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July 2014 Market Update

 

Retirement Buyers Moving to Florida Again

a1The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Florida is once again seeing a strong influx of people over 55 years old moving to the Sunshine State. The low cost of living and warm weather are the biggest draws. When the recession ended and retirees were finally able sell their homes up north, the state has been the #1 destination for those over 55 years old, with a 138% increase in migration since the slowdown. Tom: No state income taxes, lower crime and less congestion in SW Florida (compared to the east coast of Florida), nearby international airport, and ample waterfront makes the housing choice even more appealing to retirees.

Lee Memorial Health System In Top 1% in the Nation

a2When compared to 4,500 hospitals in the United States, Lee Memorial Health System was ranked in the top 1%. The study was conducted by Healthgrades, a leading independent health care rating company, who this year rated Lee Memorial Health System among the 50 best in the nation. Below are the medical specializations in which Lee Memorial ranked especially high, with the medical facility that specializes in that field:

* America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care – Health Park Medical Center

* America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement – Health Park Medical Center

* America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care – Gulf Coast Medical Center

Sue: This is very good news for all of us Lee County residents. Not only do we reside in a gorgeous, sub-tropical haven, but having access to the outstanding Lee Memorial Healthcare System will help ensure that we’ll all be around a little longer and be a little healthier to enjoy the wonderful lifestyle. Not that people needed another reason to choose Southwest Florida as a great place to live, but our proximity to these stellar medical facilities is icing on the cake.

Southwest Florida High on List of Boomers Looking to Rent

a3RealtyTrac reported in early July 2014 that Lee County was the 17th ranked city for baby boomer rental markets nationwide. The ranking was based on gross rental yield, meaning the average rent for a three-bedroom home divided by the median sales price. The study looked at counties with populations over 100,000 and at least a 10% increase in baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1964). Charlotte County was 9th on the list and Collier was 21st. Sue:he rental market (both annual and seasonal) is very strong in our area. Most seasonal homes are already rented for next season, and annual rentals are also in short supply. Another positive stat just reported is that Florida ranks 4th in the country for job growth in the past year.

Vacation Season Ends in SW Florida, but not Real Estate Season

a4Vacation and peak real estate season typically conclude at Easter or by the end of April. This year,not only were May and June highly active real estate months, but early indications are that July will also be strong in real estate activity. Tom: My prediction early in the year that this would be a longer than normal real estate season was not intended to include July or beyond. I would like to think I’m that smart and clairvoyant, but I’m not. I now believe that sales here could continue strong throughout the summer, as northerners put their homes under contract during their high season (summer) and come down here to buy a home. The trend of northerners selling their homes and coming down here to buy in the summer may be a trend that will last for years.

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July Facts & Stats

a5Home inventory low – demand high: With only 1,600 homes for sale in Cape Coral, the city has the lowest inventory in a long time. We have barely 4 months of inventory – very low for this time of year. And because of the low inventory the selling price vs. listing price is 96.1%. Any home that is priced right will sell in this market, and at very close to asking price. If a home is not selling, there is something wrong with the home, the neighborhood or the price….and on waterfront homes, it’s usually the price.

Lee County: Still 44% Below Previous High Prices: RealtyTrac’s recent research indicates that although Lee County had a major resurgence in the past four years, home prices are still 44% below their previous high water mark (Jan 2006). Collier County to the south (Naples, Marco Island, etc) is 38% below peak prices.

a6Hurricane Season Arrives: June 1st is the official start of hurricane season, and lasts until the end of November. August and September are the most active months. SW Florida has not had a hurricane in several years, and we hope for the same good fortune for many more years. On average, a major hurricane will hit this area every thirty years.

Foreclosures Continue to Tumble: There were 187 foreclosures filed in Lee County in June, a 48% decrease from 362 a year earlier, according to the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investors Association. The peak foreclosure month for Lee County was October 2008, when 2,665 foreclosures were filed. June’s foreclosures numbers represent a 93% drop since the peak. We can safely say the worst is way behind us.

a7International Buyers Make Florida Their Top Destination:According to the National Association of Realtors, Florida is once again the top preferred state of foreign buyers, with 23% of all foreign purchases. California ranks a distant second with 14% of all foreign purchases in the U.S. Canada maintained the largest share of foreign purchases at 19% this year, down from 23% in 2013.

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Tom & Sue Demogenes

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