Wakelin Realty Team May 2018 Newsletter

Hello from Naples!

The “season” in Naples has been a busy one this year…the final numbers are not in yet, but it appears tourist visits are up about 5% from last year. An interesting statistic showed that 40% of January visitors were here for the first time.

We are starting to see evidence that the season is ending as car carriers are roaming the streets picking up vehicles to haul “up north”.  Soon Interstate 75 will be full of cars, trucks, campers and coach homes of all sizes and descriptions also headed north.

More evidence is in the weather. We have started shifting to the summer pattern of warm nights, humid days and thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Soon restaurant waiting lines will disappear and prices will drop…late spring and summer is a great time to dine out in Naples! We would like to encourage those of you who are still in town to take advantage of Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week, which runs May 31st– June 13th because you will be able to enjoy fantastic 3-course menus at some of our top restaurants for an unbelievably low price plus a portion of the proceeds support an FGCU Food & Beverage Scholarship.

Lastly, if you belong to a golf club, the reciprocal season starts on May 1. This means you can play all the courses your club has reciprocity with for about $40 per round. Many courses offer access with bargain rates to non-members as well.

Although those who make Naples a seasonal second home are leaving now, tourism is still vibrant all year round. I always tell people they didn’t build two Ritz Carlton hotels in Naples so they could shut them down in the summer. Most hotels stay busy all summer long. We have many visitors from Europe and other parts of Florida…especially the Miami area. In fact, Florida is the number one feeder market for Naples tourism. The Northeast is the second biggest with Europe close behind for third place.

 

Here’s an interesting article from the Naples Daily News:

7 tips for picking a great real estate agent:

Real estate agents promote themselves with yard signs, online ads, direct-mail postcards and even sponsored public benches. So, cutting through the advertising hype and finding the right agent can be tough.

“We don’t have the information (about real estate agents) that we have about other service professionals,” says Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America.

Still, there are ways to size up an agent’s record — and potential. Check out these seven ways to find a great real estate agent, whether you’re buying or selling a home.

  1. Talk with agents’ recent clients

Ask agents to provide a list of what they’ve listed and sold in the past year, with contact information. With past clients, “I’d like to know what the asking price was and then what the sales price was,” says William Poorvu, adjunct professor emeritus at Harvard Business School and co-author of “The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide to Decision-Making and Investment.” If you’re selling, ask whether the previous properties were similar to yours in price, location and other key features, Poorvu says. You want someone who specializes in what you’re selling. Another good question for sellers to ask: How long were the homes on the market?

  1. Check for license and disciplinary actions

Check with your state’s regulatory body to find out whether an agent you’re considering is licensed and or has any disciplinary actions or complaints. That information may be posted online.

  1. Ask about professional awards

Peer-given awards count, says Ron Phipps, a past president of the National Association of Realtors. One that really means something is “Realtor of the Year,” which is awarded by the state or local branch of the NAR.  “These agents are the best as judged by their peers,” Phipps says. “That’s a huge endorsement.”

  1. Select an agent with the right credentials

Doctors have specialties, and so do real estate agents, many of whom get additional training in particular areas. The alphabet soup after an agent’s name can indicate that the agent has taken classes in a certain area of real estate sales. Some of the designations include:

CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.

ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in transactions.

SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.

If the agent calls herself a Realtor with a capital R, that means she’s a member of the NAR. “The most important thing you get (by hiring a Realtor) is an agent who formally pledges to support the code of ethics,” Phipps says.

  1. Find out how experienced an agent is

A state licensing authority often can tell you how long an agent has been in business. Or, you can ask the agent directly. “If they haven’t been in business five years, they’re learning on you and that’s not good,” says Robert Irwin, author of “Tips & Traps for Negotiating Real Estate.” Ultimately, what you want is someone who is actively engaged in a particular area and price range. You’ll want an agent to demonstrate knowledge of the area and homes in your price range.

  1. Look at the agent’s current listings

Check out an agent’s listings online, says Brobeck of the Consumer Federation of America. Places to look include the real estate agency’s website and sites such as Realtor.com, which offer a searchable online database of properties in the multiple listing service. Most buyers start their search online, and you want an agent who uses that tool effectively. “A key thing is an attractive presentation on the web,” Brobeck says. Look at how closely the agent’s listings mirror the property you want to buy or sell. Are they in the same area? Is the price range similar? Does the agent have enough listings to indicate a healthy business, but not so many that you’d be waiting days for him or her to return your call?

  1. Gauge the agent’s knowledge of the area

A good agent should know about other properties that are available in the area, Irwin says. Mention a house in your area that recently sold or is for sale. If the agent knows the property and can give you a few details, that means he or she really knows your area, he says. “You want someone like that, who’s on top of the market.”

 

Official April 2018 Climate Data at Naples Airport:

April 17
YTD 17
April 18
YTD 18
Normal YTD
Rainfall in inches
.97
3.03
1.02
2.98
8.69
Record High April Rainfall
7.73  (1997)
Record Low April Rainfall
0.00 (1970)
High April Temperature
95
90
Low April Temperature
54
60
Record High April Temperature
95 (1965,2017)
Record Low April Temperature
39 (1971)

Temperatures in April were normal for the month. It was great weather for all! The average max temperature in April is 83.2…we recorded 84.9. It was another great month to be vacationing or living in Naples! Reported rainfall at Naples was only 1.02 inches. This means we now have a shortfall of almost 6 inches.

 

Book Review: “Educated” A Memoir by Tara Westover

This is the true story of how a young woman grew up living off-the-grid, with no birth certificate or education, in a violent, mentally unstable, survivalist family, and found her own way, step by jagged step, to a Ph.D. at Cambridge University. A riveting account of growing up in a world where violence is part of everyday life, and the emotional toll that takes on a child, to the incredible, potent power of education to haul oneself out.

You might say Tara Westover’s education started while she was very young. Her life began on an Idaho mountain with survivalist parents. She had a father who distrusted the government and ran an ever-spreading scrap yard. Her mother was coerced by her husband to become a midwife. Born the youngest in a family of seven, her mother was tired of homeschooling by the time Tara came along so she didn’t get much formal education.

Her first level of education included prepping with her family for the “end times”, dodging her father’s carelessly flung scrap metal while she did child labor in his junkyard and accompanying her mother to home births. Tara’s early survivalist education included learning how to survive her parents’ ignorant choices and a bullying older brother—all of which are much greater threats than her father’s perceived threats of the government taking over their lives.

The author possesses a fortitude and intelligence and talent that is astonishing, in light of where she came from. Her resiliency is heroic. I rooted for her, cried with her and laughed with her all the way through this book. It’s an incredible memoir.

 

Restaurant Recommendation: Campiello 1177 3rd Street S.  Naples

This is one of the best-known restaurants in Naples. It’s housed in the historic Naples Mercantile Building and features two outdoor patios and the main dining room with a glass atrium ceiling. You will find a spacious bar area and large, open kitchen complete with a traditional wood-burning oven. Some of the pasta, such as the pappardelle with braised veal, is made in house. Many of the ingredients – capicola for one of the wood-fired pizza, cheeses and sausage – gets shipped from Italy. There are short ribs with smoked tomatoes or pan-roasted black grouper for dinner, chicken and caramelized pear salad for lunch and warm citrus cake with strawberry prosecco jam and fior di latte for dessert.

We went here for a birthday dinner recently and it couldn’t have been better. The server was excellent; taking care of our every need…including a special grilled vegetable dish for a vegan diner. It sounded so good that another in the party ordered it as well. Delicious!

Here are a couple recent reviews from trip advisor:

“This very popular restaurant located on 3rd street deserves its high rating. The food and service are outstanding and if you can get a table on the outdoor terrace, you can enjoy people watching in a much less rushed atmosphere than trendy 5th Avenue.”

“We thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant. The great service started with the hostess. She couldn’t find our reservation but she made sure we were seated promptly and at our requested table. The waiter was very helpful and knowledgeable about the many, many wines on their menu. He helped us pick the perfect bottle. The dinner was perfect. This isn’t your typical Italian restaurant with heavy sauces and pasta. The courses left us happy and looking forward to the next. Each course outdid the last. They brought us a lovely dessert for our anniversary at the end of the evening. We went home fondly remembering Campiello and several days later received a thank you note from our waiter! I was beyond impressed with this gem!”

 

Naples Real Estate:

Here are the April 2018 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

For the first four months of 2018, there were 4,589 closed sales of existing homes in all of Naples and Bonita. This compares with 4,467 closed sales for last year. This is close to an identical year-to-year pattern for existing home sales.

Here’s an interesting chart comparing January thru April of 2018 to last year:

Closed Sales
Total
Under $300,000
$300,000 to $700,000
$700,001 to $1,000,000
$1,000,001 to $3,000,000
Over $3,000,000
January-April 2017
4,467
1,985
1,766
296
333
87
January-April 2018
4,589
1,917
1,775
293
500
104
Difference
+122
-68
+9
-3
+167
+17
% Change
3%
-3%
+1%
-1%
+50%
+20%

It’s a little early in the year for meaningful comparisons year-to-year. It’s interesting to see what happened in each category though. Clearly, the high-end market is doing much better than the lower end on a year-to-year basis.

As the following table shows, the level of inventory varies dramatically by price point:

Naples Home Inventory As of May 3, 2018
Total
Under $300,000
$300,000 to $700,000
$700,001 to $1,000,000
$1,000,001 to $3,000,000
Over $3,000,000
Number Sold Last 12 months
12,366
5,501
4,777
759
1,098
231
Average Number Sold per Month
1,031
459
398
63
92
19
Total Available for Sale
7,639
2,492
3,211
636
956
344
Months of Supply as of May 3, 2018
7
5
8
10
10
18

The inventory levels increased about 5% from last month to 8,069 properties. Keep in mind that the figure is still a reasonable number for existing homes. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita! Also keep in mind, that a significant number of new homes are not included in this number. That’s because they are brand new homes being sold by developers and are not included in the MLS totals.

This is still a buyer’s market for existing homes priced above $300,000. In the over $3 million market, for example, there are 344 properties available. During the last 12 months, 231 properties in this price range have sold…which means an average of about 19 per month. At that rate, the 344 homes available represent about 18 months of supply.

Sellers in the upper price categories are in a highly competitive environment and the median sales price has leveled off in Naples. Which means there are many good buys available in the secondary market.

Another market factor is the supply of new homes that are now being built or permitted. There are many new home developments that are being built or are in the planning stages right now. If you are looking to buy, we can help guide you through the maze of new home availability. If you are planning to sell, you need to know details of the new competition you are facing.

 

Kensington Real Estate: 

Kensington is the community where Rae and Fred live.  As of May 3rd, 2018 there were 39 active listings in Kensington. This is 2 less than last month.

Type of Property
Number
Lowest Price
Highest Price
Average Price per sq. ft.
Avg. Days on Mkt.
Estate Homes
6
$1,075,000
$1,595,000
$393
170
Villas
5
$500,000
$1,075,000
$281
72
Coach Homes
28
$299,000
$775,000
$203
147
Total
39
There have been 32 closed sales in the past 12-month period. At this average selling rate of 2.67 properties per month, the 39 homes listed represent about 15 months of inventory on average. The number of homes available is 2 fewer than last month, and it is definitely a buyers’ market for those available. There are currently 5 sales pending and 3 sales pending with a contingency in Kensington.

 

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. These statistics are taken from the MLS system we use in Naples. Riverstone is fully built out and turned over to the residents by the developer, GL Homes. Here’s a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of May 3, 2018:

Property
Number for Sale
Lowest Price
Highest Price
Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.
Avg. Days on Market
Riverstone
24
$445,000
$1,095,000
$233
126

Here’s a breakdown of what’s currently on the market thru MLS:

 
$400,000 to $499,999
$500,000 to $599,999
$600,000 to $699,999
$700,000 to $799,999
$800,000 and Over
Number for Sale
2
4
9
5
4
Average Price per Sq. Ft.
$211
$214
$230
$243
$256
Average Number of Days on Market
340
157
99
105
75

Available inventory is 11 less than last month. As of May 3rd there were 24 active listings,2 pending sales and 14 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 44 spec and resale homes sold in the last 12 months which means there is currently almost a 7-month supply of inventory in Riverstone.

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

Rae & Nicola