Brett Ellis of the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group will present the SW Florida real estate State of the Market Report at the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investors Association general meeting for Lee and Collier counties February 20, 2008.  The meeting starts at 6:00 and members and vistors will evaluate deals, run comps, and do pro formas on properties, followed by the general meeting.

Brett will unveil the latest trends, and explain what happened in 2007 and why.  Last years report predicted some hot and cold spots, and those predictions turned out to be pretty accurate.  You’ll want to hear where the market is today, where it is headed, and what opportunities there are in this market.

If you’re a current owner, you’ll want to know how your area is doing and how it affects your value.  Buyers use this report as a valuable tool to evaluate purchasing decisions.

Details on the Meeting.

Are you or someone that you know having difficulty making mortgage payments? Have you had an interest rate increase that you can no longer afford? Have you lost your job or have you had a substantial reduction in hours resulting in lost wages? Do you want to stay in your home, but can not afford your payments? Are you afraid of foreclosure? Have you heard the buzz word short sale, but not sure exactly what it means or how it may affect your family or your credit?

Regardless of what the cause or circumstance, I may be able to help! Do not wait until you are so far behind on mortgage payments that you can physically not do anything. If your current on payments but getting close to not being able to afford your mortgage payment I may be able to help.

If you are located in lee county, charlotte county or collier county in SW Florida (Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Estero, Naples, Lehigh Acres, Port Charlotte) please call Adrian immediately at 239-677-7250 or email at There are several options that you may have that you dont realize or know about. You DO NOT Need to be late on payments to be proactive. As i live within the community, I am also looking to help people living within the community. Your call will be kept confidential.

Tuesday morning the Fed jumped in and cut a key interest rate by .75 bps unexpectedly. This was a much needed cut after a global plunge monday that came from heightened fears of a recession. The cut from 4.5% to 3.5% was the biggest reduction in this target rate on record going back to 1990. It is also the first time the fed has changed the fund rate in between meetings since 2001 when the US was battling fears of a recession and terrorist attacks.

I have received numerous calls about the rate cuts affecting mortgages. It does not directly affect 15 and 30 year mortgages. The fed fund rate cut will directly affect prime which is tied to equity lines and or 2nd mortgages. The bond market is directly tied to our 15 and 30 year mortgages. After Mondays plunge this would typically indicate investors are selling off and placing money into safer areas such as bonds. When bonds are driven up, home loan rates on 15 and 30 year mortgages will improve.

How will this affect things here in SW Florida / lee county? Feel free to call Adrian at 239-677-7250 (located in fort myers, cape coral, fl) or blog for additional information.

The Ellis Team SW Florida Current Market Index actually worsened slightly, as the holidays typically cut into December sales.  This phenomenon occurs every year and shouldn’t be looked upon as anything spectacular. Inventory levels for both single family homes and condos in SW Florida are down, which helps offest the drop in pending sales, which is a good sign.

Buyer activity is increasing as there is renewed interest in SW Florida due to lower prices and favorable exchange rates from foreign buyers. 

If you’d like to attend our next free SW Florida short sale seminar, please call our office to register.  We teach first time home buyers. move-up buyers, and investors how to consistently buy properties at or below today’s fair market value, and educate consumers about the local SW Florida real estate market.

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

January 14, , 2008 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 15,812 821 19.26
Condo 8,581 334 25.69
December  17, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 16,098 892 18.05
Condo 8,655 386 22.42
November 14, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 15,710 797 19.71
Condo 8,361 388 21.55
October 16, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 15,438 783 19.72
Condo 8,212 354 23.20
September 15, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 15,215 809 18.81
Condo 8,141 369 22.06
August 15, 2007 Active Pending CMI
Single Family 14,919 955 15.62
Condo 8,190 417 19.64
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


This weeks show, "The Future of Real Estate" will feature guests Lieutenant Governor of Florida Jeff Kottkamp and Lee County Budget Director Dinah Lewis for the entire hour.  We’ll discuss the Florida constitutional ammendment on the ballot January 29 as well as fiscal and economic issues here in SW Florida. 

We’ll talk about the current state of the economy and the impacts that has on budgeting here in SW Florida, as well as the implications if Ammendment 1 passes.  We have two top experts who are very knowledgeable and break down in easy to understand terms what’s at stake in this election.

You won’t want to miss this weeks show hosted by The Ellis Team as this topic directly relates to taxes, the real estate market, the economy, and the recovery of Florida.  It can be heard on WINK AM 1240 Saturday at 11:00 as well as online at our website

Most would agree that the people purchasing in our SW Florida market are the ones that need a place to live, looking to buy at heavily discounted prices or looking for a second home.

Within the past several weeks I have been working with various groups of people that are back in the market for another purpose. Long term Real Estate Investors are back in the South West Florida market again. They are buying and buying in qty.

Last weekend i spent an entire day with an investor from the UK showing him the canal systems prior to his South West Florida waterfront purchases. He owns 51 corporations (mostly RE Related) and has 146 Million US dollars that he is now pouring into the Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Naples market for investment purposes. He says there is an ENORMOUS SALE in SW Florida and I am taking advantage of it! Where else in the world can you buy at such a reduction price? Where else can you buy where this sale is going on and people are still moving into the community?

These investors are back in the market and are the people that have the confidence and have taken the time to do the due diligence for the investment that they are making. They enter a transaction without any emotion, but with pure confidence based on the numbers.

The real estate investors are definitely coming back into the market!

The Bush administration is working to combat the country’s severe housing crisis but there is no simple solution, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Monday, adding that a correction in the housing market is "inevitable and necessary."

The country is now facing approximately 1.8 million in subprime mortgages that are scheduled to reset over the next 2 years. The fix… The Bush administration has brokered a deal with the mortgage industry to freeze certain subprime rates for 5 years. Seems very fair to reward the subprime loan holders that helped to put the credit crisis where it’s at, right??? Now we let the prime borrowers who have variable interest rate loans to adjust accordingly. This just doesnt seem right.

He had said that this raised the threat of a market failure and was the reason that a deal was brokered with the mortgage industry. They froze probably the most risky loans (the loans that were made because wallstreet had an appetite for risk) to allow the housing market to recover.

"By preventing avoidable foreclosures, we will safeguard neighborhoods and communities and fulfill our responsibility of protecting the broader U.S. economy," Paulson said in a speech in New York. "However, let me be clear: there is no single or simple solution that will undo the excesses of the last few years."

Paulson said that the deal for the mortgage industry to freeze certain subprime mortgages will not use any tax payer money. Conservative critics have complained that the administration’s plan represented government intrusion in the operation of markets that would end up rewarding some people who had taken out risky mortgages to purchase homes.

Paulson also raised the possibility in his speech that some possibly a "systematic approach" may need to be put together to help homeowners with other adjustable-rate mortga,ges that will reset to higher rates. The current plan will only help subprime mortgages, loans offered to borrowers with weak credit histories.

In the midst of negative reporting regarding the Florida real estate market, silently investors and foreigners are coming into Florida scooping up bargains.  Why, because Florida is on sale.

Home sale prices in Florida are down roughly 30-40% across the board.  Add to that the favorable exchange rates foreigners enjoy now, and foreign buyers are able to buy much more in Florida than they can back home.  The dollar is down against many currencies, making real estate a bargain over here in the US.

In fact, US investors who started coming back into the SW Florida real estate market in the past few months are now competing with foreign investors for the best bargains.  And home buyers are sitting on the sidelines oblivious to it all becuase they read the newspapers and fear the market is going lower.

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX is working with buyers from England, Russia, Canada, and Israel just to name a few.  We’ve heard from a Sarasota agent who is working with multiple investors from UK, and another FOrt Myers broker who is working with a UK investor looking to place $150 million into the Florida market for long-term investing.

Investors usually pop back into the market first because they study numbers, whereas first-time home buyers and move up buyers buy more on emotion, so they tend to wait for the all clear fearing prices could still come down more.

We expect foreclosures to peak in 2008.  Builders are no longer putting downward pressure on prices as they’ve already cleared out most all of their unsold inventory, and they’re not building new construction below cost, like they did with the unsold inventory.

Credit markets are beginning to loosen as more programs are trickling back.  Property taxes will go down in 2008 as a result of 2007 price declines, and legislative action.  We’ve seen significant improvement in insurance rates as well.  Most all signs point to a recovering housing market in 2008.  We would like to see inventory numbers fall, and employment rise.  The real estate impact has had a toll on employment numbers.