If you ask many real estate agents in SW Florida most would tell you the 2016 wasn’t a good one this year and the numbers would bear that out.  We’ve been reporting since January that sales just haven’t come in like they have in previous years as inventory grew.  April housing shows some signs of improvement though as sales improved.

The numbers may look a little better simply because last years numbers have been revised down.  For the past several months year over year prices have been positive because of those changes.  Had it not been for those changes we could have seen some negative prices.

April Housing Shows Some Signs of Improvement

April Housing Shows Some Signs of Improvement Closed sales by sales price
Closed Sales by Sales Price

So let’s take a deeper dive into what we know.  Closed sales by sale price dropped at the lower end simply because there is no inventory at the low end, so don’t read anything into that.  $150-$300k is strong. Once we get over $300,000, that’s where we start to see weakening in the market.  It’s been this way all year.

April Housing Shows Some Signs of Improvement
Inventory by Current List Price

Let’s look at inventory by current list price.  Here we start to see inventory rising at anything over $150,000.  We’ll keep our eyes on those numbers.  $200k especially jumped out at us, although as agents we’re glad because it’s been hard to find any inventory in that range to show buyers.

April Housing Shows Some Signs of Improvement Inventory Active Listings
Active Listings Inventory Lee County

When we look at overall listing inventory we see it’s risen year over year every month since January. New pending sales dropped 7.3% in April, so overall listing inventory could continue to rise in coming months.  We’ll continue to track those numbers as well.

New listings were up 2.9% in April.  When we see listings rising and pending sales falling, we can reasonably assume inventory may rise a bit in coming months.

As bad as all this sounds, April was an improvement in some areas over what we were seeing in February and March.  We predicted a market shift months ago and I think the numbers show that.  We’re not rocket scientists.  We just study the numbers.  Many times the future isn’t hard to predict if you study where the tracks are headed.

If you’re a seller or need to sell in the next few months, you need to know these numbers.  In fact, I’m going to be starting up a Seller’s Club whereby we’ll produce a monthly video each month going over the numbers in detail.  We don’t have room to show all the graphs here so we spread them out over the month, but in that video we could show them all as they are hot off the press.

E-Mail us at Brett@topagent.com if you’re considering selling and would like to be included in the seller’s club monthly video update.

Lastly, we haven’t covered the distressed market in awhile.  That’s because there isn’t much of a distressed market anymore.  We continue to get calls from buyers looking for foreclosures and short sales.  This past week we received two calls in about 30 minutes, and when we tell them there aren’t many, they are bewildered.

April Housing Shows Some Signs of Improvement Distressed Market
Lee County Distressed Market

As you can see, there were only 9 single family short sales in the county, and only 55 foreclosures. That’s indicative of a fairly healthy market.  Oh the market has shifted from a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a healthy market.

The market rarely stands still.  It can shift like sand at the sea and it can be balanced and healthy or sick.  Right now we have a pretty healthy market.  If you’re a buyer or seller, it pays to know the hot spots and weaker spots.

You can search the MLS and do market research for Free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com or call us at 239-489-4042

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Season felt like it was good but statistically the numbers weren’t coming in like they usually do in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate market.  February and March sale prices were flat and this is the time of year they usually rise. We reported that was a trend we wanted to keep an eye on.

Cape Coral real estate market homes closed

Other Factors Influencing the Fort Myers and Cape Coral Real Estate Market:

Another trend we were watching was the weather up North. This past winter was frightful in every aspect and many speculated this would be a boom for SW Florida, including us. The numbers weren’t as strong this season as the weather was dreadful, so some were scratching their heads.

At an Ellis Team meeting a few of our buyer specialists were commenting on how many of our buyers were done with living up North, but the weather was so bad they couldn’t leave. They longed for the day for the weather to improve enough so they could plan a trip down to paradise.

Guess what? Many of them did just that and our sales started rising. The last few days of April and the first week of May were particularly strong, and we haven’t slowed down since. Some of these sales were Northern buyers coming down. Others were local buyers making their move.

Fort Myers Sale Prices 2014 Cape Coral

In any event, we’re starting to see the charts move again. It’s too early to tell if this is a trend as closed sales tend to peak in April and May then simmer back down for the rest of the year. The same is true with prices as Northerners snatch up higher priced homes during season.

We are seeing pending sales going up right now on our team.  Countywide inventory is going down, so this may bode well for home sales going into June and July.  Prices may follow suit, and if this holds true, it bolsters the idea that perhaps 2014 is in for a late season.

Years ago summer was the hottest selling months for single family homes.  We might be returning to that model. Of course, years ago the locals freely bought and sold in the summer months when all the tourists went home because they had more time. Many locals work hard during season and things free up a bit when they go home.

For the last 7 years or so locals weren’t able to buy and sell in the summer because they were under water on their home, or their business hadn’t fully recovered yet.  Now more and more are able to sell as they finally have equity due to rising prices and paying down their mortgage. Each year going forward we may see more and more eligible locals in the market.

At the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group we’ve been listing homes and they’ve been selling quickly.  This could be a good sign. We’ve been excited to show off our new Hi Definition marketing program and we’ve been having trouble keeping our new listings long enough to video them. We do have some videos coming to the market you can check out at www.HomesinHd.TV

We are seeing increased activity from online leads as well.  I just went in and searched our online MLS search site and we had 17 new registrations in the past 2 days, so that’s about 8.5 per day.  That’s a healthy number signing up to view homes in MLS so that may be a sign there’s increased interest in the SW Florida real estate market as well. If you’d like to search the MLS, go to Topagent.com

We hope everyone has a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend, and remember Memorial Day is a day to remember US armed forces who died serving our country.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

To search the MLS visit TopAgent.com  To learn more about Hi Def video for your home visit HomesinHD.TV

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Phone calls were down the week after Easter according to most agents we’ve talked to.  Some say the roads are easier to travel and some still see busy traffic.  We noticed heavy traffic at the beaches the week after Easter and still heavy on Sanibel and Captiva Islands this past week. April SW Florida Real Estate Market Update.

The Ellis Team sold so many listings during season we didn’t even have enough to fill an ad.  This past week or two listing calls have picked up and we are listing again.  It’s no wonder we’ve seen price gains as inventory has dropped a bit.

April SW Florida Real Estate Market Update
Current Inventory

As you can tell from the inventory chart, single family home inventory is down below last year’s numbers.  It will be interesting to track and see if April’s numbers fall below last year’s numbers.  I suspect they will if our Team numbers are any indication. If April numbers do drop we’ll have to wait and see if we test market lows in July.  Lower inventory has led to higher prices.

Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate prices moving up
SW Florida Real Estate Prices Headed Higher

Average sale price numbers dropped just a bit from February but they’re still up 12.8% over last year’s numbers.  Median sale prices continue to climb, up 29.2% over last year and up 9.17% over February of this year.  Last year median sale prices rose through April then leveled off before rising again this January.  We’ll continue to watch that trend this year as well.

As you can see from the pricing graph, average sale prices dropped from May through August.  This is not unusual as many higher priced properties sell in season.  We’ll keep an eye on average and median sale prices the rest of this year.

This past week I worked on a condo listing at The Club at Crystal Lake, which is a nice condo project in South Ft Myers.  I was able to pull up sold comparables but it was interesting that there were no active listings on the market.  The only listing was an active contingent short sale which means they’re waiting on the bank to approve or deny a short sale.  It was rather strange to not find one available listing on the market.

And so it goes in some communities.  There just isn’t the inventory we used to have.  Buyers from up North are disappointed when they find out their criteria is too restrictive to match any properties.

We had one buyer come to us who fired their Realtor because they weren’t working to find them properties.  We had to educate them that their Realtor wasn’t doing a bad job and that their expectations were not realistic.  What they wanted today doesn’t exist at that price range.  It did a few years ago but the market has passed them by.

Just yesterday I received a buyer lead looking for a 55+ community up to $100,000 within walking distance to the beach.  I assigned the lead to one of our buyer agents.  Without doing the MLS search myself, my guess is it will be hard to fulfill those demands.

The bottom line is the market is on the move.  If you’re interested in buying or selling it pays to watch the trends.  You never want the market to pass you by.  Now may be the time to move on those wishes.  Waiting today may mean you’ll be waiting next year because you can’t afford the new market reality.  If you’d like to sit down and discuss your options, give us a call at 239-489-4042  It might be a better idea to have a conversation this year versus next year.  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!