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June Newsletter 2015

SW Florida Buyer's "Needs" vs. "Wish" List
 

Out-of-state buyers often have a "needs" and a "wish" list that is nearly impossible to achieve in their price range. In addition to price, other crucial criteria are: neighborhood, home size, floor plan, age, number of bedrooms/baths/garage spaces, canal width and distance to "open water". Many "need" features cannot be altered and should be of primary concern.

"Wish" list features such as boat lift/dock, wood cabinets, granite countertops, nicer appliances & flooring, paint colors, outdoor kitchen, manicured landscaping, etc, should be a lower priority, as they can often be added or improved upon. When out-of-state buyers request everything on their "needs" & "wish" list it normally requires a much higher price point than they anticipate from viewing homes online. As we constantly tell new buyers: "homes will always look nicer in online photos than in person" (except brand new homes).

__________________________________________
 
Brand New Homes: Good Option for Many Buyers
 

Due to the scarcity of available homes in good condition, many buyers are opting to build new homes. The difference in cost between existing and new homes has dropped enough that it is more financially attractive to build than it was a few years ago, when new homes cost almost double what an existing home would cost. The price differential is now in the 20% range, and when you consider that most existing homes need some TLC, the cost differential is even less. With a new home you get to pick out your location, floor plan, and personal decor.

We are building a new home ourselves and have done extensive research to select the best builders -builders that are reliable, honorable and offer the best value. Let us help guide you through the maze of numerous builders out there. Also, Sue is great at helping clients with decorating touches. We've remodeled/decorated over 200 homes for ourselves and clients.

 
If not yet ready to build, you should buy your lot soon: As we've often reported, due to the need for additional housing in Cape Coral and SWFL, the cost of land is rising at a much faster rate than home costs. If you are planning to build a home here and would like to avoid much of the increased cost of a new home, we strongly recommend that you buy your lot as soon as possible. Well located lots are also an excellent investment now, even if you have no plans to build a home. We have a great software program that enables us to see an aerial view of all available waterfront lots or homes in a particular unit. This program is invaluable when trying to find good deals. 
________________________________________
 
Dr Beach Selects Two SWFL Beaches in Yearly Top Ten Beaches 

 

Barefoot Beach.jpgDr Beach's 25th Annual Top 10 list of U.S. Beaches included Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs (#2) and Delnor Wiggins State Park in Naples (#8). Waimanalo Bay Beach Park in Hawaii topped the list, but Florida dominated the top 10 list with four beaches selected. Dr Beach issues his annual list on the basis of 50 criteria, including beach safety, environmental management and bonus points for no-smoking policies. Past winners are retired, thus other beautiful SWFL beach past winners are no longer eligible.

Sue: We have enjoyed Barefoot Beach on many occasions. The water is beautiful and calm, and the shelling is fabulous.

__________________________________
 

Lee County Housing Market Continues To Climb

The Median Sale Price of single-family homes continues to climb compared to the same months of last year. It has increased 14% year over year to $228,000. The Median Sale Price for Condos in Lee County increased 7.1% year over year to  $181,000

We saw a significant jump in closed sales in the $600,000-$999,999 price point, with an 85% increase over last year.  There was also a significant uptick in closed sales in the $300,000-$599,999 price point. 

In April, single-family homes spent only 37 Median days on the market, a decrease of 22.9% year over year. That, and the fact that the Months Supply of Inventory is down to 4.8 months (under 3.5 months in Cape Coral), indicates that Lee County continues to be a strong seller’s market.

___________________________________________
 
U.S. Foreclosures at Pre-Recession Levels - No Longer a Bargain in Florida

 

The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate (60 days or more delinquent) declined to 2.95% in the first quarter of 2015 - the first time the rate has been below 3% since prior to the recession in Q3 2007...Trans Union

Florida is once again the top U.S. state for foreclosure activity in Realty Trac's U.S. Foreclosure Report. However, Florida foreclosures are not the bargain they once were (especially in Lee County - see below). Nationwide, REO sales price average 87% of estimated market value, but here is the Florida Metro Comparison of REO Value vs Market Value: 

 
Cape Coral/FT Myers: 91% (highest percentage in Florida of REO vs Market Value)     Tom: This is a direct correlation to the extremely low inventory in Lee County.
 
Port St Lucie: 90%
 
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach: 89%
 
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice: 88%
_________________________________________________
 
Sellers Overestimate Their Home Value by 8%
 
According to a study done by the Journal of Housing Economics, homeowners overestimate the value of their home by 8%. The researchers say that owners often miscalculate the value because of emotional ties and assigning too much appreciation to improvements, especially if improvements are far above the norm for the area. A survey by Quicken Loans found a "widening gap" between what owners think their homes are worth and appraiser's valuations. Tom & Sue: based on our own experiences we are surprised it's only an 8% differential. We've met owners who felt their homes were worth as much as 25% over market value.
________________________________________________
 
Cape Coral's Floating Bait Shop

 

You may have seen it, just sitting idle and floating in the middle of the Caloosahatchee River near Tarpon Point Marina. Jasper's Bait has been floating in the river for about the past year, serving anyone who floats by.

The store never closes, open 24 hours a day, seven days a weeks. If they're sleeping, just ring the bell and they'll be right up. They've got all types of bait from crab to shrimp, and lures and hooks to help you have a successful day on the water.

Besides bait they also sell boat oil, batteries, sandwiches, ice cream and every nautical knick-knack you can think of.

The house was originally used as a movie prop in "Thunder in Paradise" shot in St. Petersburg, FL. The owners towed the house to where it sits today, anchored out in the river.

Jasper's Bait shop is located on the Caloosahatchee river, closest to marker 96 to the southwest of Tarpon Point Marina.

___________________________________
Facts and Stats
 
Average Cape Home Listing Price Passes $400,000. The average Cape Coral MLS home listing price is currently $405,000, up about $10,000 from last month. This includes waterfront and off-water homes, and is about $100,000 higher than in early 2014. Tom: We estimate median Cape home prices to be $50,000 - $80,000 higher in a year from now, as the average listing price is rising by over $5,000 a month.
 
Cape Home Listing vs Sale Price @ 97%: This pretty much says it all about low home inventory and high buyer demand. Well priced homes are selling within days, and often at over asking price with multiple offers. Most other cities in SW Florida are experiencing similar tight markets.
 
Booming Stock Market Means More Second Homes: Buyers across the country are snapping up vacation homes thanks to stock market gains and a wave of baby boomers searching for a pleasant spot to spend their golden years. Vacation homes accounted for 21% of home sales last year, the highest share ever recorded by the National Association of Realtors.
 
U.S. Home Construction Surges to Fastest Pace since 2007: A turbulent winter shut down many construction sites across the country, but new homes are spurting up at a tepid pace. With only 4.6 months of inventory (even less in SWFL), builders are gearing up to meet demand.
SW Florida Buyer's "Needs" vs. "Wish" List
 

Out-of-state buyers often have a "needs" and a "wish" list that is nearly impossible to achieve in their price range. In addition to price, other crucial criteria are: neighborhood, home size, floor plan, age, number of bedrooms/baths/garage spaces, canal width and distance to "open water". Many "need" features cannot be altered and should be of primary concern.

"Wish" list features such as boat lift/dock, wood cabinets, granite countertops, nicer appliances & flooring, paint colors, outdoor kitchen, manicured landscaping, etc, should be a lower priority, as they can often be added or improved upon. When out-of-state buyers request everything on their "needs" & "wish" list it normally requires a much higher price point than they anticipate from viewing homes online. As we constantly tell new buyers: "homes will always look nicer in online photos than in person" (except brand new homes).

__________________________________________
 
Brand New Homes: Good Option for Many Buyers
 

Due to the scarcity of available homes in good condition, many buyers are opting to build new homes. The difference in cost between existing and new homes has dropped enough that it is more financially attractive to build than it was a few years ago, when new homes cost almost double what an existing home would cost. The price differential is now in the 20% range, and when you consider that most existing homes need some TLC, the cost differential is even less. With a new home you get to pick out your location, floor plan, and personal decor.

We are building a new home ourselves and have done extensive research to select the best builders -builders that are reliable, honorable and offer the best value. Let us help guide you through the maze of numerous builders out there. Also, Sue is great at helping clients with decorating touches. We've remodeled/decorated over 200 homes for ourselves and clients.

 
If not yet ready to build, you should buy your lot soon: As we've often reported, due to the need for additional housing in Cape Coral and SWFL, the cost of land is rising at a much faster rate than home costs. If you are planning to build a home here and would like to avoid much of the increased cost of a new home, we strongly recommend that you buy your lot as soon as possible. Well located lots are also an excellent investment now, even if you have no plans to build a home. We have a great software program that enables us to see an aerial view of all available waterfront lots or homes in a particular unit. This program is invaluable when trying to find good deals. 
________________________________________
 
Dr Beach Selects Two SWFL Beaches in Yearly Top Ten Beaches 

 

Barefoot Beach.jpgDr Beach's 25th Annual Top 10 list of U.S. Beaches included Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs (#2) and Delnor Wiggins State Park in Naples (#8). Waimanalo Bay Beach Park in Hawaii topped the list, but Florida dominated the top 10 list with four beaches selected. Dr Beach issues his annual list on the basis of 50 criteria, including beach safety, environmental management and bonus points for no-smoking policies. Past winners are retired, thus other beautiful SWFL beach past winners are no longer eligible.

Sue: We have enjoyed Barefoot Beach on many occasions. The water is beautiful and calm, and the shelling is fabulous.

__________________________________
 

Lee County Housing Market Continues To Climb

The Median Sale Price of single-family homes continues to climb compared to the same months of last year. It has increased 14% year over year to $228,000. The Median Sale Price for Condos in Lee County increased 7.1% year over year to  $181,000

We saw a significant jump in closed sales in the $600,000-$999,999 price point, with an 85% increase over last year.  There was also a significant uptick in closed sales in the $300,000-$599,999 price point. 

In April, single-family homes spent only 37 Median days on the market, a decrease of 22.9% year over year. That, and the fact that the Months Supply of Inventory is down to 4.8 months (under 3.5 months in Cape Coral), indicates that Lee County continues to be a strong seller’s market.

___________________________________________
 
U.S. Foreclosures at Pre-Recession Levels - No Longer a Bargain in Florida

 

The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate (60 days or more delinquent) declined to 2.95% in the first quarter of 2015 - the first time the rate has been below 3% since prior to the recession in Q3 2007...Trans Union

Florida is once again the top U.S. state for foreclosure activity in Realty Trac's U.S. Foreclosure Report. However, Florida foreclosures are not the bargain they once were (especially in Lee County - see below). Nationwide, REO sales price average 87% of estimated market value, but here is the Florida Metro Comparison of REO Value vs Market Value: 

 
Cape Coral/FT Myers: 91% (highest percentage in Florida of REO vs Market Value)     Tom: This is a direct correlation to the extremely low inventory in Lee County.
 
Port St Lucie: 90%
 
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach: 89%
 
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice: 88%
_________________________________________________
 
Sellers Overestimate Their Home Value by 8%
 
According to a study done by the Journal of Housing Economics, homeowners overestimate the value of their home by 8%. The researchers say that owners often miscalculate the value because of emotional ties and assigning too much appreciation to improvements, especially if improvements are far above the norm for the area. A survey by Quicken Loans found a "widening gap" between what owners think their homes are worth and appraiser's valuations. Tom & Sue: based on our own experiences we are surprised it's only an 8% differential. We've met owners who felt their homes were worth as much as 25% over market value.
________________________________________________
 
Cape Coral's Floating Bait Shop

 

You may have seen it, just sitting idle and floating in the middle of the Caloosahatchee River near Tarpon Point Marina. Jasper's Bait has been floating in the river for about the past year, serving anyone who floats by.

The store never closes, open 24 hours a day, seven days a weeks. If they're sleeping, just ring the bell and they'll be right up. They've got all types of bait from crab to shrimp, and lures and hooks to help you have a successful day on the water.

Besides bait they also sell boat oil, batteries, sandwiches, ice cream and every nautical knick-knack you can think of.

The house was originally used as a movie prop in "Thunder in Paradise" shot in St. Petersburg, FL. The owners towed the house to where it sits today, anchored out in the river.

Jasper's Bait shop is located on the Caloosahatchee river, closest to marker 96 to the southwest of Tarpon Point Marina.

___________________________________
Facts and Stats
 
Average Cape Home Listing Price Passes $400,000. The average Cape Coral MLS home listing price is currently $405,000, up about $10,000 from last month. This includes waterfront and off-water homes, and is about $100,000 higher than in early 2014. Tom: We estimate median Cape home prices to be $50,000 - $80,000 higher in a year from now, as the average listing price is rising by over $5,000 a month.
 
Cape Home Listing vs Sale Price @ 97%: This pretty much says it all about low home inventory and high buyer demand. Well priced homes are selling within days, and often at over asking price with multiple offers. Most other cities in SW Florida are experiencing similar tight markets.
 
Booming Stock Market Means More Second Homes: Buyers across the country are snapping up vacation homes thanks to stock market gains and a wave of baby boomers searching for a pleasant spot to spend their golden years. Vacation homes accounted for 21% of home sales last year, the highest share ever recorded by the National Association of Realtors.
 
U.S. Home Construction Surges to Fastest Pace since 2007: A turbulent winter shut down many construction sites across the country, but new homes are spurting up at a tepid pace. With only 4.6 months of inventory (even less in SWFL), builders are gearing up to meet demand.

Copyright 2017 Multiple Listing Service of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc.; All rights reserved. The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site is the copyrighted and proprietary database of the Multiple Listing Service of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc. The properties displayed may not be all of the properties in the MLS\' database, or all of the properties listed with Brokers participating in the cooperative data exchange program. Properties listed by Brokers other than are marked with BR logo and include the name of the listing Brokers. Information provided is thought to be reliable but is not guaranteed to be accurate; buyers are advised to verify facts before making the decision to purchase a property. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the data herein, or for their use or interpretation by the user. Information provided is for consumer\'s personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This site will be monitored for \'scraping\' and any use of search facilities of data on the site other than by a consumer looking to purchase real estate, is prohibited. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items. Information last updated on 2017-07-28.

© 2017, The data relating to real estate for sale on this Website come in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program (BR Program) of M.L.S. of Naples, Inc. Properties listed with brokerage firms other than are marked with the BR Program Icon or the BR House Icon and detailed information about them includes the name of the Listing Brokers. The properties displayed may not be all the properties available through the BR Program. BR data on this website is provided by on behalf of Tom Demogenes. The source of this real property information is the copyrighted and proprietary database compilation of the M.L.S. of Naples, Inc. Copyright 2006 M.L.S. of Naples, Inc. All rights reserved. The accuracy of this information is not warranted or guaranteed. This information should be independently verified if any person intends to engage in a transaction in reliance upon it. Data last updated 2017-07-28 02:37:10.

© 2017 Bonita-Estero MLS All rights reserved. Information deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than are marked with the BR logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items. Information last updated on 2017-07-28.

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 Copyright 2014 Multiple Listing Service of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc.; All rights reserved. The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site is the copyrighted and proprietary database of the Multiple Listing Service of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc. The properties displayed may not be all of the properties in the MLS' database, or all of the properties listed with Brokers participating in the cooperative data exchange program. Properties listed by Brokers other than are marked with BR logo and include the name of the listing Brokers. Information provided is thought to be reliable but is not guaranteed to be accurate; buyers are advised to verify facts before making the decision to purchase a property. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the data herein, or for their use or interpretation by the user. Information provided is for consumer\'s personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This site will be monitored for \'scraping\' and any use of search facilities of data on the site other than by a consumer looking to purchase real estate, is prohibited. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items.