Locals buy while they can

News-Press December 29, 2006. Lower prices make home ownership possible. Statistics release Thursday show why a buyer might think the time is right to buy. The median price of an existing home sold in Lee County was $258,600, up 3.8 percent from October's $249,200. And 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have been the lowest since January, averaging between 6.1 and 6.2 percent for the past four weeks.

Existing Home Sales Up

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes edged up 0.6 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.28 million units, after a 0.5 percent rise in sales in October. It marked the first back to back increases in sales of existing homes isince spring 2005.

Sales of New Homes Rebound

Associated Press - Today - Sales of new homes bounced back in November and have now posted increases in three of the past four months, a hopeful sign that this year's severe drop in housing may finally be coming to an end. This information was based on a national basis. In Fort Myers we are seeing less new home inventory which should help to stabilize prices. There is still a large inventory of existing homes in SW Florida.

Real Estate Market Conditions

Toll Brothers, a luxury home builder, is saying that "We are dancing on the bottom" of real estate prices. The steep price declines we have experienced during the past year appear to be diminishing. Builders are holding off on many building projects thus helping to decrease the new housing inventory. There is still a large inventory of existing homes. Whether we are at the bottom today or will reach it in the next several months, it is certainly a good time to buy. Watch the Federal Reserve in the first quarter 2007. There is talk that they may decrease interest rates and increase money supply. This will help stimulate the slow real estate market.