We sincerely hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving as we all have so much to be thankful for, even if times seem tough for many across SW Florida.  For those eager shoppers we hope Black Friday was a day to score wonderful bargains.

We were trying to come up with a name for the day after Black Friday this year and we decided on Grey Saturday, because official sales numbers were released for the Florida real estate and market and SW Florida scored mixed results, earning it the Grey Area status.

Fort Myers, Cape Coral Single Family Home Listing Inventory
SW Florida Listing Inventory

Last month we reported a change in direction in listing inventory and said we wanted to keep an eye on those numbers going forward.  For the 2nd straight month, listing inventory rose.  The numbers aren’t staggering as we’re talking about a difference of 231 homes, but it is a recent trend nonetheless.

Fort Myers, Cape Coral Florida Home Prices
Greater Fort Myers- Cape Coral Home Prices

Single family home prices were up 15% over last year, but they are down 7.69% from last month.  We are in a volatile market because agents can’t count on which closings will actually close in a given month.  Transactions are becoming trickier to count on as governmental regulations are holding up closings, causing delays, and wreaking havoc on the market.  It’s not uncommon for buyers to receive approval on their short sale and then walk from the deal because of the length of time, or because they became impatient and went for another deal more likely to close.

Banks have told us the foreclosure backlog was coming and we are starting to see more assignments in the 4th quarter.  Another large bank has told us to watch out for 1st quarter 2012 for even more.  These bank foreclosures may be just what the doctor ordered for our market though because in certain submarkets there is a feeding frenzy to buy.  We have short sales, and some traditional sales of which not all are priced at market value, which is typical in any market, up, down, or sideways.  We’ve had a lack of foreclosure properties as banks were stymied with the legal debacle of the robo-signing issue that caused them to go back and evaluate if they had legal standing to foreclose and the paperwork to prove it.

We’re starting to see rising inventory and it’s not because of foreclosures.  We are entering season which is a time when properties are gobbled up like a Thanksgiving turkey, so we’d expect to see inventory decline in the next few months even if the banks do release more foreclosure inventory.  SW Florida’s appetite when it comes to a bargain is insatiable, much like a Black Friday sale.

Last month we had Trick or Treat Day, so we’d like to see a solid direction in the market.  The past few months have brought ups and downs in median prices.  Combining the recent up and down price swings, rising inventory, predicted rising foreclosure activity, and tempering that with the upcoming season means we have a market to keep our eyes on.

We really believe we’re going to have a good season.  What good is a bargain basement sale to a shopper in an empty store?  Shoppers want inventory, and this year may be one of the last good years to get the bargain.  Even after a downward price drop of 7.69%, prices are still up 15% over last year’s prices.  The absolute statistical bottom of the market may have been last year, and we may look back on 2011 in years to come as a time when buyers say to themselves, “I wish I would have hung in there and bought that bargain.”

When the economy improves and lending standards get back to normal, we’ll all look back at 2010 and 2011 and say “I wish I would have bought more.”

Good luck and good hunting!




Brett Ellis on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams SW FLorida real estate affordability


Busy Week in the News For The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida

NBC News featured SW Florida’s real estate market and the Ellis Team at RE/MAX in a story which concentrated on housing affordability.  Lower prices are attracting buyers back into the market, and home sales statistics bear this out.  Home sales have been up dramatically over last year each month this year.  NBC News decided to come to the epicenter of where the housing crisis turned bad, and noticed there may be a turn around in the works, which could be a positive sign for other parts of the country in the coming years. Click here to watch The Flip Side of Foreclosures: Affordable Homes  MSNBC also has a Blog article up about this story Mortgages Are Out There . And So Are Bargains which also features the Ellis Team in the Blog.

NBC Today Show from Fort Myers Florida featuring Brett Ellis of RE/MAX Realty Group

The NBC Today Show visited Fort Myers on September 23 and reported on foreclosures in the SW Florida real estate market, particularly on Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral Florida.  NBC came to The Ellis Team for answers.  Click here to watch Florida’s Foreclosure Hot Zone.


Last night Brett Ellis was also on the ABC News about home sales increasing while prices have been declining.  Click here to watch this story.


This past week Brett Ellis was featured on WINK News regarding Governor Sarah Palin’s speech in Fort Myers, and Mike Ellis was seen live on WINK News as a local business leader and his reaction to the presidential debate.  We’ll try to get video uploaded on these two stories later on.

The O’Reilly Factor called and asked Brett Ellis to be on The O’Reilly Factor this past Tuesday.  Unfortunately the taping time with Bill O’Reilly conflicted with Brett’s son’s baseball game that night, so we had to pass on that interview.

NBC Today Show from Fort Myers Florida real estate market

NBC News called and asked if the Ellis Team could appear on the Today Show Tuesday September 23.  The show will feature Brett Ellis talking about the SW Florida real estate market.  NBC noted that Lee County Florida, particularly Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres has led the nation in foreclosures and is ground zero for the hosuing crisis.  Florida is a battleground state for this year’s presidential election.  The Today Show was in Pennsylvania on Monday and will be live from Tampa and Fort Myers  on Tuesday, specifically from Lehigh Acres.

Also scheduled to appear on the show is  one of the Presidential candidates, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Tampa Bay Star Ronde Barber, and the show will unveil a new NBC News poll focusing on Florida issues.

The Florida segment from Fort Myers should occur in the 7:00-7:30 time slot ET. Brett Ellis is an agent with The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida.


We thought we’d try something new, so we just filmed a short video explaining what is happening in the local Fort Myers real estate market.   If viewers like it, we could do something like this weekly.  The video is not anything special and certainly not broadcast quality.  It was done on the fly with a small digital camera as more of a test to see how it would turn out, and if viewers would like it.  We don’t like the sound quality although it is certainly legible.  Upon further review we did find it is much better when you select watch in high quality.  This video is presented by The Ellis Team, RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida

Send us your thoughts on the idea in a comment, either on this blog or directly in the video and we’ll make changes as necessary.  If nothing else it was a fun idea with potential.

Click here to search the entire Southwest Florida MLS.

Great article featuring The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida and how we use technology.

Some of the newer things we use are Podcasts, Tablet PC’s to do contracts on the road, Virtual Tours using Podcast technology so the Tour is also searchabloe on the Internet.

Technology has made us much the Ellis Team much more efficient in SW Florida real estate.  We are able to demostrate to sellers in SW Florida how we’re able to sell their real estate property faster than other agents using these innoavtive technologies.  It creates a real wow for sellers in SW Florida.

New Riverfront Listing located on 2.62 acres. Spectacular river riews from master bedroom, family room, dining room, and kitchen. Extra building on property with in-law suite. Designed with oversized doors for boat or RV.

Many extras like bamboo floors, Australian Cypress wood floors, and much more. Call us for more information on this home, or other riverfront homes.