By NANCY J. SEMON STAFF WRITER “Charlotte Sun Newspaper”
Homes sales strong despite holidays
January traditionally is a slower month for real estate sales, and although closed sales were down from December, the market shows no sign of slowing.
“There is a 30-day lag and due to the holidays in December, Realtors were not writing as many contracts; January is even lower than the summer months,” said Sharon Neuhofer, president of Realtors of Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port-DeSoto, Inc.
She said in some parts of the nation, rising interest rates might be attributed to slowing home sales, but not in our area.
Many buyers in Southwest Florida are paying cash, so the mortgage interest rates do not affect them, she pointed out.
In January, when there were 323 closed sales of single-family homes in Charlotte County, 46.4%, or 150 buyers, paid cash.
Neuhofer said beside January’s traditional slowdown in sales, Realtors “have buyers we don’t have houses for.”
She said current low inventory levels means would-be buyers do not have a lot to choose from, and when they do find a house, often there are multiple parties interested.
“You can’t sell what we don’t have,” she said.
The same scenario held true for townhomes and condominiums. Of the 66 closed sales, 47 buyers paid cash, or 71.2% in January.
But while the median and average sale prices of single- family homes in January was lower than in December, the median and average price of townhomes and condos was higher.
The median sale price in January was $346,500, compared to $350,000 in December. The average sale price of $407,678 was also lower than December’s $450,671.
For 11 consecutive months, sellers were getting 100% of the original listed price.
The median time to sale was 57 days, and time to contract was 12 days. There were 370 homes in inventory in January, which represented a 0.9 month supply.
The inventory level from a year ago was down 30.8%.
TOWNHOMES AND CONDOS
The median sale price in January stood at $287,000, up from $269,950 in December.
The average sale price was $312,069 versus $296,717 in December.
The median percentage of the original listed price was 100% in January, continuing a nine-month trend.
Inventory stood at a 0.6 month supply, the same as it was in December. The inventory level was down 77.8% from a year ago.
Those wanting to sell should “know what you’re going to buy, or you could wind up homeless,” Neuhofer said.
She said with cash buyers coming to buy in Southwest Florida, homes are being bought up quickly.
The median time to contract for single family homes in Charlotte County was 12 days, and the median time to sale was 57 days — under two months.
But in some cases buyers will offer incentives — such as a higher price — if sellers agree to move in 30 days.
The median time to contract for townhomes and condos was similar — 10 days, and 53 days for the median time to sale.
January saw 671 single family homes about to come onto the market in February, and 119 townhomes and condos.