.  Existing home sellers one day won’t have to compete as much with new construction, and when that day occurs, there will be somewhat less pressure on home sellers.

All in all, we have a mixed market, as is par for the course the past several months.  Will tremendous buying opportunities in this buyers market, along with low interest rates, property insurance costs dropping significantly on July 1, 2007, and lower property taxes spur buyers to buy in this market?  Stay tuned as we have some interesting months ahead of us.

The higher the CMI Index, the more supply we have relative to demand.

July 12, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 15,095 975 15.48
Condo 8,380 443 18.91
June 14, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 15,164 1,014 14.95
Condo 8,761 485 18.06
May 17, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 15,607 1,107 14.10
Condo 9,205 560 16.44
April 15, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 15,896 1,152 13.80
Condo 9,660 569 16.98

January 23, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 13,769 1,016 13.55
Condo 9,002 529 17.02

November 27, 2006 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 13,186 1,031 12.79
Condo 8,344 535


NBC-2, ABC-7, and the Ellis Team at RE/MAX agree to a Premium sponsorship on the two TV stations newly unveiled Home Spot product.  In addition to Exclusive Community sponsorship of Reflection Lakes, The Ellis Team will also be a Premium sponsor of the entire Home Spot product line, in addition to online advertising on and’s news, weather, and sports sections.  The move will drive even more online leads to the Ellis Team’s SW Florida MLS search site, as well at leads to SW Florida’s most popular real estate site,

This is a win/win deal for all involved.  Ellis Team sellers will receive much more exposure under this arrangement, buyers will receive premium service by one of SW Florida’s Top real estate teams, and NBC and ABC receives credibility for their new product by one of SW Florida’s Top companies, RE/MAX Realty Group.

The Ellis Team has been a pioneer in online real estate sales as they were the first team in SW Florida to place the MLS on their website, and the first to even have a website over a decade ago.  The Ellis Team looks forward to selling even more homes using two of SW Florida’s premiere media outlets, driving more traffic to the Ellis Team’s websites than any other media outlets.