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September 2014 Market Update


Cape Coral/Naples in top 5 Spots for CEO’s


1U.S. census data rated five Florida towns in the “top 10 list of areas favored by Corporate CEO’s”. Naples/Marco Island landed in the #4 spot, and Cape Coral garnered the #5 position. Tom: Our area is famously known for tropical weather, miles of water, fishing, etc. To be rated so high in this business report is as surprising as it is welcome.


25% of International Investors Buy a Home in Florida

2A continuing recovery of the world’s economy and the relative affordability of U.S. properties have driven foreign home buying by 24% in the past year. 25% of those foreigners chose Florida to purchase their home. Canadian buyers accounted for the largest share of international buyers (32%), followed by Western Europe, with 24%. Tom: With all that Florida has to offer visitors, it is no surprise that the state dominates (and continues to expand) its share of foreign home buyers.


First-Time Buyers Stuck as Entry-Level Homes Dry Up


3Although U.S. home inventory is at a two-year high, first-time home buyers still find themselves shut out of the housing market. As foreclosures & short sales have faded and cash investors have continued to buy up-low-priced homes (which they convert to rentals), first-time buyers find themselves stuck on the sidelines. National home builders are rushing to catch up to the demand for lower-priced housing, but this will take quite some time. Tom: Cash buyers in the Cape were at 62.5% for August (2nd highest in nation behind Miami) and well-priced, lower-end housing literally flies off the local market. This in turn has the domino affect of raising prices on mid & upper level homes. Housing markets are always dictated from the bottom.


Monthly Stats/Facts


4Farmers Almanac predicts cold winter, warm summer:The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 223-year-old chronicler of climate, is predicting a colder winter and warmer summer for much of the nation. The New Hampshire-based almanac predicts a “super-cold” winter in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The west will remain a little bit warmer than normal. Most of the Northeast is expected to get more snowfall than normal, though it will be below normal in New England.


Hurricane season isn’t expected to be especially active, though a major storm could hit the Gulf Coast in late August. The Almanac has about an 80% success rate in forecasts, based on 30-year averages.

Sue: We empathize with our northern family, friends and clients. When we moved to Florida 14 years ago we would never have anticipated that the northeast would average more hurricanes than Florida during that period.


5Strong market signs remain in SW Florida despite off-season: Home inventory in our area for August remained at 4 months supply, with Cape Coral having five continuous months of inventory decrease. Prices continued to rise. Days on Market (DOM) were low, and list-price to sale-price was at 96%. These are all signals that our real estate market remains strong and that we should have an highly active “high season”. Tom: If a home is not selling in this strong market it’s an indication that something is wrong with either the home, the location or the price….usually the price.


U.S. Distressed home sales down to 9% in July: This was the lowest rate of distressed sales since 2008. Distressed sales, which tend to drag down neighborhood prices, accounted for 36% of home sales in 2009.

Lee County Garbage Collection Fees for residential and commercial will rise 1.01% on Oct 1, 2014.

Tubs passe’ as more owners opt for walk-in showers: A survey by Houzz Inc found that 4 out of 10 homeowners now opt to forego bath tubs during renovations – even in the master suite. “Millennials don’t take baths, only showers”. Older people don’t want tubs because it’s uncomfortable/difficult to step over them. Real estate insiders say removing tubs used to be taboo, but they agree this design choice no longer necessarily lowers property value.

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