SW Florida real estate home prices aren’t quite back to what they were in January 2006 however Southwest Florida home prices rise to highest level in years.

December 2015 median home sales price in Lee County came in at $231,000 which was a 21.6% increase over sales in 2014. Average sales prices rose 17.2% up to $333,735 in December.

Southwest Florida Home Prices Rise to Highest Level in Years

Closed sales fell 2.8% in December and most attribute that to delayed closings due to new Federal regulations knows as TRID.  We’ve written extensively on how TRID would delay or kill some closings and you can search those articles right here on our Blog

While overall sales fell 2.8%, cash sales fell 10.8%.  We don’t really have an explanation other than as prices rise we tend to see more financed sales.

Each year listing inventory increases starting in January but this year we actually saw a 4.2% decrease.

January started out strong.  Typically sales don’t pick up until about January 18th or so, but this year it was early.  If anything we perhaps saw a slowdown in the 2nd half of January.  Perhaps this was reaction to major stock market corrections?  We don’t know, and we hesitate to get caught up in sales activity over a one or two week period.  January isn’t the biggest month for sales anyway.

Sales tend to build in season.  February becomes a very strong month and March builds on top of that.  Mortgage rates have actually fallen with all the financial turmoil, so buyers may benefit from that when they go to purchase.

Official year end stats for 2015 won’t be released until February 17th, so we’ll wait and report that breaking news on our Blog that day.  You may wish to subscribe to our Blog so you don’t miss it.  We know year end prices will be up; it’s just a matter of how much.  Sellers like to know as it forebodes next year’s tax assessments.  It also gives sellers a good idea in case they are considering selling.

If you’re considering selling you might like to check our the Market Reports section on our Southwest Florida MLS search website   We wrote about this new feature last week and many signed up to receive real-time reports of active listings, pending sales, and solds in their neighborhood.  If your neighborhood isn’t listed yet, you can create your own.

If you’re a buyer, you can use our website to search for properties.  Buyers love it because it’s updated every 5 minutes.  It’s fun as a Realtor to make a change in MLS and watch it update on our site in just a minute or so.  A lot of national websites don’t update or don’t have all the listings, so buyers get frustrated when the home that interests them isn’t there or sold months ago.

That won’t happen on our website as long as Realtors have updated the MLS.  While buyers love shopping on our site, there’s no substitute for sitting down with a knowledgeable professional who will listen to your needs and make suggestions.  People who are not from here feel at a disadvantage because they don’t know the area.  They want local help from someone who cares and knows the area.

That’s where we come in.  We’re the Name You Know.  We don’t try to sell you anything.  We just educate you on the market and guide you in the right direction so you can make the best decision for you.

Call us today at 239-489-4042 or search online at LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

The Ellis Team is growing.  We’d like to welcome two fantastic additions to our team.  Ashley Johnson and Alisha Swientek have joined the team as buyer specialists.  Both bring a wealth of real estate experience to the team.  They look forward to helping you find your dream home, along with Kevin Ellis and Chris Herrington.  We are deeply proud of each of our team members as they share our values and goals of helping our customers buy or sell the perfect home for them.


SW Florida closed sales for single family homes fell in November 6.7% in SW Florida.  Many are blaming new Federal guidelines known as TRID for delayed or cancelled closings, and there may be some truth to that.  However, a deeper look inside the numbers presents another theory as well.

SW Florida Closed Sales Sale Prices

Cash sales also fell 12% in November.  Cash sales were not affected by the new rules, so this would dispel the idea that the entire slowdown was caused by delayed closings caused by TRID.  It could very well be there are fewer closings because there is less active inventory to sell.

Active single family home inventory fell 5.1% in November, down to 5,010 listings as compared to 5,277 available last year.  It’s hard to keep losing inventory each month and expect closed sales to rise.  Statistically it can’t happen forever, and this is why it’s putting pressure on prices to rise.  And rise they have!

SW Florida Closed Sales

Before we look at prices, there is some good news on the inventory front.  New listings rose 10.7% in November. 1,661 new listings came in this year compared to only 1,500 last year.  We are seeing more listings hitting the market, so why aren’t inventory levels rising?

New pending sales fell in November 4.4%  There were 1,104 new pending sales this year compared to 1,155 last year.  If 1,661 new listings came on the market, and only 1,104 went pending, how did inventory levels fall in November?

The answer is convoluted.  Not all pending sales close.  Not all pending sales close in the month they go pending as there is a lag.  And not all closings are happening on their scheduled contract closing date.  Closings are being delayed by TRID and banking delays.  Additionally, some listings expire and don’t go pending which also drops inventory levels.

Sellers with expired listings need to make difficult choices.  Did they hire the wrong Realtor?  Does their home need repairs?  Or did they simply overprice the market?  Sometimes it’s good to step back and objectively look at what other sellers are offering and at what price.  That is your current competition.  It’s also important to look at sellers who won the home selling game.  What condition was the property in?  Did that property receive updates?  How was it priced?

Many times the answer is staring sellers right n the face, and it’s right there if they want to look at it.

Buyers have similar decisions to make.  Often we hear from buyers who have lost out on many homes for various reasons.  Quite often they’re being outbid by other buyers.  If you keep offering 10% off asking price expecting to win a home you have about as much chance as a seller overpricing their home by 10%.  The market is the market, and when you price a home correctly, it will sell.  When you bid for a home correctly, you have a chance.  We’re not saying you have a guarantee as sellers evaluate the entire offer and compare it against other offers, or potential future offers.

Sellers look at how much you have in escrow, how confident they are in the lender you chose and the details in your pre-approval letter.  They look at how much you’re putting down, and if it’s not a lot how you would overcome your bank appraising the property low.

Buyers typically say a low appraisal is the seller’s problem, and it may be.  But it also can be the buyer’s problem as many sellers turn down low appraisals and sell their home to cash buyers the next week.  This is of course if their home was priced correctly in the first place, as cash buyers don’t like to over-pay anymore than financed buyers do.

The bottom line is it pays to research the market, and work with an expert.  Experts can help you navigate the process of how much to offer, battling low appraisals, and overall market statistics.  If you’d like to do a little research yourself, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search the MLS.  If you’d like to talk to local experts, call us at 239-489-4042 and we’ll see if we can help.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

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