While home prices may be lackluster, 2018 local home sales are still at a near record pace. With YTD data compiled through October we see 2018 better than both 2017 and 2016 numbers, and only slightly behind 2015 numbers. November was a strong month, so when official numbers are released later in December, we believe we may even close the gap a bit heading into finishing out the year.
2018 Local Home Sales Still at Recent Record Pace
We hear so many agents talk about a shift in the market. We can’t rule out what may happen in the future. All we can do is discuss what is happening now. Right now, we haven’t seen a shift in pricing or sales numbers. There may be another kind of shift we’ll discuss later.
Home prices have been flat since January 2017. Today’s prices are roughly what they were 2 years ago, and they really haven’t changed much over the last two years. While the rest of Florida and the country have appreciated, Lee County has not. We don’t see a significant bubble ahead because of this fact, and because this market is different than the last bubble. We have end users for homes. In 2006 we didn’t.
We have pressure in the market. Interest rates have risen which has lessened affordability for buyers. The pressure is simply market forces exerting itself on the market. Pressure will influence direction, and not necessarily change it. In other words, pressure can limit growth without causing negative pricing. If you add enough pressure, it can. Pressure can come from a variety of sources. Interest rates, wages, economic growth, unemployment, tourism, politics, taxes, supply, demand, and many more. When you throw them all in the crock pot, its fun to see which ones win out. We can predict, but forces are always changing in intensity and scope.
Sometimes in business the numbers don’t change, but the way business is conducted does. When Amazon entered the market, physical retailers may have sold less, while online sold more. Overall sales could have been more or less, but it was certainly less for the physical retailers. The same can be true in real estate. We could have the same number of transactions, but agents accustomed to doing a certain amount may feel like the market has shifted because their numbers are down, when it really hasn’t.
Real estate is changing. Sellers aren’t always reaching out to agents who have a track record of selling homes for more money, and faster. Sellers are selecting agents by who called them on phone, who they saw online, or at an open house they attended. It’s harder and harder for consumers to know which the really good agents are. Some of the really good agents are scratching their heads and wondering where the business is going and wondering why consumers aren’t contacting them as much.
Advertising that used to work 10 years ago may be less effective today. The point I’m making is agents can’t judge the health of the market by how their own sales are going. Just because an agent’s sales are up 20% or down 20% doesn’t mean the market is. The Ellis Team is up big time in 2018, and yet we realize two things. We must keep adapting or we’ll get run over, and we have to keep our eye on the local market and look for changes.
Agents Must Keep Up With Technology
Change is inevitable. It’s like raising a child. Perhaps you’ve done a great job and your kids are great at 12. They’re not fully done yet, and you must keep it up for many more years. Things can change quickly if you don’t stay on top of it. The market may be balanced today, and move in a year or two. Forces change, and so will the market.
Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & the Islands with your real estate questions. If you’re thinking of selling, ask for Sande or Brett 239-489-4042 Ext 4 Or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to sell all the homes in MLS and find your piece of paradise.
Ellis Team Weekend Open House
Open House Sunday 1-3 PM