October has been a very busy month; the news world is in a tizzy with the presidential debates, continued drama over the European debt crisis and the “return of the housing market”!  As usual the media chooses to bombard the public with facts and figures and it is our quest to break down the flood of information into bite size chunks.

Here are the highlights: 

Nationally housing starts increased 15% in September to their fastest pace in more than four years. Building permits, a sign of future construction, increased by more than 11%, also above expectations. These are both signs that the housing sector’s recovery is gaining some momentum.

Florida witnessed a drastic drop in their DOM (days on market) data as reported by the Florida Realtors organization.  On average single family homes now remain on the market for 59 days; a decrease of 18.1% from a year ago.  Likewise condominiums and townhomes now average 61 days on the market a decrease of 16.4% from a year ago.

The Naples Board of Realtors released their third quarter report:

  • Overall inventory decreased 12 percent from 7,069 for the third quarter 2011 compared to 6,195 in the third quarter 2012.
  • Overall pending sales increased 12 percent from 2,103 pending sales in the third quarter 2011 to 2,362 pending sales in the third quarter 2012.
  • The median closed price increased 10 percent from $175,000 in the third quarter 2011 to $192,000 in the third quarter 2012.
  • Naples coastal area overall pending sales increased 17 percent reflecting 388 pending sales in the third quarter 2012 compared to 331 pending sales in the third quarter 2011.

The Takeaway:

Real estate in Naples is shifting with inventory levels dropping 12 percent and pending sales increasing by the same rate it is inevitable that the median price would increase.  What is surprising is that the median price would increase by 10 percent (to $192,000) which points to the pent up demand that has been brewing since our market bottomed out.

In our previous blog post we referenced how the naples florida property market is no longer a seasonal market in large part due to the unprecedented number of sales that occurred during our traditionally slow summer season.

Naples attracts buyers from all over the world who want to live here but do not necessarily need to live here. Buyers who are local full time residents that wanted to buy a year ago were faced with financing restrictions that have now eased. The coupling demand of seasonal and full time buyer demand in Naples is evident in the reported statistics.

Cindy Carroll, Vice President of Carroll & Carroll Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants stated, “More inventory would be helpful to the market. Resale inventory continues to decline despite the fact that new home building has returned.”

The Local Pulse:

Housing inventory levels in Naples are at an all time low and the agents within the brokerage at Downing-Frye Realty have capitalized on the increase in buyer traffic.  Mike Hughes, the general manager noted “what’s going on in October?? We have had 57 pending sales contracts submitted in the last three days. So far this month we have had 244 pending sales contracts turned in to our accounting department. I thought there was no one here in October!!! It looks to me like a number of clients are getting a jump on season and making decisions early. It might be that with a shrinking inventory they are worried in season that their choices could be more limited. How about closings? We have now closed over 2,900 transactional sides this year. If we didn’t close another transaction this year, it would be our fourth best year in 50 years for closings.”

The locals like to refer to our busy time of the year as “the season” which coincides with the brutal winter months that take over the states north of the Mason Dixon line.  Season this year has come several months early and with Halloween around the corner we may just see adults trick or treating as well.  Though they won’t be pleading  for candy but instead may be asking if the owner’s house is for sale.  Stranger things have happened on the eve of a harvest moon!


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