NEWS AT A GLANCE
Snowbirds are coming home and that could have a positive impact on the housing market.
Some of these seasonal residents are returning home for the first time since the pandemic began.
Real estate agents say the market is starting to stabilize.
RELATED: SWFL property market shows signs of cooling
You can’t miss the signs, the traffic is better and you can sit in a restaurant. Most snowbirds have returned home for the first time in a long time.
Many of them bought homes when they decided to wait out the pandemic. So have the thousands of people who have moved to Southwest Florida over the past two years.
Sales signs are hard to find, but sales signs are much easier. For months people have been buying whatever they can find.
You can blame the pandemic for some of these purchases. That’s why the median home price in Lee County is now $499,000. In Collier County, that’s $850,000.
The question now is how long this real estate push will last.
“There are definitely signs of stabilization, that’s for sure,” said Jenny Moorhead, owner of Cornerstone Coastal Properties.
Moorhead said demand was down, but not really. “And by that, I mean, there’s not 10 or 15 deals, there could be three or four that you’re competing against,” Moorhead said.
Homes are still selling and selling fast.
WINK News asked Rick Haas of Marzucco Real Estate about home prices.
“The price is starting to drop; the only negative point is that the rates are starting to rise. So I tell buyers, now is the time to buy and refinance in a few years,” Haas said.
Haas thinks that’s a better way to go, rather than leasing and waiting for interest rates to drop.
As for housing stock, expect it to remain tight for some time.
“People are leaving some of the higher tax states to come to Florida, where you have a great lifestyle, you have great restaurants, you have low taxes. And in an economy where inflation is a problem, you’re definitely not going to leave states where it’s more expensive to live,” Moorhead said.
The average rent in Lee County is over $1,600 per month. In Collier County, it’s $2,000 a month.
That’s why experts say if you can afford to buy and you find something you like, buy now.