Last Updated: 4/21/2015

Contacts: Pat Pitocchi, Media Relations Committee Chairman, (239) 261-2214
Marcia Albert, NABOR Director of Marketing, (239) 597-1666

Buyers Shift Focus to Condominium Market

Naples, Fla. (April 17, 2015) – Overall activity in the Naples area real estate market across all price categories remains steady, according to the First Quarter 2015 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). Most notable in the report was the $300,000 - $500,000 price category for condominiums in which the overall closed and pending sales increased by double digits in the first quarter of 2015. Statistics show a recent shift in buyer focus from single-family homes to condominiums.

Broker analysts reviewing the First Quarter 2015 Market Report agree that a new trend may be emerging, as the report showed condominiums outperforming single-family home sales. As such, these analysts predict condominiums will see continued rise in activity moving into summer.

"Pending and closed sales in the mid-level price range [$300K - $500K] for both March and first quarter outperformed all other areas of the market," said Phil Wood, President & CEO of John R. Wood Properties. "Perhaps this is reflective of vacation home buyers who want a place to escape the winter weather. Condos are the easiest way for them to do so, since exterior maintenance issues are handled by the associations."

"The difference in performance between the single-family home market and condo market in the $300,000 -$500,000 price category for the first quarter is quite impressive," said Steve Barker, Advising Broker for Equity Realty. "Pending sales for condominiums in the $300,000 - $500,000 price category increased 53 percent. Yet, while the single family home market is very good, pending sales for single-family homes in this same price category increased only half that, at 26 percent."

Supporting analysis presented by Cindy Carroll SRA, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll & Carroll, Inc., at NABOR®'s Economic Summit earlier this month, several brokers including Kathy Zorn, Bill Coffey and Mike Hughes pointed out that the First Quarter 2015 Market Report indicated location as a big factor in home sales activity.

Hughes remarked that, "the overall median closed price in all geo-specific areas of the county increased double digits compared to the same quarter last year." Zorn added, "in both the Central Naples and South Naples areas, the median closed price rose 17 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014."
Overall inventory for the $300,000 - $500,000 price category in the first quarter of 2015 increased 14 percent from 934 homes in the first quarter of 2014 to 1,061 homes in the first quarter of 2015. Only the inventory in the over $2 million price category had a larger increase – 18 percent – expanding from 400 homes in the first quarter of 2014 to 471 homes in the first quarter of 2015.

"The number of people paying cash for their homes remains strong," said Barker, who added, "a stunning 73 percent of all home sales in the first quarter of 2015 were cash-only purchases. Strict lending standards combined with low inventory continue to give the advantage to cash buyers in this housing market."

"We also see that in March, traditional sales dominated the market at 91 percent," said Bill Poteet, owner and broker at Poteet Properties. "There were 921 traditional sales and only 19 non-traditional [short sale and/or foreclosed] sales." He went on to note that March's market performance is typically a leading indicator of the trend we can expect going in to the summer.

The NABOR® 1Q 2015 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® 1Q 2015 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings:

The NABOR® March 2015 Market Report was also released and reflected these overall (single-family and condominium) findings:

"The statistics show that the lower the price category, the faster the home will sell and the higher the price category, the longer it takes to sell," said Brenda Fioretti, Managing Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. "For example, homes in the $0 - $300,000 price range sold in an average of 64 days in the first quarter of 2015, while homes in the over $2 million price category stayed on the market 152 days before they sold."

The First Quarter 2015 and March 2015 Market Reports reflect exactly what all three economic experts predicted at NABOR®'s 4th annual Economic Summit: that the real estate industry in Florida is very good and will continue to stay very good through 2015.

The Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) is an established organization (Chartered in 1949) whose members have a positive and progressive impact on the Naples Community. NABOR® is a local board of REALTORS® and real estate professionals with a legacy of nearly 60 years serving 5,000 plus members. NABOR® is a member of the Florida Realtors and the National Association of REALTORS®, which is the largest association in the United States with more than 1.3 million members and over 1,400 local board of REALTORS® nationwide. NABOR® is structured to provide programs and services to its membership through various committees and the NABOR® Board of Directors, all of whose members are non-paid volunteers.

The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and who subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.