The once downtrodden discussion of real estate is fast becoming the hot topic in newspapers, financial news shows and other media outlets. One thing is certain, the market is showing signs of recovery.
At a time when real estate prices are down significantly from their peak, the stock market is experiencing positive gains with significant gains in the Dow and NASDAQ for the year and interest rates remain at low levels, the momentum is positive for real estate.
Let’s consider some of the national reports on the real estate market. On Aug. 25, the Associated Press reported a 9.6 percent increase in sales of U.S. homes. The article indicated that the “housing market is climbing back from the historic bottom it reached early this year.”
For June 2009, the U.S. experienced price gains for the second consecutive month. According to The S&P/Case-Shiller index, home prices in 20 major cities, in the last three months ending June 30, were up 1.4 percent from their level in the three months, in comparison to the three months period ending May 31.
The Wall Street Journal stated that the price gains in June were an indication that “the housing market may be steadying, after years of decline.”
Florida continued to report strong home sales for July for the 11th consecutive month. Existing home sale increased in Florida by 37 percent for a year-to-year comparison.
Over the bridge in Naples, in July, U.S. News and World Report ranked Naples, Florida, third on the list of “America’s 10 Best Undervalued Places to Live.” Furthermore, Florida Travel & Life magazine touts Naples as “one of the bargain areas of Florida.” The magazine states that Naples, with its “culture, class and money, make this town a prized asset in any real estate portfolio.” This sentiment is reflected in an overall homes sales increase of 67 percent and inventory decrease of 12 percent.
According to Tom Bringardner, president of Premier Properties, “Every geographic area experienced an increase in both pending and closed sales, which is encouraging when looking at the bigger picture in Southwest Florida.”
Marco Island is not reporting the sizeable gains that Naples is reporting at this time. In hindsight, Marco Island started its sales push in May 2008, when sales were reported at 2005 levels. Unfortunately, that momentum stalled in the fall of 2008, with the credit crisis.
Marco Island — Four-year sales trend. Pending sale comparable to closed sales in May 2005
For Marco Island, through Aug. 20, the largest area of growth is the single-family home market. The 2009 single-family home sales exceeded 2006 and 2007 sales (for the same time period of Jan. 1 to Aug. 20). With three more months to go in 2009, single-family homes are already on track to surpass 2008 home sales for the entire year. From Jan. 1 to Aug. 20, the total closed and pending sales (under contract with and without contingency) totaled 270.
From Jan. 1, to Dec. 31, 2008, there were 263 home sales.
All indications, from activity in the marketplace, news reports and positive sales figures, show that our local real estate market is on track to continue to build upon it current positive momentum. In the Realtor community, we are experiencing increased interest and showings in a traditionally slow real estate season. Furthermore, we anticipate an onslaught of movement from sidelined buyers, especially when the first snowfall hits the northern states. To read the news links referenced in this article, go to MarcoIslandNaplesProperties.com, or contact Natalie Kirstein at NatalieK@PremierMail.net.
Natalie Kirstein works for Premier Properties of Southwest Florida Realtors, Inc., phone 784-0491, e-mail NatalieK@PremierMail.net. Kirstein uses her 13 years of experience in real estate appraisal and sales to generate informative and timely market reports for the Marco Eagle and her customer base.