Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Report Shows Overall Inventory Declines 14 percent

NAPLES, Fla.-June 17 2011- Momentum is picking up and summer is emerging as a season of strong sales according to a report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island).

The overall available inventory decreased to 7,705 properties in May 2011 down from 9,006 properties in May 2010. “The decrease in inventory is having a positive effect on overall prices and is driving the median closed price up,” said Steve Barker, REALTOR® with Amerivest Realty.

The median closed price for single-family homes for the 12 months ending May 2011 increased 6 percent to $210,000 compared to $199,000 for the 12 months ending May 2010. The overall median closed price for single-family homes increased 15 percent to $242,000 in May 2011 compared to $210,000 in May 2010.

“With its strong market and rising prices, Naples is the exception to the two-thirds of the country experiencing real estate challenges, just as predicted by Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of REALTORS®,” said Phil Wood, President of John R. Wood REALTORS.

The May report provides annual comparisons of single-family home and condo sales (via the SunshineMLS), price ranges, geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The statistics are presented in chart format, along with the following analysis:

• Overall pending sales increased 8 percent in May 2011 with 955 contracts compared to 887 contracts in May 2010.

• Overall closed sales increased 4 percent in May 2011 with 838 sales compared to 803 sales in May 2010.

• Single-family home pending sales increased 8 percent in May 2011 with 515 contracts compared to 477 contracts in May 2010.

• Condo sales increased 9 percent with 450 sales in May 2011 compared to 412 sales in May 2010.

According to Brenda Fioretti, NABOR President, and Managing Broker of Prudential Florida Realty, “The increase in sales is found in the traditional market, not short sales or foreclosures which now make up less than 30 percent of the properties sold.”

“For the 12 months ending May 2011, condo sales increased 19 percent and the $1 million to $2 million category had an astounding increase of 164 percent, with 18 more units sold for the 12 months ending May 2011 than in the 12 months ending May 2010,” said John Steinwand, President of Naples Realty Services.

Florida’s existing home, condo sales rise in May 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. – June 21, 2011 – Florida’s existing home and existing condo sales rose in May, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Existing home sales increased 3 percent last month with a total of 17,228 homes sold statewide compared to 16,790 homes sold in May 2010, according to Florida Realtors. Statewide sales of existing condos last month rose 17 percent compared to the year-ago sales figure.

Twelve of Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported higher existing home sales in May; 14 MSAs also had higher condo sales. It’s the sixth consecutive month that Florida Realtors has reported higher year-over-year existing home and existing condo sales statewide.

“With low mortgage rates and a broad inventory of homes at affordable prices, qualified buyers are realizing that there may never be a better time to find the home they’ve been dreaming of in Florida,” said 2011 Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart. “Consult a local Realtor® about qualification criteria and to find out more about opportunities in your local housing market.”

Florida’s median sales price for existing homes last month was $135,500; a year ago, it was $142,900 for a 5 percent decrease. However, May’s statewide existing home median price was about 2.9 percent higher than it was in April. Analysts with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in April 2011 was $163,200, down 5.4 percent from a year ago, according to NAR. In California, the statewide median resales price was $293,570 in April; in Massachusetts, it was $279,000; in Maryland, it was $226,370; and in New York, it was $200,000.

According to NAR’s latest industry outlook, tight credit is one of the reasons why the market is underperforming. “Although existing-home sales are expected to trend up unevenly through next year, unnecessarily tight credit is continuing to restrain the market along with a steady level of low appraisals that result in contract cancellations,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “A robust economic and housing market recovery cannot occur as long as banks continue to hold onto huge cash reserves.”

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 8,338 units sold statewide last month compared to 7,104 units in May 2010 for an increase of 17 percent. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $98,200; in May 2010 it was $96,400 for a 2 percent increase. May’s statewide existing condo median price was about 6.9 percent higher than it was in April. The national median existing condo sales price was $167,300 in April 2011, according to NAR.

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.64 percent in May, a drop from the 4.89 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac. Florida Realtors’ sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales