Total sales in April were down five percent over the month before, according to new data released by the Naples Area Board of Realtors.
Sales dropped despite a decline in inventory in April, which had been expanding rapidly over much of the last two years. Homes are also taking longer to sell, with the average property now spending nearly 100 days on the market, 97 days in April up from 72 days a year ago.
For those still living with lingering scars of the real estate bust a decade ago, that may dredge up bad memories, but the reason for the slowdown is on the part of sellers, not buyers, says Dominic Pallini, the president of NABOR.
“An influx of new homes onto the market creates additional competition that many sellers don’t take into consideration when pricing their homes to sell,” Pallini said.
According to Collier County’s Growth Management Division, the county issued 257 permits for new construction in single and multi-family homes in April alone, and outside of this past November and December have issued at least 200 permits every month for the last two years.
These new properties provide additional competition for home sellers.
NABOR analysts say that the price homes are selling for is typically eight to 10 percent below asking prices. Still, the median closed price is up nine percent to $355,000, but that is mostly due to homes in the $300-500,000 price bracket, the only category to see sales increase as compared to one year ago.
Realtors have been saying for much of the last year that sellers are limiting the market by pricing their properties for more than buyers are willing to pay, a sentiment echoed by the Bonita Springs-Estero Association of Realtors. B.E.A.R. president Roger Brunswick said the problem is especially present in condominium listings.
“Condo owners have not moved to making the much-needed price reductions in this segment yet,” Brunswick said, the problem is especially bad in properties east of U.S. 41. “Condo sellers must move quickly on price repositions if they hope to sell this summer, as buyers will not look twice at an overpriced listing.”
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