SWFL sees median home prices soar

New year, new neighbors. And those new neighbors are driving up the prices of homes.
Josh Marzucco, CEO of Marzucco Real Estate, said it is a good time to be in the real estate business in Southwest Florida.

“Things just kind of went crazy from March until now,” Marzucco said.

His buyers are coming from all over the country, including the states of New York and California.

“We’re seeing full price cash offers before people are even seeing the home in person,” Marzucco said.

It’s not just retirees making their move to the Sunshine State.

“I would say more so families right now,” he added, “They figured out they can work remotely and they want to get the heck out of the states that are shut down.”

Median Prices and Sales

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Regional Economic Research Institute put together economic indicators and found single-family home sales in the region improved 43% in November 2020 over November 2019.

In Charlotte County, they are up 39%, Lee County up 36% and Collier County up 66%.

Median prices for single-family homes in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties increased by 12% to 26% in November 2020 compared to November 2019.

In Charlotte County, the median home price went from $239,950 to $269,900. Lee County’s median price rose from $262,500 to $319,150 year over year.

Collier County saw the biggest jump over the same period, going from $435,000 in November 2019 to $550,000 in November 2020.

This price jump is unprecedented, according to Shelton Weeks, director of the Lucas Institute for Real Estate Development & Finance at Florida Gulf Coast University.

“When you look at the median home price in Collier County, it’s $550,000,” said Weeks, a real estate expert and economist. “Now, you don’t want to be in that situation, trying to recruit first responders, school teachers, nurses, people that we absolutely have to have. That’s a real challenge. So this sort of sets the stage for what I think will be some very important discussions regarding housing affordability, and how we can address this moving forward in order to maintain the quality of life.”

The recent real estate boom is the result of a few factors. Weeks suspects some may have accelerated their plans to relocate to Southwest Florida. In addition, record low-interest rates also make it tempting to buy. Right now, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is 2.67%, according to Freddie Mac.

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