Statistics for both the second quarter and June show that the torrid pace of sales and prices, strong since the beginning of the year, has continued into the dog days of summer. Meanwhile, both inventory and days on the market have fallen, the Naples Area Board of Realtors announced Friday.
“All key indicators are going in the right direction,” said Mike Hughes, broker, vice president and general manager at Downing-Frye Realty. He and other brokers were on a NABOR panel that on Friday discussed the newly released numbers, which showed statistics for June, and also for the second quarter, compared to the same periods a year earlier. Summers have been surprisingly strong for at least the past four years, as more winter visitors and foreign buyers have decided that now is the time to buy, Hughes said. “People have been holding back from buying toys for some time now,” said Coco Waldenmayer, broker and manager at John R. Wood Realtors. “There’s a pent-up need.”
Overall, pending and closed sales hit the double or triple digits in all categories for the month. But for the quarter, pending sales in the under-$300,000 price range fell 1 percent while closed sales fell 16 percent. Several panelists noted that the slower sales for the quarter in the under-$300,000 range weren’t a function of lack of demand but rather dwindling supply of lower-end housing. The best result was in the $2 million-and-up range, where for June, pending sales rose a whopping 162 percent and closed sales were up 50 percent. For the quarter, pending sales increased 38 percent and closed sales were up 18 percent.
Overall, median closed prices jumped 20 percent, to $265,000, for the month and 13 percent, to $249,000, for the quarter. The median is the price at which half the homes sell for more and half for less. The $2 million-and-up category performed the best for the month, with prices rising 26 percent to $3.5 million. For the quarter, they dipped 2 percent to $3.05 million. Prices in the $1 million to $2 million range also were positive. They were up 5 percent in June to $1.36 million. For the quarter, they also were up 5 percent, to $1.39 million. “High-end condos are leading the way,” said Brenda Fioretti, managing broker at Prudential Florida Realty.
For June, prices were unchanged in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, at $375,000, and also in the $500,000 to $1 million range, at $637,000. For the quarter, prices rose 1 percent, to $375,000, in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, and fell 3 percent, to $660,000, in the $500,000 to $1 million range.
Much new construction is being built in these mid-range price points, which Hughes described as the “sweet spot” in terms of demand. New homes are especially popular with buyers who are migrating to the area from the Northeast and Midwest, said Wes Kunkle, NABOR’s president and managing broker at Weichert Realtors. “Back in the ‘80s, you could close this place down in the summer,” he said. “Now people are looking for permanent homes, and are staying year-round.”
The Naples beach area was the most popular region in terms of sales. Pending sales in the areas west of U.S. 41 were up 60 percent for the month and 23 percent for the quarter. Closed sales rose 9 percent for the month and 6 percent for the quarter. But at least until building can catch up with demand, supply remains constrained. For both the month and quarter, overall inventory levels (excluding pending construction) dropped 16 percent, to 5,282 units. This is partly due to fewer short sales and foreclosures being released by banks, as well as homeowners who are delaying putting their homes on the market until prices rise further, according to Waldenmayer. But those sellers who are listing their homes are finding buyers more quickly than they did last year. Average days on the market dropped 8 percent, to 163, for the month, and 13 percent, to 161, for the quarter. “These are pretty good times,” Hughes said.