I am often asked how the Fort Myers Beach market is doing by people trying to guess if this is a good time to buy or sell. During the last 90 days my answer has changed dramatically. Before it was a cautious " Yes " for buyers and a " Do you have to sell now ? " for sellers. Both answers were based on my daily interaction with the market here in Southwest Florida. Increasingly, reports from various sources indicate that our market ( Fort Myers Beach, as well as some others ! ) shows a significant increase in all measures: number of walk-ins, scheduled showings, open houses and listings under contract.
The lower end of the market ( under $300K ) appears to be the most robust while two of our office listings over $1,000,000 also went under contract ! Hopefully, the market is starting to respond to all of the pent up demand !
The other notable item is a dramatic shift from financed purchases to all cash purchases. My last 4 contracts were with " all cash " buyers. My lender friends also report a similar shift. Below is a repri9nt from the MARCOEAGLE on the local market activity.
Existing single-family home sales in the Fort Myers area rose nearly 182 percent in December.
There were 1,034 homes sold, up from 367 a year ago, through the multiple listing service, or MLS, according to the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach Inc.
Short sale and bank-owned homes continue to influence market prices. The median price dropped to $97,750 last month - below where it was in 2003.
In December, there were 10,326 single-family homes for sale through the MLS. That's nearly a nine-month supply. A year ago, there was nearly a two-year supply of homes on the market.
There are 1,178 properties pending for sale, up 137 percent from a year ago.
"Earlier in the year we predicted that sales of existing single-family homes for the year would surpass 2003 and 2007 levels. We are extremely pleased that in fact, the sales pace was much greater than anticipated as we surpassed 2004 sales by 6.5 percent and 2006 sales by 7.1 percent," said Realtor Association President Suzanne Sherer in a news release.
"We believe that sales volumes will continue to grow as lenders have priced properties aggressively to move them and now that inventory levels are under nine months, we expect that many properties will receive multiple offers."