The Naples real estate market is strong as the overall inventory of homes continues to decrease and pending single-family home sales increase, according to a report released Friday by the Naples Area Board of Realtors.
The third quarter report tracking home listings and sales shows inventory dropped 20 percent in the third quarter of this year to 7,069 homes, down from 8,800 a year ago. In the third quarter, homes under $300,000 saw the biggest drop in inventory from 4,657 to 3,572.
The available inventory in September is 7,069 properties, a down from 8,794 in September 2010.
The decrease in inventory seems to be equal in both single-family homes and condos, which local Realtors view as another positive sign.
Single-family home sales continue to increase. For the 12 months ending September 2011, all Naples geographic areas showed an increase in pending sales compared to year ago.
The Naples Beach area is leading the way with an increase of 21 percent for the 12 months ending September 2011. Properties in the Naples Beach area had 1,776 contracts for the 12 months ending in September, compared to 1,471 contracts for the 12 months ending in September of last year, the report shows.
Single-family pending sales in the $500,000 to $1 million price category increased 30 percent in the third quarter. The average number of days a property was on the market decreased 11 percent.
“The sales activity is shifting from the low end market to higher priced properties,” Coco Waldenmayer, managing broker of Engel & Voelkers, said in a prepared statement.
Mike Hughes, a vice president with both NABOR and Downing-Frye Realty in Naples, said he was surprised and pleased to see the activity of the higher end market.
In the third quarter, there were 592 available single-family properties in the $500,000 to $1 million price category, compared to 687 a year ago, according to the report.
Overall home sales in the $300,000 to $500,000 price category increased 27 percent with 70 sales in September, compared to 55 sales in September 2010.
“Traditional sales represent 60 percent of the sales activity in the Naples area,” said Brenda Fioretti, NABOR president and managing broker of Prudential Florida Realty. “Foreclosure sales remain low and the number of short sale closings are increasing. This is a sign that banks are willing to work with homeowners.”
Wood said the mortgage rates below 4 percent will help the market.
In September, the total median closed price increased 5 percent to $169,000, up from $161,000 in September 2010.
However, the total median price for over $300,000 price category decreased 12 percent to $500,000, compared to $567,000 in September 2010.
Fioretti noted that the 12 month ending in September, which shows an increase of 1 percent in median closed price, from $540,000 to $547,000, is a more dependable comparison, she said.
The median is the price at which half the homes sell for more and half for less.
In the 12 months ending September, overall pending sales grew 11 percent with 10,036 contracts, compared to 9,026 during the same period last year.
The monthly and quarterly reports track Realtor sales made through the Sunshine Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Collier County, excluding Marco Island.
Condo sales increased 7 percent with 807 sales in the third quarter of 2011 compared to 752 sales in the third quarter of 2010.
In the 12 months ending in September, there were 4,851 pending condo sales. That was up 11 percent from 4,371 condo sales in the previous year, which local Realtors view as another positive sign.
Yet, single-family home pending sales saw a slight decline with 384 contracts in September, down from 426 contracts in September 2010.
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