Due to a severe shortage of seasonal rental homes in SW Florida, many snowbirds and foreigners are practically forced into buying a home if they want to spend their winters here. These semi-forced home sales are further depleting our already low inventory, as discussed in the next topic.
Cape Coral had an unseasonably high number of home sales in June, which reduced the home inventory to 2.6 months of single family home inventory. There were 500 sales in June and only 1,300 homes for sale. These figures represent the highest sales numbers and lowest Cape Coral inventory perhaps in our history. Unless we are reading all the signals wrong, July will also be unseasonably strong for home sales, with the trend possibly continuing into August. This is highly abnormal for our off-season market in SW Florida.
This is almost a scary level of low home inventory which will lead to even more bidding wars than we've already experienced this year. Many of our clients have lost out on homes to other buyers, even when they were ready to make an offer soon after the home hit the market.
New reports show the taxable value in Lee County is about $1.2 billion more this year than appraisers originally reported a month ago. Lee County taxable values from the Assessor's Office now show a 7.5% increase, as opposed to the original 5.5% reported increase. The new values will be sent to the state's Department of Revenue. Once approved, Lee County residents will receive TRIM notices around mid August.
In Cape Coral the taxable value is $180 million more than what appraisers reported on June 1. As a result, Cape Coral's taxable value for this year increased 7.75% over last year, as opposed to the 6.1% increase projected a month ago. Below are area city's updated property tax increases:
"The residential real estate market is on track for its best year since the peak of the housing bubble in 2006", notes realtor.com® economist Jonathan Smoke. But Smoke is quick to point out, "this time it's not a housing bubble because job growth is fueling the most recent demand for homes". More than 3 million jobs have been created in the past 12 months.
As job growth increased, demand has followed, and homes are selling more quickly. The median Days on Market of inventory nationwide in May was 66 days – eight days faster than last year. Some markets are even seeing inventory move in just 18 to 45 days, realtor.com notes (SWFL is in the low Days on Market category). A recent survey determined that a stunning 28% of U.S. homes are selling within two weeks.
Homeowners are seeing strong gains in equity again. At the current level of growth, total home sales this year could near 6 million, which is near the peak seen in 2006. Median U.S. home prices climbed 7.9% over the past 12 months to $228,700, about $1,700 shy of the July 2006 peak.Tom: four years ago I became very optimistic about the improvement of our local and national real estate markets, but everyone told me that we would never again see the high sales numbers or home prices of 2006. Based on historical trends and favorable market indicators I vehemently disagreed with the dissenters. We are almost there in sales numbers and well within striking distance of prices. It feels good to no longer be in a minority of one.