Of course, the real estate market here on Marco Island has shown strength in every category for a year now. The national market has done well too. It looks as if 2012 will mark the long-awaited turn-around. Both home sales and prices rose almost every month of the year. The market was very attractive to buyers and investors all year with record low interest rates, affordable prices and a shrinking inventory. I think it was this shrinking inventory that prompted so many buyers to leave the sidelines here on Marco Island.
The median sales price is the stat we use to track price appreciation. Especially in a small market like Marco Island, this statistic is less subject to unrealistic skewing when compared to average sales price. For the country as a whole, the median price in December was $166,250, 1.8% higher than it was in November and a whopping 7.6% higher than it was in December 2011. In fact, of the 52 metro areas used in the sample, 48 showed year-over-year price increases and 21 actually experienced double-digit increases.
Margaret Kelly, the CEO of RE/MAX said, "We can finally say that the worst of the housing crisis is now behind us, as 2012 saw dramatic increases in both sales and prices, with home buyers and sellers coming back to the market in numbers we've been anticipating for years." The prolonged flat-spot on the price graph has finally inched upward without giving its gains back. The prognosis for 3013 is even better than 2012.
It's often said that, "real estate markets are local." They are. I have often been surprised by variations between even markets as closely related as Marco Island and Naples. However, as the sentiment around the country congeals in to a positive and optimistic feeling towards the future of real estate, markets everywhere are firmming up together. Certainly, there is hardly a bad buy on the market. When the priced have been slashed to the extent they were over the last few years, everything is a bargain. We all consider those that bought Home Depot stock in 1998 geniuses. Marco Island real estate in 2013 is like HD was then - largely unknown with the potential of a Saturn 5 rocket sitting on the launch pad.