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What to expect in home sales from seasonal influences

December 1, 2017
By BOB and GERI QUINN - Homing In , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

October and November mark the seasonal return of the "early bird sellers" to our real estate market, as this flock of sellers emerge from their summer hibernation and begin listing their homes for sale early in "the season." The early birds hope to get a jump on all of the other "regular seasonal sellers," who think it is better to wait until January to put their homes up for sale, when our winter population begins to burst at the seams. It is hard to argue with the basic logic behind the belief that the seasonal crowds will make it easier to sell a home, but the market statistics show an entirely different trend when it comes to Cape Coral real estate.

Since 2014, the month of October has signaled the start of the worst two performing quarters each year for the number of homes sold, with the fourth quarter having the second lowest number of homes sold and the first quarter ranking as the slowest quarter of the year for homes sold. Over the last 5 years, the month with the highest number of homes sold in the Cape has been in either May, or June, with the second quarter posting the most homes sold in 11 of the last 12 years. This is long after our winter visitors have headed back north.

In addition, December has averaged 30.67 percent more homes sold than the following January for 11 consecutive years, and December has also been the best performing month of the fourth quarter for the last 3 years. So statistically speaking, waiting until January to put your home on the market has not been the best strategy for getting your home sold.

In the overall Cape Coral single-family home market, the number of homes sold in October was down 0.9 percent to 330 versus 333 homes sold in October 2016, but up 7.84 percent from the big drop to 306 sold in the Hurricane Irma influenced month of September. Through Oct. 31, we have had an average of 395.10 homes sold per month in 2017, up about 3 percent from the average of 383.7 homes sold per month over the first 10 months of 2016.

After a hurricane-related 40 percent increase to a 7-month supply of unsold homes in September, the same 7-month supply in October is more in line with the seasonal trend towards a higher inventory. The year-to-date monthly average supply of unsold homes, at 6.3 months through Oct. 31, matches the average monthly supply for the first 10 months of 2016, and has us in a neutral market, overall.

Gulf access canal homes

The number of single-family gulf access canal homes sold in October was down 5.1 percent to 56 homes sold versus 59 sold in October 2016, and down by 20 percent from the 70 sold this September. The October sales decline was in line with the recent seasonal trend, while the year-to-date average of 86.3 homes sold per month through Oct. 31, was 11.8 percent above the average of 77.2 homes sold per month over the first 10 months of 2016.

The supply of unsold Cape Coral gulf access canal homes, at 10 months in October, is 23.1 percent lower than the 13 months of supply from October 2016, but up 25 percent from 8 months in September. So far in 2017, through Oct. 31, the supply of unsold gulf access homes has averaged 8.9 months, down 16 percent from an average of 10.6 months supply over the first 10 months of 2016. This segment has improved, with less supply on the market compared to 2016, but it is deeper into neutral market conditions than the overall market, and showing indications it may be moving back towards a buyer's market in January.

Sailboat access canal homes

The number of Cape Coral single-family sailboat access canal homes sold in October was down 13.79 percent to 25 homes sold versus 29 sold in October 2016, but down only 3.85 percent from the 26 sold this September. Despite September's hurricane-related decline, dropping 37.72 percent below the monthly average of homes sold in 2017 prior to Irma, we seem to be maintaining a typical fourth quarter level of sales for this segment. The year-to- date 2017 average, through Oct. 31, is up 17 percent to 38.5 sailboat access homes sold per month, versus an average of 32.9 sold per month over the first 10 months of 2016.

The supply of unsold Cape Coral sailboat access canal homes is on the same track as the gulf access segment. Supply levels have improved from 2016, but it looks like it may head deeper into a buyer's market over the next several months from its current neutral market position. In 2017, this segment is averaging 9.5 months of supply, which is 20.17 percent less than the average of 11.9 months supply through October 2016.

Freshwater canal homes

After dropping 39.8 percent to 24 homes sold in September, from the pre-hurricane average of 39.88 homes sold per month over the first 8 months of 2017, the freshwater canal home segment bounced back this October, jumping up 45.83 percent to 35 homes sold. This was also 12.9 percent higher than the 31 homes sold in October 2016. However, it is down 4.3 percent with a year-to-date average of 37.80 homes sold per month in 2017, versus an average of 39.5 homes sold per month over the first 10 months of 2016.

After increasing from 6 months supply in August, to a hurricane-impacted 9 months in September, the supply of unsold freshwater canal homes dropped back down to 6 months in October. Through Oct. 31, this segment is averaging 7.1 months of unsold supply for the year, which is only 1.43 percent higher than the average of 7 months over the first 10 months of 2016. Freshwater canal homes remain in a neutral market.

Dry lot homes

In the month of October, the number of Cape Coral dry lot homes sold increased by 12.74 percent to 239 homes sold, versus 212 sold in September of this year, but it was down 1.65 percent from the 243 homes sold in October 2016. The 239 homes sold is in the typical October range of the last several years. The year-to-date average for 2017, through Oct. 31, is up 4.91 percent to 279.90 homes sold per month, versus an average of 266.80 homes sold per month over the first 10 months of 2016.

The supply of unsold Cape Coral dry lot homes remains the only segment of our market that is in a seller's market. Through Oct. 31, this segment is averaging 5.1 months of unsold supply for the year, which is 4.08 percent higher than the average of 4.9 months over the first 10 months of 2016. The supply in September and October has been running at a higher than normal 6 months, which is likely attributable to the overall market impact from Irma.

(The sales data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County as of Nov. 19, 2017, and it was compiled by Bob and Geri Quinn. It includes information specifically for Cape Coral single-family homes, not including condominiums, foreclosures or short sales. The data and statistics are believed to be reliable, however, they could be updated and revised periodically, and are subject to change without notice. The Quinns are a husband and wife real estate team with the RE/MAX Realty Team office in Cape Coral. They have lived in Cape Coral for over 38 years. Geri has been a full-time Realtor since 2005, and Bob, who also holds a Certified Financial Planner designation, joined with Geri as a full-time Realtor in 2014. Their real estate practice is mainly focused on Cape Coral residential property and vacant lots.)

 
 
 

 

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