Naples, Fla. (October 23, 2015) – Broker analysts were pleased when they reviewed the Third Quarter Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). The report showed positive trends during the summer months of 2015, with increased activity in neighborhoods located inland (east of 41) including South, East and Central Naples. Overall closed sales for single-family homes in the $1-million to $2-million price category outpaced all other price categories with a 79 percent increase (quarter over quarter) from 56 single-family homes sold in the Third Quarter of 2014 to 100 sold in the Third Quarter of 2015.
“The third quarter report confirmed to us that summer was strong for home sales,” said Mike Hughes, NABOR® president, Vice President and General Manager of Downing-Frye Realty, referring to double-digit increases in closed sales for homes priced above $300,000. “I’m especially impressed at how well the high-end single-family home market did in the past three months because we typically see more people buy in this range between Christmas and Easter.”
Geographically, activity was most remarkable during the Third Quarter in inland neighborhoods of Naples with activity in the South Naples condominium market leading the pack. According to a quarterly comparison of the Third Quarter of 2014 versus the Third Quarter of 2015, South Naples saw an 8 percent increase in pending sales for condominiums, a 9 percent increase in closed sales for condominiums, and a 24 percent increase in median closed price for condominiums.
Broker analysts agreed that a renewed interest in homes located east of U.S. 41 was not a surprise. “Sales of homes near the beach happened faster following the recession because of their prime location,” said Pat Pitocchi, NABOR® media relations chairperson and corporate trainer at Downing-Frye Realty. “But the latest reports show us the housing market in all geographic areas within Naples has recovered as buyers are showing increased interest in our inland properties.”
Bill Coffey, Broker Manager of Amerivest Realty Naples, agreed with Pitocchi, noting that the reports also showed a strong trend in how people are purchasing homes, cash versus financing. “There was an 11 percent decrease in cash sales from 66.8 percent in September 2014 to 55.6 percent in September 2015,” said Coffey. “When the number of homes being financed continues to increase through the summer months, it’s a good indicator that more full-time families are being attracted to the area.”
Other inland areas that saw heightened activity during the Third Quarter were Central and East Naples. Of note, Central Naples (which includes neighborhoods between U.S. 41 and Collier Boulevard) saw a 24 percent increase (quarter over quarter) in overall median closed price from $185,000 in the Third Quarter of 2014 to $230,000 in the Third Quarter of 2015, and single-family homes in East Naples (identified as homes located east of Collier Boulevard) experienced a 29 percent increase in median closed price from $221,000 in the Third Quarter of 2014 to $285,000 in the Third Quarter of 2015.
Ten Percent Decrease in Pending Sales
NABOR also released its September 2015 Market Report which showed a 10 percent decrease in pending sales (homes under contract) from 829 homes pending in September 2014 to 749 in September 2015. According to Hughes, the dip in September’s pending sales may have been tied to the stock market’s erratic behavior, which tends to shake consumer confidence and cause people to delay big purchase decisions.
Homes Under $300,000 No Longer Largest Category of Inventory
The Third Quarter and September 2015 Market Reports also uncovered a possible new trend in inventory as the number of homes for sale in the $300,000 and below price range was no longer the largest category of inventory as in the past. As pointed out by Brenda Fioretti, Managing Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, “Out of the 945 homes for sale under $300,000, only 291 are single-family homes. However, there are 505 single-family homes for sale in the $300,000 to $500,000 price category, and 598 single-family homes for sale in the $500,000 to $1 million price category. Due to the increase in home values, many homes previously listed in the lower price categories have crept up to the next higher price category, which is referred to as bracket creep.”
The NABOR® Third Quarter 2015 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary.