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MARKET MYSTERY: More homes for sale in Fort Myers. Why are prices still high?

Posted at 12:16 PM, Jun 21, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life. Just a year ago, homes were flying off the market. Now, it's taking a lot longer in southwest Florida.

"The inventory is just so high at this time," said Arianna Falzone, a realtor with Parvey Real Estate. "We are having to be a little bit more aggressive with our pricing strategy and what we could also develop for concessions to provide to buyers."

Between townhouses, condos and single-family homes — there's a ton to choose from.

Instead of focusing on Lee County as a whole, we're going to look at Fort Myers. Falzone pulled numbers from the southwest Florida MLS from the Royal Palm Coast Realtors Association. The numbers from April 2024 and April 2023 will include Iona, towards Fort Myers Beach, Estero — anything with a "Fort Myers" address whether it's unincorporated or incorporated.

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Falzone says the biggest shock to her was inventory.

Last year we were hovering around 1,200 listings. Today we are in the 1,700s," Falzone said.

That's just for single-family homes. She says townhouses and condos are seeing nearly a 60% increase in listings.

Things get a little interesting when it comes to price points.

"In this market, we're actually seeing just a slight increase up in price where price points are hovering around $486,000 for a home," Falzone explained.

Falzone believes it's because of home improvements made after Ian.

"A lot more homes are having those improvements, upgrades to hurricane impact windows," she said.

For townhouses and condos, the average price is about $300,000 compared to $306,500 in April 2023.

With prices still high, it's just another reason why Falzone says homes are staying on the market longer.

For single-family homes, Falzone says homes are sitting for about 42 days compared to 15 days last year.

It's even longer for townhouses and condos. They're staying on the market for 50 days compared to 16 days in April 2023.

The biggest question you probably have is why.

"I think some of that has to do with the interest rates for these homes sitting on the market," Falzone said. "However, a lot of this is also because this market is cooling down, the economy is hitting people a little bit harder."

Falzone says flooding is also on the minds of a lot of buyers she has talked to.

"All of these crazy quotes for flood insurance are astronomical," she said. "That risk of having your home flood is definitely a deterrent right now."

At this point, she is calling Fort Myers a buyers market, though Falzone is optimistic it will balance out.

"I do think that in the future as price points start to adjust and recorrect themselves, and these interest rates start to climb back down to a reasonable level," she said. "We will see more buyers in the market."

If you are looking to buy, Falzone says to get your pre-approval now, because you may get more of your terms agreed to.

For sellers, think about the right concessions and maybe throw in some money for closing costs.