We all realize at this time every year the snowbirds start flocking south. The implications of this massive migration significantly benefit the local economy and change the landscape of the real estate market. Let’s have some fun and do a little bit of predicting for the upcoming real estate market this season. Time to look into the powerful crystal ball…
It would be best to start the conversation by looking at the historical facts. As you see in the graph below, the market prices have improved consistently since the lows of 2009-2010. Since Southwest Florida is very seasonal by nature, you can observe the seasonal “ups and downs” but the trend line remains strong in the positive direction.
Realizing the ongoing improvement in pricing, simple supply & demand principles apply. As prices keep increasing, the trend will be for the number of closed sales transactions to decline. This evidence can be found by the 4 month sales numbers from June 15 – October 15. Last year the aggregate number of sales in the 4 months leading into season came in at 9,704 sold properties and this year nearly 6% lower at 9,150 sold properties.
So, what does all of this mean for real estate in the upcoming season. Should you buy or sell? While no one can predict the future with any certainty, all of the indicators point to the fact that prices will continue to rise for the foreseeable future, but my prediction would be a much slower rate of appreciation. The market is stable now and foreclosures remain at record lows. The bottom line…If you are looking to buy, do it before the end of the year. If you are looking to sell, this season will fetch you the best price in over 6 years.