According to william pitt sotheby’s SW Florida home appreciation rate intensified beginning in September of 2020.  The official average single family home price in SW Florida was $391,168 and by February 2021 it rose to $486,406. That is a 24.35% gain in just 5 months.  It was slightly higher in January.

SW Florida Home Appreciation Rate

The median home sales price was $295,000 in September and rose to $329,950.  That is a 11.85% price gain in just 5 months.  For the year, average home price gains were 32.3% while the median was up 22.2%. The SW Florida home appreciation rate is very high.

As you can see, the average was up 32.3% but 24.35% of that all happened since September.  Median prices were up 22.2% in the past 12 months, with 11.85% of that being in the last 5 months.

We have been talking a lot about falling inventory levels, and at last check inventory has fallen yet again to the lowest level we have seen in decades.  Demand is strong which is causing prices to rise.  As prices rise, affordability shrinks. Back in early March we were reporting how home affordability was near an all-time high nationally.  That story is available on our blog https://blog.topagent.com In fact, all our articles are available on the blog dating back years.  The blog is a great way to keep up with how our market is doing over time.

Today home affordability is shrinking for two reasons.  Prices have continued to climb, and interest rates have risen.  Rates earlier this year were around 2.75%. Today they are about a half percentage point higher.  Rising rates are like a hidden tax borrowers must pay.  It raises the cost of buying a home, and you do not really get anything for it.  When you purchase an upgrade for a home you at least get something for it.  Not so with rising rates.

Will rising rates be the headwind that stops the real estate market in its tracks? We don’t think so, at least not in Florida.  It does take some fuel from the fire though. Affordability caps a market, so it can only appreciate so far unless you have a secondary home market where wages don’t enter into the equation as much.

Florida is blessed in that all kinds of people want to live here.  We have primary workers, remote workers, secondary homes, retirement homes, investment homes, etc. Demand is strong from all segments, and people are flocking to the area and escaping other areas.

We see demand remaining strong in Florida, but rising prices and rising rates do put pressure on home buyers.  Many buyers will be forced to settle for a home they do not love, but happy to be in a location they prefer over where they came from.  This may be a case where a buyer buys what they can afford now and rides the wave, propelling them to their dream home later.

In an instant gratification world people like to get what they want now. Historically people bought what they can afford and work their way up the ladder to what they liked later.  We may be returning to that model.

Many people are stunned to find out what their home is worth today.  If you have been contemplating a sale, you should call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500.  For those of you that have not thought about selling, let me ask you a question?

At what price would you sell your home?  What number would make you move?  When you come up with that number, call Sande or Brett.  Perhaps we already have a buyer in our database looking for a home like yours.  We might be able to make that Make Me Move number work for you.  Call us 239-310-6500.

Good luck and Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

Check out 3 New Hot Listings This Week!

16613 Panther Paw Ct

Ellis Team Listing in the Forest Country Club
New Listing in the Forest

 

9854 Wildginger Dr

South Pointe South New Listing by the Ellis Team
New Listing in South Pointe South

 

15820 Portofino Springs Blvd Unit 101

Villa Medici Townhome Full of Upgrades
New listing in Villa Medici full of upgrades by the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty

Local listing inventory fell 64.5% in February while closed sales rose 24.7%.  As you can see from the chart, we’ve never seen inventory levels this low.  It is a great time to be a seller right now.

Local Listing Inventory Fell 64.5%
Local listing inventory fell 64.5%

Buyers are not having as much fun, but the ones who do score a property are winning too because now they are in the equity business.  Home prices are rising, and you must be in to participate.  Interest rates are rising so getting in sooner will save buyers money too.

The Ellis Team is busy creating our own market.  We are not relying on MLS alone to find properties for our buyers.  We have a database of over 12,000 people looking to purchase a property in SW Florida.  Obviously, there are not enough properties for all of them.

One of the newer things we are doing is playing matchmaker.  We are calling and contacting our database asking if they would sell to one of our buyers.  Sometimes the answer is yes, but they would need a place to buy as well if they did sell.  As our team makes more calls, we can identify more people that would be willing to sell if they could find a new place.  As this list grows, we simply matchup what we have and make dreams happen.  If you wait for a property to hit MLS, you’re too late as it will be gone in hours or days.  There simply is not time to put your home on the market, sell it, and go get that new listing that just came up.

If you knew of a seller that would sell if the circumstances were right, you would have time to make your move.  All we must do is identify enough people who would make a move and our customers are in business.  It’s like making your own market.

For sellers this is an attractive option because they get to buy a home before a seller lists it for sale.  This only works if the real estate team has a large database to draw from, and we do. Our marketing has been creating buyers for years, and we have years full of past clients in our database.

Our team still sells plenty of homes through the MLS.  This is just another way we can find homes for our buyers.  The MLS is slim pickings in many cases.

If you are a homeowner and would like to make a move but you are not sure where you would go, give Brett or Sande a call 239-310-6500.  We may already have a buyer for your home, and we may have a home that meets your needs you could purchase from one of our past clients who would also like to move.

If we match enough people up, we can identify and find hidden inventory for buyers.  We believe there are many people who would like to sell but just do not know where they would go.  You still pay us a commission.  This is a creative way to find a home to buy that the public might not know about.

The Ellis Team is marketing for buyers into high tax states where Florida is a bargain.  We are taking the advertising directly to where the high dollar buyers are, and it is working.  In the past 6 months we have sold so many of our listings above asking price.  The more buyers you have to choose from commands a higher price.

If you have a property to sell, imagine getting top dollar for your home and being the only buyer for a hidden home.  These homes are not withheld from MLS, they are not even for sale.  We are identifying sellers that would sell if the circumstance were right.

If you’d like to get a ballpark idea of what your home is worth, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com The great thing about this site is not only will it give you a value, but it will also email you monthly how much your home is increasing.

If you would consider selling someday if the price were right, call Brett or Sande today! 239-310-6500

See last week’s article “Top Real Estate agent Mastermind Conclusions

We are part of a Top real estate agent mastermind group from Lee and Collier county whereby several top agents come together to talk about current issues in the real estate market.  At last week’s meeting we talked a lot about inventory levels and how top agents are handling offers as well as a variety of other things.

Top Conclusions

Here are some conclusions that came out of that top real estate agent mastermind.  In other markets across the country where inventory levels approach the 2–3 week supply of homes, buyers are being forced to make offers with no contingencies to win the bid.  When we say no contingencies, we mean no financing contingency or inspection contingency.  In other words, when the buyer signs they are not backing out over financing, appraisal issues, or inspection issues.

Top Real Estate Agent Mastermind Conclusions

If a buyer is getting financing and the home does not appraise, it would require the buyer to pay the difference in appraisal price and purchase price plus their agreed upon down payment for the loan.  There is an exception to this whereby the buyer may qualify for a lesser down payment option, but in either event the buyer must be in financial position to put more down.  This weeds out some of the buyers, which is OK when you have multiple buyers bidding for homes like we do today.

This brings us to highest and best.  The definition of highest is bring your highest price.  Best means bring your best terms.  Buyers today are winning out on not only price, but maybe more importantly the terms.  Lastly, relationships matter most in this market.  Top real estate agents know who the other great agents are.  This is important because they know their buyer has been counseled appropriately.  While an agent cannot be judged on how their buyer will act, we do know that better agents do a better job counseling their clients.  Who you work with matters in this market, both on the buying and selling end.

Pricing Strategies

The top real estate agent mastermind group also talked about pricing strategies for sellers.  Many sellers do not realize that property values are changing by the week.  If sellers really knew what their property was worth, they might think again about how tied they are to the property they are living in.  Does your property fit your needs or are you settling because you have lived there so long?  With today’s prices, you may not have to settle.

Many sellers honestly don’t know where they would go if they sold their current home they don’t love.  There may be more solutions than you know.  Sales in the last year are rising even as inventory lowers.  While we may not have as much current inventory, we are getting enough to satisfy more buyers, it just goes quickly.  If we know in advance what would make you move, we can call you when we run across your next home even before it hits the market.

Creating Our Own Market

Imagine home buyers bidding on your property while you find an off-market home that hasn’t been listed yet.  This requires a massive database, and at the Ellis Team we have a database of people who might make a move if the right situation came up.

So, we ask you, is there a price at which you would sell your home with only one showing?  We might already have your buyer.  Is there a home that if it came on the market would make you want to move?  We might already have that seller.

We should talk!  Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500 and we will see if we can make your dreams a reality.  This is the market to do it, so do not let this opportunity pass you by.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get a free instant price for your home.  It will even email you each month your new home value.

Good luck and happy home shopping!

Interesting trends are developing in our Southwest Florida market snapshot for January 2021.  The first thing you will notice from the graph is new pending sales increased 25.6% over January 2020.  You might ask how this can be as we have been talking about declining inventory levels for months.

Southwest Florida Market Snapshot

Official numbers are in and indeed active listings are down 60.1% from a year ago. New listings entering the market in January of this year were down 10.4% from last January. The combination of fewer newer listings and increased pending sales have led to the 60.1% reduction in listings.

Pending Inventory is Up

Pending inventory in January increased 51.6% which means the situation will be worse when official February numbers are released.  Buyers who have attempted to purchase in this market are keenly aware of how tough it is to score a property.

I do not believe sellers are truly aware how advantageous this market is for them right now.  After years of letdown some sellers just quit checking in on their home value.  Others are interested but unsure where they would go.  I think it is safe to assume there are many homeowners in SW Florida that do not love their current home.  They’re just not sure they want to jump through hoops to make a change right now.

The real question is this?  When will you be ready?  A year from now, two years from now?  What if this real estate market looks different than it does today?  Interest rates could be a few percentage pints higher which will increase cost of future buying.  Not only will it cost you to get a mortgage on your next home, but it will also cost your future buyer as well.  That may limit how many buyers can purchase your home in the future.

Right now, we sometimes have 20-30 buyers putting in offers for each home.  What happens if we only have 1 buyer for each home in a few years, or worse?  In a normal market there are more home sellers than actual sales.  This would mean less than 1 buyer for each home.

When is Best Time to Sell?

If you were selling an item at auction do you think it would be more fun to have 20 bidders or just one bidder?  If there was just one bidder, there would be just one bid, and if you wanted to sell you would have to take that price or decide not to sell.

Our marketing is creating buyers from all over the country.  I have seen some statistics that show more than half of the buyers are from out of state currently. To get top dollar you must advertise out of state.  Ellis Team advertising reaches far and wide to bring the greatest number of bidders (offers) for your home.

When homes increase in value like they are today human nature tells us to hold because values will be greater tomorrow than they are today.  This may be true, but history also shows us that many wait too long and decide to sell after they have seen the top.  They still want the top, but the top has since passed.  By then it is too late.  The top never tells us when it is coming, so most are surprised when it happens.  We are not calling for a top, so do not be alarmed.  But do not blame us either if it happens and we did not see it coming.

We Should Talk!

If you are thinking of selling now, or 1-2 years from now, we should probably talk.  We can come up with an exit strategy for you, and if we see a shift in the market you will be the first ones we call.  The last time the market shifted we told our sellers first and got them out quickly.

You do not want to be caught sitting on an appreciating asset only to find out it started depreciating and the market did not tell you.  We will tell you.  Simply call 239-310-6500 and we can provide a market checkup for you.  This will allow you to be notified if the market shifts.  Or you can visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a free instant analysis.

Good luck and keep an eye on the market!

A few agents and I were sitting around talking about the future of Florida real estate.  One agent speculated that this market could not last forever and would one day have to come down.  His theory was that everything that goes up eventually comes back down and that cycles are inevitable.

Future of Florida Real Estate

Then we got to thinking.  What if this market doesn’t have to come back down?  Is it possible Florida has been undervalued compared to other nice areas of the country?

Why Are People Moving to Florida?

Let’s talk about why Florida looks so attractive, and what the future may hold.  Everyone knows Florida is famous for sunshine and beaches and almost perfect weather in the winter.  Florida is also attractive because we have no income tax, which is substantial compared to some states that have both state and local taxes. If you plan to move to the Sunshine State, consider hiring the Real Men Moving LLC services to avoid doing the hard work.

Florida has also been business friendly without all the lockdowns other states have endured.  We are seeing businesses flock from lockdown states and moving to Florida, bringing employees with them.  The real question is, what will happen in a few months once the vaccine is widely distributed and lockdowns end?

Some business owners we have talked to have had it.  Their fed up with restrictive policies and high taxes and they are not moving back no matter what.  It is probably safe to assume that anyone who has moved away from high tax states is not moving back.  The real question is, what will the people who wanted to move but just couldn’t yet do?  Will they further their plans to make the move or just stay put?

It’s Hard to Just Pick up and Move

Some people have ties to an area. Some businesses have been in the family for generations and walking away isn’t as easy as it sounds.  It takes careful thought and planning, and there are pros and cons.  If these states continue to raise taxes and have high crime, it may chase the next wave of businesses and residents away as well.

People have learned through this pandemic that many jobs can work from anywhere.  Companies have learned they can save high lease rates on buildings if their employees work remotely or move to less costly locations.  This pandemic may have been the impetus for a transition that benefits the company and its workers, and that ship may have sailed.

Florida is the big winner in all of this, and if it continues, strong demand may not slow up when Covid comes under control.  In this scenario, prices could rise further as we are not building enough homes to meet the demand.

It is true that business tends to follow cycles, but that is premised on demand rising and falling.  What if demand does not fall?  Supply is limited, and if demand stays constant or rises, we have more appreciation to go.  We could see a lot more.

Future Warning Signs

It is also true that nobody knows the future of Florida real estate, or the economy for that matter.  Rising oil prices and inflation could slow the economy and kill jobs.  Florida still has a lot going for it, and that might offset whatever happens to the economy.  Realtors do not know what will happen in the future.  We believe more sellers will decide to cash out in a month or two as Covid becomes safer, but will it be enough to meet demand?

The bottom line is the market is good, and we expect the future of Florida real estate to be good for a while.  There are a lot of wildcards in play that could affect things a few years down the road, like immigration, cost of building, oil, taxes, interest rates, inflation, etc. We are starting to see people cash out of Wall St and put it into main street.  Some people thought the Dow was overpriced at 18,000.  Now it is over 31,000.

Prices in Florida have risen, and we still might be a bargain.  Just not the bargain we were in the past.  To find out what your SW Florida home is worth, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com It’s fast and Free.  Or call Sande and Brett Ellis 239-310-6500 

Good luck, and Happy Selling!

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

One of the things we have admired about Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams, was his ability to see and predict the future.  Gary does not see himself as smarter than everyone else but rather a student of the industry.  He looks at life and business with questions, and it is these questions that bring him and the company clarity.  The national housing supply shortage was predicted years ago by Gary, simply by studying the numbers.

National Housing Supply Shortage

Back in 2005 and 2006 we had an over-supply of homes being built.  We had a false sense of security about the housing market, and many people knew it.  Brett reported in 2005 the SW Florida real estate market was overbuilt.  We simply did not have enough demand.  We had flippers selling to one another, but not enough end users.

National Housing Supply Shortage

Today we do not have that problem.  In fact, it’s the reverse.  We have strong demand and not enough inventory.  Builders and banks were skeptical after the housing crisis in 2006 and held back.  As you can see from the graph, we had deficit home building starting in 2008 and 12 years later we are just now getting back to normal.  However, the damage was done and now we have a different crisis of sorts.  We have a national housing supply shortage.

Few places is it worse than SW Florida.  SW Florida has strong demand from northern states who have suffered from COVID-19 lockdowns and high taxes.  People are flocking to Florida in droves.  We don’t believe this is going to change.  The pandemic has taught us that people really can work from anywhere.

If you could work from anywhere, would you work in a high tax state?  Would you work in frigid cold temperatures?  Would you work in a big city?  The answer for more and more people is no.  They would prefer working and playing in Florida.  When you hear government talk about travel bans from Florida, they’re not really talking about Covid-19.  Transmission rates in Florida are nothing spectacular.  This isn’t about new strains either, as the new strains are or will be everywhere by March.  This is about protecting tax bases in other states.

Politicians are afraid because high tax states like California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey have budget shortfalls.  They simply have more bills and unfunded liabilities than income and if their top wage earners leave it puts more pressure on the people who are left.

Demand Outpacing Supply

This article is not about politics.  It is about math.  The simple math tells us more people are coming to Florida and will in the future.  The trend started years ago, and 2020 sped things up.

We are going to have to build our way out of this.  If you read this article frequently, you’ll know that we talked about builders shutting down or slowing new home sales.  They simply cannot keep up.  This past week we heard of a builder refunding buyers deposits and raising prices $70,000.

New home construction costs are going up.  Builders are raising prices.  They must.  Resale home prices were rising too, but they were limited because if they got too high buyers would just buy new construction.  When new home construction prices rise or slow down, it throws buyers back into resales.

It’s getting rough out there.  Realtors say it’s a war zone out there.  We are not making light of actual war, but it is a fight.  Buyers are in combat with other buyers competing for the home they want.  Sellers, this is the best market we’ve seen for you in 30 years+ years.

Would You Sell if We Had a Buyer for Your Home?

If you are thinking of selling, please call Brett or Sande Ellis today 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a free estimate of what we could sell your home for fast.

If you are a buyer, the Ellis Team knows where the inventory is.  It is limited, but we know how to find it.  We feel like a fishing guide where fisher men and women hire us to use our secret fishing hole. We know where the secret fishing holes are, and we can help you hook ‘em. Our fish finder can be found at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It will tell you where the fish are in real time.

Good luck and happy home fishing!

Lee County home sales outpace available listing inventory in Cape Coral year to date and it is only February 10 as we write this article.  The numbers in Fort Myers and all of Lee County tell a similar story.

Lee County Home Sales Outpace Available Listing Inventory

Is it possible to reach zero inventory?  We believe the answer is no, just like we will never see zero unemployment, for a variety of reasons.  Some sellers will never sell no matter how hot the market is, and some people will never get a job no matter how good the job market gets.

Lee County Home Sales Outpace Available Listing Inventory

We are at or near 1 month supply of inventory in several price ranges.  In my 31+ years of selling real estate in Lee County I have never seen this before.  To make matters worse, builders are turning on and off the building spigot.  We covered that extensively in last week’s article.

Where will inventory come from?  Buyers are still moving to Florida in droves from New York, Illinois, California, and other states.  Demand is not going away.  We have pressure on the market.  Not every buyer is going to get a home.  Only the buyers willing to step up and win the game are securing homes.

Many Realtors are asking, how low can inventory go?  We have been watching inventory draw down for the better part of two years, and now it is getting critical.  We have a message for both buyers and sellers.

Sellers

Sellers now is your time.  You are in the driver’s seat.  It has never been more fun to sel a home than right now.  If you are priced and marketed correctly you will have multiple offers to choose from.  The agent you hire to represent you will make all the difference.  Choosing the wrong offer can cost you, just like choosing the wrong agent.  If you have questions about how that is possible, talk to Brett or Sande Ellis before you list, and we will talk about that.

Choosing the wrong offer is just as bad.  If today you knew the offer in hand would not close, would you take the offer?  Of course, you wouldn’t.  This is another reason why hiring the right Realtor with experience matters.  Experience is the ability to see the future because the agent has been there before.  The Ellis Team has closed over 5,000 homes, so we have seen some things.  We have that Spidey sense because of experience.

Buyers

Buyers, you are in competition with all the other buyers.  Forget about trying to out negotiate the seller.  You will out negotiate yourself right out of the deal.  In a balanced market where you are on equal footing, it is a different story.  This is not a balanced market.  You must play the game to win, or you are going to lose.  This may not matter if you do not really need to buy and you are comfortable in your current housing situation.  If you need to buy, get comfortable being uncomfortable. You need an agent that knows how to win.

Back to Sellers

Do you know what your home is really worth today?  Is there a number at which you would sell?  What if your home is at that number and you did not realize it?

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLHOMEVALUES.com to get an instant value.  The best part is the system will email you your home’s value every month as it changes.  You will know when your home finally hits your number.

Good luck and let us know how we can help you in this market.  Experience wins.  We can help you with that.

Zillow buys ShowingTime and what that means for the industry.

We have seen several home builders halt new construction sales for several reasons.  The two major reason are costs and quality control.

Home Builders Halt New Construction Sales

If you’re planning on building a gas station, you have to come up with a good Business Plan for Your Gas Station.

Costs are rising rapidly.  For instance, lumber costs have skyrocketed recently.  I found an article online that said the lumber price spike has added about $16,000 to the typical home nationwide.  Lumber is just one component in a home.  Home builders are literally outselling what they can build in SW Florida, and they must be careful. When your plant & machinery is down and you need a hydraulic repair service, you want FAST evaluation & diagnosis, & and a first-class professional repair done in the shortest possible time. In every construction site, it is important to have someone who knows how to operate equipment properly, companies like Forklift Training Systems, offers a train the trainer course for the forklift trainers.

If you outsell what you can build, it adds to the build times.  As you add to the build time, there is more chance for increased costs.  In a hot market you would hate to contract for a home and lose money on it by the time you get it built.  Even if they do not lose money, they want to maximize profit.  Home builders halt new construction sales simply to protect themselves. If you are a construction manager, you should familiarize yourself on how a performance bond works.

Homebuilders Selling Too Fast

One home builder said they were selling a home every 50 minutes.  We know of several custom home builders locally that have limited what their sales agents can sell.  These limits can change daily.  Overselling is bad for two reasons.  You do not want to set the expectation it will take 6-9 months and deliver the home in 18 months.  Customers will not like that. Secondly, they do not know what costs 18 months from now will be.  Costs are going up, so they need to raise the home prices to cover those costs.

When shopping for a new home it pays to work with a Realtor that knows who can build and where the inventory is.  Occasionally new home sales fall out and the buyer cannot close.  If you work with an experienced Realtor with connections, you may find out about these homes first.  If you’re late, you’re last.

Resale Market Hot

The resale market is still a place to keep an eye on too.  New resales enter the market daily, but not enough to satisfy demand.  Speed is the name of the game when it comes to securing a new or resale home.  Make sure you are pre-approved for a mortgage.  If it takes you a day or two to get pre-approved, you have already lost.  Do that first before you go home shopping.

Remember, you are not negotiating against the home seller.  Your competition is all the other buyers shopping to get the same home you are looking at.  Structuring your offer to win is the key.  This is where an experienced agent can help.  What seems like good terms to you may not be the best offer to the seller.  An experienced agent knows how to make your offer look stronger.  Price is just one factor, and you can only bid so high.  There are plenty of other factors along with price that can make or break your offer.

Sellers Pay Attention

Sellers, it is time to pay attention!  There has never been a better time to sell your home.  I just put my own home on the market.  I am taking my own advice.  There is more demand than there is supply.  Buyers are forced to offer full price or more in many cases to win a home.

As builders raise their prices it will help pull resale home prices up with it.  We have seen home builders increase their prices over $100,000 in some neighborhoods in the past few months.

Interest rates are low. Demand is high.  If you are thinking of selling, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500.  For a free instant value of your home check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com.  Not only will you get an instant price, our system will also email you each month your home’s value change in value.  That is a handy tool in this market.

If you are buying, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It is updated in real-time which means you will have the best data.  Remember, speed wins in this market.

Good luck, and Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty with your real estate needs!

You’re Not Going to Believe This

New Listing in Reflection Lakes

13855 Bald Cypress Cir

Lakefront Home in Reflection Lakes

Video Tour

Official Lee County real estate sales price statistics are out, and it reveals a 20.2% increase in the last year.  Median sales price rose from $262,000 December 2019 to $315,000 December 2020.  Average sales prices show an even greater gain.  December 2019 average sales price was $346,857 compared to $455,685.  That is over $100,000 gain and a 31.4% increase.

real Estate Sales Price Increased 20.2%

The rate of gain is not sustainable.  Do not expect prices to rise 30% year after year.  There is room for further price gains, but not at that rate.  Low interest rates are helping buyers afford more home.  High interest from out of state buyers is also fueling demand.  This trend picked up 4 years ago and we expect that to continue. So, you may want to check out a group like Eliason Realty for great home options.

Florida a Work From Home State

Covid-19 has taught us much of America can work from anywhere.  With that being said, many are choosing to exit big cities and work in less crowded areas with better climate and lower taxes.  Florida stands out as an excellent choice.  I read an article yesterday that showed Florida is now the most attractive state for net migration from other states.

Fort Myers was also named the fasted growing city in America by Business Insider.  The Fort Myers/Cape Coral area has been undervalued for years.  If you go back and read our past articles, we talked a lot about Florida having 67 counties, and two saw price gains below the state average.  Those two counties were Lee and Martin counties.  Eventually this equalizes, and the world has taken notice.  If you are an out of state buyer looking for sunshine and a nice place to live, you are not necessarily tied to one area.

Naples and Bonita have always been expensive compared to rest of Lee County.  I remember the day when Bonita was not expensive, but recently it has been as growth filled in.  Growth is marching right up the coast and now Fort Myers is the bullseye.  Therefore, we are seeing price increases greater than some areas and it will continue.

Excellent Buys if You Know Where to Look

There are still some excellent buys out there, both in resale and new construction. We need more new construction to help with demand.  We are seeing builders raise prices dramatically on lots, home construction, and pool costs.  Some of that is demand, and some is increased costs for lumber and supplies.

New construction prices rising dramatically will help pull resale prices even higher.  When new homes go up $100,000, resales follow.  We expect 2021 to be another great year, but some buyers are getting priced out of the market.  The market does not care who buys the home.  An out of state buyer with more money may be able to pay more than a local buyer.

We are seeing buyers having to adjust where they want to live as some are getting priced out of their desired neighborhood due to real estate sales price increases.

Getting Top Dollar Not Easy For Everyone

We are also seeing For Sale By Owners giving up and hiring Realtors.  Getting top dollar is not easy if you do not know how to reach today’s buyers and you do not know how to close the transaction.  Anybody can find a buyer, but can you find many?  Today there is typically more than one buyer for every property, you just have to find them.  When you have more buyers to choose from, you will get a better price.

An experienced agent also knows how to select the best offer.  It’s not always price.  We are looking for the buyer most likely to close.  If you have questions on that, reach out to Sande and Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500

Some people like our Free Instant Home Price Evaluator. If you are thinking about selling, we can validate the price and make sure it is accurate.  Prices are changing by the week, so do not leave money on the table.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!