The top question everyone in real estate gets is, “How’s the market?” It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking of buying, thinking of selling, or wondering if you have any equity in your home. When you own a home, at some point, you’re going to want to know.

The first quarter ended in March, and sales data is now available. The good news is that, when compared to the same time last year, first quarter sales increased, so did pending sales. Prices were technically up, but not for everyone, and that’s because inventory increased as well. No matter how good the general sales look, the value of your home is only partly determined by the market.

Sales

Closed sales for single family homes and condos were up for the first quarter, when compared to last year. Overall sales increased by 15 percent, but when you break it down by price things get more interesting. Sales increased for homes around $1 million by 38 percent, while home sales at $2 million were up 48 percent over last year. 

Pending sales, which can be used as an indicator of the market going forward, rose 11 percent over first quarter 2016. This is from a wide price range. In the past, most of the pending sales were for homes priced $300,000 or less, but that’s not quite true right now.

Prices

Median prices overall increased five percent over last year. However, when you break that down by price range, homes over $300,000 decreased in median price by seven percent. The reason for this is an increase in inventory in higher priced properties. January and February weren’t stellar months for sales above $300,000, so prices fell relative to an increase in inventory.

When you break price down between single family home and condo, you see another key difference. Single family home prices dropped about one percent over last year. It’s not awful, but it’s not again, either. The median price of condos increased, however, by three percent. Still not great, but it’s headed in the right direction.

Inventory

Housing inventory, on one hand, is a great thing. Buyers have choices and can find the perfect home for their needs. Too high of an inventory and buyers have too many options. As a result, prices begin to go down and sellers may see a decrease in offers. For the first quarter single family home inventory increased by eight percent while the condo inventory for Naples went up nearly 20 percent. Overall the increase over last year for the market is 13 percent.

The good news for sellers is that March was the first month when inventory shrank in Naples. Not by a lot, but it’s a sign that if buyers are hitting the market, inventory could continue to decrease. For sellers, this means you may see prices increase. Don’t expect a big jump but a slow and steady rise instead.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, don't worry that the winter season is winding down as vacationers head home. People who were looking while they were in town still have their eye on the market. Even better, the spring and summer selling season for people who live here full time are beginning.  Thanks to the internet, the Naples real estate market is never truly closed. Price your home competitively and make sure it looks good and is ready for a buyer, and you could do well.

And if you’re in the market to buy a home, with the increase in inventory, you have a wide selection to choose from in almost any price range. From luxury condos to your first home, a Realtor who understands the market will help you find the best value for your money.

When you’re ready to jump into the Naples market, as a buyer or seller, contact me. Let’s talk!