Market stats recently released by the Greater Fort Myers and the Beach MLS substantiate what we are seeing in the trenches. Sales in December 2008 were up a whopping 181 percent over December 2007. In December, 1,034 homes sold, up from 367 a year ago.
Buyers are back in a big way and the market is screaming right now. Even though we are just 1/2 way through the month, we have had more closings in the last 2 weeks than any month in the last 3 years. The market is being driven by foreclosure and short sale listings and distressed property is dominating the Southwest Florida market right now. Banks are generally setting prices for below “regular” listings, which is leading to quick sales for REO properties.
The true challenge in this market is the uphill battle faced by good old regular sellers trying to market a home in this environment. If you own a piece of Southwest Florida property and don’t absolutely have to sell, now is a good time to be on the sidelines.