The Lee County housing supply demand gap widens to its highest point in years. Supply is rising while demand is falling. This is a sign of a slowly shifting market.

Housing Supply Demand Gap Widens

The Fed raised interest rates at the fastest pace ever in the past year, so it’s no wonder demand has fallen off.  In fact, people are wondering how it’s held up so well. The data suggests it only looks like it’s held up so well.

Housing Supply Demand Gap Widens

We’ve had such low inventory numbers it masked falling demand. The whole thing worked because, so few sellers had put their home on the market. It appeared that demand exceeded supply, but we know that changed last summer because we track the numbers.

Looking back at the charts, inventory levels still are not bad. Inventory levels are now back to about May 2020 levels but heading higher. The SW Florida real estate market appears to have entered a balanced market. This is normal as markets rarely stay at the exact same place for long. Markets are always moving, and when you apply pressure to them it can begin the move. In this case, the pressure is rising rates, companies calling workers back to the office, and a slowing economy.

Price Direction

Where do home prices go from here? It’s hard to imagine prices rising substantially in the wake of rising inventory and slowing demand. At some point the mask comes off. Perhaps this is why we are seeing so many price reductions in MLS. This past week 423 single family home sellers in Lee County reduced their price. Sellers are not reducing their price because they want to. They are reducing their price because the market has spoken and rejected their current price.  They can sit where they are and fall further behind or adjust to the shifting market.

Marketing Matters

The other thing that can most benefit home sellers is an active marketing campaign. Listing it on the MLS is not enough in a shifting market, but unfortunately 85% of Realtors in the market today have never been in a balanced or buyer’s market. This requires more advertising. Many agents didn’t get into the business to spend their own money, they got into it because it looked easy and could make them money.

Folks, this is a normal market, and it is going to require agents to spend money marketing a property. The easy days of listing a property and selling it within 4 hours with 16 offers are gone. Experience matters now. The housing supply demand gap is widening. The agent’s pocketbook matters now. Handling buyer objections once the inspection is completed matters now, because buyers are anxious. To the buyer, everything has gone up. Interest rates, insurance, prices, etc. They feel like they are paying for it all and they want a house with no troubles.

Inspection Formula

 We have a formula that helps buyers understand the inspection and repair process. It makes it logical for sellers to come to an agreement over inspection issues. This formula helps reduce things buyers and sellers fight over and keeps more deals together.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, please call Brett and Sande Ellis at 239-310-6500. We have the marketing muscle to get your home sold, and the experience to keep deals together when possible. We also have a program that speeds up the home selling process along with a video that explains how we could do such a thing. If you’d like your home sold for Top Dollar, and quickly, simply email request the video and I’ll email it to you.

Sande and Brett Ellis are here to help. Good luck and Happy Selling!

Be sure to read our “Advanced Home Neogtiationg Techniques” article on how to better sell your home in today’s market, or watch our video below.

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Reflection Lakes Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

7674 Bay Lake Dr, Fort Myers

Reflection Lakes Open House
Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Let’s analyze home prices nine months after Hurricane Ian. We did this post Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Irma as well.

Home Prices Nine Months After Ian

Official median home prices last September in Lee County were $414,495. Average home prices were $534,035. Official numbers are not out yet for June, so we went into MLS and extracted data that should be close to actual numbers when they are released.

Home Prices Higher After Ian

 Unofficial June 2023 Lee County median price was $449,000. That is an 8.32% gain from September of last year. The average price in Lee County for a single-family home in June was $589,991. That is a 10.48% gain over September last year.

We know that home prices were coming down prior to the hurricane. Rising interest rates surely played a part in that decline. Much like hurricanes Charley and Irma, it doesn’t appear that the hurricane had much influence on home prices. Perhaps the greatest influence was which home sellers decided to sell. While demand has fallen with rising interest rates and insurance costs, it hasn’t gone away. Demand is still there. Sellers must price correctly for sure.

Because there is still demand, we may see lower prices if more lower end homes enter the market, and higher prices if more higher end homes hit the market. Obviously when supply outstrips demand it can lower prices, but through last year inventory was low, and the hurricane didn’t help that.

Rising Inventory

 Today we are seeing much more inventory.  Single family home inventory has almost quadrupled since February of 2022. If inventory keeps rising, we will be entering a balanced market. If you talk to most real estate agents, they will tell you this market feels like a balanced market.

We don’t have 50 offers for every property, but homes don’t sit forever either, if they are priced and marketed correctly.

We are seeing agents leaving the business. At last count 60,000+ agents nationwide have left, and we are expecting hundreds of thousands more. This happens with every shift in the market. So many agents come into the business and work in one part of the market. There are three different markets and how you consult and transact are completely different in each.

Three Markets

 The three markets are a buyer’s market, seller’s market, and a balanced market. Once the market makes a move, it’s very easy to slide through all three, or drift back and forth depending on market conditions. We’ve just gone from a severe seller’s market to a balanced market.  Interest rates are on the rise again. Mortgage rates hit their high for the year this past week and may go higher.

The economy is expected to slow down as rising debt is weighing on consumers. Student loan payments begin in October which will take spending money out of the economy.

For Florida we will be watching to see how many people continue moving to our state. As taxes rise in other states and people continue to move out of cities, where will they go? To date, many have chosen Florida which helped push our prices up. With rising prices, interest rates, and insurance costs it remains to be seen how many and how fast they will continue to relocate here.

It is possible a slowing economy might force people to relocate when they lose jobs up north. Others may simply decide to retire. Whatever happens, you know that we will be studying the numbers. Ellis Team clients always know the trends before other home buyers and sellers because we track the market so closely. We have years of data and analytics.

Search Like a Pro

 To search the MLS like a real estate pro, check out It has features and data other sites do not have. Of course, Sande and Brett Ellis are here to answer your questions as well. 239-489-4042. Brett and Sande have worked in all three markets multiple times. There is no substitute for experience, hard work, reputation, data, and analytics. That’s what you get when you call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.

Advanced Negotiating Techniques

Last week we shot a video  utilizing advanced home negotiating techniques which you can find on our YouTube Channel  We also posted the video on our Facebook page at

Advanced Home Negotiating Techniques

We thought we’d share with you these advanced home negotiating techniques. The best part of the first technique is that it benefits both the buyer and the seller if used properly.

In a shifting market with rising inventory most sellers realize they must be competitive. Reducing the price is one way to get in the game, but what if there is another?

Simultaneously, the reason we have rising inventory is because buyers are struggling to pay higher prices and higher rates at the same time.  Today we’d like to share a concept that will help both.

Permanent Rate Change

Let’s say we have a $500,000 home. Also let’s say we have a buyer putting 20% down and financing $400,000.  The buyer could offer $490,000 to help make their payment a little better.  We ran a scenario last week, and by offering $10,000 less the buyer would save about $72/mo.  Not bad if the seller is willing to participate.  But what if the buyer still does not qualify?  This particular buyer might have to offer $450,000 to qualify. It’s a shame because this buyer loves the home, but the seller won’t come down to $450,000.

Now, let’s take the exact same home and the exact same buyer and look at it a different way. What if the buyer offered the list price of$500,000 but asked the seller to pay closing costs up to $10,000? With that money we buy the rate down from 7.5% with $2,000 in points to 6.25% with around $10,000 in points. By buying the rate down the new payment lowers by $333.99. The buyer qualifies for this payment when they did not qualify for the previous payment.

It is the same $10,000 just used a different way. The results can be enormous. You can watch the entire video online that explains it. Our example only shows the principal and interest portion. Obviously there will be taxes and insurance which varies by property.

Additionally, these numbers change by credit score, amount down, etc. Every buyer and every scenario is different. What stays the same is the concept. Once you understand the concept, we can run scenarios that best help your situation.

2/1 Buydown Option

We looked at a 2/1 buydown, but the day we ran it the permanent buydown was a better deal. A 2/1 buydown lowers the rate by about 2 percent the first year and 1 percent the second year before setting in on the permanent rates the final 28 years.  The buydown is temporary.

There are many more types of loan products we have access to. Keep in mind, we are not lenders. We are real estate agents that understand the process because we’ve worked through several interest rate cycles and have experience. Many new agents have never worked in these conditions, so they don’t have that knowledge to put and keep deals together. It’s a shame, because many times there is a willing buyer and seller, and they just don’t know how to keep it together.

Putting it All Together

The key is working with people with experience and a great team. We work with lenders who have decades of experience. Sometimes all the elements of a great deal are there, and people just need help structuring it to make it work. The days of 50 buyers bidding on every property and paying cash well in excess of the asking price are over. Financed deals are back in play, and this is where experience matters most.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 or visit to search for your next home. We’ll show you hot to use this and other adnaced home negotiating techniques to work for you.

Advanced Home Negotiating Techniques

, More Florida insurance changes are on the horizon. House Bill 799 is one bill among several recently passed and going into effect. We’ll bring you up to speed on this bill.

Wind Discounts

One significant change brought about by the bill is the requirement for insurance companies to consider the impact of wind uplift prevention mitigation techniques when filing residential property insurance rate filings. This provision emphasizes the importance of implementing measures to prevent wind damage and encourages insurance companies to take these factors into account when determining insurance rates for residential properties.

Citizens Rate Increases

Another notable change pertains to the exclusion of new policies issued by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) after November 1, 2023, from the annual rate increase cap. This means that rate increases on these policies can now go up to 50%. However, it is important to note that this exclusion specifically applies to policies for non-primary residences and properties previously covered by companies that became insolvent.

Furthermore, the bill establishes specific requirements for securing flood insurance based on the replacement cost of the structure or unit dwelling. For properties covered by Citizens, the deadlines for obtaining flood insurance are as follows:

This table outlines the different thresholds for the replacement cost of the structure or unit dwelling and the corresponding deadlines by which flood insurance must be secured. Properties with higher replacement costs have earlier deadlines for obtaining flood insurance. Other personal lines of residential properties insured by Citizens have until January 1, 2027, to secure flood insurance.


More Florida Insurance Changes Effective July 1, 2023

It’s important to note that certain Citizens policy types are exempt from this requirement. Policies that do not cover wind damage and condominium unit owners are an example.

Faster Mediation

Additionally, House Bill 799 enables Citizens to enter into contracts with the Division of Administrative Hearings. This allows for the resolution of claim disputes between Citizens and policyholders through this administrative process. This provision aims to streamline the claims resolution process and ensure fair and efficient handling of disputes.


Effective October 1, 2023, insurance companies that issue wind coverage and require policyholders to have flood insurance must verify the presence of flood insurance at the time the policy is issued or renewed. Master flood policies are deemed acceptable for this purpose.

No Flood No Wind Claim

Failure to comply with the requirement of having flood insurance may result in the denial of a wind damage claim by the insurance company. To further emphasize this requirement, policyholders are now required to sign a written acknowledgement of their understanding of the need for flood insurance.


More Florida insurance changes that may be on the way are companies that provide wind coverage may soon require flood insurance. We have heard of companies implementing this. We will be following to see if this bears out. If it does, will they require it in zones like X that are not required to have flood insurance?

Other Bills Passed

Senate Bill 154 tackles condominiums and co-ops. AdditionallySenate Bill 1002 covers Vehicle windshields and how the repair process will work. Senate Bill 7052 brings in new oversight to insurance companies in Florida. House Bill 837 brings changes to the way lawsuits are filed aimed at bringing down the cost of insurance. House Bill 881 brings more discounts to eligible homes in Florida.

Lastly, House Bill 1185 adds consumer protection for things like solar panels, adjusters, when deductibles apply, and when an insurance company can cancel your policy.

These changes are aimed at providing consumers with more protection at less cost. Insurance has become the 800-pound gorilla in the room in Florida. Together the legislature and the governor worked at improving the situation.

You can read more about these bills at

For your real estate questions, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042. Real estate is more complicated than ever. It pays to hire a seasoned agent who can guide you through the complexities and keep your deal together.

Happy 4th of July!