SW Florida Real Estate Once Again Showing Strong Signals
After a slower than normal 4th quarter (in great part due to Hurricane Irma), the local real estate market is showing signs of returning to its robust path as we start the new year.
Ft Myers Home Stats: Home prices rose from $317,400 in January 2017 to $332,500 this January. Home sales numbers were down though, from 280 January 2017 to 250 this January. This is something we’ll monitor over the next few months to see if there is a trend toward fewer homes sales in Ft Myers, or if this was a one-month anomaly.
Cape Coral Home Stats: Although Cape average home prices “only” increased by $4,000 this January compared to January of 2017, there were 12% more home sales, which is a strong indicator of the direction of our local housing market. 340 home sales was a very encouraging number for January, which is traditionally the second or third slowest sales month of the year in SWFL. Many people mistakenly believe that January is the start of our “high real estate season”. Tom: I’ve long held the opinion that February is the unofficial start of our high real estate season, which now extends to May/June before slowing down. Before the recession, sales would slow down in April/May.
Inventory: Inventory in January traditionally increases, as many sellers hope to take advantage of our “tourist season”. Ft Myers home inventory increased to 7.2 months. leaning slightly toward a buyer's market. Cape Coral home inventory is up to 5.5 months, the highest level of inventory in over a year. This is an opportune time for buyers, as inventory typically decreases and prices increase each month in high season.
Cape Building Permits: 185 permits were pulled for new Cape Coral homes in January, a substantial increase from the 112 permits in January 2017. Last month’s permit numbers were the second highest since early 2007. This is very encouraging, but still below the 250 – 300 monthly home permits required to keep pace with the 10,000 expected new Cape residents each year (for the next decade, according to U.S. Census Bureau). Home inventory will stay low here until enough new homes are built to keep pace with the influx of new residents.
Cape Gulf-Access Homes: 59 gulf-access homes sold in January at an average price of $508,000. This compares to 68 gulf-access homes sales with an average price of $447,000 in January 2017. Although encouraged by the year-over-year monthly increase in prices, January’s gulf access home prices dropped from $539,000 in December, with 67 sales. Tom: The next few months will be very telling, but I’m expecting all home price levels in the Cape to increase, with starter homes to increase by the highest percentage.
12 Reasons Tom Believes SWFL Real Estate Will Stay Strong
1. Economy & Jobs Are Improving
2. Millions of Buyers are out of the 5 Year Penalty Box: Many of the people who suffered foreclosures or short sales are now (or soon will be) able to purchase homes
3. Still Relatively Low-Interest Rates and Significant Easing of Loan Qualification
4. Pent-up Demand: Too many multi-generational households, which is only tolerable to all family members for a limited time
5. Millennials, Millennials, Millennials: They are getting decent jobs and have started buying homes. Millennials typically buy lower-end homes, which stimulates the rest of the real estate market. See Facts & Stats below
6. Improving Consumer Confidence & Significant Increase in Stock Portfolios
7. Many Homes Here Still Cost about the Same, or Less than Renting: 45% of renters can afford a home, and hoards of renters are expected to buy homes in the next few years
8. U.S. Homeownership Rate Bottomed in 2016, and Was Back On the Rise in 2017
9. 10,000 Baby Boomers Retiring Each Day: Many of which will relocate to, or buy a second home in SWFL
10. Foreign Buyers: SW Florida is one of the most desired U.S. second-home locations for foreigners
11. High Home Prices on East Coast of Florida: because of a scarcity of land to build new homes, prices of homes on the east coast of Florida are skyrocketing, and are substantially higher than comparable homes in SWFL.
12. Tax Reform Act: The $10,000 limit on state taxes and the $750,000 limit on loan interest deduction, combined with Florida having no state income taxes, will further spur high-income homeowners in other states to consider Florida as their primary residence.
Budweiser Clydesdales Visit Cape Coral
As animal lovers, we were excited to learn that the world-renowned Anheuser Busch Clydesdale horses will be making an appearance in Cape Coral. On Tuesday February 20th, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. the eight-horse hitch team will be at Club Square located at 4706 SE 11th Pl. BackStreets Sports Bar and Big Blue Brewing will be offering specials on Budweiser (of course!) and food.
Some fast facts about these magnificent horses – In order to qualify and be selected to become a member of the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch, the horse must be a minimum of three years old, stand at least six feet tall at their shoulder, and weigh in at 2,000 pounds on average.
Sue: One of the things I love about Cape Coral is there’s always something fun happening. Add that to our palm trees, water and sunshine, and you wind up with a great city to call home.
Facts and Stats
Be Wary of the Builder You Choose: Despite the substantial increase in new building permits, there are too many builders trying to build too few homes, with new builders popping up every month. Many of these builders will not be able to survive the next year or two, and we are already hearing advance rumblings of a few builders that are in financial trouble. In the past, when we heard of builders in trouble, it wasn’t long before they closed their doors overnight, leaving many homeowners with substantial lost deposits and unfinished homes. Read our blog about builders, and be sure to touch base with us before you contact any of the over 150 builders (in Cape Coral alone).
Cape Coral landed on more than two dozen "Top" lists in 2017: including No. 1 on Forbes.com's "Fastest Growing Cities." We also were No. 1 on Niche.com's "Best Cities to Retire" and No. 10 on their list of "Safest Cities in America." These accolades make Cape Coral a top destination in the state of Florida.
Cape Coral Has Huge Millennial Growth: According to recent Census data, Cape Coral had the 7th highest growth in millennial population in the country from 2010 to 2015. Millennials make up a quarter of the nation’s population and are expected to have a tremendous impact on real estate in the coming years.
Cash Sales Hit Post-Recession High: Cash sales accounted for 8% of new-home sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Cash sales make up an even larger share of existing-home sales – about 20% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. Tom: These numbers are in line with local cash home sales, except gulf-access cash transactions are closer to 45%.
Florida Population Continues to Boom: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Florida continues to have the highest number of new residents relocating from other states. The current population is approximately 21 million and is expected to grow by about 13.5% over the next ten years. Three states, Utah, Nevada and Idaho have slightly higher percentages of people moving to those states, but Florida leads all states in total net migration of new residents.
Cape Coral/SWFL Recap & 2018 Projections - Will Tax Reform Affect SWFL Real Estate? - Cape Coral Rated #1 Boomtown In U.S.
Why Aren't Homeowners Becoming Sellers? - Profile Of International Buyers In Florida - Local Home Market Synopsis
Interesting Florida/Cape Coral Population Stats - Despite Irma, Local Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.5% - Bubble? Nowhere in Sight for U.S. Housing Market
Irma Slows Down Sales But Not Prices - Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats To Locate World Headquarters In Cape Coral - Homesteaded Properties Will See Assessed Values Increase by 2.1%
Cape Coral Dodged A Bullet - Some Lenders Will Stop Requiring Traditional Appraisals - Homeowners Only Break Even By Selling Their Home Without A Realtor
Can't Find the Perfect Model Home to Build? - We Have Solutions - Investors Focusing on Build-to-Rent Homes - Cape Coral in Top 100 Cities For First-Time Homebuyers
Be Very Careful When Selecting A Local Builder - Cape Home Inventory Drops To Three Months - Zero Down Loans Make A Comeback
Home Sales Still Strong For Low & Mid-Priced Homes - Cape Coral Named One of the Best U.S. Cities for Boaters - Homeowners Sue Zillow Over Low Home Value Estimate
Cape New Construction Permits Spike - Rise In Cape Coral Million Dollar Home Sales - Increased Importance Of Third Car Garage
Cape Home Prices Rise by 18% / Inventory Drops Below 4 Months - Cape Coral Already Making Top U.S. Lists in 2017 - Rising Home Prices & Increase in Interest Rates Will Make Home Buying More Costly in a Year
Forbes Names Cape Coral #1 For Potential Growth . . . Again - Lee County Crime Rate Drops in 2016 - Royal Tee Golf Club to Re-Open
SW Florida Home Prices Keep Rising - But Inventory Finally Improves - Cape Royal Homeowners Buy Royal Tee Golf Course - Florida's Population Keeps Rising, But 8 States Lose Residents
TIMING THE REAL ESTATE MARKET 2018