Over the last two years, we've watched certain segments of our real estate market on Marco Island heat up. As the runaway train of descending home values gradually slowed down, we'd notice that the buyers would gravitate to one segment and then another with no rhyme or reason. In 2012 it was lots. The number of lots sold in 2012 was up 74% above the level set in 2011. While this run on lots was underway, condos and single-family homes weren't ignored by any means, but sales increases were not close to that of lots.
Since then, we've seen periodic runs on low-priced waterfront homes, beach condos and then inland homes. Now, Marco Island luxury homes are getting scarce. We're seeing buyers and investors coming over from Miami because the market there has run up so rapidly. Their inventory has shrunken so dramatically that sellers are in absolute control. Buyers have come to Marco in hopes of finding a little less competition for luxury homes.
It's not just Miami, though. Canadians and Europeans are also in town to take advantage the upside potential of Southwest Florida real estate. Savvy buyers from around the world recognize that our market offers spectacular value right now and that the bargains are disappearing.
Plus, our little island is getting awfully close to being "built-out". Once this happens, real estate here will see appreciation similar to what took place on Key Biscayne, another Mackle Brothers development, years ago. Small, inland homes start at around $1.5 MM now. Direct access waterfront can exceed $25 MM.
So, if you've been a little reluctant to jump in to Marco Island luxury real estate, you shouldn't be. The train is leaving the station and it won't be coming back - not to these prices. If you look at the graph of real estate prices on Marco or all of Florida for that matter,you'll see what I mean. If the real estate bubble never happened and appreciation rolled along like it always had before, prices would be 40-50% higher than where they are now. I can't imagine a better argument buying property here right now.