Each year we provide a SW Florida Real Estate State of the Market Report based on year-end numbers and current trends we see in the local SW Florida real estate market.
SW Florida Real Estate State of the Market Report
Today we’d like to update you on sales prices and inventory levels. As you can see from the Year End Prices graph, prices have been moving upward since 2009. The median sale price in 2009 was $90,400. Compare that to 2014 median price of $190,000 and you can see that prices have more than doubled in just 5 short years.
We have circled the last year on the graph to call to your attention something we’ve been saying for awhile. While our market is as healthy as it’s been in years, we could be returning to a period of more moderate growth, which is a good thing. As we learned from the previous Boom, the market cannot sustain 15-20% prices increases forever. Everybody knows that. Traditionally 3-5% is the average, and we’ve been beating that by wide margins. This was OK because in our opinion the market over-reacted and fell too far, so it had a ways to go on the upside. Prices were well below replacement cost and that too cannot last forever.
Inventory levels are still below what they were in 2012 and 2013. Inventory has risen recently but it always does this time of year. Inventory levels bear watching in 2015 and the levels of inventory could foretell future pricing.
Most experts agree that somewhere around 5.5 months supply of inventory is a healthy balanced market. It is not either a sellers or buyers market but rather neutral. As you can see from the Months Supply graph the overall market sits at exactly 5.5 months supply.
We are seeing increased closings this past December versus previous years, so inventory is going to have to climb to feed the beast. If it does not, prices could rise quickly again this year. If listing inventory does rise, prices could rise moderately. Or, the market could turn off to keep inventory in check. Time is the ultimate variable here, as time cures all ills. Lack of time in a competitive market creates rising prices.
Season is the time of year we test the market’s mettle. Starting in January prices begin climbing, so we’ll be watching the next few months to see what rate prices rise and at what rate listings climb or decline. Listings tend to decline starting in January or February as pending sales deplete available inventory.
It’s safe to say we’re in a supply/demand market right now. We’re watching several variables that could influence the market but none stand out as imminent right now. The President’s capital gains increase proposal is probably dead on arrival in Congress so that’s a none-issue right now.
Gas prices are down so buyers have more disposable income. That won’t last forever but it does help in 2015. Count on the Ellis Team at RE/MAX to study the market and report any changes.
Thanks for reading the SW Florida Real Estate State of the Market Report.
Good luck and Happy House Hunting!
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