Realtors say NABOR’s latest numbers don’t come as a surprise

Sales of homes above $1 million in Naples during the first quarter of 2018 drove the market, increasing 61 percent compared to the same quarter of 2017, according to the First Quarter 2018 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of Realtors. NABOR tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island).

January’s results led some to question expectations for the year when compared to last, yet in February the market gained its stride, accelerating in March with closed sales shooting ahead to end the first quarter on a very impressive note. According to NABOR monthly reports, January had 672 closed sales, February reported 672 closed sales, but March kept agents very busy with 942 closed sales, driven by a strong high-end which included a number of new construction condominiums just delivered.

Pending sales in the first quarter of 2018 increased 3 percent to 3,177 compared to 3,097 in the first quarter of 2017. Although pending sales for both single-family homes and condominiums over $1 million increased by double digits, it was the $2 million and above condominium market that raised eyebrows among brokers who reviewed the reports.

Tourism was up in our area this season compared to last year, so it’s not surprising that we would end with strong pending sales for the quarter. But experts weren’t expecting to see a 109 percent increase during the quarter in pending sales for condominiums over $2 million.

Coco Amar, a managing broker at John R. Wood Properties, said the condominium market offers some very good investment opportunities, especially at both ends of the market. “The top and bottom price categories are where both the inventory has grown and the prices have dropped.”

As reflected in the market’s year ending statistics (the 12 months ending 1Q 2018 versus the 12 months ending 1Q 2017), there was a 69 percent increase in closed sales of condominiums in the $2 million and above market, and a 17 percent decrease in the median closed price to $2,450,000 from $2,962,000 in 2017. Despite rocket sales in this high-end sector during the 1Q 2018 (179 percent increase) and a drop in median closed prices for the first quarter (24 percent decrease), the inventory increased 5 percent. Similarly, median closed prices for condominiums in the $300,000 and below price category dropped 1 percent to $199,000 from $200,000 in the first quarter of 2017, but inventory increased 3 percent in 1Q 2018.

The NABOR First Quarter 2018 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary.



Florida real estate market healthy but challenged

The Florida real estate industry is healthy, though several thorny challenges confront residential sales. Last year, foreign buyers bought $23.8 billion in Florida real estate, more than double the figure from a decade ago. Seventy-three percent of those 2017 purchases were all-cash because wealthy international buyers don’t need mortgages. The foreign property purchases account for 11 percent of the value but only 6 percent of the sales volume, indicating those purchases were primarily high-end homes.

The top international buyers of U.S. real estate last year came, in order, from China, Canada, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom.

Although most of the Chinese purchases were in California, the Florida market certainly has a larger share of foreign investors.

The state is also raising the confidence of foreign buyers with safe property investments that are bound to appreciate.

At the same time, the trend lines indicate a decline in international buyers.  The potential outcomes of higher tariffs on Chinese imports and the impacts of NAFTA’s demise on Mexico could boomerang on the U.S. and cause a global recession.

During the first quarter of 2018, a rising number of households expressed more confidence in the economy and their financial position, but only 68 percent of consumers felt now is a good time to buy a house, the lowest percentage in two years.

Income, debt and anxiety are stopping some from buying. The very, very competitive nature of the current residential market — with inventory down 13 percent, prices up 9 percent and mortgage rates expected to rise again — is being met with caution.

From 2011 to 2017, income grew by 15 percent but housing prices surged by 48 percent. This is a big concern for renters and an obstacle to converting to home ownership.

Consumers should not wait for mortgage rates, at 4.5 percent now, to fall, not with the Federal Reserve forecast to raise its benchmark interest rate two more times this year and three in 2019. Two years from now, mortgage rates could be 6 percent. Don’t take the current rates for granted.

While national existing home sales rose last year to their highest level in 11 years, the pending home sales index has stalled and inventory continues to fall.  Builders have been under-producing and the annual increases in construction since the subprime disaster have been very minimal.

To invest in the Florida real estate market contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty Team today!


Naples has 15th-richest ZIP code in America

A Naples ZIP code ranked number 15 among the top 20 richest in America. To no one’s surprise, Naples’ 34102 ZIP code made the charts with the help of neighborhoods such as Port Royal having some of the most sought-after estates in the country.

According to a 2015 Internal Revenue Service data analysis done by Bloomberg, Fisher Island, just off Miami, was named America’s richest ZIP code. Atherton, Calif., was second and Palm Beach was third.

Naples is home to celebrities and some of America’s wealthiest families, who are willing to spend a lot to be close to the pristine beaches and enjoy some privacy in paradise.

Celebrities with homes in Naples include Judge Judy Sheindlin; Shahid Kahn, one of America’s richest people in 2018, according to Forbes; legendary rock musician Bob Seger; retired PGA champion Fuzzy Zoeller; and Gov. Rick Scott, who owns a beachfront mansion in Port Royal.

The Port Royal area has been called one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Southwest Florida and is considered a landmark community with its white sand beaches off the Gulf of Mexico and 500 residences, many of which are multi-million-dollar mansions.  Last month the 34102 ZIP code had 17 home sales, according to Collier property appraiser data, with 13 of them  for $2 million or more.

Vacant lots in Port Royal have sold for as much as $4 million and waterfront homes with canal access for $5 million. If you want a beachfront mansion, expect to spend double that.

According to the Census Bureau, the median value of owned homes in the 34102 ZIP code was $770,000 in 2016.

Currently, the most expensive home on the market in Naples is a Port Royal beachfront mansion listed for $60.9 million.

A five-bedroom island colonial home in Port Royal sold in February for $16.1 million, making it the most expensive home sale so far this year. The waterfront mansion at 4295 Cutlass Lane sold for $1 million less than last year’s most expensive sale of $17.7 million at 3750 Rum Row in Port Royal.

However, the most expensive home sale in Naples within the past five years was a $46 million home in Port Royal in 2015.

There are currently more than 30 homes priced at or above $10 million in Naples. That represents about 2½ years of inventory based on the 2017 absorption rate.

With neighborhoods such as Port Royal and high-end home sales on the rise in Naples, one would expect the average income of Naples’ residents to match the lifestyle.

Unlike Fisher Island, with an average income of $2.5 million, Naples’ average income in 2016 was estimated at only $84,830, according to the Census Bureau.

The majority of luxury homeowners in Naples are “snowbirds;” retirees who own a second or vacation home and return north after the winter or spring.

Naples also recently was named the best place to retire in the U.S. and the sixth-best place for secondary home markets nationwide, according to a study from SmartAsset.

To learn more about investing in the Naples real estate market, contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty team today.

Tight inventory, rising home prices make Manatee a sellers’ market

Sellers Market

Strong demand and tight inventory combined to produce a sellers’ market in Manatee County and send the median sales price for single-family homes sold in in February to $300,000. That’s up 5.8 percent from a year ago.

It marks the third time the median price has hit the $300,000 mark since the Great Recession of 2008, according to figures released recently by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

The median price of the 441 Manatee County home sales closed in February represents the mid-range of homes sold, and was up 8.6 percent over February 2017. The median also hit $300,000 or more in December and January.

Condo sales were also up year-over-year in February with 202 sold, an increase of 5.2 percent. The median condominium price in Manatee County soared 22.2 percent to $213,250. It is the first time since 2008 that condo prices have surpassed $200,000.

The supply of single-family homes fell 1.6 percent while the supply of condos decreased 2.9 percent during February, making inventory tight.

There is an estimated 4.4-month supply of single-family homes on the market in Manatee County, and a 5.3-month supply of condos.

Sarasota County also saw a strong housing market in February with 569 single-family home sales closed, up 9.8 percent, and 315 condo sales, up 14.1 percent.

Sarasota single-family home prices increased 10.4 percent to a median of $272,500, while condo prices were down 0.1 percent to $219,000.

Inventory also fell in Sarasota during February. The supply of single-family homes was down 5 percent, while the supply of condos fell 0.1 percent.

Sarasota has a 4.1-month supply of single-family homes, and a 5.7 month supply of condos.

Across the state

More closed sales, more new listings and higher median prices in February were the norm around Florida with the for-sale inventory remaining tight.

Even though much of Florida has become a sellers’ market, there was also some good news for buyers. In February, new listings for single-family homes rose 6 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings increased 6.9 percent.


Across the nation

Nationally, existing-home sales bounced back in February after two straight months of declines, despite consistently low inventory levels and faster price growth, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Sales increases in the South and West offset declines in the Northeast and Midwest.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $241,700, up 5.9 percent from February 2017 ($228,200). February’s price increase marks the 72nd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 37 days in February, which is down from 41 days in January and 45 days a year ago. Forty-six percent of homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month.

To learn more about the current state of the real estate market, contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty Team today!

Strong demand exists for high-end condos

The luxury home market continues to grow in Naples, with buyers showing more interest in high-end condos, according to a recent Market Report the Naples Area Board of Realtors released.

The report tracks all sales made by its members in Collier County through the Southwest Florida MLS, excluding Marco Island.

The 12-month rolling numbers are remarkable for properties above $1 million, especially in the condominium market, where the data shows a 60 percent increase in closed sales over the last 12 months.

As reflected in the report, there were 56 closed sales of condos above $1 million in the North Naples area in February — 211 percent more than in February 2017.

With an increase in demand for high-end condos came a 16 percent decrease in inventory for condos priced at $1 million to $2 million, compared to last year.

There is not a lot of develop-able land that is left as far as high-end condos on the beach. The region has pretty much built out a lot of that choice land along the beach, so that’s becoming less and less of an option.

However, condos in the $300,000-and-less market had the highest increase reported among all price categories and home types, with a 6 percent increase in inventory, the report showed.

The report showed a 3 percent decrease for overall inventory to 6,286 properties compared with 6,466 properties in February 2017.

Overall closed sales increased 10 percent to 672 homes sold compared with 613 homes sold in February 2017. The overall median closed price was $364,000 — 9 percent more than last year’s figure.

The greatest decrease in price appeared in the category of $1 million to $2 million. That 12 percent drop was to $1.33 million from $1.5 million in February 2017.

The report showed 44 of the 52 homes purchased in the $2 million price category were cash purchases.

Overall pending sales in February decreased 3 percent, but they increased 14 percent in the $1 million-and-above price category and 39 percent in the $2 million-and-over category.

To learn more about the real estate market in SWFL or to get involved in purchasing real estate in the area, contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty team today!

You need to make at least $70K a year to afford the average home in Florida, says study

The majority of us probably don’t make enough to own an average home in Florida, according a recent study.

A new study from How Much, a finance information website, states that Floridians needs to make roughly $70,360 a year in order to afford the average home.

The site came this conclusion by taking the average price of homes in every state from real estate site Zillow, and plugging them into a mortgage calculator with a 10 percent down payment. They then applied the basic rule that your mortgage shouldn’t exceed 30 percent of your income before taxes.

According to Zillow, the average home “Zestimate” in the state of Florida is $220,600. It should also be noted that in the last year property values have gone up 8.3 percent and are projected to go up another 3.1 percent in the next year.

According to Data USA, the median household income in Florida is only $49,426, which of course means that most Floridians are being priced out of owning most homes.

Florida ranks 12th in the country for most expensive homes. Hawaii is the most expensive, with an estimated income of $153,520 needed to buy a home. West Virginia is the lowest with an estimated income of $38,320 needed.

To learn more about Florida real estate, purchasing land in Florida or investing in Florida land and properties, contact an  expert member of the 9 Core Realty Team today.

Millennial home buying on the rise in Southwest Florida

Millennials looking for a home do not like Florida and the Fort Myers area. That’s according to a recent study done by LendingTree, but some local real estate experts are not buying it.

According to that study, five cities in Florida landed on its top 10 least-popular cities for millennial home buyers. Fort Myers came in as the second-least favorite.

Area real estate experts feel that the region is doing many proactive things to draw in a younger crowd of homebuyers, many of which are successful.  In fact, 2017 was a good year for millennial home buyers in Southwest Florida. Last year 80 percent of first-time home buyers were actually millennials in the area.

More signs point to growth in young home buyers in our area. Building permits for affordable housing — priced around $250,000 or less — increased by 39 percent in 2017.

Are you a millennial ready to buy in SWFL? Give 9 Core Realty a shout today! We can help.