While analyzing current market statistics we see September inventory levels rise slightly in select price ranges.  Six out of nine price ranges saw an increase in the month’s supply of inventory while five of nine saw an increase in the raw number of listings.

September Inventory Levels Rise Slightly

September Inventory Levels Rise

 

Four out of nine price ranges saw an increase in the number of sales.  In a hot market, you can only sell what you have.  As prices increased, some homes graduated to the next price level which increased their inventory, and increased chances of a sale in that price range.

With multiple offers, sometimes we would see a listing in one price range result in a sale in a higher price range because it sold over asking price.  For this reason, we must be careful about analyzing the numbers and interpreting what they really mean.

Inventory Still Historically Low

The overall market still stands at less than 1 month supply, which is low.  A buyer can assume any listing in any of the price ranges could be receiving multiple offers if they were priced correctly coming to the market.  There are some overpriced listings, and no matter how hot the market is, may never sell.

As more listings enter the market, buyers have slightly more choices.  The good ones still get swallowed up fast.  It is important for buyers to have their ducks in a row before they go shopping.

We monitor the monthly numbers, and we are studying the weekly numbers.  We saw a 9-home decrease in the weekly numbers which means more homes came off the market than went on in the last week.  Because this market is so hot, we expect volatility in those weekly numbers.  It could also be sellers were waiting until after Labor Day to place their home on the market while buyers did not wait.

Interest rates rose slightly in the past week.  Rising rates increase the cost of borrowing for buyers.  Initially rising rates adds motivation to buyers to purchase before rates go higher.  This assumes buyers were sitting on the fence.  In our current market it is more likely buyers could not find a home as the winning bid, so they settled for a rental for another year.

Rents are sky high currently. As tenants come off lease we expect them to look to purchase if they can find a home.  As the eviction moratorium abates, we expect rent prices could come down.

Eventually rising rates will hurt home buyers.  The wildcard will be if home buyers soften due to rising borrowing costs, how does northern buyers relocating here compensate for that?  This past year financed buyers were not winning many bids anyway so rising rates would have made no difference.  If buyers continue their march to Florida, rising rates might not matter.  We will keep our eye on migration patterns.

Is Now a Good Time to Sell?

Many homeowners are contemplating if now might be the time to sell.  Prices have risen a good amount, and some are surprised at how much their property is worth.  Homeowners also realize we are not likely to see price gains like this going forward.  Nobody knows the future and where prices will go. We think it is safe to say prices will not rise 36% in one year again anytime soon.

If you have been wondering if now might be the time to sell, call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-310-6500 We will be happy to speak with you and discuss your options.  Some sellers appreciate our Free and easy home valuation tool where you can see your home’s value online instantly.  The system will also email you updates every month so you can track your home’s value going forward.  This is great for people who do not want to sell now but are interested in their home’s value.

Good luck and Happy Home Buying and Selling!

See last week’s article “Local Home Sales Highest on Record

Recent statistics show local home sales highest on record.  Keller Williams Realty International predicts 2021 will be the 5th best year in real estate sales nationally just behind 2020 levels.

Local Home Sales Highest on Recrod

Locally we are seeing a slowdown in the number of homes closed.  The tail end of this year could bring fewer transactions, but will the slowdown be enough to place us behind 2020 numbers?  Through July home sales are up 38.33%. We only need 4,328 sales from August through December to match 2020 levels.  That is approximately 866 homes per month.  Our lowest month of the year was January at 1,221 homes sold, so it is likely 2021 will set another record.

Local Home Sales Highest on Record

The frenzied pace of home sales has eased a bit, but many homes are still receiving multiple offers, especially if they are in good condition.  As companies return to work Florida may not be the work from home darling it once was.  However, it remains to be seen what effect the Delta variant will have on companies work from home policies going forward.

We are hearing cases in Florida have leveled off and cases up North may be increasing.  If this continues, Florida may become the work from home darling location again.

This is good news for home buyers.  Buyers will have more choices and less price increases to contend with.  Rising interest rates are like a hidden price increase because it increases the cost of ownership.  We would suggest buyers take advantage of any home they like because even if prices level off that home may cost them more in the future.

Sellers Beware

Sellers should beware.  If the SW Florida real estate market is properly valued, rising rates will have a negative effect on buyers.  For years we felt Florida real estate was undervalued.  With recent price increases, Florida has come more in line with the rest of the country.  Who is to say if we are properly valued or not?  The point is, it feels like values may bounce around where they are now, but who knows.  Rising rates will put pressure on buyers who need to finance.

This past year sellers have been blessed by cash buyers from up North.  We will be tracking cash sales going forward as that will be an indicator of how much fuel there is for rising prices going forward.

Covid Declining in Florida

The good news for Florida is that Covid cases have begun declining.  They are much too high right now, so we are glad to see a plateau.  As the weather turns and Floridians go outside in the Fall, northerners will head inside more in the Fall and Winter.  We may see a decline in cases in Florida and a rise in cases up North.  If this scenario plays out, we could repeat this past year’s process all over again and Florida could become the darling.

As regular readers know, there are several wildcards we look for.  I feel like this year we are tracking new wildcards.  I don’t know of anybody who can say with any certainty what the future of real estate is for SW Florida.  We will continue to report what we do know with facts.  We make assumptions and educated guesses from these facts and we hope you appreciate our attempt to explain what we are seeing in the trenches.

Our guesses may turn out to be 100% correct, or 100% false, or somewhere in between.  Perhaps we are looking at the wrong indicators.

Real Estate Questions?

If you have real estate questions, or would simply like to talk about your situation, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500  You can also visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get your home’s online value.  Not only is it fairly accurate, but it will also keep you updated as to your home’s price direction.  In other words, even if you disagree with the computer’s price estimate, you will be able to track the direction of your home’s value monthly.  Sellers really like this feature.

Brett or Sande can get you a more accurate price for your home when we meet.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

See last week’s article “Lee County Sales Prices Hit Pause in July