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June 2014

 

Home Inventory under 4 Months in Cape Coral

unnamedWith the tremendous influx of northern buyers who endured a brutal winter, Cape Coral is now down to only four months of home inventory. This is less than half the 9 months of inventory at the start of the year. Since six months is considered a neutral market, four months falls heavily into the “sellers market” category. Additionally, the differential between listing and sales prices was only 4.3%, and there was the highest number of home sales (434) in over a year.

Granted, a high percentage of the homes being sold are in the low to mid-range category. A year ago there were well over 100 homes in the city priced under $100,000. As of this writing there are 28, and the number is decreasing by the week. Many of the homes currently under $100 K are either one car garage, wood frame construction or very old and in the less desirable areas of the Cape. The days of decent of homes under $100 K are gone, most likely forever. This time next year we’ll likely be writing the same about $125,000 homes.

Not only are many people buying homes in what is traditionally considered “off-season”, but there are many future buyers coming here that have sold their homes and are renting for a year before they buy. This bodes very well for the future of SW Florida real estate and the economy.

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Cape Coral: 8th Best Retirement City

unnamed (1)A study by the financial education web site CreditDonkey.com, ranked Cape Coral as the 8th best retirement city in the United States. Baby Boomers are one of the top demographics steering Southwest Florida’s housing recovery, with northerners trekking down to this area to pick up a retirement home.

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Cape Rated Among The World’s Most Beautiful Canal Cities

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Travel & Leisure: Cape Coral is among the World’s Most Beautiful Canal Cities. This was quite an honor, as Newport Beach, California was the only other U.S. city to make the 14 city list. Cities like Stockholm, Bangkok, Hamburg, and of course Venice, Italy were included on the list. Tom: not only was this quite an honor for our “Little Slice of Paradise”, but I’m guessing that Cape Coral was the most reasonably priced waterfront city on the world list.

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June Fun Real Estate Facts

unnamed (3)E-Mortgages Will Speed Closings, Cut Costs:According to Fannie Mae, an electronic mortgage process cuts 30 days off the average time of 52 days it takes to close a loan. The paperless mortgage could save an average of about $1,100 per mortgage. Currently e-mortgages only represent 1% of all mortgages, but the expedited, less-stress process will undoubtedly increase in popularity.Tom: Our top local lender has been able to close loans for our clients in 25 days or less, so e-loans will not affect us as much as it will borrowers in other parts of the country.

unnamed (4)20% of U.S. Counties’ Home Prices Reach All-Time High: According to Realty Trac, homes in 20% of counties in the U.S. reached their all-time high prices in 2013 and thus far in 2014. However, many of those counties fare well because their all-time housing numbers did not go as high as those in some states, such as Florida. Tom:SW Florida still has a lot of appreciation left in the tank before we reach peak prices of January 2006. We are still over $100,000 away from those high prices, and I still maintain when we hit our next peak it will far surpass the peak of Jan 2006. When I first made this prediction three years ago I was in a minority of one. My opinion is still shared by only a small minority, despite 41 consecutive months of year over year price increases. By the time the majority (aka “The Herd”) accepts that we will surpass the previous peak, most of the appreciation in our local market will already have been realized, and it will be time to consider either holding or selling real estate, not buying. I was also alone in projecting two and a half years ago that gulf-access lots were an excellent investment. They are now up in value about 100%.

 

unnamed (5)70% Say Housing Crisis Isn’t Over: According to a MacArthur Foundation Survey,

seven in 10 Americans believe the nation is still in the middle of the housing crisis or that the worst is yet to come. Last year 77% feared the same thing.

unnamed (6)Tom: Most people in Florida, especially Southern Florida, are confident that this state’s housing crisis is very far back in the rear view mirror.

Homebuyer Turn-on’s & Turn-off’s: Although house-hunters have different reasons for making an offer on a home, there are some features that appeal to most buyers. These include open floor plans, stone countertops, wood cabinets, updated kitchens, newly tiled or wood flooring, freshly painted walls and a flex room that can be used for a variety of purposes. Many buyers are swayed by beautiful landscaping, pools or great views.

The most common turn-offs are odors (especially pet & smoke), grimy light switches, soiled towels in the bathrooms, overflowing closets & other signs that the home has not been well maintained, and lack of sufficient storage. Sellers should keep in mind that even in low-inventory markets, buyers have high expectations and expect move-in-ready homes that have well maintained exteriors and spotless interiors.Sue: Cleaning up your home before listing it won’t cost you anything but your time. Get out the Pledge, Windex and Tide and plenty of elbow grease. The rewards you’ll reap will be well worth the effort. Get rid of any clothing, bedding, linens, etc. that you’re not using that are taking up valuable closet space.

unnamedAll-Cash Sales Reach a New High in Q1 – Cape Coral/Ft Myers #1 in U.S. : Realty Trac finds that all-cash sales reached a new high in the first quarter of 2014. The report shows that 42.7% of all U.S. residential property sales in the first quarter were all-cash purchases, up from 37.8 % in the previous quarter and up from 19.1% in the first quarter of 2013.

Among metropolitan areas with a population of at least 500,000, CapeCoral/Ft Myers was #1 with 73.6% all-cash sales. The next top four top spots were also in Florida: Miami (67.1%), Sarasota (65.1%), Palm Bay (64.1%) and Lakeland 61.8%). Individual investors, second-home buyers and even owner-occupant buyers are driving the all-cash sales. Kim:  further evidence that Florida is the most desired home destination in the U.S.

unnamed (1)Consumers’ Fears Over Economy Slows Housing Recovery: Americans’ concerns about the direction of the economy and their household income appear to be weighing on housing growth, according to results from Fannie Mae’s May 2014 National Housing Survey. The share of respondents who still believe the economy is headed in the wrong direction remained at 57 % last month Tom: To me the housing recovery seems to be going very well, but I want to report negative news along with positive news to our clients.

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Client Question of the Month

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Client: My wife and I would like to withdraw from our 401k’s and purchase a second home in Cape Coral. Our credit score and assets are high, but because we are retired our income level is not. The tax consequence on a large withdrawal is substantial. As retirees we do not qualify for loans without withdrawing large amounts from our retirement account. Do you have any suggestions?

Tom: A number of our clients are in the same position.  Our team has been working with a top notch lender for many years, who has recently rolled out a new program that is perfect for this dilemma. This “Retirement Withdrawal Purchase Program”  effectively allows you to leverage your retirement savings with a minimum monthly withdrawal in order to boost your income qualification for a loan on your primary or second home. This minimal withdrawal is considered income for borrowing/qualifying purposes. Contact us if interested in more information, and we’ll put you in contact with our lender.

May 2014

April 2014

Topics: Low New Construction Inventory  - Cape Coral, One Of The Fastest Growig Cities  - Property Values Continue To Rise 

March 2014

Topics: Local Home Prices Highest in 6 years-  Gulf Access homes up 24%-  Bad Weather Hinders Construction in the North

February 2014

Topics:  4th of Year RE Recovery - No Housing Bubble! - Cape Celebrate's Comeback

January 2014

Topics: Lot Prices Increasing -  2014  Projectons - Construction Labor Shortage

December 2013

Topics: FL Unemployment Down Again- 25% Raise in Home Prices- Cape Coral 5th Best Mid-size City

November 2013

Topics: Flood Insurance Info -  Out of Area Realtor Help - New Home Construction

 

Timing the Real Estate Market 
(Advice On When To Buy Or Sell)

 

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Tom & Sue Demogenes

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