SW Florida real estate market continues recovery. Many would say our market is Hot, and compared to 2006-2009 it’d be pretty hard to disagree with that statement. While we are seeing some nice gains, our market is healing, which is a good thing.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Continues Recovery

A couple of things we look for are the percentage of cash vs. financing to identify the liquidity in the market as well as the percentage of traditional sales vs distressed sales. Our market has good volume now and would be higher if we had more inventory to sell.

We’ll come back to inventory in a moment. As you can see from the attached graph, traditional sales are above 70% of the total sales. Back in 2009 they were close to 20%, so that’s a big swing.

Cash sales are dropping as a percentage of total sales. Many would say that’s a bad sign, but it’s actually a good sign. Banks add money to the market. For awhile banks weren’t lending much. There is a cap on cash sales and the amount cash buyers will pay, but not so much on financing. Buyers will use leverage to purchase more, so it helps add liquidity to the market. Cash is always good, and having cash buyers is a good thing, but relying on them is a sure fire way to a stagnant market. Infusing capital into the market helps pull the market higher, and we’re seeing definite trends in financing. Banks have finally made it possible to borrow again, and that will help us continue this recovery.

I recently had a potential seller ask me why I didn’t say the market has fully recovered and that we were in full blown market mania. When I showed the seller how much his home value had increased from 2009 he was impressed, but he had refinanced his house during the boom and owed more today than it’s worth. Had he not taken money out at the height of the market he would have had equity, but since he did, he was still underwater. He chose not to sell today but we’d revisit the issue next year.

This is exactly why I say we’re still recovering. Back in 2005 we had artificial influences affecting the market, and we still do today. Today the artificial influences are the fact that some sellers still owe more than their property is worth today. If we didn’t have upside down sellers we’d have more inventory, and if we had more inventory we’d have more sales.

Short sales, foreclosures, and traditional sales in Fort Myers Cape Coral Florida real estate market

Some sellers are above water but just don’t like their equity position because it doesn’t leave them much down payment for the next home. In any event, equity positions are holding back many sellers who’d otherwise like to sell but are still trapped in their homes. This is perhaps one of the last barriers to calling this a full blown market recovery.

When the economy finally takes off, we could move closer to that point. Signs point to a recovering economy, but things like ObamaCare could stall that if companies cut back to stay afloat. We’re also hearing from small business owners who are facing large premium increases, so this cuts into their disposable income and their real estate purchasing power. Something tells me that when fully implemented, the public will turn to their congressmen and demand some changes, and they’ll make some changes to lessen the effects.

In the meantime, let’s keep this economy rolling, and keep the banks lending. We’re doing our jobs in the trenches and we’ve got this market heading in the right direction. If the banks and Washington all play nice, 2014 is going to be a great year. To search the MLS go to www.TopAgent.com You can always call us at 238-489-4042

If you’d like to search the MLS, visit our website at www.Topagent.com  If you’re considering selling and would like the Ellis Team to show you what we think we can get for your home, go to www.SWFLHomevalues.com or call us at 239-489-4042  Good luck and Happy Selling!

To search the MLS for properties go to www.TopAgent.com or give us a call at 239-489-4042     Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours .

Visit our Google+ Business Page


Like clockwork closed sales are on the rise starting in August. Last year we closed 896 single family home sales and in August 2013 we closed 1,069 for a 19.31% gain. This is especially interesting considering inventory levels are low. Closings on the Rise in SW Florida.

Closings on the Rise in SW Florida

Higher closed sales and lower inventory levels led to an increase in prices again. Median prices in August 2013 were $165,000 which was up 26.9% over last year’s $130,000 level, and average home prices were up 26.4%.

Single family home listing inventory in SW Florida Fort Myers Cape Coral real estate market

We also like to look at month over month prices and median sale prices increased 1.23% from $163,000 in July to $165,000 in August. Average price gains were only .28% but a gain nonetheless.

As we write this article the government is still shut down and it’s impossible to tell what effect this will have on the economy, financing of mortgages, both conventional and government mortgages, and closings in general.

The consensus is that a prolonged shutdown will affect the economy as we’re taking hundreds of thousands of paychecks out of the economy. The larger affects could be to the confidence of the consumer, so suffice it to say Congress and the President should be talking instead of blaming each other.

Should Washington get its act together we could be in for another good season. 2014 is shaping up to be a better year in many regards and the last thing we need is government getting in the way.

Next week our MLS systems are supposed to merge. I’ve heard Oct 12 is the date and Oct 21. In any event, after the glitches are worked out, using the MLS and gathering data should be much easier for Realtors and consumers. Our website Topagent.com lets you search the entire MLS. Soon the data feeds should contain listings from Naples to Cape Coral. Sanibel and Captiva will be the only area not included in the new MLS although many of the listings end up in the common database anyway as island agents want the extra exposure.

After the MLS merger there will be increased pressure on small MLS’s like Sanibel and Captiva to join. Typically Sanibel and Captiva have resisted as they’ve wanted the island to themselves and have tried to shut out Realtors from off the island, but in this day of technology that may be increasingly harder to do as buyers and sellers with multi-million dollar properties demand more from their agents.

If Naples can join a common database so too can Sanibel and Captiva.

If you’re a seller, now is the time to gear up your home sale for season. Give us a call at 239-489-4042 and find out how we sell our homes fast and for more money. We’ve got a marketing system that works and we’ll be happy to share with you how we do it.

Good luck and happy house hunting!
To search the MLS for properties go to www.TopAgent.com or give us a call at 239-489-4042     Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours .

Visit our Google+ Business Page