Single family home sales in the Fort Myers Cape Coral real estate market dropped 36% from 2005 levels in September, down from 1,075 sales last year to 693 sales this year. SW Florida Real Estate Market Report shows median prices dropped 9% since last year from $288,700 down to $261,400
Sales actually increased since August 2006 from 691 to 693 sales. Prices remained relatively steady since August 2006. September prices came in at $261,400, down from $264,100 in August.
Single family home sales and prices in Lee County seem to have leveled off, and this could be a silver lining. Many national experts predicted sales prices would fall in SW Florida about 18% from it’s all-time high. We’ve already seen a 15-20% price drop, so then end may be near. Inventory is still rising, and pending sales have dropped slightly, not encouraging news.
What is encouraging is the rate of homes coming on the market is dropping, and the decrease in pending activity is dropping as well, signaling a leveling off may occur sometime in the future. Showings have also actually increased, which could lead to an increase in pending sales down the road.
Additionally, pending sales are picking up in other parts of the country, which may affect home buyers looking to purchase here. We still have a lot of inventory, but there are some really great buys out there now awaiting home buyers, and we think now is the time for buyers to pounce. We won’t know exactly when the market has hit bottom and starts to go back up. What we can say is that there are definite signs a leveling off maybe close at hand. Until that leveling off actually occurs and we start eating into existing inventory levels, we can’t officially say we’re at the bottom. Stay tuned.
Condo sales in Lee County were off 52% from 126 sales in September 2005 to 61 in 2006. Sales prices of condos in Lee County were down 3% from $314,800 in September 2005 to $305,600 in 2006
Collier County single family home sales were down 37% from 377 in September 2005 to 236 in September 2006. Sale prices were down 8% from $487,500 last year to $446,900. Naples condo sales were down 62% from 456 condo sales last year to 173 this year. Sale prices were actually up 4% from $365,700 last year to $378,600
We think this is partly the reason sales in Naples are down because sellers haven’t reacted as quickly to changing prices as sellers have in Lee County. We believe sales are much closer to leveling off in Lee County than they are in Collier County because of this fact. Affordability and price are a much larger issue in today’s market. It’s total cost of ownership, not just the price. As homeowners insurance goes up, property taxes goes up, interest rates, gas, etc it eventually weighs down on buyers. There is too much price disparity right now between Naples and Fort Myers. Soon you will see another rush of buyers purchasing in Lee County because Collier County is just so expensive.
Naples is a beautiful place to live, as is Fort Myers, The address won’t matter as much going forward as price will. Collier County is poised to lose buyers to Lee County, just as Lee County will lose some buyers to Charlotte County for the same reasons. Housing affordability.