Coronavirus slowed real estate market activity in April as expected during Florida’s safeat home restrictions. According to the April 2020 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), overall closed sales decreased 28.6 percent to 838 closed sales compared to 1,173 closed sales in April 2019. Inventory decreased as well in April by 29.1 percent to 5,394 homes compared to 7,605 homes in April 2019. The April report also confirms home values remain intact.
“Our priority is the safety of Naples residents and our members, as we all continue to practice socially responsible distancing while we conduct business during this health crisis,” said NABOR president Lauren Melo, PA, licensed real estate broker with Florida’s Realty Specialists.
To encourage a safe path to homeownership, NABOR implemented three new actions in April to assist members as they conduct business during the COVID-19 pandemic:
¦ It lobbied state and local governments to successfully recognize real estate services as an essential service, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security;
¦ It created a COVID-19 addendum and amendment to sales contracts to protect buyers and sellers;
¦ It trained members on new COVID-19 related services including virtual open house tours, COVID-19 stimulus relief package benefits, and new lender requirements.
“The good news is that, even during a pandemic, Naples home values are being maintained,” said Brenda Fioretti, managing broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. “The report shows April’s overall percent of current list price received increased .5 percent.” In April, the contract price averaged 95.9 percent of list price. In comparison, during April 2019, the contract price averaged 95.4 percent of list price. This statistic demonstrates that homes in the Naples area did not lose their values during April, the worst month of the pandemic to date.
Median closed prices increased .3 percent in April to $340,000 from $339,000 in April 2019. “Although there were slightly fewer price decreases in April than in March, still 1,654 or 31 percent of all listed properties experienced reductions in their offering price during April,” said Jeff Jones, Broker at Keller Williams Naples.
Like many essential service businesses, Realtors in Naples focused on implementing new strategies and modifying their business models during April to comply with self-distancing practices and accommodate for the welfare and safety of their staff, clients and the community.
As people were urged to stay home in April, showings decreased to 9,420 from 22,862 in April 2019 (does not include virtual showings). As a result, pending sales in April decreased 53.6 percent, as was expected.
Not all geographic areas in Collier County reported a decrease in closed sales during April. Single-family home sales in East Naples (34114, 34117, 34120, 34137) during April increased 7.2 percent.
Broker analysts reviewing the April Market Report are optimistic that activity in the Naples area real estate market will resume momentum in the coming months (barring a return to April’s restrictions). Property values are holding steady with price increases in two price categories reported in April (i.e., the $300,000 and below price category and the $2 million and above price category reported median closed price increases in April). And the overall list to sales price has remained steady at about 95 percent (for April 2019 compared to April 2020).