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Sales of single-family homes drop in Greater Fort Myers area

By Staff | Oct 14, 2011

Members of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach Inc. reported the sale of 1,028 existing single-family homes during September 2011, a decrease of 3.66 percent from September 2010 and a drop of 4.64 percent from August 2010. This is the 10th consecutive month that over 1,000 single family homes have been sold in the Greater Fort Myers area.

Buyers purchasing property in the Greater Fort Myers area are paying more than last year. The area’s overall median price rose to $99,450 for the month of September, a 13.01 percent increase over September 2010 and a 2.53 percent increase from August 2011. Since January of this year, the median price in the Greater Fort Myers area has increased by 22.78 percent.

However, the lower median price of foreclosures and short sales continues to put downward pressure on the overall median price. The median price for bank-owned sales in Quarter 3 (July-September 2011) is $73,000 and the median price for short sales is $82,000; whereas, the median price for traditional properties is $135,000.

A breakdown by sales type shows that the number of traditional properties sold has increased this year; however, during Quarter 3 (July-September) the percentage of traditional properties sold dropped to 46 percent of all transactions down from 50 percent in Quarter 2 (April-June). This affected the median price of traditional properties as the median price fell from $148,000 in Quarter 2 to $135,000 in Quarter 3.

At the current pace of sales, there is a 3.3-month absorption rate for the Greater Fort Myers area. The number of homes available for purchase in September is 4,489, a decline of 100 homes from September 2011; in fact, the Realtor association inventory has dropped significantly (38.44 percent) from September 2010, when 7,292 homes were listed for sale. Buyers are aware of the lack of inventory as 2,829 homes are under contract and awaiting closing in fact, the number of homes under contract is 86.36 percent (1,311 homes) above that recorded in September 2010.

“With low interest rates, which dropped below 4 percent last week for a 30-year fixed mortgage, and the influence of all-cash sales, it is evident to buyers that purchasing property in our area has become more competitive,” said Gary Verwilt, association president. “While we are entering Quarter 4 when sales traditionally slow, we still anticipate 2011 total sales to be in line with both 2009 and 2010, when over 16,000 single-family homes were sold each year.”

The numbers reported by the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach Inc. represent all sales by members of the association, not necessarily those sales strictly in Lee County. Note that statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is received.