The numbers are in for the Cape Coral single-family home market for the month of March and after a typically slower January and February, the next seasonal market shift seems to be right on time. Back in our column on March 24, we commented about how, dating back to 2006, the number of homes sold in March has been higher than the number of homes sold in February, by an average of almost 40 percent each year. And like clockwork, we have posted the strongest month of March for the number of homes sold in each property type dating back over the last 12-years, as the overall single-family home market in the Cape stayed right on course with its seasonal trends. Median sales prices also continued to trend higher.
But before we get started on the numbers, we have one quick point for people who have been trying to sell their homes over the last 3 to 6 months. Now is not the time to throw in the towel and give up on getting your home sold, because the second quarter of the year has been when the peak number of homes sold has occurred in 9 of the previous 10 years. Our advice, is to take an honest look at your home and have it reassessed to see how it compares to homes which have recently been sold in your neighborhood and price range.
In the overall Cape Coral single-family home market, there were 457 homes sold in March, which was up a whopping 57.6 percent over the 290 homes sold in February. This March was also up 21.54 percent from the 376 homes sold in March 2016. In the first-quarter of 2017, there were 1,028 homes sold, up 10.54 percent from the 930 homes sold in the first-quarter of 2016, however, we were up less than 1 percent compared to the 1,020 homes sold in the fourth quarter 2016.
Median sales prices in March were up 14.63 percent in the overall Cape Coral single-family home market, hitting $235,000 compared to $205,000 in March 2016, but prices were down a fraction from $236,000 in February. In the first-quarter of 2017, median sales prices were up 11.33 percent to an average of $230,667 per month versus $207,192 per month in the first quarter 2016. The first quarter of 2017, also topped the fourth quarter 2016 median sales price of $221,828 by 3.98 percent.
Gulf access canal homes:
The same good news flowed into the Cape Coral single-family gulf access canal home segment, as there were 111 homes sold this March, up 33.73 percent over the 83 homes sold in February, and 42.3 percent above the 78 homes sold a year ago, in March 2016. In the first quarter 2017, there were 257 gulf access homes sold, up 19.53 percent from the 215 homes sold in March 2016, and almost 26 percent above the 204 sold in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Median sales prices for Cape Coral single-family gulf access canal homes were up 11.65 percent to $439,900 in March, from $394,000 in March 2016. This March also topped February's $410,000 median sales price by 7.29 percent. The average median sales price in the first quarter 2017, was $417,633 per month, up 7.41 percent over the $388,833 per month posted for the first quarter of 2016, and 6.18 percent above the $393,333 per month in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Sailboat access canal homes:
Cape Coral single-family sailboat access canal homes, which are a subgroup of gulf access canal homes, followed the strong seasonal trend with the number of homes sold this March up by 50 percent to 51 homes sold versus only 34 sold in March 2016. This March registered a bit higher than the 47 homes sold in February, but the first quarter of 2017, with a total of 128 homes sold, was up 28 percent over the 100 sailboat access canal homes sold in the first quarter 2016. The first quarter of this year also finished 47.13 percent higher than the 87 homes sold in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The median sales price for sailboat access canal homes was up 27.11 percent to $487,000 this March, compared to $383,125 in March 2016, and it was 13.79 percent higher than in February, when it was $428,000. In the first quarter 2017, the average median sales price for sailboat access canal homes was $457,500 per month, up 19.45 percent compared to a year ago, when it averaged $383,008 in the first quarter of 2016. The first quarter 2017, was also 17.76 percent higher than the $388,227 per month average from the fourth quarter 2016.
Freshwater canal homes:
In the Cape Coral single-family freshwater canal home segment, there were 48 homes sold in March, up 26.32 percent from the 38 sold in March 2016, while also reversing the slowest start to a year in this group since 2014, with a big 84.6 percent gain over the 26 homes sold in February. There were 99 homes sold in the first quarter of 2017, up 4.21 percent from the 95 sold in the first quarter a year ago, however, this segment was down 1.98 percent from the 101 homes sold in the fourth quarter 2016.
Although the median sales price for freshwater canal homes seems to be slowing after a strong run, this March was still up 2.72 percent to $292,500 compared to $284,750 in March 2016, and it was 7.83 percent above the dip to $271,250 in February. The first quarter 2017 median sales price averaged $281,250 per month for a 6 percent gain over the monthly average of $265,250 in the first quarter of 2016, while posting its 7th consecutive quarterly price gain, topping the fourth quarter of 2016 monthly average of $277,000 by 1.53 percent.
Dry lot homes:
There were 300 Cape Coral dry lot (non-canal) homes sold in March, up 15.38 percent from the 260 sold in March 2016, and 65.75 percent higher than the 181 sold in February. There were 674 dry lot homes sold in the first quarter, up 8.71 percent compared to the 620 sold in 2016, but down 5.6 percent from the 714 sold in the fourth quarter 2016.
The median sales price was up 10.24 percent to $199,500 in March, versus $180,970 in March 2016, but virtually flat with the $199,985 from February. The first-quarter was up 10.41 percent, coming in at a monthly average of $198,828 versus $180,088 in 2016, and up a modest 1.48 percent from $195,923 in the fourth-quarter of 2016.
Next week, we'll discuss the improving seasonal trends with the supply of unsold homes.
(The March 2017, sales data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County, FL, as of April 15, 2017, and it was compiled by Bob and Geri Quinn. It includes information specifically for Cape Coral single family homes, and it does not include condominiums, foreclosures, or short sales. The data and statistics are believed to be reliable, however, they could be updated and revised peri-odically, and are subject to change without notice. The Quinns are a husband and wife real estate team with Century 21 Birchwood Realty Inc., in Cape Coral. They have lived in Cape Coral for over 37 years. Geri has been a full-time Realtor since 2005, and Bob, who also holds a Certified Financial Planner designation, joined with Geri as a full-time Realtor in 2014. Their real estate practice is mainly focused on Cape Coral residential property and vacant lots.)