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Experts: Number of homes for sale in Lee Co. at 10-year high, amid higher rates

Professionals say Lee County single-family homes see first average depreciation since the '08 recession.
Posted at 11:31 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 23:34:48-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — In a professional gathering at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center in Fort Myers, more than thirteen hundred people showed up to hear Southwest Florida's voices in real estate present on the future of the region's housing market with higher interest rates.

Denny Grimes, a professional from Keller Williams Realty, addressed the shifts in the market. "Obviously, inventory is rising, homes aren't selling as fast and it's naturally just physics that puts weight on price. So there will be some downward pressure on price," Grimes explained.

This observation comes at a time when experts say the market is experiencing a recalibration, with sales reverting to pre-pandemic levels and active residential listings reaching a ten-year high. Despite these changes, Florida remains a magnet for new residents, with more than 300,000 people relocating to the state in 2023, trailing only behind Texas, according to the US Census.

Grimes spoke about the appeal of the state, summarizing it as "water, warmth, and way of life." Elements that continue to draw people despite the fluctuating market conditions.

The conversation also covered the unique challenges faced by the commercial real estate sector, especially in the wake of Hurricane Ian. Matt Simmons, Managing Partner at Maxwell Hendry and Simmons, discussed the surprising trend where, instead of decreasing, prices surged after the hurricane.

"We actually saw prices increase directly in the aftermath," Simmons stated. He pointed to Fort Myers Beach as an example, where pre-hurricane redevelopment challenges turned into opportunities post-disaster, attracting significant interest from the development community.

Simmons further noted that insurance payouts following natural disasters often lead to an uptick in prices, adding another layer to the complex real estate dynamics in the area.