OCTOBER 2015 - CONTACT US TO RECEIVE FUTURE UPDATES
Cape Coral's Real Estate Rebound 2nd Strongest in Nation
Freddie Mac's latest Multi-Indicator Market Index finds that the Florida real estate market's rebound leads the nation, with the top five rebounding cities all being in the Sunshine State. Orlando improved the most year-to-year at 18.27%, followed closely by Cape Coral with a 17.75% gain. The other Florida top five cities were Tampa, Palm Bay and North Port.
CAPE CORAL SEPTEMBER HOME SALES STATS:
* Only 3 months of inventory: impressive because our slow summer season normally has high inventory. Inventory was at, or below the 3 month mark during the entire summer.
* Average home price reaches $435,000 (including off-water homes): Just a few years ago the average Cape Coral home price was less than $300,000
* Sales vs. Listing Price is approximately 98%: A normal market differential is 94 - 95%
* Lack of New Construction: building permits are slowly picking up, but still substantially insufficient to meet rising demand
TOM: I Predict this next year will be the Strongest Real Estate Year in DECADES in SWFL
SW Florida - Now a 12 Month Real Estate Season?
Based on absolutely no slowdown in real estate activity during the summer months, combined with existing sales activity, it appears that SWFL will have 12 months of "high real estate season" this year, and perhaps for the next few years. In past years, our high real estate season would begin in Dec/Jan and taper off in April/May. July, August and September were always extremely slow sales months (actually almost dead) and home sales would gradually start to pick up in October. This year July - September were as busy as our normal hectic winter sales months, and we see activity only increasing in the coming months.
Because of the severe shortage of rental homes in SWFL, we also expect for "seasonal rental season" to expand from 4 months to 5 or 6 months. One reason for this is that there are not many nice homes available during winter high season that aren't already booked, thus people are taking vacations earlier or later than in the past. Also, as more out-of-staters are coming down to buy homes in off-season, they are renting homes for a week or two versus staying at a hotel.
Chiquita Boat Lock: Impact on SW Cape Waterfront Property
Let's start with the latest status of the removal of the Chiquita Boat Lock. According to reliable sources the prospects of removal are very good (as opposed to the alternative of repairing and enlarging the lock). It appears that the City Council is very optimistic about getting the lock removed. The city has approved expending funds to secure removal permits, with the hope that the approval will be granted no later than March of next year. The city has gotten favorable initial responses from the Army Corps of Engineers and other governmental agencies, and wouldn't have taken the next step of seeking a permit if they weren't fairly confident of approval.
Our projection is that SW Cape waterfront properties west of Chiquita Pkwy will quickly increase by 10% upon approval, and will continue to increase disproportionately to the rest of the city. It would not surprise us to see prices on these properties increase by 20% within the first year of approval. At a minimum, SW waterfront properties will be in even higher demand than normal, and more new construction will occur in this area. SW price increases could have the residual affect of increasing other waterfront prices in the city. A caveat when dealing with governmental agencies; nothing is assured until it is a "done deal".
This info is not provided in order to prompt clients to purchase before they are ready. We aren't going anywhere, and we will earn higher commissions if/when the lock removal is official. But we would feel remiss to not share some inside information we have gleaned from numerous sources.
Free Golf for our Clients at Coral Oaks Golf Club
We are happy to announce that we've made arrangements through our RE/MAX office to offer two free rounds of golf at Coral Oaks Golf Club to our clients. Feel free to take advantage of this opportunity, which can be utilized more than once. The only requirement is to provide at least two days notice of desired tee times, especially during winter months.
Gated Communities Not Increasing In Value Compared to Neighborhoods
Our analysis over the past few years indicates that most gated community homes are not increasing in value at the same rate as homes in neighborhoods. We feel that at least part of the reason for this is that most gated communities are more geared toward full-time occupancy versus seasonal use. The majority of gated communities have restrictions on short term rentals, thus part-time owners are not able to rent out their homes/condos (for short term rentals) in order to offset expenses when not using their vacation home.
The good news is that property taxes, insurance, etc, in gated communities don't increase as much as neighborhoods. Gated communities also offer a greater safety and uniformity factor. Bottom line: there are pros and cons to owning in gated communities.
Facts and Stats
Cape Homes Under $100 K Disappear: As of this writing the last of the homes under $100 K are gone. In fact, there are only 5 homes under $125,000 and we expect that within a short time the $125 K homes will be history, and the $150 K mark will be next to disappear. During the real estate crash there were hundreds of homes available under $100 K. Occasionally a low-priced older home in poor condition, or having chinese drywall still comes on the market for a few days before it is snapped up by investors, usually with multiple offers and selling at over asking price.
Hurricane Season 2/3 Over: Hurricane season, which starts on June 1st, will officially end at the end of November, but the worst two hurricane months (Aug & Sept) are behind us. In Florida, it's been 11 years since the last hurricane, and it looks like we'll escape another hurricane season this year. We hope for the same good fortune for the rest of the country.
SW Florida Market Versus Other Markets: Very few U.S. markets are rising in value like the SWFL real estate market. If you need to sell a home in another part of the country in order to buy a home here please take this into consideration when pricing your home. Some out-of-state clients appear to have their homes priced too high and their homes have been on the market for a very long time (some for over a year). During that time prices here have appreciated substantially. So, it's best to not to try to get top dollar for your home up north when prices here are outpacing prices in most of the country. We've had clients try to get an extra $25,000 for their home up north only to see waterfront homes in their price range in Lee or Collier County increase by almost $100,000. That is a bad trade-off.
Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.
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