The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) most recent report showed that total existing sales, which include single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes and co-ops, rose 5.1 % to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in May. Sales have increased year-over-year for eight consecutive months and now are 9.2 percent above a year ago.
Chief economist for NAR, Lawrence Yun, discussed May home sales rebounding robustly after a decline in April. Sales are now at their strongest pace since November 2009 according to Yun. “Solid sales gains were seen throughout the country in May as more homeowners listed their home for sale providing more choices for buyers.” Although inventory remains tight, homes are selling fast with price growths in some markets edging toward a double digit increase. Yun also predicts that new home construction prices are likely to stay elevated.
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty earned the top ranking in Florida and the number 31 spot in the nation by REAL Trends, an annual research report identifying the country’s top 500 largest and most successful residential firms. REAL Trends represents the most trusted standard of measuring the performance of the nation’s leading realty service firms.
President and CEO, Judy Green, reported that the company saw significant gains in 2014 reaching a 21% increase over the previous year with 4,450 completed transactions, $3.5 billion in sales volume and an average sales price of $798,000.
“2014 was a great year for us and 2015 is shaping up to be even better,” said Green.
The University of British Columbia has ranked Naples as fourth on their recent survey of the “happiest places” in the U.S. The survey also ranked the “least happy” places in the U.S. To see the full list of happy and not so happy places click Naples, Florida.
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Nelsons Walk is a quiet byway in Naples, but the 26 homeowners there are actually living on Easy Street.
That’s because Nelsons, with a median home value of $10.5 million, is No. 12 on Zillow.com’s list of the country’s wealthiest streets.
No. 1 on the list is Indian Creek Island Road on Indian Creek Island in Biscayne Bay. The median home value there is $21.5 million and residents include Denzel Washington and Eddie Murphy.
Nelsons Walk has its share of celebrities too: Residents include best-selling mystery author Janet Evanovich and pest control king Truly Nolen, chairman and president of Truly Nolen Inc.
The street gets a boost right off the bat by being part of Port Royal, the most expensive community in Naples.
Cheryl Turner, a real estate agent with Premier Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Naples, said Nelsons is “a wonderful street, fabulous,” but that its Port Royal location likely was responsible for pushing it on the national list.
“You’ve got wider water views, no bridges, the Gulf, the most exclusive neighborhood in town,” she said. “The prices are just continuing to go up.”
People are often shocked at how expensive a house in Port Royal can be, Turner said. “I had a client call on a house and the asking price was $23 million — he had thought maybe $11 million.”
A recent article in the Business Observer, a newspaper that covers the Florida Gulf Coast from Tampa to Naples, reported that both sales and prices of existing single-family homes and condominiums are seeing gains as high as 15% statewide. President of Florida Realtors®, Andrew Barbar, commented that the positive fundamentals of Florida’s housing sector were sustained in the fourth quarter of 2014. “Our population continues to increase at a rate of approximately 800 people per day moving into the state. Florida’s growing economy is creating new jobs and putting residents back to work.”
The greater Tampa metro area was a hot market to purchase condominiums with sales jumping nearly 18%; Collier county saw a 14% increase in the number of condominium sales and a 10% rise in median prices.
Florida Realtors® reported that those who are currently renting a condominium in Southwest Florida may soon have a more difficult time, as owners are putting their properties back on the market now that prices are increasing. With financing more readily available, down payments as little as 3.5 percent, and some restrictions on condo loans easing, qualifying for a mortgage and owning a home is becoming more appealing. Contact me for the latest real estate market news. Click here for the full newsletter.