Lee County Home Prices Up Again in April; Inventory Shows Initial Signs of Improving
• Homes sold faster and for higher prices last month in Southwest Florida, while data shows that housing inventory is poised to return to pre-pandemic levels.
May 13, 2021 - Strong demand drove real estate prices higher in Lee County in April, continuing a trend that began shortly after the pandemic arrived in early 2020. However, despite a significant year-over-year increase in new listings in April, housing inventory remains tight in Southwest Florida. Median sale price for single-family homes last month was up 31.5% to $355,000, while condominiums and townhouses rose 9.5 percent to $235,905 in April compared to the same period a year ago. The average sale price for single-family homes in Lee County was $507,711 and $317,919 for townhouses and condos in Aprils.
New listings rose to levels not seen since 2019, with 1,747 residential properties listed coming onto the market, compared with 1,010 last year. In April 2019, there were 1,744 new listings. Closed sales were up 52% for the month for single-family properties, while the townhouse/condo category saw a jump in closings of 101.5% compared to a year ago.
Strong demand caused the bellwether indicator of days on market to drop to 34 for single-family and 60 for townhouses and condos. Those figures represent respective decreases of 52% and 30% versus 2020.
Another indicator of market strength, the percent of original list price received, was up to 99% for single-family homes last month, while townhouses and condos was up to 97.8%. That compares with 94.7% in April 2020 for single-family and 93.9% for townhouse/condo properties.
SOURCE: Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association
Sellers Step Up in Attempt to Meet Buyer Demand in April
Notice: Attempts to compare the performance of the Naples area housing market using month-over-month statistics is not recommended at this time. Mandatory COVID-19 restrictions during the Spring of 2020 disrupted the market resulting in inequitable statistical comparisons.
Naples, Fla. (May 21, 2021) – Buyers eager for more home choices were treated to an increase in new listings during April. According to the April 2021 Market Report, released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), there were 1,460 new listings added to the pool of homes for sale in Naples during April. This was a 106.2 percent increase in new listings compared to new listings added during April 2020. However, and as broker analysts reviewing the report were quick to point out, evaluating market conditions using month-over-month market data will not produce equitable comparisons for the next few months because the real estate industry, like virtually all businesses, experienced reduced productivity levels as a result of mandatory COVID-19 restrictions.
Since January, the Naples area housing market has enjoyed a 14.3 percent increase in new listings compared to new listings during the same time period in 2020. “Some buyers who haven’t found their ideal home yet might think, ‘There’s nothing left to see,’” said Brenda Fioretti, Broker Associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, “but new listings are hitting the market everyday so they shouldn’t give up searching for a home.”
Fioretti, along with several brokers who review NABOR®’s monthly Market Report, say buyers are best served in today’s low inventory market environment when they work closely with a REALTOR®. These professionals are trained to help buyers navigate the Naples area housing market using real-time technology that alerts them immediately when new homes that meet their clients’ needs become available.
Buyer demand in April took another bite on our inventory. April had 2,037 pending sales (homes under contract) and 1,882 closed sales, which resulted in 1,432 homes remaining in inventory by the end of the month. Not surprising, and because of increased demand for the Naples lifestyle, the 8-month supply of homes in April 2020 was reduced to a 1.1-month supply of homes at the end of April 2021. This substantial loss of inventory is attributed to post-pandemic relocation buying behaviors, a new reality in many Florida communities.
The median closed price in April increased 30.9 percent to $445,000 from $340,000 in April 2020. But according to Spencer Haynes, Vice President of Business Development and Broker with John R. Wood Properties, “Pricing is not an issue with most buyers. What we are dealing with today is a market of real end- users, not investors or ‘speculative flippers’ like what we saw in 2005/2006. People are not willing to buy anything just to get into a home right now. They have cash and are willing to wait until the right home becomes available.”
“The market is responding exactly as it should,” said Adam Vellano, a Naples Sales Manager at Compass Florida. “The number of new listings is going up and they are selling fast because demand is simply outpacing the inventory replenishment. The rise in homeowners’ equity during this hot market means everyone who bought a home in the last five or six years is in a good position to make a profit if they choose to sell now.”
Historically, new construction sales accounted for 25 percent of all home sales in Naples. But raw material shortages are forcing many local builders to require escalation clauses or press pause on future sales as it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to determine market prices a year from now.
Jeff Jones, Broker at Keller Williams Naples, added, “If a buyer is interested in a home that already has an accepted offer, that doesn’t mean it has sold. With such tight inventory, buyers are submitting offers on multiple homes so it’s a great practice to submit a backup offer if a buyer is really interested in the home. In all cases, there can be only one buyer per home so when this happens the buyer's back-up offer could become the winning offer.”
While overall closed sales continued to climb across all neighborhoods in Naples during April, according to Phil Wood, President & CEO of John R. Wood Properties, closed sales in the $1 million and $2 million and above price categories outperformed all other lower priced home categories tracked by NABOR®. “Traditionally, our seven-figure sales begin to level off after Easter. But today they remain strong. Whether it’s a single-family home over $1 million or a condominium over $2 million, the luxury market is still very much on fire.”