Kelly E. Capolino, a Southwest Florida real estate agent and the founder of the Diamond Volunteer Program, analyzes the real estate market trends for the first 60 days of 2011 and reports good news.
Under contract sales have increased every January since 2008, going from only 501 units in 2008 to 721 units in January 2009. This shows a 49% increase in consumer confidence between those years. January 2010 posted 1,072 units under contract, and in January 2011 that number increased to 1,410 units. A total 181% increase is shown between 2011 and the marker year of 2008. February follows with a 142% increase in under contract sales. 1,602 properties were placed under contract, approximately 16% of the available property.
For the past six months, median prices fell within a 10% range, placing the average at $168,000. In February 2011, the median increased to $185,000. Inventory has slightly dropped, with a total of 10,177 properties listed as for sale in Southwest Florida.
“We are seeing what could be the beginnings of supply and demand bringing prices higher,” explained Capolino. “For example, in June 2010, investors purchased a $55,000 condo that sold for 38% more at $76,000 in February 2011, only 8 months later. At its peak ‘bubble point’ back in 2006, that condo sold for $231,800.”
In the most expensive sector of the market, homes are selling for higher than their previous ‘bubble point’ prices. In the prestigious Port Royal neighborhood, a waterfront home that sold for $2.5 million in 2004 closed for $2.599 million on February 1, 2011.
“Only two months into 2011, and there have been 5 closed sales above $5 million,” Capolino said. “The high-end sector is returning; a grand 2004 home sold for $12.5 million. Other sectors are showing positive change as well, such as ‘tear down homes’ being sold for reconstruction.”
According to Capolino, though contrary to popular belief, there is financing available for all levels of purchases. Though buyers may be waiting for the bottom price, interest rates are now rising. The interest rate for November 2010 was 4.25%, jumping to 4.75% in January 2011, and rates closed at over 5% in February 2011. Economists suggest that rates will continue to rise, which is one more reason to make a decision to buy sooner rather than later.
ABOUT KELLY E. CAPOLINO:
Capolino, founder of the Diamond Volunteer Programs and an agent with Keating Associates, is a residential real estate “Listing Leader” and “Top Producer” in Naples. She ranked #16 out of 5,000 real estate agents with the Naples Board of Realtors in 2009, excluding foreclosure agents. Her expertise in real estate is far-reaching with extensive knowledge and experience in luxury properties, acreage properties, investment properties, and renovation opportunities.