SW Florida August home prices stabilize ending a three month decline in average home prices. Median home prices peaked in May and only slightly declined in July.  Median home prices held steady for August.

August Home Prices Stabilize

We are watching daily inventory counts to see if there is any movement. If anything, inventory has declined since August numbers.  We do not see building inventory and many properties are still receiving multiple offers.

Interest Rates

Today as I write this article the 10-year note stands at 1.529% That number will fluctuate throughout the day.  It has trended up the past month.  For instance, it was about 1.289% a little over a month ago.  The reason we track this financial instrument is because 30-year mortgages are pegged to the 10-year note.  My unofficial formula is adding about 1.6% to whatever the 10-year note is, and it will get you close to current mortgage rates.

That would put us close to 3.125% to 3.25% interest rate, which is about where rates are at with no points.  Rising rates can motivate buyers to buy now, but it also cuts into purchasing power.  Rising rates may not make a difference now as we have more buyers than sellers, but someday it could if the market slows down.

Inflation

We are also watching the price of oil.  Rising oil is a clue to rising inflation and a barometer of pressures on bond yields which influence interest rates.  As of today, West Texas intermediate crude oil is at $79.  This is up significantly and could lead to more inflation.

If congress passes more unfunded spending in the wake of rising inflation, it could spark interest rates rising faster.  If that happens, all eyes will be on stock markets and real estate markets.  The United States is at a precarious time with our debt to GDP ratio, and any moves could trigger interest rate swings.

If financial markets do swing, the next question is what effect will that have on consumer behavior?  Where will people want to live if they leave their job?  We are also at a critical time with jobs and vaccinations.  The federal government is mandating all health care employees be vaccinated or health care providers will lose their Medicare funding.  No hospital or large provider can afford to do that.  The question is. How many people will quit or be let go from their jobs in health care?

It is not just healthcare either.  Many teachers are facing the same dilemma.  In New York alone, we have heard reports of 150,000 teachers at risk of losing their job.

Vaccine Mandates Effect on Real Estate

If the mandates stick, will these people stay where they are or make a move?  Florida has been a popular destination.  With so much uncertainty, it will be fascinating to watch how these factors play out.  In any such transitions, there are always winners and losers.  What effect this will have on Florida and our real estate market remains to be seen.

Rising rates tend to temper the market.  Changing demographics can further exacerbate a declining situation or moderate losses, depending on where you live.

For anyone to tell you they can predict the future right now would be absurd.  All we can do is open a window into our thinking and show you some of the factors we are looking at.  We have a list of 7 key indicators we will be tracking.

One thing is for sure.  Ellis Team clients will always have the latest information on what we are seeing.  We feel it is our duty to buyers and sellers to have our latest research.  It is part of why people hire us.  We do not mind sharing some of this research with News Press readers as we feel the public should be informed.

If you are interested in selling, always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500.  We can discuss what we are seeing and how this will affect your property value.  For a free online instant property valuation, visit www.SWFLHomevalues.com Our system will update you every month the value of your home.

The Ellis Team looks forward to speaking with You!

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Home sales fall behind 2020 levels in August for the first time this year.  Is this a sign of a slowing real estate market, or simply lack of inventory?

Home Sales Fall Behind 2020 Levels For First Time

Home Sales Fall Behind 2020 Levels

Last week we reported inventory increased for the fifth straight month.  In February, listing inventory stood at 1.916 homes.  In January listing inventory was 2203.  August listings were on its way up at 1,764.  Perhaps we need inventory levels closer to 2,000 or more to sustain the blistering pace we have seen this past year.

It could also be that inventory is rising, sales are slowing, and buyers have cooled off.  Home prices peaked in April and May and saw a decline.  Funny thing though, median home prices stabilized in June and July while average prices went up slightly in August.

If the market was declining, we would expect to see the trifecta of rising listing inventory, declining sales, and declining prices.  Right now, we have two out of the three, and it is quite possible sales will pick up as inventory increases.

It is also possible rising interest rates will deter some home buyers.  October 1st will bring in flood insurance changes which will raise rates on some.  Rising insurance costs can affect home affordability.

Florida is still a state where people are attracted to.  Some northern states markets have begun to cool a bit while others have not.  It is safe to assume, Florida is an attractive option for many up North which adds to our demand.  As listing inventory increases, we may very well have excess demand to make up for the inventory.

In any market, many homes sell, and some fail to sell because they were overpriced.  When a market begins to shift, you do not want to overprice.  I am not saying our market has shifted or will shift anytime soon.  All markets shift eventually. Proper pricing becomes critical when they do.  To be honest, proper pricing is always critical.  Would you believe that in this great market, some sellers have failed to sell?  It is true, and it happens in all markets, up down, and sideways.

Hire the Right Agent

Hiring the right agent is critical now.  Marketing and negotiating matters more than ever.  Some mistakenly believe they can throw a home on the market, and it will sell.  The truth is it might sell.  The question is, did it sell for as much as it should have or did seller leave money on the table?  There is an art and science to getting what your home is worth.  It takes knowledge, experience, skills, and marketing.  If you thought it was expensive hiring the best agent, just see what it costs you hiring the wrong one.

As we study the market, we will be looking at several key indicators.  Of course, we will watch home prices. We will also watch inventory levels, sales velocity, dollar volume, and bring back and track our current market index which helps predict forward motion of the market.  If you do not know what the Current Market Index is, search for it on our Blog https://blog.topagent.com

If you are interested in selling, call Sande Ellis or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLHomevalues.com to find out what your home could be worth.

The market goes up, the market goes down, and sometimes it just goes sideways.  Do not let the market dictate your decisions.  Talk to the Best and get your questions answered.

The Ellis Team has been voted the Best in Real Estate for 7 straight years in the News Press Readers poll.  We thank all our past and future customers.  We look forward to helping you buy or sell your next SW Florida property.

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Lee County listing inventory increased fifth straight month which has led to a leveling off in home prices.  We are seeing September daily listing inventory counts drop slightly so we will keep an eye on official numbers when they are released next month.

Listing Inventory Increased Fifth Straight Month

As you can see by the chart, listing inventory is still very low comparatively speaking.  We look at actual numbers and the trends.  The actual numbers tell us where we are at a point in time, and trends can give clues about the future.  Once a trend emerges it does not mean it will stay, so we must be careful predicting the future based upon a small trend in data.

Median home prices peaked in May and June and slipped a bit in July, however they held steady in August.  Average home prices peaked in April and slipped in May, June, and July.  Average home prices rose slightly in August, confirming the trend that home prices have leveled for now.

Seller’s Market

With 1.1 months of official inventory, we are in a seller’s market.  August saw a rise in new listings of 3.6% and a drop in new pending sales of 10.2%.  The daily inventory numbers are telling as well, and we may see the SW Florida real estate market pick back up again.  Rentals are very expensive, and in many cases, it is cheaper for a buyer to purchase than rent.

The number of homes closed fell again for the second straight month.  Nationally mortgage applications are picking up again.  With Covid cases decreasing dramatically in Florida and the return of Fall, we may see the market heat up once again.

What is unknown is when and how fast interest rates will climb.  The expectation is the Fed will taper asset purchases which have helped keep rates low.  We expect the Fed to announce the start of tapering in November which means rates could rise by the end of the year.

Increased borrowing costs will cut into buyers purchasing power.  Eventually decreased purchasing power helps cap price increases.  The fascinating thing to watch is that the US has been short building units to the tune of 5 million plus.  This has caused a shortage in supply.  Housing demand is strong.  These two forces are at odds with each other, and whichever wins out will hold the key to the direction in home prices.

It is quite possible they will temper each other.  If this happens, we will return to normal price swings and a leveling off, which is a good thing.

Time for Seller’s to Sell

The takeaway for sellers is now may be the time to sell.  The takeaway for buyers is now may be the time to buy. If you are a seller looking to purchase a home with a mortgage, this is especially true for you.

You might ask, how can it be a good time for buyers and sellers to make a move?  The answer is, it may cost both groups to wait.  Most people think of buyers and sellers as dueling warriors, and one must win to the other’s detriment.  The reality is, in this market, both can win now, and both can lose in the future by waiting.

We live in interesting times.  So many factors are affecting our economy, from supply side shortages, to rising rates, to rising inflation.  The Delta variant changed things for Floridians for a few months.  Assuming no new major variants, between the vaccinated and those with natural immunity, Florida is shaping up to be in good shape going forward.  This Fall and Winter will be interesting to watch.

Always Call Brett or Sande with your real estate questions 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLHomevalues.com to get an instant value on your home.

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty is here to help you with your questions.  Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

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June housing inventory levels remained at 3 weeks of inventory compared to April.  We did see some movements in the markets the past few months.  Let’s look at which price ranges changed since April.

June Housing Inventory Levels Update

We have a little more inventory today in the $300k-$600k price range.  The $300-400k range grew by 42 homes and the $400-600k range grew by 50 homes.  Overall inventory grew by 91 homes. We saw an increase of 38 homes on the market in the $250-300k range.  All price ranges saw increases in inventory except for $250,000 and below which all saw decreases in inventory.  What offset the increase in inventory was steep closed sales in the $300k+ market.

While $300k plus market did very well, the $600k+ market is booming. June housing inventory levels are declining in the $600k+ market while it is increasing in the $250k-600k market.

The 365-day moving average number of homes sold has increased since April which indicates the market is gobbling up any increased inventory. The numbers tell us we have a robust housing market despite rising interest rates.

In April we saw a 160.2% increase in the number of cash sales over 2020.  Closed sales were up 63.3% in April, so this tells us more buyers are paying cash.  In fact, 35.5% of all deals in April were cash.

If closed sales were up 63% in April, why are agents talking about a slowdown?  We may see a slowdown in sales, but it will not be because of lack of demand.  Supply plays a role too.  New builders may turn out less product in the second half of 2020 and it will not be due to lack of buyers.  Many builders have cut off sales to keep their backlog manageable.

We will keep our eyes on the market to see if certain price ranges begin to accumulate inventory.  So far we are not seeing it in any meaningful way, and in fact many ranges are still decreasing.

New Listings We are Working On

Our team has been working on several nice listings we will be bringing to the market soon.  What is different now than in years past is it seems to take sellers longer to make their decision to sell. Many factors go into a decision to sell and sometimes a lot of things need to happen first.  We work with sellers to help with these details.

We have a new program for sellers that allows them to purchase a home first then sell their existing property with no interest or payments for 6 months on their existing home.  With the correct marketing plan sellers receive Top Dollar in this market.  The biggest mistake we see sellers make is believing the market is hot, so they will automatically receive top dollar.  There is a difference between selling for a number you would settle for versus selling for the top end of what the market will pay.  Sometimes that difference can be tens of thousands of dollars or more.

To find out what your home is worth, go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com  This is a starting point.  Often, we are selling homes above appraised value.  You can speak with Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-310-6500 and we can discuss how much we could really sell your home for, where you would go, and help with those details that impact whether it is a good time to sell now or not.  Believe it or not, it is not usually the price that matters to sellers.  Working out the details of how a sale would work is usually the biggest obstacle.  Many people would like to sell if only they had someone to help them with all the details.

This is where the Ellis Team comes in.  We look forward to working with you to manage all those details and get you Top Dollar.

Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

Last week we wrote about how common mistakes cost sellers thousands at closing and we got a lot of response.  We also heard from buyers throughout the country asking for help getting buyer’s offer accepted in low inventory markets.  We thought we would write some tips for the buyer side to help them.

Getting Buyer’s Offer Accepted in Low Inventory Markets

In a low inventory market, you must make your offer stand out to the seller.  One of the biggest mistakes buyers make is upping the purchase price without regard to their ability to pay more.  Sure, they may have a pre-approval letter showing they qualify for more, but that does not help if the property does not appraise more when getting a mortgage.

Your Competition is Other Buyers-Not the Seller

Keep in mind, you are not competing with the seller.  The buyer is competing with all the other buyers wishing to purchase the same property.  A cash buyer does not have to worry about an appraisal. A buyer putting 50% down may not either.  Buyers putting a minimal amount down do, unless they can show sufficient cash they are willing to plunk down in addition to their down payment and closing costs to make up the difference.

One buyer called me from another state asking for advice in another market.  They had the chance to buy a home there for $450,000 but did not jump on it right away.  They waited a day, and 13 offers came in.  Ultimately it sold for much more than what they could have sealed the deal for.  Waiting cost that buyer.

They have their eye on another property.  He asked if they should put a quick timeline for acceptance on the offer and threated to withdraw it if it is not accepted.  My response was, not necessarily.  The buyer is not holding all the cards.  It is to the seller’s advantage to slow play the offers to generate more interest.  Taking an offer too soon may cost the seller.

Seller Can Act at Any Time Regardless of What They Stated

The seller may say they will look at all offers on such and such a date.  This may be true, but keep in mind the seller can also accept an offer before that date if they choose to.  If you make such a compelling offer that the seller is worried that offer will disappear, you might be able to get your offer accepted.  Do not threaten it will disappear as that will turn off the seller.  Remember, the seller is not your enemy, but they are the gate keeper.  They have what you want, but the other buyers are your enemy.

Negotiating Tip

I would rather softly tell the listing agent we have a certain amount of time to accept simply because the buyer has been shut out on other properties and does not want to miss out again.  If this deal is not going to happen, we would rather find out sooner than later as there is another property they are considering.  Your home is our first choice, and they would be absolutely thrilled to buy it.  If the seller takes too much time, we must move on so the buyer does not end up homeless.

Keep in mind, the buyer still is not holding many cards.  It is just a softer way to proceed and may help your chances.  Relationships matter in this market more than ever.  If your buyer agent is experienced it helps if they have done transactions with the listing agent in the past.  A listing agent’s confidence in the buyer agent can go a long way to getting a deal together.  Buyers must be educated and soothed, and an experienced agent is better able to help with that, and listing agents know this. Trust between the agents can make all the difference.

Other Resources

We wrote an article back in 2012 that still has some great tips today entitled “Top 10 Tips For Buying a Home in Today’s Market” you can find on our blog at https://blog.topagent.com  Just search for that title in the search bar.

Another great article “Selecting Best Multiple Offer Tips From a Real Estate Pro” can be found here.

We hope these tips help.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com for the latest listings.

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Open House Saturday and Sunday 12-3 PM

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Just when you thought you had seen everything, along comes another change in the real estate market.  We are seeing SW Florida home builders changing sales tactics again, and it’s not good news for the buyer.

Builders Changing Sales TacticsTo mimic the success home sellers are having through their Realtor, several home builders have instituted a highest and best offer format on their homes.  Basically, it works like this. The buyer makes a binding offer on a lot.  There is typically a stated priced however the buyer can offer highest and best.  The winning bidder chooses the home they want built and they go to contract.

Buyer Pays the Difference

If the home does not appraise, buyer agrees to pay the difference.  Once you bid up the price, you’re buying it regardless of whether you pay cash or finance it.  If the buyer is financing it, they will have already been pre-approved to bid on the property and shown financial ability to pay what they are biding.

Previously, home builders have been limiting sales contracts so they could keep up with price increases and maximize profit.  Home sellers may have shown builders the way as builders want in on the fun as well.  All of this puts additional pressure on buyers because they do not know what it’s going to take to win the bid.

I spoke with a homebuilder who used this in another city in Florida.  The lot had a $25,000 stated lot premium and was offered out for highest and best.  The winning bidder bid it up to $170,000 and won the bid.  They then went to contract with the house on tip of that plus options.

The builders argue that it is not fair to sell to whoever shows up first.  They are getting as many as 100 people per day through their model homes.  That is 700 per week.  If a builder releases 2 lots and calls for highest and best, they now have 700 from this week, and thousands from previous weeks who have seen the property.  Builders love this because not only are they raising prices on the house as costs rise, but they are also maximizing value on the total package.

New Construction Prices Will Pull Resale Prices Higher

Rising new construction prices can help pull resale prices even higher when you have such limited supply and strong demand.  It used to be when building prices got too high people would switch over to resale and vice versa.  Now there is no switching.  Buyers must jump on the first home that meets their needs and come with their best offer.

Buyers are not competing with the seller, or the builder.  They are competing with other buyers.  We have great tools on how to win bids when you are not holding all the cards.  These tools help, but they are not an automatic win for buyers in every circumstance.  You’ve got to play the cards you are dealt, and a great Realtor can help you play them as best as possible.  If you are a buyer, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

If you are a seller, you need an experienced Realtor.  Buyer agents are trying all kinds of tricks and shenanigans trying to win deals.  Some are legit, and some are not.  An experienced agent can keep you from going down the wrong path with the wrong buyer.  If something doesn’t seem right, you need an agent with experience to sort that out.

Getting Top Dollar For Your Home

With builders changing sales tactics, so too must home sellers. There are additional ways to maximize your sale price.  Brett and Sande Ellis know how to do this as well.  If you are looking for Top Dollar, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to see what your home is worth.

Do you know what your home is worth?  If you haven’t checked in the last week, then you really don’t know.

We have many happy home sellers that are glad they called the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.  Let’s talk and see if we can help you too!

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You would think rising home prices would decrease home affordability.  This simply is not the case as the home affordability index nears all-time highs.

Home Affordability Index Nears All-Time Highs

If you look at the chart, home affordability was greatest back in 2012.  Median home prices averaged $131,000 for the year compared to $289,000 in 2020.  Today home prices are higher, so we took the yearly average.

So, what would cause affordability to rise if home prices are also rising?  Interest rates.  Lower rates equate to a lower mortgage payment, and it offsets the rising cost of the home.  Therefore, we are saying there is more room for further price increases.

Home Affordability Index Nears All-Time High

The home affordability index currently stands at 16.  It went as low as 13 in 2012 and hovered below 16 for 5 years.  The other thing that is different today is that we have end users for every home and rental.  Back in 2005 we had speculators bidding up prices to flip with no real end user in sight.  It was a house of cards. Today’s market is no house of cards.  We have legitimate demand.  In fact, we have more demand than supply.

Even if rates rise, we have room for that in the index.  As you can see, traditionally the index stands between 19 and 22.  At 16, we have some room if rates rise.  If interest rates do not rise much, we have room for further price growth.

Furthermore, we believe Florida has been undervalued for years relative to what it brings to the table.  Sunshine, low taxes, and freedom to work are just a few, and people are taking notice.  With the transition to work from home jobs, Florida is on the radar.  We just might see affordability numbers rise above their traditional numbers of 19-22.  That makes sense to us.

Of course, nobody knows what exactly will happen.  We do not know how much the price of oil will increase, what interest rates will do, and how the economy will react.  We do not know if northern states will continue to increase taxes, and we do not know what Covid-19 will do.  What we do know and are observing all looks favorable to Florida.

Our best advice for buyers would be to purchase as soon as you can.  As prices rise, and interest rates rise, your next home will inevitably cost you more than it does today.  If you have a home to sell, think about doing it now.  Waiting to get more money down the road will only cost you on the buying end.  It may cost you more in higher rates than you will receive with a higher price.

Our best advice to sellers would also be, do it now.  You are in the driver’s seat, and that’s a fun seat to be in.  While the market looks on the up and up, we never really know how long these markets will continue like this.  While we can make the case for increased prices, the price gains may not continue to rise at the same rate we have just witnessed.

History shows us the market never gives advanced warning when it is going to turn.  Sometimes we see signs, and we report those.  We are not seeing those signs, but someday we will and there will be those that miss out.  It always happens and will until the end of time.  It is true in the real estate market and the stock market.  You can never time the top perfectly, just as you cannot predict a bottom perfectly.  It is only after it occurs that we can tell you with certainty.

If you are thinking of selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for an instant home valuation.

See last week’s article “National Housing Supply Shortage Predicted Years Ago

Good luck, and happy selling!  Don’t miss this market!

New Opportunity in Whiskey Creek

We are writing this article the morning after the election.  At this time, it is unclear who the next president of the United States will be or when we will know.  What we do know are the real estate statistics pre-election.  Today we decided to focus on pre-election dollar volume for the SW Florida real estate market.

Pre-Election Dollar Volume SW Florida Real Estate Market

Pre-election dollar volume measures the total dollar volume of sales in a defined time period.  We calculate this by adding up all the sales volume in each month.  September 2020 SW Florida saw $564.8 million dollars in total dollar volume.  That is a whopping 63.4% increase over 2019 numbers which were $345.6 million.

Pre-Election Dollar Volume up in Summer

Pre-election dollar volume started taking off back in June.  Keep in mind we have been in the middle of a pandemic and we are still eclipsing 2019 numbers.  2019 is the benchmark, and we know that was a good year in real estate in SW Florida.  June was only up 1.5%, but it started a trend we will look back on as a defining moment.  July posted a 20.1% increase in pre-election dollar volume in real estate sales.  Along came August which blew June and July away.  People thought the market could not get any stronger, and September would prove them wrong.

New pending sales in September are 58.2% higher than 2019.  We know you must have a pending listing before you can have a closed sale.  New pending sales are a leading indicator of what may happen 1-2 months down the line.  Because many home loans are taking a minimum of 45 days to close, many of the September new pending sales will close in December. August new pending sales were up 42.4%, so we believe October official numbers when released will show increases as well.

We may not see a rise of 63.4% like we saw in September, but October numbers should rise compared to 2019.  We have seen excellent demand.  One thing that could limit sales would be limited supply.  The other factors that will influence the market going forward is how people feel about the eventual winner, and the makeup of congress.

Will economic policies spur growth?  How will northern states react to the winner, and will they continue moving to Florida?  Will that pace speed up or slow down?  How many people will decide to list their home post-election?  All these factors will play a role in the total dollar volume moving forward into 2021.

Waiting on a Winner

Once a presidential winner is determined, it may take people awhile to digest how they feel about it and how future economic, social, and tax policies will affect homeowners.  This may vary by state and county.  We have seen a migration away from high tax states to low tax states. We do not know if other factors will come into play post-election.

It would be impossible for anyone to predict how the SW Florida real estate market will fare going forward.  Heck, as of today writing this article we cannot even tell you who the president will be or who will control congress.  We can report that pre-election dollar volume was excellent in SW Florida and on the rise.  It should remain great for another few months.  Other indicators have been excellent as well.  Right now, SW Florida has an exceptionally good real estate market.

If you would like to talk about selling your home, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We can discuss your options, how the overall market is doing today as well as your neighborhood and put a game plan together for you should you decide to sell.  Or, you can always get an instant value of your home at www.SWFLhomevalues.com It’s instant and easy.  We can validate the online price in person if you are considering selling.  Your choice.

Always call Sande or Brett Ellis at the Ellis Team Keller Williams Realty! We’re never too busy to talk to you.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

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Sunday 1-4 PM

13825 Bald Cypress Cir

13876 Lily Pad Cir

 

 

Like Southwest Florida, the United States housing market has fared very well in 2020.  A robust economy pre covid-19 and low interest rates are two factors that have fueled the real estate market locally and nationally.

We like to analyze data that may affect the market now or in the future.  When looking at national unemployment numbers we see that unemployment is falling fast and steadily from its peak in April.  The last time we saw double digit unemployment was 2009 and it took 4 years to fall just 2.5%.

United States Housing Market Not Affected From Unemployment Yet

We know that our current unemployment rates were forced by the Coronavirus outbreak and was precipitated by forced shutdowns.  It is not surprising that we are rebounding so fast and steadily., and yet we know that anyone who lost their job probably lost their ability to pay for housing for any length of time.  Thank goodness we had a good economy going into this thing.  Imagine how tough this would have been financially back in 2009.

United States Housing Market Unemployment By Age

Secondly, we like to look at who was most affected by job loss, as that may leave clues as to what is ahead for the United States housing market. The hardest hit segment is the 24 and under segment with current unemployment at 14.1% They make up 3.0% of all home sales in the United States housing market.

The 25-34 age group has 9.7% unemployment and make up about 25% of all home sales in the United States.  Lastly, we see the 35+ group with 6.8% unemployment.  They make up 72% of all United States housing market home sales.

Home Sales are Strong

This might explain why home sales have been so strong.  The majority of home buyers have been the least affected by unemployment. Low interest rates have helped offset any losses by affected home buyers.  Still, 8.4% unemployment and rising home sales may not be sustainable forever.  The good news is unemployment should not stay at 8.4% as those numbers are declining rapidly.

We plan to watch these numbers as they should leave clues about what is ahead for the United States housing market.  One potential scenario is it could hold back move-up buyers.  The 25-34 age group tends to be first time home buyers, and if a significant number hold off purchasing their first home it could impact down the road some move-up buyers who are ready to make their next move.

If the economy keeps improving and we get the service sector back to work, this should all work out.  Question marks remain how the travel and tourism segments will fare and people’s willingness to travel until covid-19 is under control.  Optimism in the vaccine and treatment fronts abound and this could help that segment recover sooner if therapeutics or prevention pans out.

Florida Looking Good for the Future

While the United States housing market may max out at some point until the economy recovers, Florida is looking rather good as many from out of state have found Florida desirable.  Florida is a net migration state from other states, so we may buck the trend if the national United States housing market maxes out someday.

At last check Lee County single family home inventory is down to 2.36 months supply of homes on the market.  Buyers must be quick and decisive to score a home in this market.  Sellers must be wise and patient, making sure they select the best offer for them, not necessarily the first offer that tried to box them into a quick decision.  This is where experienced agents come in.

Experienced buyer agents know how to make your offer as strong as possible.  Looking at it from the seller’s eyes is extremely helpful now, and therefore experience matters.

Sellers need experience now more than ever, so be careful trusting your home sale to an agent with little to no listing experience.  If you would like to speak to Brett or Sande Ellis about the process, we’re available.  Simply call 239-489-4042 Ext 4, or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get a Free estimate of your home’s value.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See last week’s article “Florida Real Estate Demand Heats Up From High Tax State Residents

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

1453 Mandel Rd

6414 Royal Woods Dr

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SW Florida seller’s market fuels rise in home sale prices.  Hot home sales and declining inventory along with low interest rates have caused this seller’s market.

Eventually it had to show up in prices.  Median home sales increased 9.4% over last year while average prices increased 8.5%.  This is July over July numbers, not July over June 2020 numbers.  This tells us prices are on the move.

Seller’s Market Fuels Rise in Home Sale Prices

Seller’s Market Fuels Rise in Home Sale Prices

Rising prices are a good thing for home sellers, but not necessarily a bad thing for home buyers.  Waiting may be a bad thing for home buyers, but not rising prices itself.  The reason is interest rates have helped increase affordability, which means buyers can afford more purchase price for the same monthly payment.  The only thing that may hold some buyers back is the larger down payment.

We are seeing buyers asking for closing costs because they are having to put more down payment up due to rising prices.  This is one reason buyers should look to purchase sooner than later, because their down payments will keep going up with rising prices.

High Tax States Losing Residents

Secondly, we are seeing buyers purchase in Florida from other states.  New York city is losing residents in droves.  In fact, you cannot even get a U-Haul to move out of the state right now in New York City due to high demand.  Vacancies in New York City are rising fast.

New York City is not alone.  It is darned near impossible to grow a business with high taxes, shutdowns, riots, and violence.  One of these factors alone puts pressure on businesses and combined it is becoming the fatal blow.  Some people speculate these factors may result in the downfall of our cities.

Residents are voting with their pocketbook and they are getting out of Dodge.  People want to feel safe and feel like they can live and work in a place with opportunity.  Florida is one of those places people are choosing to move to, among others. The SW Florida seller’s market fuels rise in home prices.

What this means for home sellers in Florida is this is the best seller’s market we’ve ever seen.  It is always better to sell your home when there are many buyers and few sellers to compete with.  Even computer valuation models are picking up on the rising prices.  One of the best is www.SWFLhomevalues.com  You can receive a free estimate of your home’s values in seconds.  The site will even display a confidence score.  The higher the confidence score, the more accurate the valuation tends to be.

Getting Top Dollar For Your Home

Getting Top Dollar for your home is a science best left to experienced agents.  In this market you are likely to encounter multiple offers if the marketing is done correctly.  Experienced agents know how to get the most out of multiple offers and have the wisdom to know which offer to take.  One of the deadly sins homeowners make is selecting the wrong offer.  Each offer is a gamble, so selecting the right offer is critical.  It is not fun to go 45 days into a transaction and find out the buyer or the buyer’s lender cannot perform under the terms of the contract.

We receive offers all the time from inexperienced agents that have no idea the offer they wrote will not fly with the lender.  Sellers can pay closing costs, but each loan program is different.  We had to restructure a loan the day before closing because buyer did not have minimum amount down and could not benefit from agreed upon closing costs for a repair.  I asked the buyer agent to check with the lender before we agreed to the change, and she said she did.  She did not realize how something like this could kill a deal.  Now she does.  It is not her fault; she just did not have the experience to know better.

Therefore, hiring the right agent upfront can make all the difference.  We got it done, but it took a lot of work at the last minute.

Always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 to get your home sold Fast and for Top Dollar!

See last week’s article “Closed Home Sales Back on Track After Shutdown

Seller’s market fuels rise in SW Florida home prices, and it could last awhile with interest rates expected to stay low through 2021.

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High Point Place

2090 W First St #H2908

Reflection Lakes

7706 Bay Lake Dr