Housing Activity in South Naples Heats Up in August

Naples, Fla. (September 18, 2015) – Traditionally a tepid month for REALTORS®, August delivered robust activity in many areas of Naples particularly in South Naples, according to the August 2015 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). South Naples is defined in the Southwest Florida MLS as encompassing properties in zip codes 34112 and 34113 (i.e., neighborhoods south of Davis Boulevard, west of SR/CR 951, east of the U.S. 41 and 5th Ave. S. intersection. Some of the larger neighborhoods in this area include, Lely, Treviso Bay, Isles of Collier Preserve, Lakewood, Kings Lake, Eagle Creek, and Isle of Capri). This particular geographic area experienced the highest increases in overall pending sales, closed sales and median closed prices of all geographic area reported in August.

Despite a 5 percent decrease in overall inventory for homes in the South Naples region from 575 homes in August 2014 to 547 homes in August 2015, broker analysts agree that the South Naples market is gaining in popularity as buyers are attracted to its investment potential and renewed growth.

Pending sales (homes under contract) in South Naples jumped 26 percent from 112 pending sales in August 2014 to 141 pending sales in August 2015. Closed sales in this region increased 9 percent from 1,482 closed sales in the 12-months ending August 2014 to 1,610 closed sales in the 12-months ending August 2015. Interestingly, the median home price in South Naples experienced the highest increase of all geographic areas with a 21 percent increase from $179,000 in the 12-months ending August 2014 to $217,000 in the 12-months ending August 2015 despite the fact that inventory decreased only 5 percent from August 2014 to August 2015.

“Mortgages are coming back in a big way too,” said Steve Barker, Advising Broker for Equity Realty. “The August report showed conventional sales amounted to 44 percent of all sales; whereas in August of 2013, conventional sales amounted to only 34 percent of all sales in that month. I believe we are starting to see a real trend back to home financing as many of the homeowners who lost homes in 2006, 2007 and 2008 are now able to qualify for new mortgages.”

According to Pat Pitocchi, NABOR® Media Relations Committee chairperson and corporate trainer at Downing-Frye Realty, “One factor contributing to the impressive activity in August may be that buyers are concerned an impending rate increase will occur this fall.” Phil Wood, President & CEO of John R. Wood Properties agreed and added that this concern may not be on just the buyers’ minds as he’s heard “several large banks are encouraging high-end buyers who have always favored purchasing homes with cash to consider applying for a mortgage to take advantage of the low rates.”

Aside from a steady shift of cash sales to more sales with conventional financing, Barker pointed out that there were 284 non-traditional sales (short sale and foreclosed sales) in August 2009 compared to only 49 non-traditional sales in August 2015. “There simply isn’t a huge presence of cash investors consuming the market anymore.”

Activity in the upper end of the market was impressive in August too, as evidenced in the report. Overall pending sales for homes in the $2 million and above price category increased 58 percent from 19 pending sales in August 2014 to 30 pending sales in August 2015. This $2 million and above price bracket’s overall median closed price also increased 14 percent from $2,850,000 in the 12-months ending August 2014 to $3,250,000 in the 12-months ending August 2015.

The NABOR® August 2015 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary.

The NABOR® August 2015 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings:
• Overall pending sales increased 2 percent from 795 in August 2014 to 811 in August 2015.
• Overall closed sales increased 2 percent from 9,695 in the 12-months ending August 2014 to 9,870 in the 12-months ending August 2015.
• Overall median closed price increased 14 percent from $260,000 in the 12-months ending August 2014 to $297,000 in the 12-months ending August 2015.
• Overall median closed price for homes $300,000 and under increased 10 percent from $175,000 in the 12-months ending August 2014 to $192,000 in the 12-months ending August 2015.
• Overall inventory decreased 2 percent from 3,579 in August 2014 to 3,525 in August 2015.
• Overall inventory for homes $300,000 and under decreased 26 percent from 1,279 in August 2014 to 946 in August 2015.
• There is a 4.27 months supply of inventory.
• Average days on market decreased 4 percent from 81 days to 78 days.

Rick Fioretti, NABOR® President Elect and Broker Associate with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Realty, pointed out that the 52 percent increase in the days on market for homes in South Naples from 63 days to 96 days may be a result of natural market correction. “New construction in the South Naples area is impacting neighboring home values favorably. Add the increase in commercial development near the 41 and 951 exchange and the result appears to be that home sellers realized their properties may have been undervalued and are now pricing them higher.”
Sellers in all geographic areas of Naples benefit when they partner with a REALTOR® who can provide an accurate market price for their home.

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