With Inventory Down, Lee County Home Sales Continue Strong Upswing in September
• Year-over-year, September sales in Lee County were up 33.5% for single-family homes and by 44.4% for townhouses and condominiums.
10/22/20 FORT MYERS, Fla. – Lee County’s housing market saw a significant increase in closings in the single-family category in September compared to the same period a year ago. Closings in the single-family category were up in September 2020 (1,440) compared to September 2019 (1,079). This is the highest number of closed sales for September since 2016. Year-over-year, sales were up by 33.5% for single-family and by 44.4% for townhouses and condominiums, according to figures just released by Florida Realtors®, an umbrella organization for Realtor® groups throughout the state.
September showed a median sale price increase of 17.5% for single-family and 14.1% in the townhouse/condominium category. Median price in the single-family category shows a steady and consistent rise in pricing, indicating stability in the pricing segments. Inventory is significantly down for both. Year-over-year, local inventory of single-family dwellings is down again this month at 61.5% as shown in active listings on the Multiple Listing Service. A two-month supply of inventory shows we are in a sellers’ market as more listings are seeing multiple offers.
In the townhouse/condominium category, listings were down 39.3% versus September 2019. That translates to a 3.4-month supply and shows the condo market moving into a sellers’ market. Time spent on the market in August was 59 days for single-family homes and 85 days for townhouses and condominiums.
Broken down by city, Fort Myers Beach saw an increase in sales by 400%, followed by Sanibel at 190%. Other municipalities also saw an increase, with the exception of Matlacha, which experienced a decrease of 66.7%. When looking at closed sales by price point, all single-family homes over $279,000 saw a significant increase over September 2019.
SOURCE: Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association
Best September on Record for Naples Housing Market
Naples, Fla. (October 23, 2020) – According to the September 2020 Market Report, released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), performance in several key areas was at a 20-year high compared to activity reported during any other September on record. As such, closed sales increased 52.9 percent to 1,096 closed sales in September 2020 from 717 closed sales in September 2019. Pending sales activity also increased a whopping 83.4 percent to 1,509 pending sales in September 2020 from 823 in September 2019.
“September is typically the slowest month for REALTORS® in Naples,” said Brenda Fioretti, Managing Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, who added, “but agents were very busy this September as the number of showings increased 80 percent to 35,465 appointments compared to 18,745 appointments in September 2019.”
Confirming the activity, Budge Huskey, CEO, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, also remarked, “beyond pent-up demand from COVID-19, there is a clear change in buying behavior as a result of the pandemic resulting in a departure from normal seasonality. It’s unclear whether this unprecedented pace of sales is sustainable, as some of these buyers were held over from last winter season while others appear to be buying early in advance of the upcoming season.”
Huskey added, “the National Association of REALTORS® forecasted sales in 2020 would increase by only 1 percent; yet there are currently hot markets around the country benefiting from the environment reporting 3 and 4 percent increases to date for the year. In comparison, the incredible allure of the Naples market is reflected in closed sales up 7.5 percent since January compared to the same time frame in 2019.”
“I believe that the pandemic pushed some people to make buying decisions a few years early,” said Adam Vellano, West Coast Sales Manager, BEX Realty - Florida, who added that “many buyers from northern states have said they are concerned that proposed tax increases could make long-term retirement difficult for them. Instead, they are opting to move to Florida before their home states get aggressive with tax adjustments.”
Median closed prices for September increased 18.2 percent to $384,000 from $325,000 in September 2019. Broker analysts reviewing the market data also said they saw an uptick in multiple offer occurrences in September and advise buyers facing this situation not to delay with an offer if they like a property.
Inventory continues to be a challenge for buyers in Naples. In September, inventory decreased 32.2 percent to 3,980 properties from 5,873 properties in September 2019. Spencer Haynes, Director of Business Development and Broker with John R. Wood Properties said, “Multi-million properties are being grabbed up with many buyers making an offer sight-unseen. There are currently less than 500 properties on the market over $2 million.” Not surprisingly, closed sales of homes above $2 million have increased 30.7 percent in the 12-months ending September 2020.
According to the September Market Report, 9.9 percent of the sales reported in September were from new construction sources. But broker analysts say this number does not adequately reflect actual sales activity for the new construction market as sources indicate that builders are just too busy to input every sale in the MLS.
“There has been a 19.6 percent increase in closed sales of homes with a minimum of four bedrooms over the last year,” said Coco Amar, VP, Strategic Growth, South Florida, William Raveis Real Estate. “This data reflects another shift in buying behavior as a result of the pandemic. The demand for single family homes with additional space to accommodate a home office and a virtual schoolroom is increasing.” The September Report showed a decrease of 37.9 percent to 779 properties on the market with four or more bedrooms compared to 1,255 in September 2019.
Upon reviewing the report, Jeff Jones, Broker at Keller Williams Naples, remarked “30 percent of the inventory available in September has been on the market for over 150 days. In many cases, the properties that have been on the market for a long time will require considerable repairs or renovations, which is why they have not sold. Some may not be priced correctly. Working with a REALTOR® can help you negotiate an offer that takes into account the property’s condition.”