High-end Naples neighborhoods bringing higher prices, longer waits to sell

This Port Royal home in Naples sold for $6.5 million in August 2012. Courtesy of  Downing Frye Realty Inc.

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This Port Royal home in Naples sold for $6.5 million in August 2012. Courtesy of Downing Frye Realty Inc.

Here are some of the price trends in the Naples-area market during the past year:

* * * * *

All of Naples — Flat, maintaining $390,000

* * * * *

Port Royal — Up slightly, $3.5 million to $4 million

* * * * *

Olde Naples — Up, $1.1 million to $1.4 million

* * * * *

Aqualane Shores — Down, from $2.1 million to $1.5 million

* * * * *

Royal Harbor — Big spike during the year, but ending around $5.1 million on average

* * * * *

Coquina Sands — Up, starting at under $400,000 to now more than $800,000

* * * * *

Windstar on Naples Bay — Flat, starting at $390,000 and finishing around $410,000

* * * * *

Sources: Sunshine MLS for the Naples area, broken out by development area as of March 6, 2013. Average prices shown from beginning to end of 12-month period; Mark Goebel, Coldwell Banker, Naples

— For sale signs dot the streets of well-to-do neighborhoods such as Port Royal, Aqualane Shores and Old Naples.

It’s not unusual for this time of year in Naples. It’s the busy season and that’s when more sellers market their homes, expecting more buyer interest with more visitors in town.

However, when it comes to multimillion-dollar mansions and estates on or near the waterfront, it’s often not a quick sell. Some of the listings are more than a year old.

“I can tell you that in Port Royal and the beachfront in 2012, the average days on the market was 363,” said Philip Collins, a broker associate for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples.

That means on average, homes there took nearly a year to sell in 2012.

Some mansions priced at more than $10 million have been on the market for more than three years, Collins said. However, when the right buyer comes along, sales can happen quickly, he said.

“We had one listing that was put on the market on Jan. 25 in Port Royal, and it went pending on March 1. It was a new house. It was priced at over $14 million,” Collins said.

The Naples Area Board of Realtors estimates there’s a seven-month supply of homes on the market based on its own statistics. But that’s a view of the overall Naples area market, excluding Marco Island.

In some neighborhoods, such as Port Royal and Old Naples, there’s a more than 1 1/2-year supply of homes based on the pace of sales during the past year, said Mark Goebel, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Naples.

Looking at the overall Naples market for single-family estates priced at more than $2 million, there’s a 20-month supply of them, he said. There are 345 for sale and 202 sold last year, Goebel said.

A recent check of the multiple listing service, or MLS, for Naples showed 54 homes for sale in Port Royal. In the past year, 36 homes have sold, Goebel pointed out.

Port Royal — bordered by Gordon Pass to the south, Naples Bay to the east, Gulf of Mexico to the west, and Aqualane Shores to the north — has 500 single-family estates. The most expensive home listed in the neighborhood is a five-bedroom estate spanning more than 6,000 square feet, going for $22.9 million. Some homes are marketed privately, so they never show up in the MLS.

In Aqualane Shores — sandwiched between Port Royal and Old Naples off Gordon Drive — inventory looks a bit better, Goebel said. A recent count showed 25 homes on the market, or about a 10-month supply, with most of them listed at more than $2 million. Prices go from nearly $1.5 million to $6.5 million in the neighborhood, which has about 370 estates.

“In Aqualane Shores, in particular, the sales have predominantly occurred over the last five to six months. That market has come back,” said Michele Harrison, a Realtor with John R. Wood Realtors in Naples.

She has a listing in Aqualane for about $3.82 million. It’s a two-story, four-bedroom estate, with a den, spanning 5,600 square feet on Sixth Street South, built in 2003. It’s been on the market for about a year, Harrison said.

“We’ve had price adjustments and the market is coming back to where we want to see it. It’s coming back strong. So I think that one will be sold this season,” she said.

In Old Naples, where every east-west avenue ends at the beach, there are more than 40 single-family homes on the market for at least $2 million, a recent check of the MLS showed. That’s about a 19-month supply based on demand in the past year, Goebel said.

Combining the listings in Port Royal and the Old Naples beachfront, a recent check found 85 active listings, compared to more than 100 a year ago, which shows a declining inventory, Collins said.

Prices in Old Naples have strengthened, while prices in Port Royal are flatter over the year.

“Old Naples is the craziest I’ve seen. That market is showing pricing on properties that resemble close to our heydays and highs that people thought it would take 15 to 20 years to get back to,” said Trey Wilson, a Realtor with Naples Estate Properties.

In Port Royal, prices peaked in the summer, but then dropped off and now they’re about where they were a year ago, Goebel said.

When it comes to the owners’ reasons for wanting to sell in neighborhoods such as Port Royal, Old Naples and Aqualane Shores, there are many. Some are looking to move within their same communities, elsewhere in the county, or to leave Collier County entirely. Some want to downsize, while others want to move up.

In Port Royal, once homeowners have lived in the community for 10 years they can still keep their exclusive membership in the Port Royal Club if they move, so that can trigger a sale, explained Craig Jones, vice president of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples.

“It’s a normal cycle,” she said of Port Royal owners wanting to sell. “We don’t think there are any more listings than usual, nor do we think there’s a drag on the market by any means.”

For many of the wealthy owners in Naples, the homes are their second, third or even fourth. Some put up for-sale signs in season just to test the market while they’re here from up North, but they don’t really have to sell, said William Bayes, a vice president of operations for 41 West, a longtime luxury builder in Naples.

“It’s an investment strategy for a lot of people,” he said. “There are people that have things on the market right now that they know if it sells at a decent price they are going to be happy. If it won’t, they are not going to sell it.”

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