Talk to the experts in Palm Beach or Naples or Fort Myers or even Punta Gorda, and you get variations on a theme.
The theme is this: Home prices will continue to rise in 2016, wherever you are. It’s a seller’s market now, but in Florida a market for rational sellers, not proud sellers — for people who will do best by not expecting to get more than the market bears especially when selling real estate investments. Every property sells now if it’s priced right, but experts see some bubbles forming (in the region) with higher inventory — one problematic area in Collier County is near the heart of Naples, with a lot of tear-downs and people rebuilding.
Sellers who saw their property values tank five years ago might look at current conditions and assume that the market is booming and its a great time to be selling and buying land in Florida. That perception might make them too optimistic and they might want more now than the market can bear.
In each market there are nuances — factors that suggest national figures for home prices are constructs, not literal representations of markets here.
Lee and Collier counties
Expert’s comparative analysis of Lee and Collier suggest some significant nuances, and differences, in those markets. Lee County sales (including Cape Coral land) were up 11 percent last year while Naples area sales were up about 3 percent, in part because of price points: Collier has a median sales price of $405,000, which is almost double Lee’s $211,000 median.
Although Sunshine State numbers are higher than that, about 8 percent, Charlotte County prices are most likely to reflect the national trend.
The counties numbers have been pretty consistent for several years with sales running from a low of just over 2,000 in 2008 to a high of 4,500 this year, and — as a “retirement market” — an influx of baby boomers 62 or older expected to continue through 2023.
In the town of Palm Beach, at the heart of Palm Beach County, national data might as well exist on another planet. The median sales price in 2014, at $3.475 million, was up 20 percent to $4.2 million for 2015. And in Palm Beach County as a whole there were 12 and 14 percent increases in 2013 and 2014. The county appraiser’s office was estimating a similar increase by the end of 2015 though those numbers aren’t tallied yet.