End of $100,000 homes in Cape Coral: Sometime this year Cape Coral will no longer have homes under $100,000, and we expect that the median Cape home price will never fall below $200,000 again. Last year there were 360 homes sold under $100 K. (36 last January), with a low of $43,625. Yes, you read the figure correctly. In 2013 there were 65 Cape homes sales under $100 K in January alone, with many in the $40 K - $70 K range. There are now only a dozen homes for sale under $100 K, with the lowest being $82,000. These 12 homes are either wood frame construction, one car garage, two bedrooms, or very old & small - all very difficult homes to sell. Although we don't want home prices to skyrocket as they did in the Housing Boom, we are happy to say adios to five figure homes in the city.
Lot Prices & New Construction Prices to Continue Rising at a Rapid Pace: Due to low inventory of existing homes, we expect both land values and new construction to continue outpacing existing homes, as has been the case for the past few years. If we had to put a percentage on it, I feel land prices will increase by at least 15%, and new construction homes will cost minimum of 12% more this year. Both of these projections are below 2013 & 2014 increases, but we try to estimate conservatively.
* Interest Rates: Your guess is as good (or as bad) as ours. National economists have been wrong for a year and half about the direction of interest rates, so we won't try to out-project the professionals. What we do feel confident about is that it will require interest rates of at least 6% before it has much impact on the SWFL real estate market, and no one is projecting interest rates to reach the 6% level any time soon.
97.5% of today's buyers start their home search online, and there is no quicker/easier method to initiate a home search. An out-of-area buyer can get a general grasp of our local market with any home search site. However, when it's time to get serious, it is crucial to have accurate, up-to-date listing information. Too many times we will get a call from a client excited about a home they saw on Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc. And too often we have to tell them "yes, that was a very nice home, but it went under contract weeks ago". Occasionally we even get a call on a home that has already sold.
Tourists Spend Big Bucks in Lee County: Visitors spend $3 billion a year in Lee County, nearly 40% in the first quarter, aka "high season" or “snowbird season”. Sue: Although we locals sometimes get irritated at the high traffic, or having to wait for a table at a restaurant during peak season, we need to keep in mind how much tourists add to our local economy.