Happy New Year from The Harris Peppe Team! There are a lot of wonderful things going on around here that we'd like to share. First off, today marked the first Business Meeting of the year here at the Coldwell Banker Fifth Avenue Previews office in downtown Naples, and the first meeting presided over by our new broker, Joni Albert. She did a great job and everyone is pleased and excited to have her leadership take us into the next decade here at the Previews office. Joni has been licensed in real estate sales since 1984, and has been a manager at a competitor's office in Naples for 10 years. She came to Naples from Upstate New York. She is very active in the local Board of Realtors and the Naples On The Gulf Chapter of The Women's Council of Realtors. Joni has had numerous professional awards, but most notably she was honored as The Greater Capital Association of Realtors-Realtor of the Year in 2000. After reviewing what's happening in our local market, it is my opinion that we are in for one of the busiest seasons we've seen in four years. Our phones are ringing, our listings are being shown, and we are taking some fabulous new listings! Several factors indicate that Naples Florida home prices are at or near the bottom. That is not to say that every community has hit the bottom. Keep in mind, not only is real estate "local", but also within a town like Naples, each neighborhood has its own personality and market conditions. Those things which I think are impacting our local market are: Inventory, Interest Rates and Pent Up Demand. Inventory is down! Current Inventory is 7,946 Active Residential Listings per the Naples MLS system, SunshineMLS. That is more than a 40% decrease in inventory! Wow! There were 7,040 closed sales in 2009 as compared to 4,651 total closed sales in 2008. Nearly 70% of the 2009 closed sales were listings priced below $300,000. Obviously, this remains our most popular price point. Only 6% of last years closed sales were listings priced over $1 million. Interest Rates are Still Low! Although banks are much stricter with lending, mortgage rates remain low. Today's rates are just slightly over 5% fixed for 30 years, and jumbo loans are around 6%. Our loan department here at Coldwell Banker is one of the few lenders making 20% down loans available to qualified purchasers of 2nd home condominiums. I invite you to call Kelly Rebimbas at Sunbelt Lending if you have any questions. Her direct number is 1.239.273.5239. More credit defaults are predicted, and this too will effect values. In addition, predictions are being made that rates will be going up in the spring. This should also motivate buyers to make decisions now. Sales Activity is Up! The Naples market is driven by 2nd home buyers and Naples remains a very attractive place for snowbirds to spend the winter. (although this week our temperatures have barely gotten out of the 50's). Some homes are selling in price levels I haven't seen since the last decade! Buyers are looking for values and finding them. In the next 10 years over 35 million baby boomers will be turning 60 in this country. That is a huge source of buyers who could potentially be relocating to Southwest Florida. In addition our European and Canadian friends are also making a come-back.