Official sales numbers for May won’t be released until about June 25th by the Florida Association of Realtors. I’ve spent some time this month analyzing May home sales, and it pretty much confirms what our latest Current Market Index suggested, that sales would be up in May. The Current Market Index accurately predicts the SW Florida real estate market into the future, so May’s number’s won’t be surprising.
We’ll release these numbers today with one caveat. The official numbers are derived from various MLS sources, and are adjusted after the fact sometimes a year later. The results we release today may not be 100% in line with what is officially released, but we will go on record with our predictions and we’ll see just how close they were once the officials are released.
From the data we’ve looked at, it appears May Sales were up 51.67% over last May’s numbers, which would beat the 41% increase of the official April numbers. It would also hint that April’s sales numbers were not an aberration and may indicate buyers are truly off the fence as homes have become affordable. In fact, homes sales in May were up 7% over April’s blistering pace.
Home prices in May were down 25.07% from last May’s numbers, less than April’s 29% official number. For this example we used average mean price and not the average median price. We are showing a 1.82% price increase ion the average mean price of a home in SW Florida this May over this April, another encouraging sign.
So what does all this number business mean? It means buyers are back in the game, sales are very, very strong, and prices may have leveled this past month. We’ll wait for official numbers to be posted later this month, but don’t be surprised to see more encouraging news once official numbers are released. We think buyers have their greatest leverage right now, and time is slowly slipping away on buyers as market inventory has actually been going down and sales are up drastically. We predicted 2008 to be a year of bouncing along the bottom in our 2008 State of the Market Report released last January, and it certainly is shaping up that way.
Bank foreclosures and short sales have helped affordability in the SW Florida market. Inventory has been coming down, and without the bank foreclosures and short sales we would eventually run out of inventory and be back in the same sellers market we were in a few years ago, minus the wild speculation that occurred. To listen to Brett Ellis tell how to buy bank foreclosures in Fort Myers and Cape Coral in a radio interview, click here.
Check out an Inside the numbers look at Entry Level Home Sales and Inventory in SW Florida for april. This will give you an idea of what is driving the Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres home sales market.