The Lee County Florida housing demand gap widens in August to its largest point in years. Last July we reported the gap was widening. Since then, the gap has widened another 21%. This means that Supply is outpacing demand.
Housing Demand Gap Widens
Back on June 7, 2022, we knew that the market crossed over. More homes were coming on the market than going off. Inventory started increasing in February of 2022, but it wasn’t until June that we reached this critical point. Even though we say critical, it still takes months for it to influence the market.
We have been seeing the number of price reductions in the 9-11% range of all listings as sellers have been reacting to the market. This past week it was 7.9% and the week before that was 8.08%. This tells us that sellers in general are tired of reducing their price, or they believe a buyer is just around the corner.
What might be around the corner is another home on the market competing with existing homes. Buyers today have more to choose from, and they are being squeezed by higher interest rates.
Last week we posted an article about how home prices have remained relatively steady. The current market is tracking like 2018, and 2018 showed us the market can take more listings without significantly impacting home prices. However, if you are a seller and wish to move, you must be price competitive against your competition. You either win on price, or your home must offer value that exceeds your neighbors.
This value could be a refurbished home with a new kitchen. It could have newer major items such as roof, HVAC system, appliances, water heater, etc. Or it could have some improvements your neighbors do not have, like a pool and spa, outdoor kitchen, or other upgrades.
No matter what your home has, in addition to offering value, it must be marketed correctly. I know of a home on the market listed by another Realtor that is not selling. Their neighbors cannot believe it hasn’t sold yet. I have no idea where the agent may be marketing the home, but I did spot a glaring item that may be holding buyers back. Sometimes things in the MLS are entered incorrectly. This item I feel should be mentioned in the confidential comments. The fact that it isn’t leads me to believe either the agent is inexperienced, or the agent has no idea it is entered incorrectly.
What Will the Fed Do?
Some people believe the latest labor numbers will give the Fed a chance to pause rate hikes in September. Others believe they are not done and will continue the rate hikes. Rising interest rates along with rising insurance costs are sapping home buyers’ buying power. The housing demand gap widens in August, and further rate hikes could widen it even further.
Home prices are steady for now, but there could come a tipping point where there are just too many sellers for the number of buyers. So far, not all sellers are motivated. They do not have to move. Some would like to, but they don’t have to. Over time needs change, and if listings keep piling up, sellers may be forced to sell at lower prices.
This is why we track supply and demand numbers. It gives us clues into the future. Prices are a lagging indicator to these metrics, and sometimes the metrics change back again before prices move.
Current Market Index
A better barometer of the forward direction of the real estate market is the Ellis Team Current Market Index. We no longer publish this index as it is reserved for our clients. What we can say is the index has moved in one direction for 4 straight weeks.
If you are thinking of selling, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-310-6500. Not only will you receive the finest marketing in all of SW Florida, you’ll also receive decades of experience which is especially helpful in changing markets. And you’ll receive our up-to-the-minute statistical analysis, so you can make decisions ahead of other sellers who won’t be as educated as you on what’s really happening.
Good luck, and happy selling!
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