Florida Realtors has reported the sale of existing single family homes throughout Florida rose 24 percent in the first quarter of 2010 as compared to the same time period in 2009. A total of 38,846 single family homes were sold statewide in Q1 2010 as compared to 31,410 in same time period in 2009.
On a local level, pending sales figures of single family homes increased 39 percent as reported by the Naples Area Board of Realtors. There were 1,667 contracts written in the first quarter of 2010 as compared to 1,203 contracts in the same period in 2009.
Condo sales throughout the state rose 67 percent in the first quarter of 2010. In Naples, pending sales of condos increased 75 percent in the first quarter of 2010 as 1,679 contracts were written as compared to 957 contracts during the first quarter of 2009.
Well-priced properties are attracting the interest of serious buyers in the Naples market, and the increase in pending sales is diminishing the existing supply of homes in our area. The rise in sales for both single family homes and condos indicate that there are a variety of active buyers at different price levels. While activity levels for condominiums sales under $300,000 remain high, buyers with larger budgets have entered the market. Sales of condos in the $1 million to $2 million range doubled in the first quarter of 2010, as 146 contracts were written as compared to 73 during the same quarter in 2009.
Why are buyers with larger budgets choosing to purchase condominiums over single family homes?
* Some buyers may not want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a single family home, especially if they only live in Naples for a few months out of the year.
* Condominiums may offer (perceived) higher levels of security to buyers.
* Amenity options may sway buyers to select condominiums that offer exclusive access to private beach clubs, golf courses and social activities.
* Buyers within the upper price ranges may have decided to purchase a condominium versus a single family home based on lack of available single family homes in their chosen location.
* Purchasers may have recently chosen to acquire a condominium based on current values in the marketplace. Lately prices have adjusted to reflect true market value, and buyers who were prepared to purchase at the top of their price range have been able to obtain a suitable property for less than originally expected.
Collectively, buyers in the Naples housing market purchased 15 percent of the inventory of available properties in the first quarter of 2010. Some experts predict that this positive buying trend will continue for the remainder of the year. As more and more qualified buyers enter the Naples market, the number of sales for all property types is expected to climb. Noting these trends, it is not surprising that many have been left wondering if the “bottom of the market” has already passed.