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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Florida's existing home sales up in April

The National Association of Realtors today reported that existing home sales in April rose--the eighth consecutive month with sales increases nationwide! That sounds like a trend to me! Home sales in Florida rose 18%, with a total of 13,111 homes sold statewide compared to 11,133 in April 2008. Condo sales in Florida also rose 21% in April as compared to April last year; and condos rose 6.2% total units over March! Interest rates for a 30 year fixed rate averaged 4.81% last month, also down significantly from the average rate of 5.92% in April 2008. Yes, we're qualifying buyers! Anyone telling you that banks are not loaning on homes and condos in Florida hasn't talked to our mortgage representative, Kelly Rebimbas, Loan Officer at Sunbelt Lending. Call or email Kelly if you have any questions at all concerning mortgages: 239-273-5239 direct or Florida sale prices decreased 31% in the last 12 months, interest rates are down more than 1%, and inventory is at a 5 year low. If now is not the time to buy, I don't know when is! A lot of buyer's that we are talking to are voicing the following concern: "I think there may be more room for the market to go down!" What we are telling them is simple...How much more do you think it will go down? -then, Just consider that when making your offer. With inventories down, and the best priced listings selling first, many of today's buyers might just miss the boat if they don't decide soon. Fortunes are made in this type of economic climate...the opportunities in Naples Florida are excellent! For information about today's best buys in Naples Florida, please call a member of The Harris-Peppe Team today! 239-370-0574 Thank you, and make it a great day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Moment of Silence

On this Memorial Day, The Harris Peppe Team would like invite you to join us as we honor the men and women who have given their lives so selflessly over many generations to allow us to live in a country committed to freedom. It is our deepest prayer that we live a life that is worthy of this sacrifice. During this weekend where so many people begin their summer celebrations with a picnic, a family reunion or backyard barbecue, I can only hope that you will all take a moment in silence to honor those who have given their lives so that you can live a life pursuing happiness and free choices. We also want to send out a special prayer of gratitude to those who stand guard today. Wherever you are in the world, please come home soon, safe and sound.
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price,
bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose and foe
to assure the survival and success of liberty" ~John F. Kennedy
Did you know that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day? General John Logan proclaimed it as a day to be set aside as a day of remembrance for those who had died in our nation's service. On May 30th, 1868 flowers were placed on the graves of both the Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York. --Another tidbit of Memorial Day history refers to a poet named Moina Michael who conceived the idea of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day to honor those who died in service. I can remember when I was a little girl my Dad sold red poppies...the money went to benefit servicemen in need. Who else remembers wearing red poppies on Memorial Day? Click on this link if you are interested in learning more about TAPS...Did you know it actually has words? Lastly, I'd like to relate a story which is close to my heart this Memorial Day. My friend Frank, who served in Vietnam, recently found his bunk mate from nearly 40 years ago on Facebook. (Frank's wife, my friend Denise, made the connection). They had not seen each other since 1970...Today they rode through Washington D.C. together in Rolling Thunder to The Wall along with over half a million other bikers. I love you Frank. --and Thank you. Photo inset was taken today at our cabin in NC. Showing our colors at Acorn Cottage. You can click on the photo to enlarge it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Going Going Gone!

Last Friday I confirmed an appointment with a buyer who was scheduled to arrive in Naples this morning...after discussing the final details of his arrival I began the process of setting up appointments. We had been communicating via phone and email for about 30 days...much of what he was looking for was either listed as short sales or foreclosed properties. After calling on several of the short sale listings, and after discussing it with my customer, he decided to only look at non-short sale offerings. Many of those listed had already received multiple offers, and most for more than the asking price. The majority of them were still waiting for a response from the lenders involved. This narrowed the search down considerably. I proceeded to make appointments to show him and his wife 8 homes for sale which met the criteria which he outlined to me. When I got to the office this morning I re-confirmed all 8 appointments only to find that 2 of the homes had gone under contract over the weekend. I re-checked MLS and no new listings came up matching his specifications, so off we went to look at the 6 homes left on the list. When we got back to the office there were actually 2 homes that they considered making offers on, so I phoned both listing agents for more information...and, BOTH homes already had offers on them...JUST SINCE THIS MORNING!!!! So buyers, if you're reading this blog post and you think you might be interested in taking advantage of the super buys in Naples Florida, keep in mind, you are not alone! Prices haven't been this good in years and interest rates are still phenomenal! The best buys are "going going gone"! Please call a member of The Harris Peppe Team today! We hope to hear from you soon and we look forward to earning your business.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Naples Real Estate Statistics

I haven't posted in a week, so you know we've been busy. At this morning's sales meeting our title company reported that April 2009 was their best month since September 2005! I thought I'd share a few of the recent statistics with you. Once you review them, if you have any questions, please feel free to call any one of us on The Harris-Peppe Team. There have been 15,368 new residential listings YTD in the entire Sunshine MLS system. This includes 7,979 new residential listings in Naples, of which 4,346 were priced at or below $300,000. Currently there are 4,046 active residential listings in Naples priced under $300,000...this is 41% of our current inventory. There have been 3,285 pending YTD in this price point, making up 74% of the pendings in Naples since January 1st, 2009. This price range is definitely driving our market forward. Currently there are 1,799 active Previews listings in Sunshine MLS in the Naples area. There have been 344 listings priced at or above $1 million go under contract YTD. 232 Previews properties have closed YTD, making up about 10.5% of the total closings in Naples. This is actually a very healthy number when you consider that better than one out of every 10 sales is listed over $1 million! The high-end market is holding its own as luxury buyers are finding excellent values. Previews properties make up 18% of the total inventory in Naples. The closed sales in the under $300,000 price range in April 2009 vs April 2008 are up 68%. Comparing April 2008 to April 2009 in ALL price ranges, residential sales are up 20% across the board in Naples. Total inventory in Naples in April 2009 vs April 2009 is down 9% It is a great time to be a buyer. All indicators point towards a leveling off of pricing, including less inventory, pendings along with buyer's confidence up and lower interest rates! Call us today...we'd love to show you some of the fabulous buys available here in Paradise! This information was derived from data on the Sunshine MLS and is deemed to be true and accurate, but not guaranteed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Honoring The Golden Apple Recipients

Chip & I had the distinct honor last night of attending the 19th Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Celebration at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. It was a memorable evening and we left there feeling so blessed to be a part of this fabulous community. The teachers who were honored were a diverse and talented group; but they had a common them teaching is a calling, and their love for children was evident...many of their students were in attendance. The pride felt was mutual. Naples is so lucky to have teachers of this caliber nurturing its students. There were 34 teachers honored as Teachers of Distinction, in addition to the 6 receiving the high honor of Golden Apple recipients. They were Brent Brickzen from Palmetto Ridge High School, Sheila Buckner from Calusa Park Elementary, Anna Ruth Crouse from Poinciana Elementary, Mia German from Pinecrest Elementary, Stephanie Jonas from Veteran's Memorial Elementary and Teri Maroon from Osceola Elementary. You can learn more about these teachers and the schools they represent by going to the menu bar on our website's home page and clicking on School Information. Also recognized were the 2009 Collier County Teacher's Of The Year: Carey Brisson, Pine Ridge Middle-Collier County Middle School Teacher of the Year; Anne Fredette, Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology-Collier County Post-Secondary School Teacher of the Year; Kimberly Ragusa, Golden Gate High School-Macy's Florida Teacher of the Year Nominee; Martha Voorhees, Gulf Coast High School-Collier County High School Teacher of the Year...and last but certainly not least, Kathy Morrow, Veteran's Memorial Elementary School-Collier County Elementary School Teacher of the Year! The program was presented by The Education Foundation and hosted by Lois Thome from WINK-TV. It will air on May 9th at 7:00 pm and May 10th at 12:00 pm on the education channel, Cable 99. Another organization which is dedicated to bringing together the community and the Collier County schools in order to improve public school education and communication between our schools and the public is called Connect Now! Interestingly enough, over 70% of its members do not have children or grandchildren in the Collier County public school system. These are just hard working participants who understand the importance of education when preserving the quality of life in any community. Again, we are so fortunate to be part of a community who supports such worthwhile goals for our children. I am proud that The Coldwell Banker Cares Foundation supports the Education Foundation. -And, I am also proud that I have been a Collier County School volunteer for 28 years. There is nothing more important than making a difference in the life of a child.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Some Positive Press

Late last year the Naples Area Board of Realtors formed a focus group and established a committee to create some positive press after the real estate editors seemed to have it out for all of us. Shortly thereafter, the first of many articles began appearing in our local paper and slowly, but surely, the confidence of the buyers in the Naples Real Estate market returned. --With more closed sales in the first quarter of 2009 since the 1st quarter of 2002, it's safe to say the pent up demand of the last couple of years is finally giving way. Overall, the market year-to-date has seen a 30% increase in the number of units sold when compared to the same 4 month period last year. However, if you take the closed sales listed below $300,000 out of the mix the closed sales results are as follows:
  • $300,000-$500,000 down 15%
  • $500,001-$1,000,000 down 27%
  • $1,000,001-$2,000,000 down 51%
  • $2,000,001+ down 28%

This will give you and idea of how much the "under $300,000" market is driving the closed sale numbers up! The closed sales in this range also have the majority of the foreclosures and short sales, but it is also this range that has seen the greatest price adjustments! The higher price ranges haven't adjusted as readily to the downward pressure of the market...Those listed right ARE ALL price points...the listings that are staying ahead of the curve are the ones going under contract...a listing which compares the most favorably to its competition is the single most important factor being considered when buyers are making decisions!

We are happy to read the positive press...even though it may be only one factor in the equation--Lower inventory and interest rates have played keys rolls, too. In any event, it certainly looks like the trend is towards an even more robust 2nd quarter.