25 Percent Price Boom!

Home prices took a huge leap in January 2015 with a whopping 25 percent increase beating last January’s shocking 20 percent!  Overall, the median closed home price was $322,000 compared to January 2014’s median price of $258,000 and $215,000 in January 2013 reported from the Naples Area Board of Realtors.  That is an amazing $100,000 in two years!  “It’s phenomenal,” said Naples broker Pat Pitocchi, immediate past president of NABOR.

The increase is most likely caused by not only the growing economy, low interest rates, a strong stock market, and low inventory.  However, the weather in the Northeast has been very blizzard friendly winter which could explain why more snowbirds have flocked to SWFL like never before!  It has been one of the busiest seasons with a significantly noticeable increase of visitors to our area.

NABOR  also reported that as the number of new construction homes being built under the $250,000 price range, the number of cash sales is decreasing.  This wasn’t the same case in January 2014 because prices were influenced by the upper end of the market which included more cash buyers.

The median price of homes in the $1 million to $ 2 million range remained relatively the ssme, but the homes over $2 million dropped 4.5 percent to a median of $2.292 million.

Single-family home prices hit $375,000 in January from a year earlier, a 15 percent increase.

Condos are sought after by seasonal and older buyers, said NABOR President Mike Hughes, as well as those who have been pushed out of the single-family market by rapidly rising prices.

The Naples Daily News reported, “While supply is still shrinking — inventory levels fell 5 percent, to 4,515 year-over-year, NABOR’s report said — Hughes said that it has been “hovering between 4,000 and 4,500 for quite some time.” That’s a good sign that short supply, which has been constraining sales, is easing, he said.

Closed sales dropped 16 percent for the period, to 607, and pending sales remained flat, NABOR reported.

Low inventory is also the main reason prices are rising and closed sales are falling on Marco Island, according to Susan Ackerson, president of the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors. The trade group said Monday that overall closed sales on Marco fell 8 percent, to 88, in January from the prior year. Median sale prices rose 8.5 percent to $410,000.”

Word from the Artis Naples Philharmonic…

Word from the Artis Naples Philharmonic

In 2004 and 2005, we reached, then exceeded the $2 billion dollar mark in sales.  To a great extent, that was a market phenomenon, resulting from an out of balance real estate frenzy occurring nationwide.

We will once again exceed $2 billion in sales this year, but there is a big difference this time around.  The market is relatively balanced, it has been a steady upward ride to achieve this goal, and most importantly, it is sustainable.

Although there may be a slowdown at some point, we expect it to be more normalized based on the last 35 years, which means a plateau or slight dip as compared to plunging off a cliff.  So the $2 billion dollar level is an important step that we pass on our way to $3 billion in annual sales.

Naples Real Estate Neighborhood Snapshot Report

Each month, John R. Wood Realtors publishes their Neighborhood Snapshot Report which shows the number of closed sales over the last 12 months, as well as the available inventory in some of Naples’ and Bonita Springs’ most popular neighborhoods.  This report is divided by single-family homes and condominiums, and gives residents insight into how active their neighborhood is, as well as surrounding neighborhoods.

Click below to see the January 2015  Neighborhood Snapshot Report!

Market Report JAN 2015.indd

Comparing the White House to the Typical Home Purchased

In honor of  President’s Day, let’s use data from the National Association of REALTORS’  2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers to tell us how the typical home differs from the White House!


Typical Home Purchased in the U.S.

  • 84% of buyers purchased a previously owned home, with 79% of buyers choosing a detached single-family home.
  • Looking at first-time and repeat buyers, both also purchased detached single-family homes more often with 75% of first-time buyers and 81% of repeat buyers.
  • 50% of all buyers purchased their home in a suburb/subdivision.
  • The typical detached single-family home purchased was 2,000 square feet.
  • Homes purchased also had a median of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and was built in 1993.
  • Of all buyers, the expected length of tenure in the home purchased was 12 years.

The White House

  • The White House was built in 1792, and in comparison is located in an urban or central area.
  • The White House contains 6 levels, has 132 rooms, including 35 bathrooms.
  • It also includes features such as: a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, billiard room, movie theater and bowling alley.
  • While tenure in the median expected tenure in home lasts around 12 years, in the White House the expected tenure is between 4 and 8 years.

A little bit different, huh?

Home Price Increase Q4 2014 – Growing Economy

With about 800 people a day moving to Florida, the growing economy continues to create new jobs and giving residents employment again.  Results of a strong real estate market during the fourth quarter in 2014 has proven the obvious boost in median prices and gains in the inventory.  Closed sales in Florida totaled 62,080 and was up 14.9 percent since the last 4Q in 2013!

The median sales price in Florida was $180,000 for single family homes, up 5.9 percent from the same time a year ago reported from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department.  They also recorded that the median sales price for townhomes and condos was at $143,000, up 7.9 percent from the last year.  The homes are selling for more.  Prices are on a rise as the inventory still shows a need for more listings, and the economy continues to better itself.

It’s a good idea to step back and look at the housing market on occasion from a broader perspective such as a quarterly basis, according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo.

“The fourth quarter numbers encapsulate the state of Florida’s housing market for all of 2014,” Tuccillo said. “Sales are up for both single-family homes and condos, as are prices. The condo market is a bit weaker than the single-family market, in part owing to weaker demand by investors. Inventories in both areas are in what is generally considered a balanced market range. Distressed sales are falling, particularly short sales, as rising prices eliminate many homes as short sale candidates.”

Inventory was at a 5.2-months’ supply in the fourth quarter for single-family homes and at a 5.9-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97 percent for 4Q 2014, down from the 4.30 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.

Ritz Carlton Resort – 5 Stars!

The Ritz Carlton earned five stars for the 25th time! This is almost unheard of and indefinitely rare.  Since the Ritz Carlton opened in 1985, it has held a prestigious five star rating and was recognized by the Forbes Travel Guide saying:

“A commanding presence overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and just steps from a pristine white sand beach, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples offers 450 guest rooms and suites and is a great getaway for the whole family, thanks to amenities such as a family pool, relaxation pool, a whirlpool and a children’s pool.”

Another hotel in Naples, the Inn on Fifth made a hefty yet wise $8 million investment over the past three years to get a four star rating.

Forbes Travel Guide CEO Gerard J. Inzerillo said Naples and its honorees set themselves apart from the competition this year in a number of ways.

“I think there are two things interesting about Naples,” he said. “No. 1 is that Naples itself, as a community, has differentiated itself as one of the friendlier cities in the south and in the United States. When people talk about Naples outside of Florida, there are certain buzzwords they use: graciousness, beautiful, not as intense as larger cities like Miami.

“I really think that allows for the cultivation of a certain service style that’s very genuine and not forced.”

The Inn on Fifth and Club Level Suites also deserved its fair share of the spotlight, Inzerillo said.

“All the feedback from the guests is about the graciousness and how they feel welcome and important there,” said Inzerillo, whose publication has bestowed star ratings upon hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958. “That’s as good of a four-star hotel as you’re going to find anywhere in the world.”

The excellent ratings would help both hotels stand out in a world crammed with lodging choices for business and travel, Inzerillo said.

NAR Reports that REALTORS® See Uptick in Housing Markets

home increase

From the John R. Wood Blog, Nella Decesare: Some very useful and wonderful information! Real estate professionals are growing more confident about the housing market’s outlook for the next six months, according to the December 2014 REALTORS® Confidence Index, a survey of more than 4,000 REALTORS® about local and market conditions that is released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The single-family market saw some of the most improvement, with the six-month outlook increasing to 67 in December (from 60 the prior month). Any number above 50 indicates that respondents have a “strong” outlook than “weak” outlook. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, notes in the report:

“Falling oil prices means more money into consumers’ pockets, which along with reasonable interest rates, should be positive for the housing outlook in 2015. However, REALTORS® in states with greater dependence on the oil and gas industry cautioned about the effect of continued drop in oil prices on employment and its impact on housing.”


REALTORS® are reporting an overall increase in buyer and seller traffic in many local markets in December compared to the previous month, although weaker compared to year ago levels. “Although supply has been improving, demand continued to outstrip supply,” the report notes. The majority of the REALTORS® surveyed expected home prices to rise modestly in the next 12 months by about 3.2 percent. States that are the most upbeat with price expectations – confident about a 4 to 5 percent rise this year – are the District of Columbia, Florida, and Nevada. Download the full report!

Reserve Your Walk-able Lifestyle in the Heart of Downtown Naples

For those who prefer a urban-like, walk-able lifestyle in a luxurious residential setting, Naples Square might just be perfect for you! It’s location is on the corner of Goodlette-Frank Road and 5th Avenue S.   It has the charm and excitement you’re looking for and in walk-able distance from 5th Ave, 3rd St S, Tin City, and Bayfront.  It’s the perfect location to be connected to everything and just a few blocks from the beach! Experience downtown Naples living at it’s best!

Construction kicked off in 2014 and will have 73 residences after completion.  Take the opportunity to reserve your spot at Naples Square Sales Gallery and choose from a variety of different floor plans ranging from 1,200 to just under 3,000 square feet.   Building plans will have seven on and two story, two and three bedroom plus den floor plans.

MHK Architecture and Planning of Naples was chosen to design the light-filled, large, open-concept living areas.  Be prepared to see designer kitchens, “chic” master bedroom suites and designer floors.  Pricing begins in the high $400’s.

10 Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home by 12%

A seller has the ability to increase the value of their home by 12 percent with a few repairs and updates.  According to the Consumer Reports National Research Center a home priced at $205,000 has the potential to gain $24,600.

It is a wise idea to make a few changes when listing your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers.  You want to make them feel like it’s their home and they could move in the next day!

Here are a few tips:

1. DECLUTTERdepersonalize your home as much as possible! 3%-5% potential return

You can always do this yourself or you could hire an interior decorator for a consultation to give you ideas of what to put away, where to move furniture, wall color ideas, and more.

2. KITCHEN MAKEOVER – 3%-7% potential return

Believe it or not, but the kitchen was rated the most important room to have in the best condition before selling.   Fix leaky faucets, loose light fixtures or any imperfections on the counter-tops.  Then, they recommend small enhancements, such as painting the walls, updating the cabinet hardware, adding new curtains or light fixtures.

3. FRESHEN UP THE BATHROOM – 2%-3% potential return

The bathroom features will depreciate over time because of frequent use.  New caulking and re-grouting or just adding new fixtures to the bathroom could brighten up the place.  Updating the mirror and light fixtures with a modern or vintage touch could do wonders.

4.  PAINT – 2%-3% potential return

Some people dread the thought of a paint job, but it is not as painful as most imagine.  You can do it yourself or hire someone for less than $1,000 for a large job.  You most likely don’t need the whole house painted, but the most popular rooms to paint are bathrooms and kitchens.  Choose a neutral or off-white color such as grays and beiges.  Bright colors tend to distract the buyers.  Also try to avoid wall-paper.


Creating curb appeal can be as simple as mowing the lawn, trimming the shrubs, and laying down a fresh layer of mulch.  Buyers will pay close attention to the roof to make sure it is in good shape.  Tile roofs usually need a good power wash to make it look like new.  Adding a few pot or hanging plants just outside your door is also a nice feature.

The following are the top five projects nationally in terms of cost recouped, according to the Cost vs. Value report:

1. Entry door replacement (101.8%)

2. Manufactured stone veneer (92.2%)

3. Garage door replacement – midrange project (88.5%)

4. Siding replacement, fiber cement (84.3%)

5. Garage door replacement – upscale project (82.5%)

Source: “Top 5 Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home,” Consumer Reports (Jan. 29, 2015)