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Cape single-family homes following seasonal trends

March 2, 2018
By BOB and GERI QUINN - Homing In , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Despite the recent rise in mortgage interest rates and in the face of a continued commitment by the Federal Reserve towards raising the ultra-short-term Federal Funds Rates in 2018, the Cape Coral single-family home market has yet to flinch. For the week ending Feb. 22, 2018, Freddie Mac announced the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose for the seventh straight week, to 4.40 percent, versus 4.16 percent a year ago. These average rates do not include any fees or points charged by mortgage lenders.

Since the first of this year, mortgage rates have climbed 44 basis points, or just under one half of one percent, but our real estate market has remained on track with its normal seasonal trends. These trends, which show up in the January numbers, include an increase in the monthly supply of homes sitting on the market unsold, which we will cover next week, along with the typical seasonal decline in the number of closed home sales in January. We have also seen higher median sales prices versus a year ago, except in the freshwater canal segment. And as a sign that prices remain rational in our market, we are still well below the peak prices from back in 2006, so our markets are far from overheating, which is a good thing.

We will expand on some of these thoughts next week, along with discussing what we might be able to expect with our market in 2018, however, a lot will be riding on the ability of the Federal Reserve to avoid any economic or interest rate shocks. One could make the argument that The Fed has had a somewhat sketchy track record in this regard, so as we move into the "fingers crossed" unwinding phase from the depths of their long, strange trip back from their 0 interest rate policy, we can only hope they get it right this time as they try to guide us back to a more normal interest rate environment.

In the Cape's overall single-family home market, there were 336 homes sold in January, which was down 23.46 percent, from the 439 homes sold in December. This pattern of a lower amount of closed home sales in January, compared to the preceding December, has been in place in our overall market for the past 12 years. On a positive note, the 336 homes sold this January topped the 285 homes sold in January 2016, by 17.89 percent, so the New Year is off to a nice start.

Median sales prices in the overall Cape Coral single-family home market were up 4.17 percent to $230,000 in January, versus $220,800 in January 2017, and they were 2.68 ?percent above the $224,000 posted in December. As a point of reference, this January was still 19.43 percent below the median sales price of $285,450 reached in January of 2006.

Gulf access canal homes

There was a 3.17 percent decline in the number of Cape Coral single-family gulf access homes sold this January, to 61 versus 63 sold in January 2017, and gulf access sales were also down 4.69 percent from the 64 homes sold in December.

However, the median sales price for gulf access homes remained solid, reaching $455,000 in January, up 12.9 percent from $403,000 in January 2017, and it was 7.06 percent higher than in December, when it came in at $425,000.

Sailboat access canal homes

The Cape Coral sailboat access canal home segment was the exception in the market when it came to the number of homes sold in January, with 37 sales closing, up 23.33 percent over the 30 homes sold in January 2017. We were also 15.63 percent above the 32 homes sold in December, so we did not see a seasonal decline in sailboat access homes sold this January.

The median sales price for Cape Coral sailboat access canal homes came in at $512,500 in January, topping the $500,000 mark in a month for the first time since April 2007, when it hit $503,500. This January was 12 percent higher than the median sales price of $457,500 from January 2017, and up about 6.5 percent from $481,250 in December 2017. All of these numbers are still well below the record January high of $772,500 from back in 2006.

Freshwater canal homes

Closed sales of Cape Coral freshwater canal homes showed typical seasonal weakness in January, dropping 17 percent to 34 homes sold from the 41 sold in December, while improving by 36 percent versus the 25 homes sold a year ago, in January 2017.

Median sales prices for freshwater canal homes declined by 1.07 percent to $277,000 this January compared to $280,000 in January 2017, but climbed by 5.32 percent from $263,000 in December.

Dry lot homes

Cape Coral single-family dry lot (non-canal) homes also followed the typical seasonal trend with the number of closed sales in January declining by 27.41 percent to 241 homes sold versus 332 sold in December. Dry lot homes had the largest seasonal decline in the number of homes sold out of all of the property segments in the Cape this January, however, it was still 22.34 percent better than the 197 homes sold in January 2017.

Median sales prices for dry lot homes in the Cape, at $210,000 in January, were flat versus the $210,450 registered in December, while rising 6.6 percent compared to January 2017, when the median sales price in this segment was $197,000. Of note, this January was the 11th straight month where the median sales price in this group was above $200,000.

(The January 2018 sales data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County, as of Feb. 24, 2018, 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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