So, what does the year look like so far for real estate? The early observation is that the high end market is performing well. There are multiple reasons for this. Some of the prominent reasons are: 1) The economy is picking up and consumer confidence on the high end is getting better. 2) There have been a number of new construction projects that are coming out of the ground. 3) We have been discovered!
The Hurricane Irma impact on the real estate market in Southwest Florida appears to be relatively small. While we still have some homes that are waiting for roof repairs and some isolated landscaping issues, much of the hurricane impact has been mitigated. In fact, I believe many seasonal visitors were pleasantly surprised to see how well this area withstood a Category 3 hurricane. The impact of Hurricane Irma on the real estate market was largely felt last year because we lost close to a month in sales activity. The two weeks prior to the hurricane, we were getting ready for the storm. The two weeks after the hurricane, we were out of power. So when you look at the sales for 2017, you have to look at it as an eleven month year. I suspect that sales will be better in 2018, if, for no other reason, we will have twelve months of sales activity.
I saw a report recently that the tourism for Collier County was pretty strong in March. That report is encouraging as we head into the summer months.
Downing-Frye is having a huge month for closed sales volume for the month of April. I write this post on April 24th and already this month, we are $27 million ahead of what we did all of last April. I can tell you that our closed sales volume for the year is running ahead of last year at this point. With positive closed sales numbers, we are looking forward to the summer season. The summer season has emerged to be a very good period to buy or sell real estate in Southwest Florida.
The inventory of available homes in the Naples area appears to be fine as we head into the summer season. There are some pockets around Florida where there is a shortage of available inventory. We do not have that problem as we have at least 6,000 properties in the Naples area for sale.
A lot of visitors tend to come to Naples in the winter months. I think one of the best kept secrets is that Naples in the summer is just as special. It tends to be easier to get into the restaurants during the summer months. The water temperature is warmer for those that like warmer water for swimming. The fishing picks up in the summer and the golf courses are less crowded. All in all, the locals know that the Naples area is a year round paradise. Give us a try this summer. You won’t regret it!
Mike Hughes, Vice President
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.
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