It is exciting to read about real estate in the news today. There is still some discussion on foreclosures and lower prices, but many articles are starting to say that it is a great time to buy real estate.
If you haven’t seen the positive article about real estate, reference some of the following.
MSNMoney.com: “Why it’s time to invest in real estate. It’s scary to jump into the housing market when prices have been plunging. But waiting could end up costing you.”
Business Week: “Where to Find America’s Most Affordable Real Estate.”
Dennis Torres, executive director of real estate operations at Pepperdine University, believes that this is the era that people will remember as “I could have, I should have’ for decades.” The combination of the housing crash and low interest rates make this a great opportunity for buyers.
Gainesville Sun: “UF economist: Real estate recovery has begun.”
UF research economist David Denslow said that Florida’s real estate has slowly transitioned to growth and the trend will continue its uphill swing as many “near term” retirees and baby boomers in their 50s begin to flock to the sunshine state for second homes.
Associated Press: “Some real estate agents in N.Y.’s Hamptons see rally.”
Activity in the playground for the rich and famous is now enjoying a bustling business which started accelerating in the spring of this year. According to Alan Schnurman, a high-end real estate developer, “These buyers are smart people and they all made a decision that the market hit a point and was forming a bottom. Now, they want to get in on the values that are out there.”
National Post :”Signs U.K. is recovering from recession.”
London’s luxury homes increased at its fastest pace in August, while at the same time experienced price increases for the fifth straight month.
Hall Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens, reports new highs for June 2009 for the areas of Palm Beach, New York and the Hamptons. In an interview with Christie’s Great Estates, Willkie states “The economy is showing signs of improvement. We find that buyers are more confident, and when they perceive good value, they move forward.”
All this positive news reporting is culminating into favorable news reports for Naples and Marco Island.
For August, Naples reported an overall increase in pending sales, a key indicator of buyer activity, by 87 percent in a year-over-year comparison. For August 2009, Naples saw 862 properties under contract; in August 2008, only 461 properties went under contract (or pending sale).
A quick look of the pending sales on Sept. 14 in Naples shows that 56 percent under contract were single-family homes and 44 percent were condominiums and villas. The strongest area of pending sales can be found for properties listed under $500,000.
While Naples has consistently been reporting strong sales trends at the lower price ranges, showings and activity have increased in all areas of the market in recent months. This is indicative of activity in the high-end market in areas such as the Hamptons, U.K., New York, and Palm Beach.
For the month of August, Marco Island experienced positive news for both condominiums and single-family homes. For a year -over-year comparison, Marco Island reported the following:
Decrease in inventory of 8.96 percent; increase in pending sales by 27.6 percent; and increase of 23.7 percent for closed sales.
For closed sales, the positive gains can be summarized in the following areas: single family homes sales increase of 29.4 percent; condominium sales increase of 23.7 percent; and lot sales – no change from August 2008.
In a little over a month, the total number of pending sales increased from 136 to 167 (pending sales and pending with contingencies). For condominiums under contract, beachfront condos represent the largest percentage under contract, at 45.7 percent, with two-bedroom beachfront condominiums representing the largest market share. The next largest segment can be found in the inland condominiums, at 25.7 percent and the water direct condominiums at 20 percent.
While activity in Marco Island and Naples are showing signs of life at all price points, pending sales at the lower price range remains a strong consideration for many buyers. On Marco Island, single family homes listed under $500,000 represent 51 percent of all pending sales. In Naples, the percentage of pending sales under $500,000 is significantly higher than Marco Island.
The direction of the market is changing locally and in many parts of the country. Many fellow Realtors are reporting increased buyer activity and transitioning of sidelined buyers into the market. Don’t miss your opportunity to own in paradise!
Natalie Kirstein is employed with Premier Properties of Southwest Florida Realtors, Inc., She uses her 13 years experience in real estate appraisal and sales to generate informative and timely market reports for the Marco Eagle and her customer base. Reach her at 784-0491 or e-mail NatalieK@PremierMail.net.