Hey friends January 2023 Happy New Year to you I've entered the new year with a little bit of congestion. If you hang in there with me I'll get through some of the numbers at the end of December what we're seeing right now in January in the Bonita Springs and Estero Florida real estate markets. What we did see towards the end of last year is just odd and part of it is because we had a major hurricane go through. We're about110 days out from hurricane hitting the area so it really did upset a lot of buying and selling because the people who were lucky to have homeless to live in may have had to have repairs done. A lot of the people who had severely damaged homes, moved into homes that were secondary homes as rentals. So we just sucked up a lot of the real estate in his area while everybody sort of looked and realized he got back to normal again there's no means we can be a lot of homes have been replaced a lot of the damage has been replaced. We had our last broken traffic light in town fix and what we're seeing right now is a little strive to get back to a regular real estate market. Click photo to see larger images:
Of course in January here is beautiful. It is freezing cold elsewhere. So here's what we're actually seeing. We're seeing a little bit of a trickle down in foreclosures and short sales. What I'll say about this is I actually went into the tax roll. These are not new (recently developed) foreclosures. These are things that have been years in the making. Investment Companies or lending institutions have held these properties for quite a while some of them did the rehab process. I know of a couple in town myself, even in a neighborhood in which I've lived. I think the bank has owned the foreclosure close to 10 years and it's just rounding the bend and gotten a new roof, painted etc. I'm looking for that to hit the market. Soon. So there's a lot of stuff still in the market as a foreclosure from the last housing downturn that happened like around the 2010 to 2012 area that those properties are now coming to market. So we are still seeing an occasional short sale it doesn't happen all that often. But when we do see them, you know, it must have really been quite a situation for them to be upside down in the market such as this.
We were to talk about our historical sales. If you look at this graph, we're just kind of even with many other years 2017 and 18. This is all the sales that closed in Bonita Springs and Estero during the month of December going back year over year over year. You can see nothing earth shaking, nothing huge to report. I believe that 209 number would be much much higher if we hadn't had a hurricane just a couple months before. If you can imagine any of the homes that were under contract may have needed repairs to happen in order to satisfy the bank or the insurance company to close them. Plus, during that initial, you know 30 to 60 days after the hurricane. We didn't have anywhere for tourists to stay. Our hotels were at capacity with support personnel, tree service people, emergency responders, first responders, all these folks that came from all across the United States to get our electrical grid back on had to be in our hotels. So we're going to have this little pickup in some odd numbers for a couple of months and some of it is not really any indication of what's going on with the economy or with what you hear in the news. It really had to do with people not being able to be here and not having enough real estate on the market. So the long and the short of what price range actually sold of those 209 units. If you look at this graph, basically that fuchsia, hot pink, the navy blue, and that green section is everything that's 600,000 and under, and that's the lion's share of what we've sold. The more affordable real estate is in the Bonita Springs area, the faster it sells because, of course, everybody's looking for a little getaway or an entry level place to get into the neighborhood. And we're still dealing with that unique phenomenon of not enough rentals to go around. So without enough rentals to go around folks are sometimes at a quandary of just picking up and inexpensive unit. Inexpensive for this area, condo, you know, around $300-400,000 Just to have a place to be this winter so that they can enjoy the warm weather.
Last thing we'll look at is how these properties were paid for. Of course, mostly cash. You know, we're a cash heavy area, we're about 67% cash transactions, follow it up with about 28% of conventional mortgages. We don't do a lot of VA mortgages here so we only see maybe one or two of those go through the system. The same with FHA. The catch with those properties is our most affordable properties here. are generally properties in lower lying areas, older homes, flood zones, or maybe with some latent issues like cast plumbing, or needing a new roof and those do interfere with FHA and VA funding. So it's just not one of those things that we deal with a lot here. We also are not near a base so that makes a big difference with the VA funding popularity. But we do get it from time to time with some of the homes in better condition. That might be a little bit east of 75 perhaps and that fall under the loan limits.
So finally, what are we seeing on a topical view of what's going on in Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida right now we're watching a lot of price reductions happen and honestly they needed to be reduced. There was a lot of sellers that really got big in their britches and unfortunately, I've been in real estate for well over two decades. It's a cyclical thing and when the real estate market gets a little bit easier, you see a lot of new real estate agents come to the market. That's not a bad thing. You know, everybody deserves to start somewhere. However, some of these agents are a little bit thirsty and they do a disservice to their sellers by just making up numbers or agreeing with a number that a seller might have come up with. It's not the best thing for the market and it's a great thing for the neighbor next door that's priced appropriately. That overpriced property does sell other property. So what we're seeing now are people who really are getting serious. We are at mid January and we're watching some of the price reductions of some of these crazy prices that we've seen. Home sellers are realizing the buyers aren't willing to pay next year's prices and there aren't cars parked out front in the line. But we are not in any sort of a hardship of real estate across the board.
When I did the calculation, the absorption rate for the Bonita Springs and estero area in general. We're at a little over four months of inventory. You know six months is balanced inventory. We still are on the seller’s side. So what does this mean to you? This means to you whether you're a buyer or seller, real estate is super local and you need to be able to do these calculations not only for your neighborhood, but maybe your price bracket or other neighborhoods that are very similar to yours. So that you can really drill down and what you can expect your home to be on market for days on market. So that if you do price ambitiously, you'll know whether or not there's demand that maybe somebody will make an offer or you're just going to collect days on market. Right now when homes that I market, you know 60-90 days people are like what's wrong with that property? Price cures everything. So you know, pricing your property accurately or even making an offer on a property and understanding what that inventory rate means to for to you for the style of property you're looking at is important. We know how to do that for you whether you are a buyer or seller so we can help you drill down to that number so you know more than your competition, or even the buyer or seller for your property. Let us know! We'd be happy to help you with that. As far as festival season, everything is kicked off well here. There's a lot going on. In downtown Bonita Springs. There's an art show this weekend. And we are also going to plan an ice cream social in mid February. So keep your eyes peeled for that. We'll have an announcement in the next newsletter that we send out as well in the Bonita Springs Estero Community Forum on Facebook. So everybody … happy new year once again. So glad you watch and make it a great year.