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Tis the Season...
By Luke Andreae (April 2005)

The weather is great. Air conditioning has been replaced by open windows and cool breezes. The birds are back and standing in the sun is actually refreshing. Season is definitely upon us. If you did not notice the positive effects of the weather, there are other ways to notice – 10-30 minute dinner waits at almost every restaurant on most nights and increased traffic on U.S. 41. So, how does Season affect our real estate market?

Typically, December through April means more prospective customers for anyone selling their home. The facts are simple; there are just a lot more people in the state during this part of the year. More people mean more showings. More showings mean more sales...right? Not necessarily.

When looking at the monthly averages over the past 3 years, the market is quite fluid through each and every month. Using Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles homes that have gone into Pending (within the MLS) each month over the past 3 years, the data shows that all of the months are consistently solid. March definitely has the highest number of homes being sold. However, July has a higher monthly average of homes sold than January.

PGI/BSI Homes Put Into Pending within MLS
  Average 2002 2003 2004
January 27 24 24 33
February 36 38 28 41
March 50 55 32 58
April 37 40 28 43
May 29 22 34 32
June 24 18 29 24
July 30 29 28 32
August 25 26 24 13*
September 24 19 28 12*
October 21 16 25 12*
November 20 13 26 17*
December 27 26 27 12*
  *Not included in average due to Hurricane Charley

There are a number of reasons why more homes would sell in July than January. During season, our phones light up and our emails are popping with people who want to see what our cities have to offer. They want to know how quickly they can get to the harbor from the back of their house, how close their waterfront home will be to a golf course, and of course, how much bang they can get for their buck. It is hard to classify a certain type of buyer during season because there are so many different types. There is the retiring couple that is spending a month in Florida to look at every neighborhood from Jacksonville to Naples, the 40’s couple who is visiting their parents and would like to get a foothold piece of waterfront property before prices make it unattainable (better hurry), and the couple that has come every year for the past 10 years looking at real estate in Punta Gorda Isles but are now ready to buy. This is just a few of the customer profiles that will be touring through homes for sale this season.

In the “off season” when the humidity is high and the A/C is kicking, the number of showings tends to drop off but the number of qualified, ready buyers remains very constant. Many of the buyers who were here in January and February now want to see just how hot it REALLY is in July. They have also had some months to get their affairs in order. There is also a healthy contingent of people who fell in love with the area during their February visit but who were not financially or emotionally ready to purchase a house at that time. When living up north, it is sometimes very difficult to quickly sell a home with 3 foot snowdrifts blocking the driveway. Countless people from Illinois to New York will attest to great selling periods in their areas from April to June due to the beautiful spring weather and the convenience of the school calendar. That northern selling period affects our market due to those sellers coming down with the cash from the sale of their homes.

Another factor that brings qualified buyers in the summer months is the perception that the real estate market here is slow and some of the sellers may be more motivated. Many buyers come looking for a deal. The chart above shows that the market is consistently fluid throughout the entire calendar year.

To many, the weather in Punta Gorda may be the nicest in January through April but our market is heavily influenced by what is going on north of Florida. Just because the traffic may be lightening and you may be able to get into The Perfect Caper on a day’s notice, it does not mean that the real estate market is dramatically slowing down. There are buyers here every month and some who look in January may actually be scouting for their return visit in the summer months.

RE/MAX Harbor Realty and The Andreae Group
2815 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
[email protected]  866-761-8138   941-833-4217
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