Lee County Market Update
Click here to watch Mike's Lee County Market Update, a review of what happened in the real estate market in April 2023!
We're actually going to do things a little differently this month and we are going to make averages for the whole county so you can see a better picture of what is going on in our community. We're going to start by kicking it off with the homes sold report. The number of homes sold in March of 2022, last year was 1,394, compared to this year in March, 1,083. So what we have is a rate of change of a decrease of 22%. So the actual reason for that in part is the rising interest rates.
If we take a look at interest rates, they've gone up approximately 2% over the course of the last year. Every percent that interest rates goes up, it drops the buyer's purchasing power by 10%. So that's a lot of what we're seeing here in terms of reduced number of transactions; there's just less buyers that are able to qualify.
The next thing we're going to look at is the active inventory report. Last year there was 722 properties active on the market, that's everything, single family homes and condos. Right now in 2023, we actually have 2,811. So that's 4 times the number of properties that buyers have to choose from.
What's causing that is the fact that we have that drop in the number of sales. So homes are taking longer to sell and they're sitting on the market, which means we have more inventory. With more inventory available, buyers are not in as big of a hurry to make offers because they have more homes to choose from. This is causing homes to sit on the market a little longer than they used to and even some motivated sellers to speed up the process. We're seeing some price reductions occur.
Let's talk about the average sale prices. Last year at this time, the average sale price of homes was $399,999. This year, it's dropped slightly to $390,000, a difference of just 2%. What you're seeing there is essentially we're not really in a buyer's market or a seller's market. We're in what we call a neutral market. And pricing is stable, not really going up or down drastically, which is good, and a lot of people actually prefer to be in a stable market.
Let's look at interest rates. They are currently at a 6.32% interest rate versus last year at this time, which was at a 4.67% interest rate. These rates are also causing some sellers to look at their current interest rate on their home and say “I've got a two and a half or 3% rate, there's no way I'm going to sell my house.” This has caused some sellers that may want to get their homes on the market to actually hold tight at this time.
There's a lot of exciting things happening here in the Lee county area, one of which that a lot of buyers are noticing once they move here is the traffic has definitely increased quite a bit, not just seasonal, but now year round as our population is growing. So everyone I know that commutes from Cape Coral to Fort Myers is very excited about the widening of the Cape Coral Bridge. This does not have an official start date yet, but it will go from the current four lanes, they're proposing six lanes plus bike and pedestrian pass. And everybody can't wait for that one to come fast enough.
Cape Coral Parkway is a main corridor, and has a lot of traffic on it, and there's about to be more. We have the Cove at 47th, a luxury apartment complex that is currently under construction with 327 doors to be finished by fall of 2024. We also have the Bimini Basin project that's going to add 220 doors. Just down the street up in North Cape, the Festival Park is coming that's got multi-use fields. It's located between Chiquita and Nelson Road, and Hurricane Ian slowed the progress on that a little bit. But that's an exciting North Cape project that should be finished this year.
In Fort Myers, the big story has just been actually how tourist season was really nonexistent this year. It was a very slow tourist season, the slowest spring break tourist season specifically. And of course, a lot of that is because of the beaches being under reconstruction right now. And there's just not as much for those tourists to do. So they picked other areas.
Now, Margaritaville is one of the exciting parts of Fort Myers Beach that is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2023. And they are making some great headway on that project. In fact, they've just bought more land to even expand it further.
So a lot of exciting things are happening in our market. We thank you for watching our video for this month. And if you have any questions and you're wondering how all this affects your buying or selling real estate, call us. We're here for you and thrilled to talk to you. Thanks for watching.