Records were broken in March, but “don’t call Guinness just yet!” say broker analysts reviewing the March 2021 Market Report, released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). The analysts are a small contingency of leaders who represent the area’s top real estate brokerage firms and meet monthly at NABOR® to interpret area housing market statistics. The group’s analysis of activity last month confirmed that March broke records; but celebrations to commemorate the month’s record high statistics should be postponed because these broker analysts also agree that our market is probably not done breaking records for the year.
- Get a mortgage pre-approval
- Be ready to make a competitive offer
- Be available to view a home at the seller’s convenience
- Confirm that your agent has activated your profile in the Southwest Florida MLS, and make sure the information is accurate so you can be matched with new listings as soon as they become available
- Stay connected and respond quickly to your agent’s requests
- Be ready to make up the difference between the appraised value and the sale price if financing your home
- Don’t fall in love with just one house: Have a second and third choice in mind in case you miss out on your first choice
- If your favorite home choice goes pending with another buyer, make a back up offer anyway! Often, the first buyer backs out and you become the primary. You can continue shopping for a home and terminate the back-up contract at any time before you become the primary
- Rely on your REALTOR® for advice concerning escalation clauses and contingency matters
- Pay with cash to be most competitive, if possible, and avoid the mortgage underwriting process
Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., pointed out that closed sales in March left buyers in April with a 1.6 month supply of homes. For perspective, the National Association of REALTORS® considers a six-month supply of housing a balanced market. However, Hughes was quick to also remark that “depletion of inventory is not due to a lack of sellers, as new listings have been steady over the past several years.” According to the report, new listings have been hovering around 1,500 a month for the last decade. In March, new listings even increased 32.5 percent to 1,670 new listings from 1,260 new listings in March 2020. “With limited new construction options, buyers are stripping our resale inventory,” said Hughes, “especially in the high-end market.”
The March Market Report showed remarkable closed sales performance in the condominium market during March too, which had a 71.6 percent increase in sales to 1,021 closed sales from 595 closed sales in March 2020. Closed sales of single-family homes over $2 million also increased 68.4 percent in March. Geographically, closed sales of condominiums in Central Naples rose 118.3 percent in March, while the average sale price for single family homes in Central Naples increased 38.4 percent to $901,807 from $651,370 in March 2020.
“Sellers are raising prices and multiple offers are still coming in,” said Budge Huskey, CEO, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “This is because inventory is limited, and more sellers are realizing now is a good time to place their home on the market and get top value in the current market conditions!”
Broker analysts predict the level of demand experienced in March is sustainable and should be expected to continue for the next few months, or longer. “Season was disrupted this year because many people elected to hold off relocating until they were fully vaccinated,” added Huskey. “Agents also report that many seasonal visitors are staying longer than in previous years, possibly because they can afford to wait in anticipation of more homes becoming available in the luxury market. I believe we’ll continue to see more newcomers from northern states looking for homes in the high end in the coming months. Beyond that, and as we enter the summer season, we might begin to see a second wave of international buyers entering our market as travel restrictions begin to relax.”
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 6,000 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 m ark 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.