Economic Summit Experts: Naples Area is Poised for Growth

Naples Area Board of REALTORS® Economic Summit

Experts Predict Naples Area is Poised for Growth


Naples, Fla. (April 28, 2014) – More than 450 REALTORS® and real estate professionals interested in the economic health of Collier County took part in “View From the Top,” the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) annual Economic Summit on Monday, April 21, 2014 at the Waldorf Astoria Naples. Five guest speakers provided national, state and local analysis of recent growth and home sales activity as well as predictions of what to expect in the next 12 months.


Dr. Lawrence Yun, PhD, Chief Economist National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) surprised everyone when he asserted that Florida is headed to a “return to the old future.”


“We are seeing a revival of migration to Florida,” said Yun, who added that 8,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 each day and many are making Florida their new home. Although Dr. Yun stated that people’s incomes are not increasing as fast as home prices, he did agree that the Federal Reserve is doing a good job communicating the fact that interest rates will not fall again, making 2014 the year to purchase a home.


The Chief Economist of NAR® pointed out that nationally, mortgage lenders are beginning to ease restrictive lending and have started to accept lower credit scores for home loans. However, because Washington can now sue a bank if it defaults on a non-qualifying loan, he said we may see reluctance from them to lend if the purchaser does not meet all qualifying criteria. According to Yun, this factor contributes to an increase in cash purchases for real estate, which now comprise 74 percent of real estate sales in Collier County, as reported by NABOR® in its first quarter 2014 market report.


Russell Smith, the Vice President of Land Development Operations for Lennar Homes and the Economic Summit’s second speaker shifted focus to new community developments in Collier County revealing a one-month inventory for vacant new homes. He praised state and local governments for extending new construction permits, which allowed local builders to make headway with existing developments after a long pause for recovery, and acknowledged high impact fees of up to $30,000 will continue to add over $100 a month to the cost of 30-year mortgages.


Jobs were the first focus of a presentation given by the Summit’s third speaker Dr. John Tuccillo, Chief Economist, Florida Realtors® and head of Industry Data and Analysis Department.


“Jobs are key to where the market goes,” said Tuccillo, who added, “Florida must do its part to attract people who create jobs and not just those willing to fill them.”


Tuccillo also predicted that Florida may see a gradual increase in inventory in the next six months. Yet the big increase will probably not happen until 2017, when investors who swarmed in during 2009 will start to sell at a profit. Whether there will be enough demand to take out investors depends on the accessibility of mortgages, Tuccillo concluded.


Dr. Ron Coccari, Visiting Professor of Economics; Lutgert College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University was the Summit’s fourth speaker and pointed out that new home construction permits have risen 38 percent in the last year. Pointing to the influx of Baby Boomers to Florida, Dr. Coccari said Florida can expect a healthier, more moderate rate of growth for the future.


The final presenter was Cindy Carroll, a 29-year local appraisal veteran and Vice President, Manager of Residential Division for Carroll & Carroll Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants, who pointed out that there is no new construction being initiated in the under $300,000 market for Collier County. With 50 percent of existing homes for sale in that price category, Ms. Carroll predicted its 5.4 months of inventory will go fast in the next year.


During the Question and Answer segment of the Summit, the panel of speakers addressed several issues including a need to train Florida natives for trade jobs that were once performed by illegal immigrants. The panel also answered questions regarding affordable housing, agreeing it will likely become an area of focus again and can foresee the creation of another Affordable Housing Task Force.


Regarding the importance of consumers using a REALTOR® website like to search for a home for sale versus their use of an aggregate real estate website like Zillow, the presenters agreed that the difference lies in the formula used by most technology companies who are fixated on profits rather than REALTOR websites which are focused on accuracy and service. Dr. Yun spoke for all when he contested that at some point, the third-party electronic consumer sites like Zillow will have to change their interface to increase profits, and that means most likely charge a fee to use it.


NABOR® would like to thank Jeff Lytle, Naples Daily News Editorial Page Editor, for moderating the event, and Twin Eagles, the event sponsor, as well as Quail Creek Country Club and DataQuick Title company, the reception sponsors.


NABOR® is located at 1455 Pine Ridge Road in Naples. For additional information on the Economic Summit, contact Marcia Albert at (239) 597-1666.


The Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) is an established organization (Chartered in 1949) whose members have a positive and progressive impact on the Naples Community. NABOR® is a local board of REALTORS® and real estate professionals with a legacy of nearly 60 years serving 4,000 plus members. NABOR® is a member of the Florida Realtors and the National Association of REALTORS®, which is the largest association in the United States with more than 1.3 million members and over 1,400 local board of REALTORS® nationwide. NABOR® is structured to provide programs and services to its membership through various committees and the NABOR® Board of Directors, all of whose members are non-paid volunteers.

The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and who subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.