Average sales prices rose 20.4% in Lee County while median sales prices rose 14.0% in October over last year’s numbers.  This tells us there is some strength in the higher end of the market pulling the average figures higher.

SW Florida Real Estate Prices Rise as Does Inventory

If we dig a little deeper we notice that average sales prices don’t usually bump up until December.  In 2015 we started seeing the climb in September, about 2 months earlier.  The average numbers are a little more pronounced and help identify the trend in the median numbers when they occur over time.

SW Florida Real Estate Prices Rise as Does Inventory

We’ve also been telling readers that listing inventory has been down, and this has led to a rise in prices.  We know from history that inventory begins rising about October, and this year kept the trend.

SW Florida Real Estate Prices Rise as Does Inventory

Listings rose over September 8.13%, however they fell 10.3% from last year’s numbers.  So we’re seeing the typical rise in inventory we usually see this time of year, however the bar is lower and listings are down from last year.

What does this tell us?  The SW Florida real estate market should be in for a good ride.  Of course, this is predicated upon interest rates remaining affordable and the job market remaining stable.   All signs point to both.  Interest rates will climb, but forecasts by FNMA and Freddie Mac suggest modest rises.

Rising rates will affect some home buyers, but it shouldn’t disrupt the market as we have more demand than supply.  Rising rates will hurt individual buyers more than sellers overall.  If we had a high inventory market, it would affect sellers more.

Rising rates will help curtail 20% rises in prices.  It may not change the direction but it may slow the speed of increase.

We think season should be good again this year.  The weather is already brutal and we haven’t even touched December yet.  SW Florida has enjoyed rather warm weather and that is attractive to buyers who’ve just about had it with snow and blizzards.  This winter could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and sends people our way.

Sellers, this could be your time.  All signs point to a perfect time to sell.  Low inventory and rising prices combined with a decent economy spells success.  It’s the perfect storm, but perfect storms don’t last forever.  Yes, we expect a good market going forward, but one day you won’t be holding All the cards, just some of the cards.

It’s always fun to play cards when you’re holding all the good ones.  It really comes down to skill when the cards are evenly distributed, and it’s no fun at all when you’ve got no cards.  Buyers feel like they have no cards right now.  If they wait, they’ll have better cards but prices and rates may both be higher, so waiting isn’t the best option.

Sellers may wait, and prices may be higher.  But it may take longer to sell and buyers will have more choices.  Your home won’t be the commodity it is now.  Really, we can honestly say that now is a good time for both buyers and sellers.  Waiting may cost buyers more money due to rising rates.  The banks keep that money, not the sellers.  And if a seller waits, they may not enjoy the fruits of having little to no competition.

If you’d like to search the MLS, feel free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our database is updated every 5 minutes, so you can beat out other buyers to hot new listings.

Sellers, if you’d like to take advantage of this Hot market, call us at 239-489-4042.  Put our marketing and “Secret Sauce” to work for you.  We can even help you find your next home. Call us and let’s talk.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

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The SW Florida real estate market has been a steady as she goes type of market through 2015 with mostly upward price gains, falling inventory, and higher pending sales than last year.  This changed in September as pending sales fell for the first time to below 2014 levels.

Median sale prices have been up over 2014 all year, and September saw this largest yearly gain for the year at a 20.9% increase in median price.  Average price tells a different story.  We’ve had three negative months this year compared to last, and we’ve had two months (March and July) with average prices up over 30%.  For the most part average sale prices have been more tempered though.

New Pending Sales in SW Florida Fall Slightly in September

New listings in September increased over August by 59 homes but were down 6 homes from last year.  So if new listing inventory fell by 6 homes this September versus last year, how is it that inventory actually rose in September versus August?

New Pending Sales in SW Florida Fall Slightly in September

Some pending deals must have fallen out combined with fewer new pending sales in September would explain it.  We would have thought with new Federal lending laws going into effect Oct 3rd we’d see more pending sales in September but that didn’t occur.

Again, we caution about reading too much into monthly numbers.  You’ll see from the Active Inventory graph listings in September fell last year, but they actually rose the previous two years.  So this isn’t a new phenomenon or trend.

New pending sales in SW Florida Fort Myers cape Coral

We’re also keeping an eye on median prices versus average prices.  Average prices can be skewed by large sales so it isn’t as reliable, but if there is a trend we want to know.

As prices rise the market begins to price out some home shoppers.  This can account for why pending sales decline.  Rising home prices affects home affordability.  If wages increased home buyers could afford more.  There is probably more room for price gains as not all of our buyers in SW Florida are dependent on wages.  Some are buying 2nd homes, retirement homes, or investments.  Rising rents make these investments even stronger.

Another thing that could drastically affect affordability is interest rates.  As rates rise it changes the affordability equation.  We’ve already seen an uptick in rates and more are expected.  With prices increasing we expect more homeowners to put their home on the market.  If and when that happens, buyers will have more choices.

We’re about to see all market forces come into play.  When the market crash we saw a few market forces cause the crash, and in the recovery since we’ve seen a few market forces influence the market.

Going forward we’re going to see all market forces sway the market.  This is a sign of a healed housing market.  We’ll see less volatility and more economics in play.

We’ll be looking at wages, inventory supply, new construction supply, oil prices, unemployment, labor force participation, interest rates, national and global conditions.  It really is exciting to get back to normal market conditions as buyers and sellers can more comfortably predict the stability of the market.

We are not seeing overbuilding by the builders.  In fact we could use some more building.  If you’re a buyer and want to search inventory visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com It has all the listings and it’s updated every 5 minutes.

If you’re a seller, you’ll want to talk to us.  We have a marketing program we’re sure nobody else has and it’s generating some nice results for our sellers.  We’ll be glad to sit down and show you why there is a difference and what it can cost you if you don’t use our “Secret Sauce.”

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

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