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Home Brokers in Southwest Florida Realistic About Prices

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Home brokers in Southwest Florida will still face home price declines in the coming months, and full market recovery is still years away, according to speakers at the Market Watch 2010 event held in Fort Myers last week.

Veteran broker Denny Grimes, co-founder of the event and head of Denny Grimes and Company, told more than 700 realtors, brokers and other real estate professionals who attended the event to be realistic about home prices and to prepare for further price declines and further troubles in the commercial property sector.

Grimes said that the housing market has become obese and that it needs time to correct itself. He added that home prices are still low, but low price levels would increase sales and would cut down housing inventories.

According to Grimes, only 12 Lee County homes priced below $100,000 were listed in 2006. Today, he said, about 2,200 houses priced under $100,000 are being offered for sale in the area.

He also explained that total home sales last year broke the sales record achieved in 2005 and posted a 40-percent increase over total sales in 2008. The increase in number, however, did not translate into a corresponding surge in dollar volume as low home prices put the dollar volume increase at only 16 percent.

Grimes also told the home brokers that he believes the median home sales price has stabilized at around $98,000, which is 18-percent above the $79,900 median price in June 2009. However, recently built houses priced above $300,000 will continue to struggle in the market and owners will be forced to cut their listing prices. He mentioned Estero and Bonita Springs, which are still struggling from a 17-month supply of homes, most of which are priced above $300,000.

Another veteran broker Stan Stouder spoke about trends in the Southwest Florida commercial property sector. He said that high unemployment rates and uncertain capital markets will drive more commercial foreclosures. He added that developers will continue to face financing difficulties, but they will still attract entrepreneurs and investors if they incorporate in their projects the benefits of a busy airport, a sunny climate and the commitment of the county to green technology.

At the end of the session, most home brokers probably echoed the view by real estate appraiser and valuation counselor Anthony Mollica who said that Grimes and Stouder both were right in setting a cautious optimism for the residential and commercial real estate markets in Southwest Florida.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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