The Bonita Springs-Estero REALTORS® is reporting that in September 2019, there was an uptick in new listings in the residential real estate market, however that uptick was not enough to serve the increase in buyers to the market. Increased pending sales for September 2019 is likely a result of nearly 300 price reductions in the market for both condominiums and single-family homes. Area Brokers also report that open house activity has noticeably increased, and buyers are looking for more inventory. “New listings were up by 12 percent in September, but it’s not keeping up with the 23.4 percent increase in pending sales.” stated Chris Maccarone, Managing Broker, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Bonita Springs. She adds, “If you’re ready to sell, you can avoid the January ‘rush to market’ with serious buyers right now.” The increase in days-on-market may also be attributed to price reductions and, despite lower inventory levels, median prices continue to rise with a 7.1 percent increase versus September 2018.
While sellers have strong opportunities during the current autumn selling season, area brokers and appraisal experts are also advising sellers to be conscientious of competition from new construction communities. Appraiser Julie Ross with Carroll and Carroll Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants agrees that those homes with exterior and interior updates are being sought after more vigorously. “We’re finding that buyers are more interested in updated homes even when the dwelling is a little older,” stated Ross. She adds, “With new construction competition and the desire for updated features, sellers need to talk with their REALTORS® about what updates will position the listing best and take that advice.” Ross also recommends pre-listing appraisals and home inspections to further strengthen that positioning and to avoid unwanted surprises later.
First-time buyers in the Bonita Springs and Estero markets are also taking advantage of what the residential real estate market has to offer. With more comprehensive first-time buyer loan programs available, current low interest rates and local higher rent, many first-time buyers are realizing they do qualify, and the purchase of a home is more affordable than paying rent. “First-time buyer loan programs are not necessarily just for folks who have never ever purchased a home before,” stated Jerry Murphy, Managing Broker, Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs. He adds, “If you have not owned a home in the last three years, you may qualify as a first-time home buyer. Your real estate agent can provide you with expert loan resources and referrals that can help determine your qualifications as a first-time buyer.”
Realtor.com has also reported that there were 8.6 million search result page views for just the Bonita Springs and Estero markets in September 2019. Additionally, there were 75 million views on Realtor.com for the Southwest Florida region, which is 10 percent of the entire nation’s unique searches on the portal. Sherry Stein, Managing Broker, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Realty, Bonita Springs, is anticipating an upcoming strong and active selling season for Southwest Florida. She stated, “Buyers are here now, and they are continuing to arrive as we move into the new year.” She adds, “Despite some inventory challenges, both buyers and sellers realize that opportunities are available right now. Waiting for January to list just isn’t necessary if you’re ready to sell now.”
To view the report, visit BonitaEsteroRealtors.com.
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