Some Southwest Florida pockets entered into stable markets in early 2016, according to recent reports. Others were not as telling.
Naples inventory in January rose 13 percent to 5,091 homes from 4,515 in the same period last year, according to a Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR) Market Report. Average days on the market for January decreased 14 percent to 75 days from 87 the year prior.
“Normally increased inventory would mean a slowing market,” says Rick Fioretti, NABOR president. “But when the number of days on the market starts reducing, it starts picking up.”
Homes in the Immokalee and Ave Maria area rose 78 percent to 48 single-family homes in January, up from 27 the previous year. The Bonita Springs and Estero market also showed stability. Pending sales in January totaled 254, up from 250 units in January 2015, according to Bonita Springs–Estero Association of Realtors (B.E.A.R) reports, and the median days-on-market remained consistent at 110.
Both the number of active listings and median days on the market decreased slightly in the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metro area, showing less stability, according to a Florida Realtors report. January inventory totaled 5,706 single-family homes, down 0.6 percent from the same period last year; the median days on market decreased year-over-year by 2.6 percent to 38 days.
A drop in single-family home and condo sales in Marco Island also shows a mixed market for Southwest Florida as a whole. Single-family home sales dropped from 18 in January 2015 to 16 this year, according to information provided by Gerry Rosenblum, broker associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. The total amount of closed real estate decreased year-over-year from $60 million to $46 million.
Though Fioretti says the general market feel “is going well,” it’s difficult to gauge the true state of the Southwest Florida market based on early figures alone. External factors can include the expanding number of new homes constructed by builders, a change in the Canadian dollar, softening of the stock market and the election year.
“Traditionally an election year is a year of uncertainty because people are waiting for the outcome,” Fioretti says. “When they are uncertain (of the outcome), they are also uncertain about making a second home purchase.”