Last week I watched a speaker and a quote stood out to me “In uncertain times trust experience.” As I thought about what he said, it made perfect sense.

Uncertain Times Trust Experience

We don’t control all the circumstances and events that surround us. I believe people get frustrated when they cannot control things they are used to controlling. It is the loss of control, or the feeling of control that causes anxiety.


 The reality is, perhaps we never controlled what we thought we did. What if the best managers are just better at adapting to changes and offering solutions? Everyone loves to have a sense of control. When you have to depend on others to do their job, we must realize that we give up some control.

Most Realtors I know attempt to take control back. We all prefer loans go through the lenders of our choosing because we have a high degree of confidence they will close. The same is true with inspectors, title insurance companies, insurance agents, etc. We deal with people we know because we know they are experienced and know how to do their job.

When an issue arises, we don’t yell at them and tell them to fix it. We work with them to fix it, because we have a high degree of respect and trust for that person. We trust that what they are telling us is a real issue, because they have knowledge and experience. We also trust that together we can find a way to overcome the issue and resolve it.

The bottom line is, we control what we can and trust others to help us. Agents with experience learn to do their job better than all other agents, and have the wisdom and experience to trust professionals with a proven track record to help in areas we cannot. The wisdom comes in knowing what we are capable of, and knowing who the best people are for the things we cannot.

Stay in Your Lane

 For instance, a good real estate agent shouldn’t be giving legal or tax advice. That should be reserved for the lawyers and accountants. A good real estate agent should know who some good lawyers and accountants are and be able to give recommendations. The same is true for architects, appraisers, inspectors, title companies, insurance, lenders. pest control, roofers, etc. Nobody can do it all, nor should they.

Experienced agents have been here before.  The Ellis Team has already worked through banking, insurance, housing, lending crises. While we didn’t always have all the answers the first time, we found them through hard work and talking with the right people. Crisis comes and goes. In uncertain times trust experience, and nobody is more experienced than the Ellis Team.  Brett and Sande have worked through many real estate cycles and know how to handle a good crisis. Sometimes it’s because we have experience in that issue. Other times, it’s a new crisis, and we have experience dealing with new issues.

Experience Develops Process

 The issue itself isn’t always the problem. The process of overcoming a problem is the answer, and experienced agents know how to overcome problems, new and old.

Have you ever watched someone make more of a problem than it really is? That’s typically because they don’t know how to tackle the issue.  It takes a certain set of skills and experience to overcome an issue. In the end, issues are just issues. We make them go away because we overcome them, somehow, some way, whenever possible. Sometimes it’s knowing what questions to ask, or who to ask. Other times it’s not panicking. Inexperienced people panic.

Experience Matters

 When there is a horrible crash, you want an experienced surgeon in the ER who has been there before. They don’t panic. They find solutions, even if they’ve never treated a stop sign sticking through a human leg. The same is true in real estate. Perhaps we’ve never had a person’s title stolen 3 days before closing. We will find a resource that can help our client.

Bottom line: In uncertain times trust experience. They can get you out of crisis, or steer you clear of crisis in the first place, because they’ve either been there before, or know the process of tackling the issue.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-310-6500 Put our experience to work for you!

Today we’d like to let our readers know about the banking crisis short-term opportunity for buyers. By now everyone has heard about the banking crisis that brought down 2 banks in the US and put pressure on several regional banks.

This banking crisis may affect borrowers in the short-term and create real opportunity in a few ways.  Let’s explain why, and how these banks became under pressure.

How it Started

Silicon Valley Bank lent out money on risky capital venture clients.  This did not help, but it is not what really got them into trouble.  The trouble point was an asset-liability mismatch. They took in deposits from wealthier clients and reinvested that money into safe US treasury bonds. I say safe, because they are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The unsafe part was mismatching the maturity dates. SVB was forced to rely on buying treasuries because loan demand fell due to rising rates.

As rates began to rise, wealthier clients expected more return on the deposit side, and they knew how to switch banks and investment vehicles if they didn’t get it. Many of the larger banks are under a CET1 capitalization ratio of around 12.5%. Banks like SVB may have only been at 7%.

The deposits were invested in bonds and guaranteed safe.  However, they did not expect people to withdraw money so fast seeking higher returns. SVB got caught short on their cash. Remember, they only had 7% minimum they had to carry. They could sell the US Bonds, but bond prices have an inverse relationship to yield. As yields went up by the Fed raising rates, the locked in invested bonds by SVB were at lower rates. To meet the cash drawdown from depositors seeking higher return, they had to sell those US bonds at a discount.

Proper Risk Management

Selling their assets at a discount further exacerbated their capitalization requirement. They went from a minimum of 7% down to zero. In essence, they were insolvent, even though they had invested in high quality guaranteed assets. The bank couldn’t wait for them to mature to pay off depositors seeking higher return. SVB couldn’t match the higher rates because they didn’t have sufficient yield spread as they were locked into lower rates. In essence, they were caught flat footed. Supposedly Silicon Valley Bank dropped a hedge against rising rates in 2022. Some speculate this was to boost profits at the expense of unnecessary risk.

Rapidly rising interest rates put pressure on banks like SVB and some regional banks. Loan demand fell. They had to get income from bonds, but those bonds went down in value everyday as rates rose. It was a catch-22.

Ironically, the Fed may have to slow down or pause rate hikes to save the banks. Most experts feel like the Fed needs to raise the terminal rate to above the inflation rate. This would require rates to rise, but maybe they can’t. And maybe layoffs and the banking crisis which may lead to less lending in and of itself will help with inflation.

One thing is for sure. Washington has to quit spending more money and injecting more money supply into the economy. This is what caused inflation, and it is making the Fed’s job tougher. The tougher the Fed’s job is, the more pressure it puts on jobs, banking, and everything in the economy.

Banking Crisis Short-Term Opportunity

Banking Crisis Short-Term Opportunity for Buyers

Look at the weekly inventory graphs. Rates were rising the past 2 weeks, and so was inventory for both single family and condo.  Rates took a tumble this past Monday on the banking crisis news.  This may cause the Fed to slow down future rate hikes to protect the banks. This could be the short-term opportunity buyers have been waiting for. If so, look for inventory to fall if buyers snatch up more properties.

Banking Crisis Short-Term Opportunity Condo Inventory

By Tuesday rates were headed back up. We’ll be watching. Next week will be a big week when the Fed announces March 22nd.

If you have a property to sell in SW Florida, call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-310-6500. Or visit to get your instant value. If you’re a buyer, call one of our buyer specialists at 239-489-4042 or visit to search the MLS. Opportunity is knocking!

The Ellis Team has created a new online home value analysis tool that allows us to track your home’s value over time from many of the online valuation sites. While these sites cannot be relied upon as 100% accurate, they do give us some insights.

Watch the Direction

Perhaps more important than the value it places upon your property is the direction of the market. Is the market going up or down for your property?  Most sellers want to know how the market is doing for their home.

Because we have premium access to many of the online valuation sites, we are able to log into the major sites and enter the data into a spreadsheet.  We then email you the results based upon the schedule we have for you. Here is a sample of what the report looks like.

Online Home Value Analysis Tool

We have  ****** out the various services here but they will be shown on your actual report. The computers will never be as accurate as we are as they have never been in your home and studied the condition of your home or evaluated some of the improvements the computer may not know about. You can always receive our home value analysis at  Read below on how to get all the home value estimates and track over time.

Appraisers Being Replaced?

We are hearing that many of the lenders are going to online valuations versus actual appraisals in many instances, so knowing what the computers think is important. Personally, we believe there will always be a need for appraisers but lenders are rethinking that in some cases.

As interest rates were rising in 2022, we noticed median and average home values began to fall. The computers were delayed and were still showing price increases. Perhaps the specific homes we were checking on were still rising. Or perhaps the computers took time to pick up on the price declines. In the last month or so we have noticed the computers picking up on price changes.

This is why we say computers may not be as good as we are are at studying the market, but they are important to watch.

Online Home Value Analysis Tool Schedule

Compiling the data is a bit of work for us, so we want to prioritize those that need it most. We will perform this service free of charge for you based upon the following schedule.

Online Home Value Analysis Tool Schedule
Online Home Value Analysis Tool Schedule

If your circumstances change, you can always let us know and we can adjust the schedule.  Please call us at 239-310-6500 or email Brett at with your property address, email address and time frame and we will get you on the schedule!

Should I Sell Now?

Many sellers want to stay in their home as long as possible especially when prices are still rising. Some owners want to capture the equity they have built up in recent years. Nobody wants to sell when prices are still rising, unless they area fearful the market has neared its top. Sometimes values in a spreadsheet over time helps sellers identify trends and confirm their feelings on prices.

Brett and Sande Ellis would be happy to discuss your situation and help you decide if now is the right time for you to sell. We’ll look at where you would go, how much you would net at closing, and look at all your options. We are not high pressure.

If selling is the right option for you, we have a program to sell your home in 8 days, so you’re not caught chasing the market. Call us at 239-310-6500 and we’ll discuss your options.

Good luck, and Happy Selling!

Big Mortgage Changes Coming


RV Alert

Our Review of the Liquid Springs Suspension System on a new 2023 Fleetwood Southwind 37F


We’ll write a future blog post about the Liquid Springs soon for our RV’ers who may be interested.

We want to alert you to big mortgage changes coming that will affect home buyers and sellers soon. Effective May 1st, all loans sold and secured through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will incur significant charges in three key areas. What this means is loans will need to be funded sometime in April to avoid these extra charges. The extra charges are in addition to rising interest rates.

Big Mortgage Changes Coming

Credit Score

The top tier credit score used to be 740. That is changing to 780. For borrowers with less than a 780 credit score there will be a premium added to the yield.  The lower the score, the more premium will be added. The increased yield can lead to either additional closing costs or higher interest rate, or both.

Amount Down

Borrowers putting 30% or more down with a 760 credit score escape the amount down premium.  Pretty much everyone escapes this premium with 70% down. As you can see from the chart, the credit score and amount down are interrelated.

Debt to Income Ratio

Borrowers whose total debt to income including the home loan exceeds 40% will also pay a premium of .25% to .375% unless they are putting 40% down.

As an example, a borrower with a 740 credit score putting 20% down on a $400,000 loan will pay an extra $1,500. The same borrower with a debt to income ratio of over 40% will pay an additional $1,500 for a total of $3,000 in extra costs. That money must come from somewhere. Either the buyer or seller must pay it, or it may get added to the rate.

Other Loan Types

People buying condos, second homes, investment properties, and other types of loans may also see some price increases.

Good News for FHA and VA Loans

There is some good news. FHA and VA are lowering their costs to borrow. The net result is we predict more buyers will utilize FHA and VA when they can. Sellers will learn to appreciate this too because FHA and VA buyers may have an easier time qualifying for a loan under the new guidelines. Sellers should not be afraid of these loans given the new lending landscape.

There are some downsides to FHA. The MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium) of 1.75% is paid upfront. Not over time. For those with less than 5% down, the MIP never goes away, so FHA buyers should consider putting 5% down instead of the minimum 3.5% down.

VA buyers will also save by putting 5% down versus the minimum 0% down.

Big Mortgage Changes Coming-Overall Market Impact

Conventional costs and interest rates are going up. FHA and VA re lowering costs which means those loans will gain market share and increase in popularity. Look for more buyers to ask sellers for concessions and closing costs.


If you are a buyer or seller, it would be best to get your property under contract by about March 15th. Any time after that costs will go up. This will affect home buyers and it could ultimately affect home sellers too depending on demand.

The cost of waiting has never been greater. Not only are the costs of borrowing going up, but the actual rates are too. This is a double whammy for buyers. The triple whammy is rental rates are also skyrocketing, so they have no protection against rising housing costs. The only way renters can protect themselves is to purchase and lock in those rates. The big mortgage changes coming will force buyers to pay more for their loan or consider options to reduce costs.

If you are borrowing conventional, do so by March 15th. Otherwise, consider FHA or VA after that date, but keep in mind there are loan limits by county for FHA.

Aggressive marketing and proper pricing is key in a shifting market, and SW Florida has been in a shifting market since May 2022.

Aggressive Marketing and Proper Pricing

For instance, last January the median percent of original list price received was 100%. In January 2023 that slipped to 95.5% In other words, sellers are accepting less than full price, or being forced to reduce their price before accepting a full-price offer, on average. There are still some full price and above offers going on, but they are occurring much less frequently than last years fast paced market.

We’ve been saying for months year over year pricing will come down starting in about April if nothing changes. Official numbers were just released and the median price versus last year was up 1.6%. The average price was up 1.3%. This tells us the market is flat year over year.

You have to dig deeper to realize that last year’s price runups occurred up until April and May. Prices have since slipped backwards since then, but nobody realizes it because they are focusing on year over year numbers. We like to look at month over month then account for seasonality.

Interesting Numbers

 Months supply of inventory is up 220% from last year. Active listings are up 150.7%, and pending inventory is down 28.7% Closed sales are down 21% from last January.

In order to sell today, sellers must know exactly what is going on and price accordingly. Sellers also must list with an agent that is aggressive in marketing as buyers have more choices to choose from than last year. Your home must stand out, and marketing is one way to do that.

Thankfully clients of the Ellis Team at Keller Williams are well informed on the market, and we utilize cutting edge marketing, making our homes stand out. We are also using a new patented system to help our sellers sell faster and for more money than the MLS.

New Tracking Technology

 Soon we will be releasing new technology that will track your home’s value over time.  If you’d like to get an idea of your home’s online value today, simply go to and type in your address. The system will email you your home value report. This site is one of the best sites we know of to track your home price. However, we won’t stop there.  If you like, we’ll track additional sources and update you over time. Stay tuned for exciting information on this, but you can get started now.

Better Way to Sell than Traditional

 If you’re thinking of selling in the next 1-2 years, you can call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500. We can show you our patented system that gets our sellers homes sold faster and for more money.  6,440 home sellers that used this program over 2.5 years averaged 8.4%-12% higher prices than their local MLS median price. It can cost you to hire the wrong Realtor!

In a shifting market, knowledge and experience matters more than ever.  Brett and Sande Ellis have been through several shifts, so we know that aggressive marketing and proper pricing is key netting you the most money and getting your home sold before all the price reductions.

We look forward to answering your questions. We are not pushy, but we get results.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams with your real estate questions. 239-310-6500

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

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Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

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6 Bedrooms, 4 Baths 2,560 SQ Ft

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM
Stop by Open House or Click to Learn More

Hot off the press we have a look at February 2023 housing inventory supply numbers for Lee County Florida. Single family home inventory grew to a 2.81 month supply, up from 1.9 back in July of 2022.

February 2023 Housing Inventory Supply

Three price ranges saw the largest gains in inventory. The biggest gains from last July came in the $250-300k range, the $300-400k range and the $1 Million plus.

In the February 2023 housing inventory supply numbers, every single range saw an increase in inventory except the below $100k range because there are no homes for sale in that range right now. There has been a 23.09% increase in the number of listings on the market since July. The rolling 365-day closings has decreased 16.93%.

It’s simple math. If listings go up 23% and closed sales go down 17%, housing inventory supply numbers are going to increase. We have been predicting this for months as we track the weekly numbers.

Inflation and the Real Estate Market

 The Fed released CPI numbers this past week which shows inflation persisting. The risk of recession is greater now and the bond market is forecasting it with a deepening inversion of the yield curve. Early analysis suggests the Fed will have to raise rates more than previously thought and keep them there longer.

The Fed’s intention is to slow housing and raise unemployment. It is working, but it is a slow process because inflation got so high. The best way to fix inflation would be to get the 5 million people who choose not to work back at work, and for the government to quit spending money.  Both are tall orders, so the only other way the government has to control inflation is through monetary policy.

Basically, the consumer will be forced to do what the government cannot, at great expense to the consumer. Companies are laying off thousands, and eventually this will wear on wage growth. Fuel prices are going back up as China comes back online and release from the petroleum reserve wear off. Our petroleum reserve is at dangerously low levels and we cannot continue to release more oil, even though we just announced 26 million more barrels to be released over the coming months. This is all in an effort to bring down inflation, but it is a band aid.

Buyers Expect Prices to Drop

 Buyers are reluctant. Many are waiting for prices to drop. Buyers fail to recognize prices have already dropped about 10-15% from their highs last year. Granted, some of that is seasonal, and some of it is real price deterioration. Buyers have been reading articles that suggest another 15% drop and they believe it.

Interest rates have ticked up again in the last week, and each time they do buyers cool off. The good news is pending contracts are up. Buyers are here to buy, but they don’t want to overpay. Buyers are looking for value, and they are finding it. When an inspection item comes up, or when a new home comes on the market, buyers are quicker to back out now than last year.

In other words, buyers are skittish. Sellers are confident. That math doesn’t always work. When buyers become confident the home they are buying is a good deal, they accept market risk with less fear. When buyers don’t feel like the home they are buying is worth the risk, they back out at much higher rates.

Home to Sell

 If you have a home to sell, the Ellis Team can help you pick a price where the seller can be confident, and the buyers feel like completing the purchase.  You can always get a Free On line price at It’s quick, easy, and does a decent job in most cases if giving your home’s value. We think it’s fun to track the direction of the market over time as it will give you a new price each month.

Always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 for your price and strategy to sell your home fast and for Top Dollar in this market.

Good luck, and Happy Selling!

See last week’s article “Housing Demand Strengthens to July 2022 Levels

SW Florida housing demand strengthens to July 12, 2022 levels. Back in July we had 1,858 total pending sales compared to 1,840 today. The difference is back then we only had 2,863 single family homes on the market compared to 3,366 this week.

Housing Demand Strengthens to July 2022 Levels Supply-Demand Chart

Additionally, more homes tend to go pending in season, so we cannot say the market is back to last year’s blowout numbers. What we can say is increased pending sales are an encouraging sign. The market is not dead. We still have a robust market if homes are priced appropriately.

Current Market Index

Today we have an Ellis Team Current Market Index of 1.829. Back in July, we had 1.541, so the market isn’t as robust moving forward as 6 months ago.  However, the index is down 5 consecutive weeks which means the market has been picking up.

If you’ll recall, the Ellis Team Current Market Index has been instrumental in predicting forward direction of the market. Our proprietary algorithm tracks key market indicators and gives us a better read on the current market and possible future changes to the market. Because of the index we’re not surprised that housing demand strengthens to July 2022 levels.

7-Day Market Watch

 The 7-day Market Watch from MLS confirms buyers are back. Single family pending sales outpaced new listings, so buyers have responded. Sellers have responded too because we saw more price reductions than new listings, This is evidence the market is rebalancing itself. We believe official sales for January will show price increases over last year, so the market held on to some gains from last year. The market will have to pick up even more to match prices going into April, but that usually happens as we go through season.

Housing Demand Strengthens to July 2022 Levels

We like the upward trend the market is showing us. Interest rates are down about 1% from their highs and buyers are responding. It could very well be that interest rates may drive the future direction of the market.

Some are anticipating long term rates could still decline even if the Fed keeps raising short term rates. Gas prices have been on the rise again, and many are predicting the economy to cool off. Earnings season has begun for corporations, and so far, earnings have been a disappointment. The stock market can’t decide if it wants it take off on hints the Fed may stop raising soon or pull back due to lower earnings forecasts.

Trading Range

 Both the stock market and the real estate market could be in a trading range. Until the economy and interest rates show their cards, the price of stocks and real estate may hold steady. A breakout may occur once solid information shows up, and that could be latter half of 2023 or 2024.

Home prices have already adjusted downward, and we believe that will show up in the year over year numbers in April or May. From here on out it may be steady as she goes until the market gives us some signs.

Your Home’s Value

 If you’re interested in your home’s value, we have an online tool that values your house it minutes. It’s free, and its fairly accurate, at least as far as computers go. It can be found at

If you’re thinking of selling, we have a home selling system so good it’s been patented. Our system is designed to get your home sold in 8 days and for Top Dollar. Simply give us a call us 239-310-6500 and Brett or Sande will be glad to show you how it’s different than selling the traditional way.

If you need us, we’re here to help. Good luck, and Happy Selling!

We’ve all seen the TV ads, postcards, billboard signs, social media posts, etc. . Get a guaranteed offer on your home. You would think from all the advertisements this is a popular option.

Guaranteed offer on your home



 The reality is nationwide only 1.3% of all home sales were purchased in this fashion. It is called iBuyer, which stands for instant buyer, and many companies and some agents have offered it.  Why isn’t the iBuyer concept more popular?

Some agents use iBuyer as a listing lead source. They really do not want to purchase your home, but it gets sellers to make the call. Sellers are naturally curious what they can sell a home for with no hassles.  It isn’t until they receive the instant price that they are turned off, but the agent is there and can offer them a better solution.  The agent also has a full-value program whereby they list the home on the open market and fetch a much better price.  If it doesn’t sell, the seller always has the fallback option of the lower instant offer.

Keep in mind, the agent may never wish to buy the home.  They use this as a listing lead source to get in the door. And, if they ever do have to buy a home, for darned sure they want to make money off it.  So, who loses?  Typically, the seller. The seller may be so worn down after a lengthy listing process that they agree to take the lower instant offer.  In fact, they might be convinced that the market was never as high as they believed and the instant offer is the fair market value, which may not be true.

Guaranteed Offer on Your Home is a Lead Generation Tactic

I know of an agent in another state that has offered this program. I asked him how many homes he has bought, and he said none.  The program is a listing lead generation program.

True iBuyers wish to purchase your home at a discount and sell it for more money in hopes of making a profit. Generally, the home must meet certain parameters. iBuyers like homes that are in good condition and have established neighborhood data. They like homes to be in certain sellable price ranges, usually less that $500-$600k, and not require much remodeling or repairs. They are similar to flippers, except some flippers are willing to remodel and improve the home if they can buy it right.

A Better Faster Way

 Many sellers do not know that there may be a better option for them. We became aware of a system that attracts top dollar for homes and sells the home in 8 days, so the amount of time showing is limited. One thing sellers do not like is having their home on the market for months and keeping their home show-ready all that time. Plus, the longer a home sits on the market the more buyers wonder what is wrong with it.

The Ellis Team invested time and money learning this new system, and so far the results have been amazing. We used the new system on 4 listings and 3 out of the 4 indeed sold within 8 days or so.  Two sold at full price or better, and the third was close but had significant hurricane damage so the price was adjusted. The 4th is close to selling as well but has gone over the 8 days. This is significant because in each case the seller has done better than the market. Listing inventory is growing in SW Florida and traditionally marketed homes aren’t receiving multiple offers like they were last year. Many of our listings using this new system are receiving multiple offers.

If you are thinking of selling, give Sande or Brett at call at 239-310-6500. We’d love to sit down with you and show you how you can maximize your home sale and do it quickly.  We do have investors that are buying homes instantly. If an instant sale is your thing, we can look at that. The reality is, we can probably net you more money and have a fast sale. Call us and we’ll talk.

Good luck and happy selling!

Coming Soon Listing in Eagle Reserve

Coming Soon Listing in Eagle Reserve
Heated pool home on the lake-gated community

4732 Imperial Eagle Dr

4 Bed, 3 Bath Pool Home on the Lake-Gated Community

Rising interest rates led to Lee County home sales decline of 20.63%. Nationwide home sales fell 17.8% in 2022 which was the sharpest annual decline since 2008.

Lee County Home Sales Declined 20.63%

Hurricane Ian Impact?

You might be wondering if the hurricane had an impact on our local sales. I went back and analyzed sales prior to the hurricane and we were down 12.24% through August. It is safe to say Hurricane Ian did negatively impact home sales as many homes were not sellable after the storm.

Experts are predicting home sales to fall further in 2023. One prominent trainer is telling agents to prepare for a further 35% fall in home sales nationwide. I just checked sources and here is what they are predicting:

National Association of Realtors predicts 7.0% decline in number of homes sold. Fannie Mae predicts 21.1% decline. Mortgage Bankers Association predicts 13.7%. National Association of Home Builders predicts 15.7% decline. predicts 14.1% decline in 2023. The bottom line is everyone is expecting less home sales in 2023.

The reasons for declining sales are many. Inventory is still low. Interest rates are still high but have come down some. Personally, I think SW Florida might do a little better than the national averages.

As damaged properties receive insurance proceeds and get fixed up some will go on the market. We have seen inventory levels shoot up throughout 2022 and the trend is continuing into 2023. Demand may not be what it once was, but there is still demand.

Buyers Are Here

 Already the first two weeks of January have seen stronger buyer demand. We may not have 50 offers per property, but we are still seeing full price offers on homes that are priced appropriately. Sellers are more reasonable as they understand we are not in the market of 2021 anymore. Home prices are well above what many paid for their homes. While sellers cannot get as much as they want, many are satisfied with what they can get.

Of course, the market does have some sellers that still believe it is March is 2022 and they want those prices, plus a premium. I’ve worked in the SW Florida real estate market for 35 years and no matter the market there will always be some unrealistic sellers. I can say the same for buyers too. The deals happen when the unrealistic face reality and become realistic. The only difference is how long it takes to get there and how much does it cost them to be unrealistic.

I’ll give two examples. Many sellers get caught chasing the market down because they were unrealistic. At some point circumstances change and now they must sell. They sure do wish they had sold earlier when prices were higher.

Similarly, we’ve spoken with many buyers that came down and didn’t like our prices because they had gone up. They wanted last year’s prices and were willing to wait out the sellers until the market gave them the price they desired. Later, they regretted missing a 100% rise in prices. Those buyers were so ate up with a 10% rise that they missed home prices doubling.

View all listings in MLS here.

2023 and Beyond

 We believe interest rates have stabilized and may bounce around where they are. With any luck they might even touch the 5’s soon. We know many companies have planned layoffs in the coming months. The Fed may raise rates again in February and March by 25 basis points each. At some point soon they may signal they are about done raising. This does not mean they will lower them in 2023. Many believe this process wouldn’t begin until 2024. If this scenario occurs, we could see 30 year mortgage remains remain steady or dip slightly, perhaps into the 5’s. This would setup a balanced real estate market in 2023 with prices neither rising nor falling much. We’ve already seen price declines in 2022 but nobody knows it. Inventory levels and pending sales will be what we keep watching in 2023. Lower interest rates could lead to a rise in Lee County home sales.

Residential Listing Inventory Triples

SW Florida residential  listing inventory triples in past 11 months. On February 15, 2022 we had 1,106 single family homes on the market. This week we had 3,336 in Lee County.

Residential Listing Inventory Triples

On the condo side Lee County had 297 on the market on February 15th, 2022. This past week MLS shows 1,166. Which is approaching 4 times the inventory from last year.

condo listing inventory SW Florida

Uptick in Pending Sales

Home prices have stalled, although we have noticed an uptick in pending sales. This week, total pending sales which includes pendings and pending contingent stood at 1,469 for single family homes. Pending sales have been falling mightily until this week. To give you an idea, total pending sales were 2,726 last April when we began tracking them weekly.

Tracking this information weekly has helped us spot trends sooner since the official numbers are always a month behind.

It appears each time there is a dip in rates pending sales seem to tick upwards. In the past 2 months we’ve seen rates decline from 7% plus to around 6.3% The mortgage market is tied less to what the Fed is doing and more so to how the bond market is reacting. The bond market is telling us we’re going to be in recession and the Fed has over tightened.

Future Rates

One Fed governor is signaling a 25 basis point hike in February while another is signaling a 50 basis point hike. The only difference between the two is one would like to raise faster and hold and the other would like to go slower and take an extra month to get to the 50 basis point hike. Going slower would allow another month to evaluate data and see if they could stop at the 25-basis point hike.

What this means is long term interest rates should hold steady. They could rise a bit, and they could fall some because the bond market realizes the Fed is about done raising rates.

We see continued inventory hitting the market. We could see rising demand if interest rates fall any further. If we could get rates down to about 5.5% we believe many more people would sell their home and move. If this happens, inventory would rise but so too would buyer demand.

Inventory levels are still at decent levels. We wouldn’t want them to triple again as that would be price depressing. Already we have seen prices top out in 2022 and head lower. Prices will be determined by interest rates. Rates will help determine demand, and in a reverse kind of way, supply.

Lower Rates May Lead to More Supply

The reason we say reverse is many people didn’t want to sell because they have locked in at a low rate. If they sell, they must purchase again at a higher rate. When rates come down, it will increase buyer demand, but it may also increase supply.

We should have fresh official numbers out next week for both September and year end averages. We believe we are about 2 months away from reporting flat or declining prices year over year. We don’t make the averages; we only report them. We work on getting our sellers Top Dollar, but it pays to know what the market is doing.

View All Offers in 8 Days

We have a plan to generate all offers on your home within 8 days. Call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-444-8150 to find out how we generate offers and higher prices when inventory is on the rise. You’ll know fast and avoid costly price reductions by having your home on the market for a long time.

Good Luck and Happy Selling!