On the National real estate scene, Americans shrugged off rising mortgage rates and bought existing homes in January at the fastest pace since 2007. Home sales rose 3.3% in January from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. You may ask the question, “Why this is important to our local, Southwest Florida real estate market?”
The Brown Realty Group understands that the majority of our buyers are either buying a second home or their retirement home. Therefore, it’s important for us to monitor the National Residential real estate market.
Trulia recently published its’ Hot Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2017. Naples didn’t make the cut on Trulia’s list of Top 10 real estate markets poised for growth in 2017. Fort Myers and Cape Coral DID, with the metro area coming in at #2 as one of the “Hottest Real Estate Markets to Watch This Year.”
Rick Brown, of The Brown Realty Group in Naples, said, “It’s logical that there would be more real estate searches on Trulia in the larger Metro areas, giving them an upper hand in the rankings.” Also, Brown said that, “High affordability is one of the 5 key metrics used by Trulia. Naples comes in low on the high affordability metric.”
Speaking of the local real estate market, The Brown Realty Group believes that we definitely are in a buyer’s market and home sales were strong in January. Brenda Brown pointed out that, “The 6% increase in overall closed sales for January was driven by an impressive 14% increase in closed sales of condominiums. Properties that are selling rapidly are those that are priced at true market value.”
Realtor Brittany Skotak with The Brown Realty Group agreed with Brenda adding that, “The double-digit increase in overall inventory for all price segments is a positive opportunity, especially for buyers looking in the ‘under 300K condo market’, which increased by over 400 units in January.”
Look for February and March closed sales to spike a bit, given that overall pending sales increased 9% in January 2017 as compared to the prior year. We are most encouraged by pending sales activity in the middle range of the market; specifically homes between 300k and 2Mil, which all experienced double-digit pending increases in January. Interestingly, January was the first time both overall pending sales and overall closed sales were on the upswing simultaneously since March 2015.
Nationally, a balanced market (balanced equally between buyers and sellers) is considered to be six-months of inventory. Locally, our report in January shows 8.9 months of inventory. Rick Brown opines, “The last time we had a supply of inventory like this was 5 years ago. I think it’s time to remind sellers that ‘Price Sells a Home’.” In summary, the National real estate market is strong, the local real estate market is also strong, but, with the double-digit up-tick in inventory, sellers must be price conscious.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, contact The Brown Realty Group if you want to fully understand how to strategically market your home or find the home of your dreams for a fair price. We are known as, “The Professional’s Professional.” Call us to see how we can help!