Tom Demogenes
Tom and Sue Demogenes
Luxury Waterfront Team
Cape Coral, FL 33914

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May 2015 Newsletter


SW Florida Peak Real Estate Season Extended...Maybe Permanently??

SW Florida's peak real estate season has traditionally been from Christmas to Easter. NO LONGER THE CASE. This season, real estate in SWFL picked up right after Thanksgiving, and many out of state buyers are still arriving to buy homes. Buyers are purchasing at an unprecedented level for this time of year. What used to be a 3 - 3 1/2 month high season In SWFL now appears to have expanded into a 6 - 6 1/2 month high real

estate season. This may be the new norm, at least for a few more years.

$400 K Becoming the New $300 K for Cape Coral Gulf-Access Home Prices

A few years ago, when there were more distressed homes for sale, and before home inventory dropped so low, it was very doable to buy a 2,000 sq ft gulf-access pool home in the better Cape neighborhoods for $300,000 to $325,000. A home in this price range would not need much TLC work, and often might even have a tile roof, granite countertops, wood cabinets, and/or a dock/boat lift. A nicer 2,000 sq ft gulf-access home in a nice neighborhood, for $350 K is virtually impossible to find now, particularly for buyers expecting a home to be in pristine condition and less than an hour boat ride out to open water. That ship has sailed from port, and the same home is now listed at $400 - $425 K.

Very recently, Sue did an extensive search for a few different clients looking in the $350 - $375 K price range. After touring the properties they were extremely disappointed in what that price range will buy you these days, and the homes they viewed were the best homes available in that price range.

Several clients who haven't been to SWFL for a few years were quite disenchanted with what they could buy for the same price as during their last visit. We have been advising our clients monthly as to what direction our market is headed, and what level of appreciation we are seeing. Some buyers may think this is just a typical real estate sales pitch. That is not our business style. In fact, we have told many local homeowner clients to NOT sell their homes now if they don't need to because they will secure a higher price if they can wait another year or two. That is just not something an average realtor will say to a seller. However, our buyer clients should purchase a home in SWFL as soon as they are able to.

The good news is that those homeowners who bought homes in the past four years have experienced substantial appreciation, and high seasonal rental income in many cases. The bad news is that next year and in future years, there will be a higher figure replacing today's $400 - $425 K price point for nicer gulf-access pool homes.
Freshwater Homes: An Affordable Waterfront Alternative
In relation to the above report about the higher cost of gulf-access homes, some buyers may way want to consider freshwater homes as an affordable option. Although freshwater canals/lakes do not allow access to the gulf, freshwater homes are much less expensive than gulf-access homes. Freshwater canal homes have nice water views, boating, fishing, wildlife, etc. A mid-sized freshwater home with a pool can be purchased for $300,000, or slightly less.
SWFL Home Prices Rise Again in April, Inventory Drops, New Home Permits Soar

April was another month of substantially improving real estate indicators in SWFL. We will use Cape Coral as our example, but the numbers are comparable in every city in SWFL. Here are the market trends:

New Building Permits Soar: There were 136 single family permits pulled in Cape Coral in April. This was the most new home permits issued since the real estate crash began eight years ago, and double the 68 permits pulled in April 2014. Although we are still a long way off from the 200 - 250 new homes required to keep pace with new residents, this is an impressive improvement from recent years. As just one example; in 2009 there were only 159 home permits issued for the entire year, and the highest number of permits pulled in any month in 2014 was 71. Tom: as the number of new homes increase, the price of lots (especially waterfront lots) will also keep rising, often at an accelerated rate. If you plan to build a home in the next few years I strongly suggest you buy your lot soon.

Home Prices Continue to Climb: In March we reported that the average Cape home sales price of $236,000 was the highest in seven years. April's average home price slightly exceeded March's price. The average home sale prices for the first four months of 2015 are as follows:

JAN: $214,000             FEB: $226,000             MARCH: $236,000               APRIL: $237,000
Home Inventory Drops to 3.4 Months: Last month there was 3.8 months of home inventory, and it looks like inventory will decrease even more in May. SWFL is now at almost half the inventory needed for a balanced market. If inventory stays this low we will continue to see a big increase in new construction, or a steep rise in existing home prices, or probably both.
Priciest Home in History of SW Florida Sells for $45.6 Million
A private mansion in Naples, which was listed for $80 Million sold in March for $45.6 Million. The estate home at 2500 Gordon Drive, consisted of over 5 acres on the beachfront. The home sold for $40 Million in 2007. Sue: This makes us truly appreciate waterfront homes still priced between $400 K - $1 M, and don't worry - there are still some homes available in the $10 M to $30 M range ; )

Owning Cheaper than Renting in 76% of U.S. Metros: RealtyTrac's Q1 Property Analysis found that the monthly house payment (medium-priced three-bedroom home) is more affordable that monthly rent in 76% of U.S. counties. On average, rents were 28% of median household income. Monthly payments on a median-priced home (w/10% down payment, property taxes, insurance and PMI) were 24% of medium income. 

Lee County Tourist Tax Collections up 25% in Q-1: Bed tax collections for the first quarter are up by approximately 25% over Q-1 2014. For those of us who questioned if traffic seemed much more congested than last season, the bed county tax numbers put that question "to bed".
States With Longest Foreclosure Process: New York (1,475 days), New Jersey (1,115 days), Hawaii (1,058 days), and Florida (975 days).  Tom: the lengthy foreclosure process in Florida and other states is a big reason why it's taking so long for the real estate market to fully recover from the crash.

Wawa Comes to SW Florida: On April 24, three Wawa convenience stores opened in SWFL, two in Ft Myers and the other in Cape Coral (Pine Island Rd & Del Prado). Gov. Rick Scott cut the ribbon at one of the Ft Myers Grand Openings. Wawa is a highly popular convenience store in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, specializing in tasty coffee, sandwiches, soups and salads. Some northern residents have waited years for their beloved Wawa to come to our area, and their wish was granted in spades. In a short span of two years, there are now 65 Wawa Florida locations, with an expectation of 12 new SWFL stores planned by the end of 2017.

Today Show To Feature Trivia Segment on Sanibel: On Thursday May 7th, NBC's Today Show will feature a sidebar with the show's hosts answering trivia about the island. The premise is for the hosts to guess the country's top tourist attraction. The Sanibel Chamber of Commerce sent the producers clues like shells, flip-flops, sunglasses, orange juice and champagne. The segment is in response to Sanibel recently being voted American families' favorite vacation destination by FamilyFun Magazine.


May 2015

April 2015
Northern Winter Puts Further Strain on SWFL Seasonal Home Rentals - Monthly Payments on a $500,000 SWFL Home Today...and in One Year - Million Dollar Homes Selling Again in SW Florida  

February 2015
2015 SW Florida Market Porjections - National Online Search Sites Not Accurate - SW Florida Ranks High In Safest FLA Cities

 December 2014

 Book Your Waterfront Vacation Home For 2016 - Allegiant Air Expanding Routes - Upcoming Developments

 November 2014
Cape Coral #1 in U.S. for All-Cash Home Sales - SWFL has Record Year for Visitors - Allegiant Air Expands Routes to Punta Gorda

October 2014
"Luxury Waterfront Team" expands to Bonita, Naples, Sanibel, Pine Island - Cape's assessed values up by 8.63% - Seasonal rentals in short supply

September 2014
25% of international buyers choose FL - First time buyers stuck as entry-level homes dry up - Farmers Almanac predicts cold winter

August 2014
Naples, Cape Coral rank in the top 10 in Forbes report - Home inventory still low in summer - New home permits highest level in over 7 years

July 2014
Home inventory low, demand high - Lee Memorial Health System Top 1% in nation - Owning a seasonal rental can be profitable

June 2014
Home Inventory Under 4 Months - Majority Say Housing Crisis Is Over - Cape Coral Ranked #8 As Best City to Retire

MAY 2014
Topics: Longer Than Avg. Real Estate Season - Real Estate Preferred To Stocks - Cape Coral 2nd Best Mid Size City

April 2014     
 Low New Construction Inventory – Cape Coral, One Of The Fastest Growing Cities – Property Values Continue To Rise

March 2014
Topics: Local Home Prices Highest in 6 years - Gulf Access home prices up 24% - Bad Weather Hinders Construction in the North

February 2014
Topics: 4th Year of Real Estate Recovery – No Housing Bubble! – Cape Celebrates Comeback

Timing The SWFL Real Estate Market - 2015



Tom Demogenes | 239-357-3312 | Contact Us 
4100 SW 27th Pl - Cape Coral, FL 33914
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