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Florida Home Sales Rise Again in September

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 at 10:29pm.

For the first time in three years, both existing home and condominium sales rose on a year over year basis throughout Florida. It was also the third month in a row that a large number of the state's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) noted higher sales activity. In addition, pending sales were up again in many markets indicating stabilization is definitely taking hold in Florida's housing sector.

Statewide, sales of existing single family homes totaled 10,817, up 24% year over year. Existing condominium sales totaled 2,878 and were up 11% from a year ago. Lower property prices are obviously the driving force behind these sales volume increases. The median home price fell 22% to $175,100 and the median condo price fell to $153,800, also down 22%. However, other factors are also playing an important role. For instance, International buyers are not only finding many well priced properties; they also have more buying power because of the current weak dollar situation. Stable mortgage interest rates are helping too. Savvy home buyersare aware of the bargains and are taking advantage of the many well priced properties that are on the market. Locally in Southwest Florida, home and condominium sales were also quite strong. Here are some examples of Septembers' numbers:

Cape Coral and Ft. Myers Real Estate

Cape Coral Home and Condominium Sales:
  • Single family homes sales rose by 11% over Augusts' numbers (442 vs. 398) and were up 304% over last September (442 vs. 145).
  • The median home price fell 9% to $121,000 and was 61% lower than a year ago.
  • Condominium sales fell by 19% over Augusts' numbers (26 vs. 32) but were up by 216% over last September (26 vs. 12).
  • The median condominium price fell 44% to $105,000 and was 63% lower than a year ago.
Ft. Myers Home and Condominium Sales:
  • Single family homes sales rose by 4% over Augusts' numbers (756 vs.729) and were up 275% over last September (756 vs. 275).
  • The median home price fell 6% to $126,250 and was 42% lower than a year ago.
  • Condominium sales fell by 5% over Augusts' numbers (85 vs. 89) but were up by 20% over last September (85 vs. 71).
  • The median condominium price fell 10% to $150,000 and was 17% lower than a year ago.

Bonita Springs and Naples Real Estate

Bonita Springs Home and Condominium Sales:
  • Single family homes sales rose by 29% over Augusts' numbers (44 vs. 34) and were up 76% over last September (44 vs. 25).
  • The median home price fell 14% to $351,000 and was 76% lower than a year ago.
  • Condominium sales fell by 61% over Augusts' numbers (21 vs. 31) and were the same as last September (21 sales).
  • The median condominium price rose 11% to $267,500 but was 15% lower than a year ago.
Naples Home and Condominium Sales:
  • Single family home sales fell by 4% over Augusts' numbers (361 vs. 376) but were up by 50% over last September (361 vs. 240).
  • The median home price rose by 1% to $240,000 but was 65% lower than a year ago.
  • Condominium sales fell by 28% over Augusts' numbers (114 vs. 158) but were up by 31% over last September (114 vs. 87).
  • The median condominium price rose 4% to $226,000 but was 15% lower than a year ago.

Pending sales (an indicator of possible closed sales to come) rose by 25% for the month in the Ft. Myers area and by 106% in the Naples area. However, you have to be more cautious than usual with pending sales data in today's real estate marketplace. Many pending sales are falling out because of tighter mortgage loan approval guidelines and the fact that many of these contracts are written on foreclosures or short sales that also fall out for one reason or another. It's also important to understand that the overall market value is being drug down by all the foreclosures that continue to hit the market in "some areas"  of Southwest Florida. However, they are not rampant everywhere and their existance does not mean that you can walk into a beach front or high-end gated community type property and offer cents on the dollar. It just won't happen, no matter what you've heard through the "grapevine."

You can get a good price in comparison to the last few years, but you won't find all properties being priced at 50 cents on the dollar either. So, if you are serious about finding your dream vacation or retirement home here in Florida, now may be a good time to take a look at what the area offers. The key is to get yourself a good local representative who knows the area well, review the actual numbers that only they can provide, and then do your homework. You just might get a Florida property at a price that has not been available for quite some time.

*Sales Data Statistics from the NABOR & SWFL MLS

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About the Author

Gulf Coast Associates, RealtorsBenjamin Dona is the Broker and Owner of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors in Bonita Springs, Florida. He holds two advanced degrees, an MBA and an MA, and has an extensive background in both business and marketing. In 1998, he founded Gulf Coast Associates, and formed a group of like-minded Realtor® associates dedicated to offering professional Southwest Florida real estate services by concentrating on information, education and the use of leading edge technologies. He also is a recognized expert on the "Net," a much-quoted and read blog author, and a contributor to both national and international news outlets. Benjamin is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Florida Association of Realtors, and numerous local real estate boards throughout Southwest Florida.

Contact Benjamin Dona at 239-948-3955

3 Responses to "Florida Home Sales Rise Again in September"

Tammy Winner wrote:
That's great news. I hope things begin to turn here in Myrtle Beach soon.

Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2008 at 1:52pm.

Ki wrote:
I have been seeing year to year increases in sales in a few markets around the country. I hope this trends continues for the next few months. If interest rates stay down hopefully this can be the start of a recovery.

Posted on Sunday, November 9th, 2008 at 1:35pm.

Kim G. in Pensacola wrote:
We are still seeing a decline in residential unit sales month to month and year to year in the Florida Panhandle.
It looks like the housing bubble we have been experiencing here in Pensacola will fully run its cycle by the end of 2009. I base this on unit sales, average sales price and active listings verses time.

The next phase of our market is entirely dependent on the credit and the economy like everyone else.

Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2008 at 5:04pm.

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