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February inventory in line, expect COVID shift in March

March 27, 2020
By BOB & GERI QUINN - Homing In , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The February numbers for the monthly supply of unsold Cape Coral single-family homes were mostly lower than they were a year ago, indicating a tighter supply of homes listed for sale. This was what we were projecting late last year when we provided our forecast for 2020, but in a COVID-19 influenced world, everything changes rapidly on a daily basis. So before we get into the unsold supply numbers, we wanted to provide some market insights based on what we are hearing and seeing in our market right now. Keep in mind that we submit this column several days before it is published, so things are likely to change.

First, here is what we are seeing on the ground in the Cape. Homes are still being sold, some in a matter of days or weeks, while others sit on the market for months. This is pretty much the same as we have been writing about for the past three years. Homes are still being listed for sale and we are still seeing a lot of interest from buyers from outside of our area on the Internet. We have seen several cases where buyers have backed out of deals and sellers have withdrawn listings over concerns about the change to their net worth due to the stock market crash. In addition, some potential buyers are telling us they may wait and watch, to see if home sales drop off and prices start declining as the impact of the coronavirus works its way through the economy.

The month of March is likely to be a COVID-19 transition month in our real estate market, since the shutdown announcements did not really begin to kick in until March 12, and then have accelerated from there. So a lot of the homes sales being registered in March were already in the pipeline, with the key element being how many existing pending sales unravel prior to closing in the next 45 days. We are hearing about some situations where buyers who were pre-approved for mortgage loans had their financing pulled by the lender just prior to closing after the lender ran their final verification of employment and discovered the buyer had just lost their job in a coronavirus shutdown.

Heading into April, we would expect to see the home sales numbers decline due to the growing dislocations in the U.S. economy. One indicator of this is the number of showing appointments being scheduled for buyers at active listings. This is the usual precursor to a pending sale, and as one might expect, the volume of showing appointments have fallen off of a cliff over the last two weeks. This leads us to believe that everything going forward is likely to be a wildcard based on how the virus and economic situations evolve during April. Along these lines, James Bullard, the CEO and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, has recently said that he believes unemployment could reach 30 percent and the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could drop by an unprecedented 50 percent in the second quarter of this year. Even if Bullard is only half right, the implications of this on just about everything could be mind boggling, depending upon how deep and how long the health crisis and shutdowns last.

In the overall Cape Coral single-family home market, the monthly supply of unsold single family homes for February came in at 7 months, which was 22.22 percent lower than the 9 months of supply in February of 2019, and 12.5 percent below the 8 months of supply in January of this year. In the first two months of 2020, the level of unsold supply in the Cape, has averaged 7.5 months, which was down 25 percent versus the average supply of 10 months over the first two months of last year, and down 6.25 percent from the average of 8 months of supply in the first two months of 2018.

Gulf access canal homes

In the Cape Coral single-family gulf access canal home segment, the monthly supply of unsold homes for February came in at 8 months, which was 33.33 percent lower than the 12 months of supply in February 2019, and 11.11 percent below the 9 months of supply in January of this year. In the first two months of 2020, the level of unsold supply for gulf access homes in the Cape averaged 8.5 months, which was down 39.29 percent versus the average supply of 14 months over the first two months of last year, and down 32 percent from the average of 12.5 months of supply in the first two months of 2018.

Sailboat access canal homes

In the Cape Coral single-family sailboat access canal home segment, which is a subgroup of gulf access homes, the monthly supply of unsold homes for February came in at 9 months, which was 10 percent lower than the 10 months of supply in February of 2019, but 12.5 percent above the 8 months of supply in January of this year. In the first two months of 2020, the level of unsold supply for sailboat access homes in the Cape averaged 8.5 months, which was down 37.04 percent versus the average supply of 13.5 months over the first two months of last year, and down 22.73 percent from the average of 11 months of supply in the first two months of 2018.

Freshwater canal homes

In the Cape Coral single-family freshwater canal home segment, the monthly supply of unsold homes for February came in at 7 months, which was 36.36 percent lower than the 11 months of supply registered in both February 2019, and in January of this year. In the first two months of 2020, the level of unsold supply for freshwater canal homes in the Cape averaged 9 months, which was down 21.74 percent versus the average supply of 11.5 months over the first two months of last year, but up 12.5 percent from the average of 8 months of supply in the first two months of 2018.

Dry lot homes

In the Cape Coral single-family dry lot (non-canal home) segment, the monthly supply of unsold homes for February came in at 6 months, which was 25 percent lower than the 8 months of supply in February of 2019, and 14.29 percent below the 7 months of supply in January of this year. In the first two months of 2020, the level of unsold supply for dry lot homes in the Cape averaged 6.5 months, which was down 27.78 percent versus the average supply of 9 months over the first two months of last year, and down 7.14 percent from the average of 7 months of supply in the first two months of 2018.

(The sales data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County, Fla., as of March 15, 2020. It was compiled by Bob and Geri Quinn and it includes information specifically for Cape Coral single-family homes, and does not include condominiums, short sales or foreclosures. 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 40-years. Geri has been a full-time Realtor since 2005, and Bob joined 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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