The Skotak-Brown Group is taking all precautions and practicing social-distancing amid the COVID-19 crisis, but we are happy to report the housing market continues to breathe with life! The Skotak-Brown Group had a great first quarter with $4.9MM in closed sales volume and another $4.8MM in pending transactions! Congratulations to Brittany Skotak, who earned the #1 spot within our Downing-Frye office for the month of February! Brokerage wide, we have a year-to date closed sales volume just above $400 million. This is a 21% increase in our first quarter sales volume when compared to the first quarter of last year!
The February 2020 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of Realtors, showed overall closed sales increased 29 percent to 789 closed sales in February 2020, compared to 610 closed sales in February 2019. This report reflects comparable activity in February 2020 – which preceded self-distancing recommendations- but is a glimpse of our market’s significant and enduring desirability. Overall pending sales in February increased 43 percent to 1,526 pending sales compared to 1,068 pending sales in February 2019.
“While our housing market in February was strong, the biggest question now is what the future holds over the next few months,” said Brittany Skotak of the Skotak-Brown Group. “It is impossible to know at this time. Most of our traditional forecasting tools will be rather useless in in the near term until there is a better handle on our local, state and federal governments’ plan to both combat the virus and shield the economy.”
Properties priced between $1 million and $2 million reported the highest increase in closed sales for the 12-months ending February 2020 than any other price category. Single-family home sales in the $1 million to $2 million price category had the highest increase among all properties reported with a 27 percent increase (12-months ending February 2020). However, condominiums priced above $2 million had the highest increase in closed sales for its property type, reporting a 20 percent increase (in the 12-months ending February 2020).
Because the federal government enacted stricter standards for financing following the recession in 2008, “most buyers in the last ten years have purchased homes using cash or conventional financing with significant down payments,” said Josh Bolinger of the Skotak- Brown Group. “This has created larger amounts of equity in the market and, with our current balanced inventory, we can absorb a short disruption.” He added, “Once the social-distancing and quarantine measures are relaxed, we should see this temporary pause evaporate, and will have potential buyers return with the same enthusiasm we saw earlier this quarter.”
The Skotak-Brown Group has been utilizing digital tools in its marketing for years now. “With buyers postponing trips and sellers wary about people in their homes, our virtual walk-thru tours, interactive floorplans, social media advertising and electronic signature program have proven even more effective right now,” said Deborah Potok of the Skotak-Brown Group. “Providing these tools allows our sellers and buyers to conduct transactions without risk, while ensuring that current market opportunities are not missed.”
The Skotak-Brown Group understands the recent stock market activity is causing concern, but continue to remind clients that the real estate market is historically and currently a stable investment. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, contact our skilled team to help you navigate this process!