This time of year is traditionally the slowest time for real estate in southwest Florida and Marco Island is challenged to capitalize on its three consecutive months of gains.
Marco Island still posts an impressive 27 percent gain for the last four months. This news is dampened slightly by the change in the year over year comparison for the month of August.
The storm season is upon us, and while it is not physically impacting Marco Island, it is showing some impact on our sales figures. In a year over year comparison, August pending sales (under contract) were down by 9.5 percent overall with single family homes showing a gain of 22 percent. For Marco Island, closed sales were down by 15.6 percent.
Decreases in inventory continue to be a strong suit for Marco Island. The number of properties for sale in August 2008 decreased by 11.2 percent in a year-over-year comparison. One factor contributing to the smaller than anticipated decrease in inventory, especially after the stellar performance experienced from May to July, is the sellers holding onto higher than market pricing with optimism that the market will return to higher pricing levels in the near future.
Fortunately, this is not further complicated by future high density developments that eliminates or minimizes inventory decreases due to sales.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Bloomberg recently reported the return of investors, such as Philadelphia-based private equity firm Lubert-Adler Partners and Related Group of Florida, into Miami’s marketplace buying up distressed properties. Jack McCabe, McCabe Research and Consulting LLC., states that “vulture buyers are an indication that the housing market has bottomed out.”
Consider that buyers are starting back into Miami’s market with 11,550 additional condos coming to the market in the upcoming year. If buyers consider Miami bottomed out with additional inventory forthcoming, imagine what they think about Marco Island. Should they consider Marco Island a prime buying environment since we have minimal inventory being added? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on the market.
Natalie Kirstein, MBA, Realtor, works for Premier Properties of Southwest Florida Inc at The Esplanade. She can be contacted at NatalieK@premiermail.net or 642-2222.