Remember last week’s article where we talked about the housing numbers becoming more reliable? This week is a perfect example and I think you’ll see the changes this month.

SW Florida Single Family Inventory
Months Supply of Inventory

Last month official numbers reported 3,579 active single family home listings which equated to a 3.1 month supply of inventory. This month the Board of Realtors is reporting 4,838 active single family home listings and a 4.3 month supply of inventory. We think the latter number is most accurate now that they’ve reclassified the definition of an active listing.

The market hasn’t changed much in that regard, just the way we report numbers. Prices rose again to a median price of $129,900. In July the price dropped from June and we said not to worry, that was more a function of less inventory and not indicative of demand. Demand is still strong and what’s selling in a given month is highly dependant on what new inventory comes to the market.

SW Florida Real Estate Single Family Home Prices
Fort Myers-Cape Coral Real Estate Prices

In the past few weeks we’ve brought several homes to the market and we’ve priced them above past sales in the area because prices have been rising. You can’t do this in a declining market but we definitely do not have a declining market in many areas. We’ve seen multiple offers on many of our new listings as the market is responding. There is much competition from buyers for new listings that hit the market, especially if they are non-distressed and available to sell now.

You still have to price your home within normal market limitations, and an experienced agent can help guide you through a changing market. Markets rarely stay stagnant for long, so it pays to research the market and identify trends. Keep in mind, SW Florida is a large market and there are several sub markets. Not every home, subdivision, or price point goes up and down in unison. For more information on this, feel free to search our Blog for the term Bunching.

Appraisers are starting to take note of the changes in the market and we could see the “Declining Market” tag come off SW Florida which would ease up some lending standards. This would be a most welcome change for buyers, sellers, agents, and loan officers alike.

Add to this a report that shows foreigners are flocking to buy property in Florida and the future could be bright going forward for Florida home sales. Florida led all other states with 26% of residential real estate sales going to foreigners, with California next at 11%. People around the world have figured out that Florida was on sale but has now stabilized and on it’s way up.

Canada was the largest country buying property in the US at 25% followed by China at 11% and Mexico at 8%. America is still a safe bet considering the European debt crisis and our low prices, combined with a low value of the dollar right now. Foreigner’s have multiple ways to make money (real estate appreciation & currency) and hedge their risk.

We’ll continue to monitor the market and report what we find. Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

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