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Housing market: Tough to buy in Collier County; Realtors say more buyers coming

The housing market is still booming in Southwest Florida, as the region is breaking real estate records — also making it tough to buy.

The few homes on the market in the area are creating bidding wars among cash buyers.

There are so few homes on the market presently, Realtors are telling people to take what you can get. Realtors told us their inventory is low because everything is selling, and buyers say prices have close to tripled.

“As soon as a house goes on the market, it’s gone,” said Jinie Nicholson in Collier County.

Nicholson and her husband say they looked for months to try find their home.

“This one came up available, we jumped on it,” Nicholson said.

When they found a gem to call home in North Naples, they had to act fast.

“There were three offers in two hours,” Nicholson said. “That’s how quickly the homes are selling in this area.”

There is also sticker shock for what some fixer-uppers are being asked for.

“It took us so long to find one because you’re looking at tearing down for $1.5 million, and I said, ‘That’s a little steep to tear it down, don’t you think?’” Nicholson said.

The Naples Board of Realtors said the median price of homes in the area for March was $400,000, and it’s going up.

“There is so much high-end property being sold that it’s driving that average sales price up in the entire market,” said Realtor Budge Huskey with the board.

“Something’s worth what someone is willing to pay for it,” said Realtor Nic Spano at Equity Realty.

Sales for the month broke records, looking back 13 years, going up by 35%.

“I think the rest of 2021 is going to look like a new record every month,” Spano said.

He says he expects another wave of buyers to come to the region.

“People are still waiting to get their vaccines to come down,” Spano said. “So I think there’s a whole wave of buyers there, and then the Canadian market as well has been completely dry for the last year and a half, so when that border opens up, we’re going to get another wave.”

Realtors say if you’re looking to buy, remember these two things: Come pre-approved, and have your backup choices prepared because chances are, if you love the home, someone else will too.

“It’s a beautiful area,” Nicholson said. “This is a terrific, terrific neighborhood, really nice people.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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