Naples Area Board of Realtors April 2017 Market Report Shows Strong End-of-Season Activity

Naples, Fla. (May 26, 2017) – Inventory decreased for the second consecutive month and prices continued to remain stable in April, setting into motion a burst in end-of-season sales for homes in the market’s sweet spot – the $300,000 to $500,000 price category. Activity in that price category for both single-family and condominium homes in the resale market continued to outpace all other price categories during the month of April according to the April 2017 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). And while overall closed sales for the month decreased 5 percent, closed sales for homes in the sweet spot saw a 14 percent increase.

Phil Wood, President & CEO of John R. Wood Properties, pointed out that the April report showed a 41 percent increase in pending sales for homes in the $2 million and above price category. “There were 10 sales over $5 million in April,” said Wood. “This was a good sign we had a very strong season. I think April’s activity sets us up for a good summer.”

Overall inventory in April increased 8 percent to 5,920 homes in April 2017 from 5,480 homes in April 2016. Most notable was a remarkable 35 percent increase in the $2 million and above condominium inventory for April. However, April’s inventory decreased by 470 homes from March’s level, which was 6,390 homes.

The group of brokers reviewing the April Market Report added that homes that are unrealistically priced influenced April’s average days on market, which showed an increase of 35 percent to 97 days in April 2017 from 72 days in April 2016.

“There appears to be a number of sellers who, when pricing their homes, refuse to take into account the added competition from the new construction market,” said Jeff Jones, Managing Broker at the Naples-Park Shore office of Coldwell Banker®. Several other brokers collectively surmised that, in many cases, the selling price is typically 8 to 10 percent below the original asking price. Dominic Pallini, NABOR® President and Broker at Vanderbilt Realty, said, “an influx of new homes onto the market creates additional competition that many sellers don’t take into consideration when pricing their homes to sell.”

In response, Jones said, “Prices overall have remained relatively flat over the last year. Only the homes in the $300,000 and below price category increased in median closed price in the 12-months ending April 2017 from $207,000 to $219,000. There were actually minor decreases in all other price categories above $300,000.”

The last frontier of growth is eastern Collier County where buyers seeking single-family homes have more affordable options. This area, which includes 34114, 34117, 34120 and 34137, saw a 17 percent increase in closed sales to 122 single-family home closed sales in April 2017 from 104 single-family home closed sales in April 2016.

Several brokers commented that financing has become more complex in the last year and may be one reason the days on market have increased. For the 902 homes that closed in April 2017, the majority (65.3 percent) were cash sales and only 34.7 percent were conventional (financed) sales, a statistic that signifies the seasonal wealth factor.

According to Lauren U. Melo, PA, Licensed Real Estate Broker with Florida’s Realty Specialists, who works with many first-time homebuyers including Millennials interested in purchasing REO properties (real estate owned by lenders and bank-owned foreclosure properties), “REO inventory is very low, and 90 percent of it is priced above $150,000.”

On the commercial side of the real estate market in Naples, Bill Poteet, owner and broker at Poteet Properties, said the area has dramatically low industrial property options. “Naples has plenty of office and retail space available, but not much in terms of large commercial space.”

Before you sell your home, seek guidance from the Wakelin Realty Team. We know the local market and can help you price your property correctly. We can also locate properties that match buyer needs and negotiate a purchase price that reflects the market.

Naples Area Board of Realtors 1st Quarter 2017 Market Report:

NABOR® Market Report Posts Solid First Quarter

Naples, Fla. (April 14, 2017) – It was a busy season for REALTORS® working in Naples as evidenced in the First Quarter 2017 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). As predicted by broker analysts at the beginning of the year, once sellers began to heed the advice of their agents and reset to reasonable list prices, buyers would react in stride with more solid offers. The statistics reflected this prognosis precisely, and resulted in an increase in overall pending and closed sales, making the first quarter of 2017 as solid as expected.

Noted by Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., and the 2016 REALTOR® of the Year, “The first quarter was a bit of a bumpy ride but the trend line for sales moved upward throughout the quarter with March coming in as a pretty strong month for sales activity. Overall, we ended the first quarter better than last year and I think the local brokers are cautiously optimistic that we might have a decent summer for sales.”

Quite a few broker analysts who reviewed the report agreed with Hughes and said the word on the street is that many buyers who didn’t make a purchase during the first quarter have plans to return to the area during the summer as they anticipate home prices may decrease.

Quarter over quarter, the report showed overall median closed prices increased only 2 percent, driven by a narrow 3 percent increase in the $300,000 and below price category. Yet all other price categories tracked by NABOR® showed decreases or no change at all. One exception was single family homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 price category, which jumped 14 percent in median closed price to $387,000 in the 1st quarter of 2017 from $339,000 in the 1st quarter of 2016.

Collectively, broker analysts agreed that activity in the condominium market during the first quarter of 2017 was impressive. In fact, condominium inventory increased 19 percent, while the single-family home inventory saw an 8 percent increase. The report also showed five times the number of condominiums under $300,000 were available in the first quarter of 2017 than single-family homes in the same price category.

“Inventory is up and prices have come down,” said Budge Huskey, President of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “This is an indication that some fundamental economic principles are taking effect in the Naples housing market.”

But according to Cindy Carroll, SRA, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll and Carroll, Inc., monthly inventory levels have increased through March, but at a progressively lower rate each month of the quarter. For example, Carroll said, “In a year to year comparison, single family inventory was up 24 percent in December, 19 percent in January 2017, 9 percent in February, and 8 percent in March. The same trend is mirrored in the condominium market. In the long view, overall inventory increased 35 percent between March 2015 and March 2016, and 23 percent between March 2016 and March 2017.”

However, Bill Coffey, Broker Manager of Amerivest Realty Naples, was quick to point out that a tempering of inventory levels does not mean fewer options for buyers in the coming months. “The condominium market was hot in the first quarter. Both inventory and closed sales increased 19 percent. And overall sales only lagged last quarter because properties were not priced properly, but now we are seeing price adjustments and the statistics are reflecting the correction. We currently have 8.89 months worth of inventory. In February we had over 9 months. This progressive reduction in inventory Cindy is talking about will not curb market activity greatly.”

The Market Report also indicated a trend in how buyers are purchasing homes in Southwest Florida. “In March 2014, cash sales encompassed 74 percent of all sales for the month. In March 2015 it was 73 percent, then 67 percent for March 2016, and finally, in March 2017 cash sales accounted for 64 percent of all sales made in the month,” said Hughes. “In the past few years cash sales have been decreasing and more buyers are financing home purchases.”

Geographically, the market had some hot areas of action during the first quarter of 2017. Of note was Central Naples (34104, 34105, 34116), which saw a 74 percent increase in single-family home inventory to 634 single-family homes in the 1st quarter of 2017 from 364 single-family homes in the 1st quarter of 2016. And the median closed prices for single-family homes in South Naples (34112, 34113) increased 22 percent in the 1st quarter of 2017 to $386,000 from $317,000 in the 1st quarter of 2016.

If you want to sell your home, we know the local market and can help you price your property correctly. The Wakelin Team can also identify properties best suited for buyers and negotiate a purchase price that fits any budget.

Southwest Florida Housing Market Strong and Steady

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Real estate website Trulia.com named the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas of the Southwest Florida housing market as the second-hottest real estate market to watch in 2017. This is great news for both buyers and sellers in the Southwest Florida area.

In naming the “hottest real estate markets to watch in 2017,” Trulia.com took various factors into consideration, including weather, job growth, and rates of vacancy over the past twelve months. Housing market experts say the Southwest Florida area was averaging approximately 18 months of housing inventory five years ago, making it a challenging market overall. Since then, the area has seen a surge of growth and the current state of stability and growth in Southwest Florida is expected to remain.

University of Florida’s most recent consumer survey results indicate a consumer sentiment reading of 99, the highest rate since March 2002 and the second-highest rate since November 2000.

“Overall, Floridians are far more optimistic in March than the previous month. The gain in March’s index came mainly from consumers’ future expectations about the economy. Importantly, these views are shared by all Floridians, independent of their demographic characteristics and socioeconomic status,” says Sandoval. “These expectations are particularly strong among women and those with an income under $50,000.”

Consumer sentiment in Florida is likely supported by positive economic news. The labor market in Florida has forged forward, with more jobs added on a monthly basis for over six years. The unemployment rate in Florida remained at five percent in February, which represents the most recent data reported. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Florida ranked third out of all states in the nation as far as personal income growth, with a rate of growth of 4.9 percent in personal income from 2015 to 2016.

Across the United States, economic activity and the labor market have continued to grow and strengthen, and household spending has reportedly increased. “In general, the economic outlook is very positive and the positive sentiment will aid the economy to expand even further,” says Sandoval. “The vast majority of housing markets across the nation remain healthy and are projected to stay that way through 2018,” says Dr. Ralph G. DeFranco, Global Chief Economist at Mortgage Services of Arch Capital Services, Inc.

 

 

Phishing Scam Aimed for Google Users in Real Estate Industry

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A new phishing scam has surfaced and displays what looks like a Google sign-in page if the email recipient and Google user clicks on attachments. If they then log into their Google account to view the file, the hacker’s program automatically retrieves account names and passwords and sends them to the hackers.

The scam has specific relevance to the real estate industry, because it gives hackers access to Gmail accounts and real estate professionals who use Gmail could simultaneously be accessing their own email account for both sending and receiving, while the hacker has access to their account and is also sending and receiving emails through their account. These hackers often monitor correspondence between real estate professionals, title companies and buyers and, at the last minute, have tried to have the final check needed for closing wired to their own bank account.

Typically, the scammer will send an email to your Gmail account. The email likely will appear to be coming from one of your contacts and ask you to look at an attached file, such as a PDF or Word document. It may appear to be legitimate since it seems to be coming from one of your actual contacts, but when you click on the attachment to try to preview the attachment, a new tab opens and prompts you to sign in to your Google Gmail account.

If you sign in to your Google Gmail account, the scammer will instantly have access to your email account and will have the ability to use one of your actual email attachments and subject lines to try to scam others on your contact list as well.

To avoid the phishing scam, always check the browser bar before you log in. The Google sign-in page that users are directed to appears legit, with the same logo, text boxes, and tagline, but the address bar says the page is a data URL with the prefix “data:text/html.” It’s not a URL that begins “https://.”

Google also recently released a Chrome update to 56.0.2924 to help spot such fake forms. With the update, if you view a data URL, the location bar will show “Not Secure” to help users spot a phishing scam more easily. Users on laptop and desktop computers can often hover their cursor over the attachment to check its URL before clicking.

THE NAPLES AREA BOARD OF REALTORS FEBRUARY 2017 MARKET REPORT SHOWSMORE CHOICES & BETTER PRICES

Naples, Fla. (March 17, 2017) – Overall inventory rose yet prices remained stable in February according to broker analysts who reviewed the February 2017 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island) using the Southwest Florida MLS. Overall pending sales (homes under contract) and overall closed sales also increased in February keeping REALTORS® out in the field and busy with showings and closings.
“Compared to this time last year when we were challenged to find properties for customers, the February report showed inventory is up by nearly 1,000 new listings, giving us almost nine months of inventory to show eager buyers,” said Dominic Pallini, NABOR® President, and President and Broker at Vanderbilt Realty. “Buyers have more choices now. This trend is promising.”
Overall inventory rose 16 percent to 6,466 homes in February 2017 from 5,577 homes in February 2016. The largest increase in inventory during February was in the condominium market, which saw a 23 percent increase to 3,207 condominiums in February 2017 from 2,599 condominiums in February 2016. In fact, condominiums in the $1 million to $2 million price category increased the most of all housing types with a 43 percent jump in inventory to 284 condominiums in February 2017 from 198 condominiums in February 2016. Also reflected in the report, the North Naples area experienced the highest increase in condominium inventory, with a 40 percent increase to 989 condominiums in February 2017 from 704 condominiums in February 2016.
The February report also showed overall pending sales increased 10 percent to 1,092 pending sales in February 2017 from 993 pending sales in February 2016; and overall closed sales increased 18 percent to 613 closed sales in February 2017 from 518 closed sales in February 2016. But the condominium market also held the record in February for highest increases in both of these areas too. For example, pending sales of condominiums in the $300,000 to $500,000 price category had the highest increase of all other home types and price points in February with a 53 percent increase, and closed sales of condominiums in the $500,000 to $1 million price category had the highest increase of all other home types and price points in February with a 75 percent increase.
Overall median closed prices increased just 3 percent to $333,000 in February 2017 from $323,000 in February 2016. Interestingly, the median closed price for single-family homes decreased 5 percent to $402,000 in February 2017 from $425,000 in February 2016. Geographically, the Naples Beach area saw a 29 percent decrease in median closed price to $650,000 in February 2017 from $917,000 in February 2016, while the Ave Maria/Immokalee area saw a 29 percent increase in median closed price to $287,000 in February 2017 from $222,000 in February 2016.
Broker analysts Coco Amar, Managing Broker at John R. Wood Properties, and Jeff Jones, Managing Broker at the Naples-Park Shore office of Coldwell Banker®, pointed out that economic factors may begin to delay baby boomers’ decisions to sell their northern homes and buy in Florida.
“I’m finding buyers are taking their time making a purchase decision because it’s still unclear how some of the President’s reform policies will play out over the next few years. And with the stock market performing as well as it is right now, it’s hard for them to replant those funds into a second home should they need it liquid quickly,” said Amar.
“Many baby boomers are also facing very different life circumstances than retirees from previous generations, said Jones. “As the number of adult children and aging parents living with baby boomers increases, permanent relocation for them is not yet an option. Also, the recession seems to have reduced impulsive buying behaviors. Consumers are more educated about home values today and they are taking more time to look for the right home.”
Buyer hesitation doesn’t seem to be a factor with the real estate market in Naples just yet. In fact, cash sales increased to 68 percent of the closed sales made in February. And for good reason: according to Jones, “There were 400 price reductions in one week in the Southwest Florida MLS during February, which motivated buyers to make a purchase decision. Along with being named the happiest place to live in America, Naples continues to have a very healthy and balanced real estate market.”
When you are ready to put your home on the market, we have the experience and local knowledge you need to ensure your sale in the Naples area is a success. The Wakelin Realty Team of Amerivest can also help you negotiate the best price for your new Naples area home.

Southwest Florida Regional Report Points to a Strong Economy

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Florida Gulf Coast University’s Southwest Florida Regional Economic Indicators report for February 2017 indicates the Southwest Florida regional economy remained strong through January. Positive trends noted in the report included a three percent increase in seasonally-adjusted regional taxable sales from the prior year and a three percent increase in total airline passenger activity.

The seasonally-adjusted regional unemployment rate for the Southwest Florida five county region held at 5.0 percent in December 2016. Seasonally-adjusted employment for the region increased by 2,807 from November 2016, while the number of unemployed decreased by 147. Compared to December 2015, employment increased by 11,957 and unemployment by 551.

Additional key points from the report include:

  • A 6-percent decrease in single-family home sales by Realtors® in December 2016 compared to December 2015, and a 7-percent decrease for the full year.
  • December-to-December increases in Consumer Price Indices exceeded 2 percent for the first time since 2011.
  • Single-family building permits were down 27 percent in the coastal counties from December 2015 to December 2016, however Hendry County issued 54 permits in 2016, which is three times the total recorded for all of 2015.
  • A month-to-month increase of 0.5 points in the Florida Consumer Sentiment Index for January 2017, to 97.8, while the national Index of Consumer Sentiment reached its highest level since February 2004.

The national Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 0.3 points to 98.5 from December 2016 to January 2017, maintaining a significant upward movement starting in October. The January number was also 6.5 points higher than the number recorded in January 2016. The January 27, 2017 issue of Survey of Consumers noted that, “Consumers expressed a higher level of confidence January than any other time in the last dozen years. The post-election surge in confidence was driven by a more optimistic outlook for the economy and job growth during the year ahead as well as more favorable economic prospects over the next five years.”

The Florida Consumer Sentiment Index continued its upward trend, increasing 0.5 points to 97.8 in January 2017 compared to the prior month. The January 2017 number was also 5.4 points higher than the 92.4 recorded for January 2016, marking the highest recording of the index for the state since March 2002. “Perceptions of current conditions improved among Floridians in the last month as a result of the positive economic picture that prevailed in the state during the last year,” Hector H. Sandoval, Director of the Economic Analysis Program at University of Florida BEBR said in the January 31, 2017 issue of Florida Consumer Sentiment Index. “Floridians are optimistic about their own finances. The recent surge in the level of confidence comes from perceptions and expectations about Floridians’ individual financial situations.”

 

A New Type of Scam Affecting the Real Estate Industry

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Wire fraud schemes have been a commonly discussed topic in the real estate industry for some time, but there is new kind of scam surfacing in which victims can do almost nothing to prevent, and at least 4,000 agents from all 50 states and Canada have already been affected.

A real estate professional from Dubuque, Iowa says scammers use her identity to create fake email addresses in her name and send fraudulent emails offering referrals to other real estate agents. The emails also contain fake contact information. Recipients who responded are sent a Google Drive link that they’re told contains listings the referred client wants to see. However, the link, once opened, installs computer viruses that allow scammers to scrape passwords and other personal information.

The initial fraudulent email typically reads as the below example:

“Hi,

My name is (Realtor’s Name) a realtor with (Real Estate Company Name) in Dubuque IA, I have a client who is interested in buying a property in your area of expert, Please let me know if you’re available to help them out and I will send their contact details and the listings they are interested in.

Best

Realtor’s Name”

People who receive the email are encouraged to report it as spam or a phishing attempt. The hope is that if enough people take such action, the IP address of the sender will be blocked.

Since February 2016, when the scam apparently started, nearly 4,000 practitioners have contacted Dietz to either confirm the referral or warn her of the scam.

“I’ve gotten calls at the office, on my cell phone, texts and emails at all hours of the day and night,” the real estate professional whose name is being used for the scam says. “There was one day I had over 100 pieces of correspondence just about these emails.”

“Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible on the front end to prevent a fraudster from using your name in a scam,” says Jessica Edgerton, associate counsel for the National Association of Realtors. “If you are the victim of any kind of identity theft, the best course of action is to immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the FBI and your local authorities.”

Edgerton says that recipients of suspicious emails that appear to come from another real estate professional should search that practitioner’s name on Google to compare their business email address and contact information to that of the sender.

If you want to keep your email more secure, Edgerton offers the following tips:

  • Check sent mail, junk mail and email account settings regularly for irregularities. Hackers often break into an email account and modify the “email forwarding” settings to forward emails to their own account.
  • Regularly clean email boxes of unneeded or outdated information. Save important emails securely.
  • Avoid email as a method for sending sensitive or confidential information. Instead, consider using a secure document sharing or transaction management platform.
  • Use strong passwords that incorporate a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Use two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication.
  • Avoid using unsecured or public Wi-Fi.

Best Time of the Year to List a Home for Sale

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Many factors can impact the sale of a home, including the timing of when the home is listed. According to a recent evaluation by Zillow, the best time of the year to list a home for sale in the United States is between May 1 and May 15. The analysis indicates that homes listed during this period of time generally sell for a higher price and at a faster pace (9 days faster than the average for the nation overall).

Though the May 1 and May 15 is the best overall time frame for the United States, this window of time varies for some metro areas. For example, the ideal time frame for homes to be listed for sale in San Francisco, California is May 16 – 31; the ideal time for Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida is March 1 – 15; and the ideal time for homes to be listed for sale in Baltimore, Maryland is April 1 – 15, during which homes for sale tend to sell approximately 21.5 days faster than average.

Zillow’s analysis also indicates that there are ideal days of the week for the listing of a home for sale. Homes new to Zillow on Saturdays are generally viewed 20 percent more during their first week on the market than homes that are listed on Zillow earlier in the week.

“With 3 percent fewer homes on the market than last year, 2017 is shaping up to be another competitive buying season,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, Chief Economist at Zillow. “Many homebuyers who started looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later. By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home – and will be more willing to pay a premium to close the deal,” Gudell adds.

These are all important factors to take into account for sellers, buyers and residential real estate industry professionals across the nation.

 

 

 

New Home Sales Increase Again for January

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Reports indicate Americans purchased more new homes in January after a decreased number of new homes sales reported during the previous month, indicating that the housing market is healthy despite higher mortgage rates.

New home sales increased by 3.7 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 555,000, the Commerce Department reported this past Friday. That is 5.5 percent higher than one year ago.

Solid job gains and some signs of an increase in wages have helped to drive consumer confidence. More confident consumers are more likely to purchase homes. Sales of existing homes jumped to their highest level in a decade, according to data released early last week.

The solid sales have occurred despite a jump in mortgage rates since the fall. In fact, the rising rates may be prompting some to purchase homes now, as many buyers could be accelerating purchases to get ahead of any further rate increases.

Financial markets are anticipating more rapid growth and higher inflation as a result of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation initiatives. This has pushed interest rates up on both the 10-year Treasury note and mortgages.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.16 percent last week, virtually unchanged from the prior week, but up from the 2016 average of 3.65 percent.

Low mortgage rates and a strong and steady job market have helped the housing market recover from the recession. Reports indicate, home prices on average nationwide have returned to their pre-recession peaks to some degree, yet homeowners are carrying less debt and have more equity ownership of their homes now than during the bubble, which helps to alleviate any fears of a repeat.

A limited inventory of homes available has helped increase prices, but there are signs that builders focused on the new home market will be addressing the problem.

Though further increases in inventory are needed, there were 265,000 new homes for sale at the end of January, up nearly 11 percent from a year earlier and the most in nearly eight years.

Naples Area Board of Realtors January 2017 Market Report:

JANUARY HOME SALES STRONG

Naples, Fla. (February 17, 2017) – The new year rebounded with a strong gust of activity in the Collier County real estate market. Increases in overall pending sales (homes under contract), overall closed sales and overall inventory indicate a strong season ahead. Broker analysts who reviewed the January 2017 Market Report, which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island) using the Southwest Florida MLS, are confident that market indicators are favorable to support momentum through season.

“We are definitely in a buyer’s market now, and home sales were strong in January,” said Phil Wood, President & CEO of John R. Wood Properties, who pointed out that the 6 percent increase in overall closed sales for January was driven by an impressive 14 percent increase in closed sales of condominiums. He remarked, “Properties that are selling rapidly are those that are priced at true market value.”

In response, Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., agreed with Wood adding that, “the increase in inventory is a positive opportunity, especially for buyers looking in the under $300,000 condominium market, which increased by over 400 units in January.”

According to the January Market Report, overall pending sales increased 9 percent to 924 pending sales in January 2017 from 847 pending sales in January 2016. Broker analysts said they are most encouraged by pending sales activity in the middle range of the market; namely, homes between $300,000 and $2 million, which all experienced double digit increases in January.

Overall closed sales increased 6 percent to 603 closed sales in January 2017 from 571 closed sales in January 2016. Interestingly, January was the first time both overall pending sales and overall closed sales were on the upswing simultaneously since March 2015.

The report also showed that overall inventory for all price segments increased by double digits in January too. Comparatively, condominium inventory in the $2 million and above category had the highest gain with a 44 percent increase to 135 condominiums in January 2017 from 94 condominiums in January 2016.

“Increases in inventory typically drive prices down,” said Kathy Zorn, broker/owner, Florida Home Realty. “And yet, with a 28 percent increase in inventory in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 condominium price range, we show an increase in the median price of 9 percent compared to last year.”

Zorn added that geographic proximity to the beach remains a driving force in the Naples real estate market. As such, properties located in the Naples Beach area experienced a 15 percent increase in overall median closed price to $784,000 in January 2017 from $680,000 in January 2016. Pending sales for the Naples Beach condo market for January 2017 increased by almost 40 percent compared to last year and closings were up 16 percent. This was mostly driven by a somewhat limited condominium market in the Naples Beach area, where inventory increased 34 percent and pending sales shot up 39 percent in January.

“Today, buyers have more choices,” Zorn said.

The NABOR® January 2017 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® January 2017 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings:

“We are in a different market than we were a year ago,” said Jeff Jones. “The stock market is now performing very well, home sales are now very strong in northern states, and winter came early up north so people fled to Florida’s warm weather early too.”

Nationally, a balanced market (balanced equally between buyers and sellers) is considered to be six months of inventory. Yet, as observed by Adam Vellano, West Coast Sales Manager, BEX Realty – Florida, “Our report shows 8.91 months of inventory for January. The last time we had a supply of inventory like this was five years ago. I think it’s time to remind sellers that ‘price sells a home’.”

Many broker analysts including Zorn, Vellano, and Wes Kunkle, President and Managing Broker at Kunkle International Realty, said they have observed a large increase in investor held single-family homes being added to the inventory mix in recent weeks. Zorn pointed to signs of bracket creep in the report, such as a 23 percent increase in inventory for single family homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 price category, while its median closed price fell 4 percent. Jones also cited that days on market for single-family homes in the $500,000 to $1 million price category had doubled in January, while this price category’s median closed price actually rose 4 percent.

Responding to these observations, Cindy Carroll, SRA, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll & Carroll, Inc., warned that sellers who are testing the market with high list prices may be disappointed in a few months as “these sellers see a reduction in list price as a reduction in value, when this is not the case at all. Working with a REALTOR® who closely monitors comparable listings will help them avoid months of waiting for a sale.”

Zorn agreed and added that the cost of holding out for a higher price in many cases – especially for investors – could result in a loss of revenue from both rental income and unavoidable costs like taxes and insurance.

Ready to embark on a journey to buy a home in Collier County? Ask The Wakelin Realty Team to help you find properties that best suit your needs and budget. We can also help a seller do a market comparison and recommend a list price that is realistic and fair.