Reading the local papaer this morning, I saw two conflicting messages:
First of all, a liquidation sale in a gated community resulted in a total sellout of 116 homes in just two weeks. Seventy percent were sold to homesteaders. So much for the idea that there are no buyers out there. This, after the recent Countrywide auction that attracted hordes of qualified buyers, even though Countrywide seems to be a little challenged when it comes to conducting an auction. Then there is the mesage that actual closed sales has hit a peak recently not seen for about 18 months. Every title company I talk to is busy.
Then there is the "other side of the story". In the business section of today's paper is an article headlined: "Lee housing market clogged with unsold homes". Lee county inventory has swelled to almost 16,000 homes. In the county, 5,189 single-family homes were listed for less than $200,000. Cape Coral has over 5,000 single family homes for sale. Furthermore, there is a "shadow market" of houses not officially for sale, which are in the final stages of foreclosure. For a variety of reasons, banks are apparently holding back some of this supply......maybe for an upturn in the market? Who knows. Or maybe they are just not finished shuffling papers on these homes and they will soon hit the market.
One thing is sure.....if buyers continue to buy, we will gradually chew up this inventory. At this point it is anybody's guess as to how long it will take, but there may be some pleasant surprises in store for home sellers. Sixteen thousand homes selling at five hundred per month equals a thirty two month supply. That same sixteen thousand homes selling at sixteen hundred a month equals only a ten month supply, which is not too bad. Are we there yet? I don't see it yet, but I see it coming. And guess what? Sixteen new home permits a month won't do much to replenish that supply.